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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Shakespeare Help

I am researching Shakespeare's influence on the English Language and I came across this on the web:

"Shakespeare used the exuberance of the language and decasyllabic structure in prose and poetry of his plays to reach the masses and the result was "a constant two way exchange between learned and the popular, together producing the unique combination of racy tang and the majestic stateliness that informs the language of Shakespeare".[23] It was a two way process in which literary language gained force and freedom of popular speech whereas eloquence of the language reached the general masses. His contribution in making the language popular with the masses was immense. His plays played an important role here."

I dont know what the masses is refering to and I am overall unclear about what they are trying to say. Can someone please help!?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 12:31 AM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

masses = general uneducated public

basically it is saying that Shakespeare's plays married high brow language and diction with words and phrases used by the general public and fused them into smart stuff the every day joe could understand.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 12:34 AM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

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Originally Posted by Caillou View Post
I am researching Shakespeare's influence on the English Language and I came across this on the web:

"Shakespeare used the exuberance of the language and decasyllabic structure in prose and poetry of his plays to reach the masses and the result was "a constant two way exchange between learned and the popular, together producing the unique combination of racy tang and the majestic stateliness that informs the language of Shakespeare".[23] It was a two way process in which literary language gained force and freedom of popular speech whereas eloquence of the language reached the general masses. His contribution in making the language popular with the masses was immense. His plays played an important role here."

I dont know what the masses is refering to and I am overall unclear about what they are trying to say. Can someone please help!?
If you don't mind, we'll use a contemporary example.

Shakespeare = A composer of rap music

The Masses = Everyone who doesn't usually listen to rap.

Shakespeare's rap lyrics broke all barriers, everybody could relate to it, were enlightened, entertained by it, so much so that his rap lyrics became part of The Masses' vocabulary.

I hope that helps!

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Shakespeare Help

Thanks So Much Both Of You!

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

I don't know how Shakespeare is received over the rest of the world but the vast majority of English people do not "get" Shakespeare imho. There is a huge amount of snobbery and intellectual one up manship attatched to Shakepspeare over here and people pretend to get it and the humour but really they don't. (I studied it for two years and never found the jokes funny!) One thing I will say for it, is the plot lines are used today in movies/soaps and he was the original story teller.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 11:39 AM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

Thats one thing that used to piss me off about studying Shakespeare, when studying it as a class i would think he was saying one thing only for the teacher to say something different. I alwasy thought 'how do you actually know thats what hes trying to say'.

I haven't found him funny either but i've only studied/seen the depressing plays Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet. And from hearing about Othello it wasn't a barrel of laughs either.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 06:00 PM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

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Originally Posted by talie View Post
I don't know how Shakespeare is received over the rest of the world but the vast majority of English people do not "get" Shakespeare imho. There is a huge amount of snobbery and intellectual one up manship attatched to Shakepspeare over here and people pretend to get it and the humour but really they don't. (I studied it for two years and never found the jokes funny!) One thing I will say for it, is the plot lines are used today in movies/soaps and he was the original story teller.
I agree that in some cases, the humour is sometimes "missed" by the general public. I am always finding things I missed. But, the stories, the characters, the plotlines are appreciated and far more apperant. There are those who say that therte is noting newe after Shakespeare and I agree. It is the very foundation thatre is built on today.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 07:02 PM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

I dont like Shakespeare, and more I dont like the fact that he is seen as beyond criticism by some. English Lit. was my favourite subject at school, and probably my strongest. In studying all the various other writers and poets we came across, we were allowed to have our likes and dislike, to love some, to find others tedious. But we werent allowed to criticize Shakespeare in the same way.

I resented that...I still would put myself in the class who dont 'get' Shakespeare, who listen to his words and find nothing in them. More than that, I actually find the mannered, artificial way his characters speak endlessly annoying and inaccessable.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 07:16 PM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by talie View Post
I don't know how Shakespeare is received over the rest of the world but the vast majority of English people do not "get" Shakespeare imho. There is a huge amount of snobbery and intellectual one up manship attatched to Shakepspeare over here and people pretend to get it and the humour but really they don't. (I studied it for two years and never found the jokes funny!) One thing I will say for it, is the plot lines are used today in movies/soaps and he was the original story teller.
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Originally Posted by Barrie_Dude View Post
I agree that in some cases, the humour is sometimes "missed" by the general public. I am always finding things I missed. But, the stories, the characters, the plotlines are appreciated and far more apperant. There are those who say that therte is noting newe after Shakespeare and I agree. It is the very foundation thatre is built on today.
sorry but the greek tragedy is the foundation of western drama, not shakespeare. shakespeare got his licks from sophocles, etc. though i'm not trying to devalue anything about shakespeare because his use of language is awesome.

the words theatre and drama and thespian come from greek words or names. shakespeare's form, the set-up, and content show his stories are quite rooted in the greek tragedy. hamlet is a prime example.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 07:22 PM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

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I dont like Shakespeare, and more I dont like the fact that he is seen as beyond criticism by some. English Lit. was my favourite subject at school, and probably my strongest. In studying all the various other writers and poets we came across, we were allowed to have our likes and dislike, to love some, to find others tedious. But we werent allowed to criticize Shakespeare in the same way.

I resented that...I still would put myself in the class who dont 'get' Shakespeare, who listen to his words and find nothing in them. More than that, I actually find the mannered, artificial way his characters speak endlessly annoying and inaccessable.
that's too bad you couldn't criticize shakespeare. critics always criticize shakspeare.

shakespeare's language is beautiful. when i read it, i want to say it aloud, not read it to myself. and it's amazing because it was not meant for the high-brow sect, but for the common folk.

his stories are timeless.

i have a shakespeare app with all of his plays and sonnets on my ipod touch.

you should read titus andronicus. it was a movie. it's quite gruesome but it is so today, so modern. and btw, many critics dislike this play and say it is too violent and not quite up to snuff.

also, i disagree with the idea that literature has to be "accessible." there is nothing wrong with struggling to read something, if it's great.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 07:43 PM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

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Originally Posted by woosey View Post
sorry but the greek tragedy is the foundation of western drama, not shakespeare. shakespeare got his licks from sophocles, etc. though i'm not trying to devalue anything about shakespeare because his use of language is awesome.

the words theatre and drama and thespian come from greek words or names. shakespeare's form, the set-up, and content show his stories are quite rooted in the greek tragedy. hamlet is a prime example.
Greek tradedy laid the early foundations, Shakesppeare expanded on it and laid the foundation for everything that has followed in the last 400 years or so. You can draw a line from people like Tennessee Williams, George Bernard Shaw directly back to Shakespeare
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2009, 07:48 PM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

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Originally Posted by Halardfan View Post
I dont like Shakespeare, and more I dont like the fact that he is seen as beyond criticism by some. English Lit. was my favourite subject at school, and probably my strongest. In studying all the various other writers and poets we came across, we were allowed to have our likes and dislike, to love some, to find others tedious. But we werent allowed to criticize Shakespeare in the same way.

I resented that...I still would put myself in the class who dont 'get' Shakespeare, who listen to his words and find nothing in them. More than that, I actually find the mannered, artificial way his characters speak endlessly annoying and inaccessable.
I can understand your resentments. I am no expert, but I have a tenedency to find his work beyond reproach myself, but that is my humble opinion. Certainly, one should be able to critique thae mans work, just like everyone elses. However, the reality is that in most literary worlds, Shakspeare is held in such reverence that he has taken a mystical, almost spiritual quality. This is really not very realistic, for sure.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 05:22 AM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

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Greek tradedy laid the early foundations, Shakesppeare expanded on it and laid the foundation for everything that has followed in the last 400 years or so. You can draw a line from people like Tennessee Williams, George Bernard Shaw directly back to Shakespeare
nothing you've said contradicts what i've written. the greek tragedy is the foundation of western drama. the foundation of something is usually the earliest representation of the current or more recent form. it is the originator with progenitors. without a euripedes and sophocles, there would be no shakespeare, no tennessee williams, george bernard shaw, etc. i mean, what would be called the theatre? or a person who acts or the form were it not for the foundations laid by the greeks?

when it comes to this, there is an order and it started with the greeks.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 11:24 AM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

The crucial thing is that debate should be encouraged in a classroom and beyond. There are writers I love, like Dickens, but people should be free to love him, hate him, debate about him, write well argued essays about him, without feeling their opinion is automatically wrong.

Most of all, people should be honest with themselves, if they love it, then say so, if they hate it, say so. Sometimes people surpress their instinctive reaction, whatever it may be, for fear of ridicule.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 08:18 PM
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Re: Shakespeare Help

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Greek tradedy laid the early foundations, Shakesppeare expanded on it and laid the foundation for everything that has followed in the last 400 years or so. You can draw a line from people like Tennessee Williams, George Bernard Shaw directly back to Shakespeare
He'd probably flip in his grave if he heard that. He was one of the strongest critics of Shakespeare and the cult of Shakespeare.

I tend to agree with Shaw. I never got Shakespeare; found his works boring and predictable.

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