Pages

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shakespeare in the Original Klingon . . . er, English

Okay, so I shouldn't go quoting Star Trek movies when I want to talk about something really cool.

When you think of William Shakespeare and read his plays, how do the characters sound in your mind? Pretty posh, right? Good, proper English accents. The sort you'd expect to hear while having tea with the Queen, right-o?

Wrong-o.

As it turns out, the English of Shakespeare's time sounded an awful lot like ours. And a professor at the University of Kansas is mounting a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream with the actors doing original pronunciation. If you're lazy and don't feel like clicking the link, just watch the video below:



Something that I haven't really brought up before on this blog is the fact that I majored in theatre when I attended Concordia University in St. Paul. My third year there, we did a Shakespeare festival called Lovers, Heroes, and Fools. I played three fools. I tried to not take it personally.

Watching this video takes me back. And it makes me wish I could slip off to Kansas to take in a play. Looks like it would be a fun time.

1 comment:

Karl said...

Shakespeare wrote in a throes of The Great Vowel Shift. I remember feeling a mixture of terror and confusion when we studied it in English Language and Linguistics in college. My head still hurts reading such stuff as this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vowel_Shift