To be, or not to be Shakespeare? That really is a tough question. By Shakespearean aspirations, I don’t mean killing my father, myself, or any of the other atrocities or wondrous acts that we glean from his great stories. I simply mean writing as the great bard himself had.
Those great, flowing sentences that dripped sentiments that writers crave to expose upon a blank page. Think of all those great and powerful lines; “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war,” and “see, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!” It’s pretty powerful stuff.
I was talking to a friend of mine named Dave, another aspiring writer, and the topic of Shakespeare came up. Dave, a more eclectic writer by far, has written a few plays in his time, some that had even been produced, and he showed me a rough draft of something he was “dabbling” with.
It was, as he put it, a tragic comedy in the style of Shakespeare. Quite the undertaking, if you ask me. I myself had never even thought of trying to write with old Bill’s Elizabethan vernacular … until now.
And let me tell you … it is one humdinger of a conundrum. Writing a play to begin with seems like a rather strenuous task. Who walks around speaking so freely anyways? I have never seen anyone strolling down the street, quietly plotting out loud. If I ever did, i would probably just ignore them and quickly walk the other way.
It really is hard to write in a different language, even when that language is just an older version of your own. I tip my hat to any who try and succeed … even to those who simply try.
Thinking about this reminds me of my ninth grade English teacher, Mrs. Miller, the first teacher that truly intrigued me with Shakespeare. She actually took the time to translate Romeo and Juliet for us–even trying her hand at “street slang”. For the first time ever, I understood what the story was about, and how frivolous young love–while exciting and new–can be. So to Mrs. Miller, I tip my hat as well.