No Fear Shakespeare

Topics: Translation, 21st century, Language Pages: 2 (868 words) Published: May 13, 2013
Is Shakespeare Scary After All?
In English class, everyone lets out loud groans when they hear about their next units: Shakespeare. With the class complaining about the hard language and the difficulty of understanding the plays, the teacher might grow exasperated and let them read the infamously talked about book No Fear Shakespeare. The teachers are doing question thing when they keep a supplementary text with the original. Yes, 15th century Elizabethan era is a tad difficult to understand, but that is one of the beauties of Shakespeare. No Fear has a good translation but is missing a few key elements such as symbolism, poetry, allusions, and other literary techniques. I think the original version is much better than the translated version because it has more appeal.

No Fear Shakespeare is a series of translations of the Bard’s famous works to the modern-day language that is used today to make it easier to understand. I must admit that the translation is well written and is a much easier read than the original. No fear should be used for non-English speakers to read along but still have the original. Shakespeare’s language is broken down in the translation and takes away the finesse the original has. In the first soliloquy of infamously “emo-tastic” Hamlet, his first line in the speech is “Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!” in the original as opposed to the translated one that says “Now I’m alone. Oh what a mean low-life I am!” Now compare them and see which sounds more poetic and more passionate. Shakespeare has a way of making such a self-loathing speech sound so passionately powerful and beautiful. The translated version is too literal while Shakespeare was all about the symbolisms and metaphors that was his trademark. In this famous “to be or not to be” speech is another example. “To be or not to be? That is the question.” Is destroyed with “the question is: is it better to be alive or dead?” The point of that line is to be used for a variety...
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