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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Peter Brook's Hamlet and Parallel Texts
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1152  Friday, 18 May 2001

From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 May 2001 13:56:22 -0400
Subject: 12.1143 Re: Peter Brook's Hamlet and Parallel Texts
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1143 Re: Peter Brook's Hamlet and Parallel Texts

Mike Jensen says,

>Someday our language will evolve to the point where only those trained
>to read Shakespeare can do so.

Maybe, and that is so sad.  But I would not give up yet.  Any literate
Italian can read Dante, partly because Dante contributed to fixing
Italian in its current form.  I suspect, but cannot prove, that
Shakespeare and other early modern writers are at least partly
responsible for the fact that the language, which had altered rapidly
over the previous two or three centuries, has evolved only glacially
since then.  Other factors, of course, are near universal literacy and
the ready availability of printed material.  I see no major reason to be
concerned that these will so change over the next century or so that
modern English will become a dead language; and until it does early
modern English should remain comprehensible.

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