scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 1,235
Reading while youre wonder-woundedShakespeares Words A Glossary and Language Companionby David Crystal and Ben Crystal628pp Penguin Shakespeare wrote when the English language was young supple and full of energy He changed it as he used it inventing new rhythms new ways of thinking and expressing thoughts new windows into newly discovered minds The Crystals and Stanley Wells in his introduction to their new glossary argue that Shakespeares language has lately become more difficult for the general audience to grasp Wells even suggests that foreigners who have good translations have easier access to the master than his compatriots and raises the question of Shakespeare translated into modern English It is hard to imagine such a translation not being as lumpen and haunted by vanished wordpower as the New English Bible Shakespeare borrowed most of his plots language is his power His characters are precisely the words they speak As Iris Murdochs sad failed writer Bradley Pearson says in The Black Prince Hamlet is words and so is Hamlet He is as witty as Jesus Christ but whereas Christ speaks Hamlet is speechThe attention Shakespeares words have accrued through the centuries resembles the attention the Holy Book has had He has been bowdlerised annihilated by Baconians and Marlovians decoded and glossed Every possible error of every typesetter has been diligently scrutinised in an impossible attempt to establish his exact final script - something that amuses me every time an American editor rewrites my writing line by line as though writing were a democratic undertaking In my minds eye Shakespeare is a huge hot sea-beast with fire in his veins and ice on his claws and inscrutable eyes who looks like an inchoate hump under the encrustations of live barnacle-commentaries limpets and trailing weeds There was fascination in the yards of footnotes I read as an undergraduate for every few lines of King Lear or Macbeth But I dont think that at that age I should have been
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA