Have you read your Shakespeare?

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Einsiedler

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I love Shakespeare! I have his plays lined up right next to the Classics. Julius Caesar and King Henry IV are my favorites.
Mary Antony’s lament is one of my favorite soliloquies!

I recite the Duke’s soliloquy from “As You Like It" which fits any woodman! I have the last few lines inscribed upon a powder horn I fabricated.


Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
'This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
 

TFoley

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assuming I can learn this foreign language known as old english. :)

It is NOT Old English. It is the language, in both form and syntax, spoken by your ancestors in the Virginia colonies. Because it was made to be performed, dramatically, it is both flowery and can, on occasions, be obscure. Nevertheless, Shakespearean English is mostly recognisable to modern readers who devour it by the millions of pages a day.

Note that Old English was the language of the Anglo-Saxons up to about 1150 AD or so, and is an inflected language with a Germanic vocabulary and is VERY different from the language spoken in England even as little as a hundred years later, let alone modern English.

Here is a well-known example - Old English and Middle English -



And here is Shakespeare's English -
 
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Well I haven't. Never went to college which I think is where most people get exposed to Shakespeare.

But Shakespeare went to the mountains with the Mountain Men, along with the Bible (probably a few other books as well). In winter camp they were read, probably out loud so others could enjoy it.

I've never carried any book to any camp before. Thought I should remedy that as well as get myself some education and read what the mountain men read. So hunted around on the web until I found this pocket sized set of 9 volumes of 20 of Shakespeare's plays published in London in 1803 and 1804. Just got em this morning. Plan on taking the one that is in the best shape to rendezvous. And read to myself and any others that might be interested- assuming I can learn this foreign language known as old english. :)

Included my Sqaw's small day horn in the picture for size reference.

Shining times to be sure. Wagh.

View attachment 111809
Most college guys just used the yellow-cover cheat book they got in the town bookstore. A lot of college stuff is over-rated. Nice photos, BTW, handsome Horn!
 

Einsiedler

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The Duke goes on in the play mentioned above with some additional lines that are simply put, awesome;

Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
Being native burghers of this desert city,
Should in their own confines with forked heads
Have their round haunches gored.

Thats just cool!!!! Is it not???
 
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It is NOT Old English. It is the language, in both form and syntax, spoken by your ancestors in the Virginia colonies. Because it was made to be performed, dramatically, it is both flowery and can, on occasions, be obscure. Nevertheless, Shakespearean English is mostly recognisable to modern readers who devour it by the millions of pages a day.

Note that Old English was the language of the Anglo-Saxons up to about 1150 AD or so, and is an inflected language with a Germanic vocabulary and is VERY different from the language spoken in England even as little as a hundred years later, let alone modern English.

Here is a well-known example - Old English and Middle English -



And here is Shakespeare's English -

For those so inclined a multi episode video was produced of the book "The History of English". used to roll out bed early Sunday morning to catch it on PBS befor getting the video and book. Great lesson in the convoluted history of the King's English and our murdering of the same 😅 along with a lot of our shared history.
 

Beau Robbins

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Most of the early explorers and woodmen possessed a classic education far beyond what most modern Americans have even been exposed to. While many undoubtedly possessed the ability to quote Shakespeare, there are probably many others they were equally familiar with. I'm thinking for readability, practicality, and mobility there were probably other options much more mainstream and current that might have been interesting enough to possess on "campaign".

John Marshall is noted for being very fond of Pope's at a very young age. Monroe was exposed to writings of the French enlightenment from his compatriots Du Ponceau and Lafayette at VF. Plays are a great choice though as a performance of Cato's was put on at the same encampment. Jefferson traveled with pocket editions of Stearn's Travels while he was also traveling through France, and Benjamin Hawkins carried a copy of Bartram's Travels while traveling through the southeastern Creek country in 1789. Louis and Clark were undoubtedly carrying, as anyone should portraying that sort of trailblazer, copies of current ephemeris and other crucial nautical almanacs conducive to navigation.

As for the 19thc, one certainly can't go wrong with a bible, but magazines, songbooks, and other nonfiction choices might be more enticing. Interestingly enough, one reason we still refer to the ANV as Lee's Miserables was because of the proliferation of copies of Hugo's Les Miserables that seemed to heavily permeate the Confederate troops in 62. While Shakespeare certainly has it's place, don't be afraid to think outside the box or go with a period copy of something we absolutely know was present within a certain context.
 

TFoley

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The Duke goes on in the play mentioned above with some additional lines that are simply put, awesome;

Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
Being native burghers of this desert city,
Should in their own confines with forked heads
Have their round haunches gored.

Thats just cool!!!! Is it not???

Good to see that he likes his venison burgers! ;)
 

jimhallam

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Mary Antony’s lament is one of my favorite soliloquies!

I recite the Duke’s soliloquy from “As You Like It" which fits any woodman! I have the last few lines inscribed upon a powder horn I fabricated.


Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
'This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
Sorry -- can't resist this ;-)
MARY Antony ? Did they have trans people in those days as well ? Or just typos these days?

It's a pity that things are now being "re-imagined" by the woke community -- on our TV many of the programmes feature pigmentally-challenged actors (some very good, it has to be said) but I can't come to terms with such a person as one of Henry VIII's wives, or Richard III -- who now ought to say " ... a wheelchair, a wheelchair, my Kingdom for a wheelchair! "

Leave history be -- just try to be more considerate towards everyone now. Have I got it wrong?
 

Einsiedler

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Sorry -- can't resist this ;-)
MARY Antony ? Did they have trans people in those days as well ? Or just typos these days?

It's a pity that things are now being "re-imagined" by the woke community -- on our TV many of the programmes feature pigmentally-challenged actors (some very good, it has to be said) but I can't come to terms with such a person as one of Henry VIII's wives, or Richard III -- who now ought to say " ... a wheelchair, a wheelchair, my Kingdom for a wheelchair! "

Leave history be -- just try to be more considerate towards everyone now. Have I got it wrong?
Dog gone fat fingers! :D
 
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I have read a number of his works, I don’t really enjoy them when read alone and silently. I have also read some as a group aloud and the langage is much more enjoyable to me when read this way. I wonder if reading aloud was more common in a group around the fire back in this time period than it is now. Seems like it would have been.
 
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I never could get very far attempting to read the Shakespearian writings. It seemed like rambling and babble to me. I have gained more insight and wisdom reading the writings of everyday people on forums like this one.
 

DixieTexian

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Sorry -- can't resist this ;-)
MARY Antony ? Did they have trans people in those days as well ? Or just typos these days?

It's a pity that things are now being "re-imagined" by the woke community -- on our TV many of the programmes feature pigmentally-challenged actors (some very good, it has to be said) but I can't come to terms with such a person as one of Henry VIII's wives, or Richard III -- who now ought to say " ... a wheelchair, a wheelchair, my Kingdom for a wheelchair! "

Leave history be -- just try to be more considerate towards everyone now. Have I got it wrong?
Well, there was Philippe I, Duke of Orléans and Brother to King Louis XIII, who was openly bisexual and would appear in court dressed as a maiden.
 
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Watched a 2016 production of McBeth last night on HBO. I didn’t recognize any of the actors. I think it was an English production. It was eerie
My wife was at my daughters, she would have never sat through it. But I really enjoyed it.
Beat me with my ramrod but I enjoyed Mel Gibson as Hamlet.
It’s Funny that when Shakespeare was preformed it was low entertainment. The stuff of carnival side shows, pro wrestling and laugh track sitcoms today.
The original Mountain Men were called Falstaffs battalion back in the day.
Well almost, I think the quote was Falstaffs battalion would look genteel in comparison… I resemble that remark
 

Einsiedler

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Watched a 2016 production of McBeth last night on HBO. I didn’t recognize any of the actors. I think it was an English production. It was eerie
My wife was at my daughters, she would have never sat through it. But I really enjoyed it.
Beat me with my ramrod but I enjoyed Mel Gibson as Hamlet.
It’s Funny that when Shakespeare was preformed it was low entertainment. The stuff of carnival side shows, pro wrestling and laugh track sitcoms today.
The original Mountain Men were called Falstaffs battalion back in the day.
Well almost, I think the quote was Falstaffs battalion would look genteel in comparison… I resemble that remark
One of the best of the recent versions of "The Scottish Play" I’ve seen lately was the one with Patrick Stewart as Macbeth
 
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