Monday, September 25, 2006

To be, or not to . . . Oh, never mind - Health - Times Online

To be, or not to . . . Oh, never mind - Health - Times Online

Did Shakespeare have his bad days when he wrote just to get the wordcount up? Did he wake up hungover, look at a half finished page and think "Where was I?" Dominic Dromgoole, artistic director at the Globe, thinks so. He shows a number of examples (specifically from The Tempest, Macbeth and King Lear) where he feels that the Bard wasn't quite firing on all cylinders.

It's an interesting position to take. If you take the position that every word was perfect, then you're just being silly - Shakespeare was a man just like everybody else. But if you cite specific passages and say "This is awkward" then people will come out of the woodwork to defend that particular passage and tell you that you simply didn't understand it. At least this opinion is coming from somebody who is in the business of staging Shakespaere, so when he says "There's no way to deliver a line like that with any passion" he's got some degree of experience with it.

Does this remind anybody else of Polonius? "The most beautified Ophelia? That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase..."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Didn't Ben Jonson comment on this, saying "he never blotted a line. I wish he had blotted a thousand," or words to that effect?