Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What Was Shakespeare Talking About?

How many of you out there are fans of Shakespeare?  It's not that I am NOT a fan, it is more that I struggle to understand a lot of the old English verbiage in his writings and plays.  While it could be said I am just an idiot, the fact that most students at some point are forced  to buy Cliff Notes to explain what the heck is being said,  tells me I am far from alone.

I think, overall, most of us understand the basic plot lines.  Romeo and Juliet, for example:

Boy loves girl.
Girl loves boy.
Girl's family and boy's family hate each other.
Juliet fakes her death
Romeo isn't a good fact-checker (there was a plan after all!)
Romeo kills himself
Juliet wakes up and figures out how dumb Romeo was (again, he didn't follow the plan)
Kills Herself
The End

(Did you know that Shakespeare based this on an actual couple that lived in Verona, Italy in 1303? Supposedly, Shakespeare learned of the story by reading a poem written by Arthur Brooks in 1562 called   "The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Juliet" .)

Why am I even bringing up Ole William, you ask? Well, I am having a couple of thoughts on the subject of love today.

Thought Number One:
Love is blind, and lovers cannot see, The pretty follies that themselves commit.
 The Merchant of Venice, Act 2 Scene 6

Forty-one years ago, TODAY,  two teenagers, much to the chagrin of their parents, teachers and pretty much everyone that knew them,  got married.  Yeah, I know...crazy, clueless, teenagers...got married.

 So, despite the shaking noggins, the naysayers, and the doubting Thomas's and Thomasina's, our hapless teens did get married.

They made a little home for themselves. Well, strictly speaking they made lots of little homes for themselves with all those 21 corporate moves.

 And they had a little princess and a little prince to add a little spice to their lives.

Thought Number Two:  More than a few of Shakespeare's quotes were lost on me.

He said what?????

 Totally not true, Mr. Shakespeare.  No marred men around here.

So happy anniversary to us...still happy after all these years.

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Chubby Chatterbox said...

In four hundred years Cliff notes will be needed to decipher what we are saying today, and unlike Shakespeare's words, I doubt much will be worth translating. But I don't want to forget about wishing you a Happy Anniversary.

Linda R. said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Glad your story has been a happy one.

Cheryl P. said...

Between your blog and the book you will someday write, you will leave much worth translating.

You mean to tell me in 400 years that it won't be blatantly obvious what LMAO and WTF mean. Maybe I should start writing a primer for our modern language and put it in a time capsule.

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you Linda, yes, my story is a very happy story. Actually, that is amazing in itself as marrying as young as we were and being as stupid as we were, we grew up on the fly and it seems to have worked out.

oldereyes said...

I am a Shakespeare fan but it takes me about half of the first act to start understanding what they're saying. I propose that we add a warm-up act that starts out in American English and gradually transitions to Shakespearese. That way by the time the play starts. I'm tuned in. Alas, Cheryl. men hath been reaping cheap laughs by disparaging marriage for ages ... and it isn't going to stop anytime soon. Congratulations oo 41 years!!


Cheryl P. said...

Huzzah! If I knew how to say "brilliant idea" in Old English, I would have put that next. You are right though. After one act of getting acclimated, I probably could keep up. So you are telling me that Shakespeare was the first version of Rodney Dangerfield.

I am still behind your and Muri's 44 years. Aren't the four of us a lucky lot.

Katrina Grothe said...

Congratulations! 41 years is an amazing accomplishment. Few people ever get that story and it's so very awesome! It's a beautiful story too ;)

Now Shakespeare.. hmmm... I always thought Cliff Notes were reading way too much into the story (I thought my English teacher did too for that matter) I always found it easier to read the story.


Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl,

I've never been into Shakespeare myself. But congrats for the 2 teen agers that made it so long together happily :) I think that's so cool!

Clicks for you,

Jo-Anne said...

Shakespeare is lost on me and thankfully I never had to study the old guy while at school since it would have done my head in.............lol

Happy anniversary to you and hubby hope you have many more happy years together.

Cheryl P. said...

You have a point. As I was reading quotes today to try to find a nice pro-love kind of quote (which by the way, Shakespeare never said anything good about love, it seems) the individual lines make perfect sense. Reading Shakespeare is probably easier than analyzing Shakespeare.

Cheryl P. said...

I agree, Shakespeare isn't my first choice of classic reading material. A little too much Thee and Thou for me.

If my own children had told me they were getting married as teenagers I would have sent them to a nice boarding school in Siberia. We got lucky.

Cheryl P. said...

I took one semester of Shakespeare and it was a very long semester. Interesting stories but not the easiest to read.

Thank you, Jo-Anne. On Facebook today a friend wished me another 41 years. I think that will be my goal. That would make me a nice even 100.

Don E. Chute said...

Theese doust deservest a medal...41 years is breaking the mold...which is a great thing...Happiest of all the Anniversary's...and many many more to the both of ya's!

PLU from SSF

Wendy said...

I loved Shakespeare in High School because it was at least something different to learn, like decoding a puzzle. My sons all listened to the plays on CD's. it makes for great language building. That said, I was quite bored seeing the plays and am not interested in ever rereading those books.

What a wonderful way to begin an anniversary post, the art work terrific, as always. Happiest Anniversary to you both!

meleahrebeccah said...

"It's not that I am NOT a fan, it is more that I struggle to understand a lot of the old English verbiage in his writings and plays."



Happy Anniversary!!

Cheryl P. said...

That is an excellent comparison. It's like solving a puzzle. I agree with you that studying Shakespeare is a good learning experience esp. deciphering the language. I probably wouldn't go back and try to reread any of it.

Thank you...I had a lovely anniversary. Too bad we don't celebrate anniversary weeks...but it was back to work today. I have an email coming your way in the morning.

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Meleah!!!!!

See, I knew we would have that in common. We tend to think alike on a lot of things.

Thanks..we had a great day but back to the grind now.

Cheryl P. said...

I bet you think I forgot about you. I actually responded to your comment when I first saw it but I just noticed it went MIA.

I was thinking you deserved a medal for trying to speak Old English. And thanks for the good wishes.