Hamilton Teaches Me About Shakespeare

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"To aid modern readers in seeing such contrasts, editors space prose passages as in novels: they extend the lines all the way to the right margins and capitalize words only at the beginning of sentences, not of lines.  In contrast, the indicate that a speech is in verse by capitalizing the word at the beginning of each line and by leaving a wide right margin,in keeping with the format for poetry.  Editors also indent blank verse lines that are shared between two or more speakers and number them as one line, to show that the dialogue reflects a close meeting of the characters' minds," (Hamilton 238).

Let's get this straight: I am not a Shakespeare fan.  I am not a Shakespeare expert, nor do I pretend to be one.  When I'm assigned a Shakespeare play, I struggle through it and I attempt to understand it just enough to get by and I pray that this unit will go by quickly.  So when I see things like that in the books, I'm just assuming that Shakespeare himself wrote it like that.  I didn't know that that was the work of an editor.  Of course, I also didn't really care enough that to find out if that's how Shakespeare would have wanted it printed or what, but the point it, I had no idea that it was formatted like that to make reading it easier.

...Although for me, I don't think anything is going to make Shakespeare easier...


I can think of one thing that will make reading Shakespeare easier.

Practice! (He's worth it!)

Katie Vann said:

I know how you feel. I sometimes struggle through Shakespeare plays too. But, I find I struggle more at the beginning of a play than I do near the middle or the end. I think I just have to get myself into the storyline. Then Shakespeare doesn't seem so bad.

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