Thread: Anne's english
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Old Sep 5 2005, 06:35 PM   #44
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Default Re: Anne's english

Originally Posted by c_ris
Modification in LANGUAGE but retaining the rest of it is essential for popular works such as those of Shakespeare to remain in the public mind. If you try and sell the works of Shakespeare as he wrote them, then much fewer would - or could - read them. And so they would drop from view and be available to NO-ONE in any manner. Shakespeare remains popular quite simply because his works are used a lot in schools and are often adapted into plays and movies. That is why Shakespeare sells, and why he is known. If they are NOT adapted then people will NOT know about them, and then EVERYONE will lose out.
I'm not sure that modifying Shakespeare's language is, in his case, essential. It seems to me that there are few works where such a modification would not be useful, given the strength of their appearances within culture.

However, you are right that the popularity is in part due to their frequent adaptation, both into faithful movies, and 'retellings'. As for stage productions, these are less adaptations as they are recontextualisations, so that each production is, ideally to most, an updating of the play, and an attempt to make it contemporary.

Shakespeare is not too difficult, though, if we are led into them, as in schools, and we have a passing familiarity already. He is a modern writer after all.
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