lunes, 20 de julio de 2015

Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet is one of those works of literature which needs no introduction. Everything that can be said about this play have been said already, oodles of words have been poured in essays, thesis, papers, critics, and reviews. But my favorite analysis of all has to be that of John Green:



Part Two is here.

I am always intimidated to speak my mind about uber-classics like this one. Not because I fear to blabber like an idiot (which is something I definitely do), but because it feels redundant and unnecessary. So I'm going to keep this realy short.

I had read this before in high school, and remembered this play as Very Serious Literature. Slightly boring, slightly tragic. But I really wanted to kick Romeo and make Juliet come to her senses. How come she came involved with such a dumbass? Of course, I read this translated to Spanish. In this reread, I have used a bilingual edition. One of those nifty books with the text in original English and translation side by side, with notes and a critical essay. And it has made all the difference. It turns out that Shakespeare is really funny! And his commentary is not full of judgement - Romeo and Juliet does not condemn the lovers, as I had been made to believe in high school. The text is full of sexual innuendo and jokes of not-really-respectable nature. He was able to elicit laughter and sadness in the same sentence.

I am a converse, and really looking forward to reading more Shakespearean literature! What are your favorite Shakespeare plays?

8 comentarios:

  1. I love the idea of a side-by-side translation.

    Http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com

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    1. I do love them too, especially when I read plays in old English. I can get the story and the word puns!

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  2. My favourite will always be Twelfth Night - funny, beautiful, clever :-)

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    1. Great, thank you! And my library carries it :)

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  3. People assume Shakespeare is some kind of High Literature God who is above all vulgarities, but really - his stuff is FULL of sex jokes. Like, overflowing. I took a (Shakespeare-newbie) friend to see A Midsummer Night's Dream, and she freaked at the bawdiness, because she expected Elizabethan Officialness. (The Elizabethans were really a rowdy bunch though.)
    My personal favorites are: Much Ado About Nothing (highly recommend you see the Kenneth Branagh film), Hamlet, and Twelfth Night (probably has the most sex jokes out of all of Shakespeare). Macbeth's pretty awesome too, in an intense, Scottish sort of way.
    Good luck! Even though you're reading a side-by-side version, if you need help with Shakespeare's English, I wrote a handy post a few years back: http://ravens-and-writingdesks.blogspot.com/2014/01/shakespeares-language.html

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! The recs are great and your post is fantastic! You're the very best :)

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  4. Enjoyed reading your thoughts on R&J! Awesome that you have a bilingual edition of the book; I recently picked up the English/Italian edition of Julius Caesar, which should be pretty cool =D

    You know my favourites from the recent list I posted on my blog but if I had to choose a few, I'd say my favourite plays from him would have to be Twelfth Night (hands down), Hamlet, Richard II and Richard III. And The Merchant of Venice because it was the first Shakespeare I ever read fully & studied :) Hope you enjoy his other plays when you get to them!

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    1. Thanks for going out of your way to make specific recommendations! You're a sweetheart :)

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