Hamlet Without the Potholes: From the Shakespeare Without the Potholes Series Jerry Rubin

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Published: April 24th 2015

Kindle Edition

237 pages


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Hamlet Without the Potholes: From the Shakespeare Without the Potholes Series  by  Jerry Rubin

Hamlet Without the Potholes: From the Shakespeare Without the Potholes Series by Jerry Rubin
April 24th 2015 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 237 pages | ISBN: | 5.79 Mb

The series Shakespeare Without the Potholes is intended to provide updated versions of all of the 37 generally recognized plays of William Shakespeare. The series makes the plays more accessible to students encountering Shakespeare for the firstMoreThe series Shakespeare Without the Potholes is intended to provide updated versions of all of the 37 generally recognized plays of William Shakespeare.

The series makes the plays more accessible to students encountering Shakespeare for the first time- it provides an easier reading experience by modernizing some of the outdated vocabulary and grammar, and by revising many of the more difficult passages that in the original can be understood, if at all, only by careful scanning of a footnote, and sometimes not even then.

The alterations retain the meter and maintain almost all of the poetic substance.Reading one of Shakespeares plays is like driving down a broad and beautiful highway lined with gorgeous sights, observing, as one passes, the wide range of human types and situations- but unfortunately the road is marred by potholes small and large -- archaic words, phrases and grammar, words whose meanings have migrated during the course of 400 years, and passages that are difficult or impossible to comprehend.

Sometimes these involve mythological references, or references to customs that an Elizabethan would be familiar with, but to a modern reader are largely unintelligible. Many students who embark on the trip do not complete it, or else vow never to undertake another.

There are four alternatives -- driving straight through, but the drive is then a bumpy one- detouring around each pothole by consulting a footnote, but the drive is then full of distractions- filling in the potholes oneself by becoming erudite in Elizabethan grammar, vocabulary, mythology, customs and circumstances, but the drive is then laborious- or using the services of a pothole-fixer, who may indeed use asphalt instead of concrete, but who attempts to provide a smooth, continuous and pleasant journey.

The latter is the task this series undertakes.In the more famous or the more soaring speeches a lighter hand is used, sometimes retaining archaic contractions (Tis nobler in the mind ....). Such words as thou, thee, thy, thine have mostly been replaced by modern counterparts.There are many individual words that have shifted meaning in the 400 years since Shakespeare wrote his masterpieces.

Some have developed a meaning nearly the opposite of the original - for example, in Elizabethan days, merely meant utterly or totally- timeless meant untimely- presently usually meant at once. I shall attend his majesty presently does not mean Ill be there in a little while, but rather Im on my way.

Other words have shifted their meanings somewhat less, but quite enough to induce puzzlement - approve meaning prove- modern meaning commonplace. Such variations in meaning contribute to a bemused reaction on the part of the uninformed reader - a sense that while he or she may understand the gist of the play, there are some strange things being said that dont seem to compute.

With small potholes, the sense of not quite understanding can exist just under the conscious level- one is distressed by the dim intuition that something has been missed, even while the eye skims over troublesome passages without focusing on what is being misunderstood. But there are also massive potholes (some of which may be the result of copying errors in the 17th century), that feel more like hitting a brick wall. ConsiderHe that a fool doth very wisely hitDoth very foolishly, although he smart,Not to seem senseless of the bob.

If not,The wise mans folly is anatomizedEen by the squandering glances of the fool.-- As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7Once having figured out who is hitting whom (the fool is doing the gibing, though the rules of Elizabethan grammar would seem to allow for either



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