Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Excellent Interpretations

Shakespeare scholar Natalia Razak takes a look at the Folio in, "a 4-part series exploring the reasons why actors use the earliest rather than the latest editions of Shakespeare’s plays."

Modern editions of Shakespeare are full of nifty things – definitions of arcane words, translations of outdated phrases, notations by editors, introductions and essays by very smart people. If you’re in the classroom or curled up in your bed reading Shakespeare (which we all do, right?), then by all means pick up the Arden edition and enjoy. But if you want to perform Shakespeare, then you have no need of definitions and notations (that’s what dictionaries and the internet are for). You need a roadmap for making interpretive choices; you have to delve into the text and find not just understanding and comprehension but the human experience as well. You have to make it yours. This is by no means an easy feat, even if the plays in question hadn’t been written 400 years ago. Thankfully, Shakespeare gave us a map: the verse.


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