Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Shakespeare’s dramatic language, especially in verse, is artfully eloquent, and as far above common conversation as operatic singing exceeds plain speech.

One should not wish it otherwise, though we must take pains to lift our understanding and admiration to its loftiness.

If at first we need to consult explanatory notes to paraphrase and translate Shakespeare’s script to our clear comprehension, we then must return to the lofty original to savor its sounds and rhythms—its specifically poetical and oratorical qualities—thus embellishing our mere understanding.