As a follow up to my Jane Austen overdose, i decided to read Romeo&Juliet and added afterwards Hamlet because i was disappointed and wondered if his other well known piece is better (spoiler: no, not really):
comment to Shakespeare/english language he uses
1. The greatest English literature figure ever?
Imho totally underwhelming if that's the expectation created by this introduction!
I can't like the core of his stories. Sort of beautiful nonsense, but still nonsense. And so other authors overtake him easily on my top writers list.
His vocabulary skills are quite impressive especially for a non native speaker like me, even the ebook dictionary doesn't know some shit he used.
But i don't think i have read much books of that era, so i have no real comparison.
dildo ... is a penis shaped object for ... wait, i doubt he meant that, especially since it says "God dild you".
google directed me to some Shakespeare site that says it's "yield". ok, better
Compared to eg Goethe, which is imho barely readable in German for me, i had nevertheless less problems understanding Willi than i expected.
2. The whole thou, thee, thine thing irritated me a lot. (besides the 'tis, in't and actually all the "'t"s.) It's way too similar to the german "du" und "dein". So it sounded like fucked up german.
O me, what hast thou done?
Official german translation:
Weh mir! Was hast du gethan?
including some local Austrian enunciation it might look something like that:
Weh mia! Wos host don? ("du" can be cut. The o in "don" is like in over and not like in done.)
Not exactly the same, but it confuses when you are tempted to switch to German although it is supposed to be all English.
3. I possible have never read a theater piece, only have seen some for kids when i was at that age, and seen clips when some new adaptation is mentioned at the end of evening news.
I guess now it is save to say that i never will like that medium neither on stage nor off stage.
The overacting is always atrocious and thus appears quite comical way too often to enjoy the supposed to be dramas.
It's actually some sort of style over substance? Just for the intellectuals. Some weird, poetic wordings instead of exaggerated explosion and stunts.
Romeo & Juliet
This piece explains why so many marriages end in divorce. Instead of some sense and some proper talking to each other, it revolves around some logic-free, love at first sight kitsch love.
A possible womanizer (before seeing her he is already mad in love with another woman, so steadiness is not his best) and a not even close to grown up aged girl? ew!
If this intense, but baseless love is our societies master model for real love, excluding the pedophilia vibes, i can't wonder why so many relationships struggle.
The basic premise: a pair loving each other while they are part of enemy groups is awesome and gives certainly huge opportunities for drama, which is not new, but some actions that lead to the end appear comical while it should end in some depressing climax.
Been quite a while since i saw Luhrmans adaptation, but i guess the popcorn movie visuals actually fit to the story very much. If you go for kitsch you better go all in. Right?
While Pride&Prejudice tells me details about its characters, their thoughts, their misconceptions, how "dating" worked, what (middle class? poor!, only a few servants. fo' realz?) females life goals were, and that love can be found even after you thought you loathed the person when you open your mind and both make steps to one another.
It tells me something about a very specific time period, about females, about society.
R&E was about a Las Vegas couple that stumbles to their doom because they not for a second gave a thought before doing anything.
Nah, that's not my type of love story i can appreciate. I don't like both characters. I don't like their actions. I don't like their relatives. Friar Laurence and her nurse were cool, though.
Way too much weird madness (is Hamlet supposed to be schizophrenic?) and "oops" actions in it to take it serious.
I had to smile sometimes while it should all be super intense drama.
I'd love a spoof movie with original text and acted by SNL actors. That would make sort of sense.
I guess i'll read some of his other works some day, but more for the interesting language than for the stories.