Book Hippo

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Drama Anyone?

I'm not that into Shakespeare but I do read about him a lot and I've come to a decision that many people are lost when it comes to his drama.

Now, let's take a couple of modern characters. One is a right-wing Christian and the other a gay activist. Anybody today, just knowing the characters would KNOW right away where the drama and tension is going to come from. But where does the drama or tension come from when you have a witch and a king? What did sixteenth century people know about kings (or think they knew) that would make a witch or someone else a good character?

We just don't see the drama of sixteenth century personalities. Could it be that a witch could cast a spell and make a king do something awful to his people. I assume most people back then believed in witches and that they could do harm through spells. So what emotions did such a character bring to Shakespeare's audience.

The same with little things like food. When a modern character eats chicken soup, at least in the west, everybody knows something about the character, especially if the mother made it just for him. What about when one of Shakespeare's characters eats a potatoe? Potatoes had just been discovered by Europeans a little time before Shakespeare. Only the very rich could serve them at the table.

When a sixteenth century audience sees the potato being eaten, what do they think? A bold character? Eccentric? Is it a code that maybe this character is dismissive of the poor? As in a 'let them eat cake' moment?

So I think for me and for anyone who is interested in seeing what you can get out of Shakespeare, it would do well to do some study. Forget about reading the beautiful words. Try and see if you can figure out through the characters where the drama and tension lie.

It's just a thought.

For a modern horror story, try The Mountain City Bronzes

No comments:

Post a Comment