TURN words into drama
How to get to the heart of Shakespeare’s language
MACBETH* Create a 140-character TWEET: 801-205-0135Isthis a dagger which I see before me,The handle toward my hand?Artthou not, fatal vision, sensibleTo feeling as to sight? or art thou butA dagger of the mind, a false creation,Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?I see thee yet, in form as palpableAs this which now I draw.Thoumarshall'stme the way that I was going;And such an instrument I was to use.Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,Which was not so before. There's no such thing:It is the bloody business which informsThus to mine eyes.Igo, and it is done; the bell invites me.Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knellThat summons thee to heaven or to hell.
Keys to Performing Shakespeare
KnowWHAT you are sayingKnow WHY you are saying itIfyou do the above in detail then...TheHOW will care of itself
The focus in text analysis is knowing:
Themeaning of the words individually and together(including definitions, historical allusions, poetic language, imagery, etc.)The overall dramatic context for what is spokenThe specific dramatic circumstances that result in the wordsThe inflection and use of the words and punctuation
Let’s practice together!
O that this tootoosolid flesh would melt,Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!Or that the Everlasting had notfix'dHis canon 'gainstself-slaughter! O God! God!How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitableSeem to me all the uses of this world!Fieon't! ah, fie!'TisanunweededgardenThat grows to seed; things rank and gross in naturePossess it merely. That it should come to this!But two months dead! Nay, not so much, not two.So excellent a king, that was to thisHyperion to a satyr; so loving to my motherThat he might notbeteemthe winds of heavenVisit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!Must I remember?
Here’s your reminder of the steps you take in textual analysis:
Know thechronologyof the playand what leads up to your pieceLookup the meaningsof unfamiliar wordsExamine languagefor repetition, opposites, lists, etc.Use thepunctuationandidentifytheoperativewordsDividethe piece into ideabeats orphrasesConsideracting transitionsbetween beats/phrases
What do I do with my text?
Go through the exact same process we just did together as a class – follow the steps to translate and score your piece.Use your notecards to write your text beat/phrase by beat/phrase.Write the beat/phrase translation on the back of the card.Go through the text and begin to mark punctuation, operative words, etc.