Mar 27, 2006

beating a dead groundling

I have nothing but admiration for yet another attempt to bring the masses to Shakespeare, but

A) this is not actual news - any Lit professor worth his/her salt already uses 'but look how tawdry he was!' whenever their students' eyes begin to glaze over from
B) THE TEXT...which, however bawdy it may have seemed to his comtemporaries, is still inpenetrable to present day readers used to comic books and John Grisham. Both of which, just like ol' Will's works, are heavy with exciting plots - but both of which dumb down the language to get it across. The difference being Shakespeare wrote for readers (the lyrical, lovely tempo of his sentences) *AND* for viewers (aka the groundlings who couldn't read but knew from gripping drama when they saw it performed).

::crickets::

Wow, I'm ranting into the abyss for no good reason again. I just adore Shakespeare and often wonder how many people realize they are watching echoes if not bald-faced rip-offs of Shakespearean drama in much of contemporary pop culture (Deadwood, BSG, even 24 to an extent). Then again, there's an entire school of thought predicated on the idea that Shakespeare himself was just a big ol' plagarist. Which only goes to prove what is, I suppose, my default thesis for this random bit of randomness:

'All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again'.

(See y'all, I *told* you it was the best thing on TV right now...I used to be able to find a germane XF ref for any real life situation and have apparently now transferred this skill to BSG. Oh, the humanity.)

Which also reminds me of Gatsby: "And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into our pasts."

Or perhaps Love & Rockets (circa 1987) put it most succinctly: there are NO NEW TALES TO TELL.

So, in summary, 80s-era BritPop really IS the be all, end all of world knowledge. And to think my mother once claimed "you spin me right round, baby, right round, like a record baby, right round, round round" was the dumbest lyric ever written. Boy, is her face red.

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