Art and Culture 32: Shakespeare and the Translation Game!

1 Apr

-For the Uncensored!

With every article I write, I do have a curious inclination to Shakespeare and how much he matters in society, no matter what age, gender, creed, are all transfixed by the Bard of Avon. Born in April 1564 and died in April 1616, Shakespeare, in all of his poignancy, knew how to write and much so, that Shakespeare proved that with each play he was setting up not just classic characters, but also creating archetypes that many would copy so forth to this day. Shakespeare is very much a playwright who is allowing himself to matter long beyond just the time he was written in. Sure, to not read Shakespeare’s original language only to read the translation notes, is a disservice to the Bards work.    

Now, many of Shakespeare’s work has been translated into modern movies, and plays. According to EK Chambers “William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems, on pages 109-134, that the plays were written between “1589 and 1613.” All during his life and never posthumous. Considering that England was then the super power of the world, Shakespeare saw the rise of plays and the birth of the playwright. And even so, while Shakespeare was no stranger to translation. 

 Most famously, Romeo and Juliet, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Claire Danes, and directed by Baz Lurhman as it was to me, added more graphic violence, and was more intense than the Franco Zefferili version, which in one scene, where Romeo and Juliet are in bed, Lurhman recreates the scene perfectly.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnHHfCKd8XQ

            So, I have a big problem with the way translations often never get it right, or remain too loyal to the source material. Hamlet is over four hours long. There are so many soliloquies in it that it probably makes ones eyes bleed if they read it. Hamlet is when “the modern man arrives” and much of modern man relies on the moral questions we ask ourselves, and Shakespeare, always gives that perfect answer to his plays. And sometimes, it’s hard for the characters because they are so wrapped up in vengeance or power. You can’t think about Soliloquies unless you think about Hamlet. 

            According to Stephenfollows.com, it’s reported that over 294 feature film has been of Shakespeare’s work. There are too many to count, but the problem is that if the left are trying to take Shakespeare away, they might as well erase themselves and movie culture. 

            If Shakespeare was not as talented as he was, or as some assholes out there say “Shakespeare didn’t write those plays” are probably the people you should stay away from. Distance yourself from them.

            To be as asinine to think “Shakespeare didn’t write the plays,” takes a real “genius brain” to consider that Shakespeare spent much of his time rehearsing the play so that each line and word is drawn to hit each emotional beat that no playwright could ever live in the shadow of Shakespeare, without copying his work, consciously or subconsciously. I don’t think an author was as idiosyncratic as Shakespeare ever was.

            Cinematic translations of Shakespeare prove that no matter how long the play, the plays, prove that each translation, cinematic or otherwise, have to retain Shakespeare’s line of thinking or the movie in question would cease to be Shakespeare’s original intent, themes, and voice.

            It’s like trying to adapt one of my commercial novels, like the Disintegrating Bloodline, but not use any of the dialogue or the plot to help tell the story.

            With translation, there are always finer moments that you have to read into, when portraying a cinematic universe of Shakespeare. It’s never a happy ending, unless you are translating a comedy. So, each translation becomes a new experience but if the themes and dialogue remains, it’s still a Shakespeare story.

            Here’s to all the haters out there, as an aside from the article: I’m addressing you. If you really hate Shakespeare, it’s probably because you had some trouble figuring your life out. And this is to the English Majors right now who are reading this. I do mean to offend you when I say this. You hate Shakespeare because you want to outdo Shakespeare, but the only person who can kill Shakespeare is Shakespeare, so you get online and then state lies about William Shakespeare that are classically untrue.

            I don’t think William Shakespeare, if he was a racist, could write a play about a Moor, Othello, you dipshits. Or Shylock, a character who happens to be Jewish and part of the central conflict in Merchant of Venice  (I saw Al Pacino play Shylock on stage and it was beautiful). Please, stop virtue signaling and shut up for a while. Maybe you will be happy once you stop screaming about people greater than you, like William Shakespeare. But make us famous. If you hate his work, then you hate the human condition. And Shakespeare will never go out of style.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. Also, he writes on https://louisbruno.substack.com, where you can support him directly. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.  His next series, City of Sand, will be available sometime this year.

Also available on podcast too: 

www.breaker.audio/the-real-louis-t-brunos-blog

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy81MDA5ZDY3MC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

https://pca.st/504t7jxr

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