John Mcwhorter's Come and Gone

Topics: Translation, Rhetoric, William Shakespeare Pages: 2 (639 words) Published: December 6, 2012
A brief analysis of John McWhorter’s “Will Shakespeare’s Come and Gone” In “Will Shakespeare’s Come and Gone,” John McWhorter argues that people do not fully appreciate Shakespearean plays for what they are because they have difficulty understanding the language. Therefore, he suggests that translating Shakespearean English into modern English would make it easier to comprehend. McWhorter does a splendid job appealing to all three conventions of essay writing: logos, pathos and ethos. He manages to present his arguments clearly and prove his stance, which leaves the reader in agreement with him completely. From the very first sentence, to his thesis, and to the concluding sentence, McWhorter keeps the reader asking for more. With his examples, analogies, and paraphrasing, he does a wonderful job appealing to the reader’s intellect. One example that was appealing was the example of his friend reading Hamlet in French and understanding it better than he had in English. This piece of evidence alone automatically reaches out to the reader. It plants the idea in the subconscious of the reader, that perhaps the translation into modern English would be beneficial to them. Another example that strengthens his thesis is the analogy he presents about the Jamaican speaking in a foreign language, and the translations of Chaucer. He practically says that Shakespeare’s language to us is the same as a foreign language; we simply cannot understand it without a translator by our side. Both readers and viewers have difficulty making sense out of what Shakespeare is trying to say. However, it is a tad bit easier for the reader to understand Shakespeare than the viewer. This is because when the reader is reading the play, they have the translations available to them in the footnotes. McWhorter mentions that in a theatre play, boredom arouses in the audience simply because they are not able to fully understand what the actors are saying; even if the actor goes above...
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