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PostSubject: Shakespeare   Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:43 pm

Who else finds Shakespeare difficult to comprehend?

I am re reading Macbeth and all I can get out of Shakespeare's language is the general gist of what is being said.

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PostSubject: Re: Shakespeare   Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:54 pm

I found him very difficult when I first read his plays. It took me several attempts to get through "Hamlet". When I started "Macbeth", though, I was already used to the style and language. Besides, I can't really say I still have trouble understanding Macbeth especially... I worked through it several times, my copy is full of notes, and I have literally analysed every single line.

Suggestion, although a half-hearted one: Get some help, i.e. a really thorough analysis of the play, and work your way through it once. Then, read it a second time, since then you'll probably be able to enjoy it.

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PostSubject: Re: Shakespeare   Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:46 pm

We all do at first. Anybody who says they got it right away is probably a liar. I personally don't see anything wrong with reading a copy with little notes already in it from the publisher if you're just looking to read the play for your own enjoyment. Sometimes it's even okay for school. (My school-provided textbook copy of Romeo and Juliet had helpful notes in it.)
No Fear Shakespeare is a good free resource if you can bring yourself to use Sparknotes. It's not just for lazy students, and I see no shame in using it. (I plan to for The Taming of the Shrew, and I don't care who knows it. Maybe eventually I won't need the help and I can just go at it like I would any other reading material, but for right now I need help with Shakespearean plays and most things from that era and before.)
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PostSubject: Re: Shakespeare   Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:37 am

The primary problem with reading Shakespeare is that it is not meant to be read. It was designed to be a play. Many people who have difficulty reading it and understanding have few issues with watching the play being performed and understanding it then.

For you, try reading the play out loud. Or watch a screen adaptation. Perhaps you will comprehend more efficiently then.
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PostSubject: Re: Shakespeare   Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:53 pm

Dara wrote:
The primary problem with reading Shakespeare is that it is not meant to be read. It was designed to be a play. Many people who have difficulty reading it and understanding have few issues with watching the play being performed and understanding it then.

For you, try reading the play out loud. Or watch a screen adaptation. Perhaps you will comprehend more efficiently then.

That's a good suggestion. There are few really good movies, though. Kenneth Branagh is always an indicator for quality, as far as that is concerned.

Oh, and the Polanski version of Macbeth is incredible. It gets so close to the essence of the play that I had to turn in off. I was getting sick.

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