Friday, March 09, 2007

Shakespeare is No Theatre

The tragedy of Titus Andronicus

Act IV Scene 1: Titus:

"Magni Dominator poli,

Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides."

For those of you who could not comprehend, thank you for being on my side. And for those of you who could, I've one more.

Love's Labour's Lost


"Ah, good old Mantuan! I may speak of thee as

the traveller doth of Venice:

Venetia, Venetia,

Chi non ti vede, non ti pretia.

Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! Who understandeth thee not."

Actually, I understandeth thee not.

And those of you who could not understand this time, thank you for leaving pretentiousness. For those of you who could, Shakespeare loved men like you.

Even the most intellectual minds of the country interpret Shakespeare's words “Et tu, Brute?" as ethhuu Brute. And this was testified in a cultural festival held at a premier institute of the country. Let's come over to the definitions of theatre and drama. Theatre is the branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, mime, puppets, music, dance, sound and spectacle — indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts.

Drama is that branch of theatre in which speech, either from written text (plays), or improvised is paramount. Now if the speech of the characters is not being understood by the audience, the very purpose of theatre is negated. Instead of entertaining or spreading some message, there is confusion, misinterpretation and exasperation since the communication fails. And you know what, when communication fails, speech becomes noise, mere noise. So, Shakespeare is just some vague aristocratic cacophony which no longer relates to the status quo.

Shakespeare is regarded as one of the biggest plagiarists in English literature. All the plots of his theatre have been extensively copied from ancient Greek and European literature. But he played with the junctures of the plot and presented it in the language of his time. Now, with the changing time, the coherence of his literature has been vanishing. Today, if you recreate Shakespearian Theatre in a form that can be assimilated by the people, that's fine, but raw Shakespeare, I'm sorry, it's no more a delicacy. Today, when Juliet cries "O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?, you know what Romeo is doing, he is mugging up the Advanced Learner's Oxford Dictionary.