Monthly Archives: February 2013

Shakespeare 101

As of yesterday, I have a new appreciation for Shakespeare and all of his works!! The Element’s apprentices have been given our new assignment! To do a production, like the Reduced Shakespeare Company, where we act out each of Shakespeare’s plays in 3 minutes! 

 At first, this sounded pretty simple. Basically summarize the play in 3 minutes- we can do that. But, then I realized that meant distilling a 3 hour play into 3 minutes, and we can’t just rattle of the plot summary. I looked at the list of his plays, and I have only read about half of them, and that might even be stretching the truth. We need to understand what is happening in each play thoroughly, to be able to wrap it up in a shorter form.We also need to come up with interesting and unique ways of presenting each play, and then put it all together. 

As I mentioned before, the Reduced Shakespeare Company took this challenge on and produced, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). I was watching the clips of their performance on Youtube, and I was inspired to say the least. They use Shakespeare’s language mixed with modern language, so you get the feel of Shakespeare while understanding everything! As I was working, the enormity of this project started to dawn on me. The part I can look forward to is being a real Shakespeare scholar; being able to know all of his plays inside and out is exciting! 

Three Little Pigs

I watched a you-tube clip the other day wondering what fairy tales might be like had they been written by Shakespeare.

At the beginning of his dialogue he mentions that Shakespeare had a working vocabulary of 54,000 words. The average American adult today has command of only 3000.
We have become such a visually based culture that our ability to communicate with text has been crippled. (says he who attached the YouTube clip!)  Visual is important – but if we don’t continue to exercise, expand, and respect our use and understanding of language we will dull it’s power to communicate.
Learn a new word – read a poem – memorize a sonnet.
Keep language alive.