Ferretbrain Presents: The Complete Works of Shakespeare Episode 4 - All's Well That Ends Well

by Wardog

or IS IT?
listen to podcast
(MP3, 41:57, 128 kbps, 37.41 MB)
Gandalf the Wizard is an elderly nobleman. Robert Lindsay is a soldier. The King of France isn't actually Saruman the White but he sounds a lot like him. Most confusingly of all, a Shakespeare comedy is actually funny.
Themes: Bard-a-thon

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Comments (go to latest)
I am happy to hear Kyra say that there's no value in reading Shakespeare plays. I figure if I'm going to take anyone's word for that, it has to be hers.

I remember someone suggesting to me when I was in high school that some of the things teenagers struggle with in school, such as reading Shakespeare, become easier when they try to pick them up again as adults. Last week, to test this theory, one of my algebra students handed me a copy of Measure for Measure and watched me sputter at it in baffled incomprehension.
Dan H at 09:27 on 2012-08-15
It's a glib and faintly unhelpful comparison, but I think you can make the case that trying to understand a play by reading the script is a lot like trying to understand music by reading the score. Which is to say, it's probably helpful to some people and useful if you want to look at something very closely, but it's not the same as actually seeing the thing performed.

I think people are particularly bad at realizing this when it comes to Shakespeare. Because the plays have existed for a long time and been performed by thousands of different people in thousands of different ways we tend to think of the script as what the play "really" is, when it's nothing of the sort.
Arthur B at 09:43 on 2012-08-15
I guess the most useful thing you can get out of reading the script (which to be fair is what I was thinking of when I mentioned it) is to compare it to a production you've just seen in order to see what parts they left in, what parts they cut, and what parts they completely recontextualised due to the unscripted stuff they threw in (like I'm pretty sure the Hamlet script doesn't call for pervasive CCTV everywhere but I understand it's a significant feature of the Tennant/Stewart Hamlet).
Ibmiller at 12:42 on 2012-08-18
Well, as a huge supporter of watching plays rather than reading them, I do think there is value in looking at the structure of language and the way the author constructs dialogue and character through textual analysis - but only in support of performance. So sort of a middle ground?

I actually did take a lot of conducting in college...so I think the metaphor is rather apt...
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