Saturday, May 28, 2011

Prithee, Shakespeare wast no clamperton!

I'm really looking forward to this year's Shakespeare on the Green. In High School, my English teacher told me there were just seven literary themes that all stories can fit into. Then we went on to learn Shakespeare plays that fit into all these themes. At the time I thought Shakespeare was no big deal, mainly because I could find all the same themes in Bruce Willis and Clint Eastwood movies.

However, as I grow older, I've realized that, while I was correct in being able to find the themes in action movies, Shakespeare did it so much more eloquently and the characters were more believable once you understand the difference in language. Plus, he was the original.

What was the seed that starting this appreciation for me? "Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet" with Leonardo DiCaprio. It's an excellent movie, but mainly it taught me that Shakespeare is best appreciated performed, not read. Most of the Shakespeare I was exposed to in High School was written.

So, now I love Shakespeare, I like to see how it's interpreted at a performance. However, I have little patience for actors that can't get into the character and who don't seem at home with the language. But, who would watch a Bruce Willis movie where the characters look like they're faking car chases and not really running away from explosions? By my troth, t'would be folly!