Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Works-for -Me Wednesday (No Fear Shakespeare)

It's time to post another WFMW tip. I stumbled across this gem the other day while in Barnes & Noble bookstore.

The series is called No Fear Shakespeare and it puts Shakespeare's language side-by-side with a facing-page translation into modern English—the kind of English people actually speak today.

I purchased A Midsummer Night's Dream and I wish I could type a quote from it because some parts are quite funny, but I can't seem to find my book. I suspect Snuggle Bug walked off with it and Heaven only knows where he stashed it.

Instead, I'm pulling an example from the Spark Notes website so that you can take a peek.

Shakespeare Text:
HAMLET: To be, or not to be? That is the question—Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them?

Spark Notes Text
HAMLET: The question is: is it better to be alive or dead? Is it nobler to put up with all the nasty things that luck throws your way, or to fight against all those troubles by simply putting an end to them once and for all?

I tell you what if books like these encourage more people, young and old alike, to read Shakespeare, I'm all for it!

This works for me. Maybe it'll work for you too!

If you'd like to share something that works for you, please leave me a comment. And be sure to link yourself over at Shannon's, the host of Works-For-Me Wednesday.

My past WFMW entries:

list of age appropriate children's chores
linking within comments
baptism gift
creating blogger categories
alternate use for pot rack
cake decorating tips
unique way to stay connected
cake baking tip
comforts of home while traveling
quenching the thirst of your little one
pie crust made in bulk
hot chocolate kicked up a notch


4:30 AM

At 4:37 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Great translation. I've been sort of thinking of tackling Shakespeare again, but I think that I would have to go this route.

At 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great tip...especially for those of us in the middle of the
"Shakespeare years" with our children.

Thanks so much!

At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

COOOOOOL! Love that! I think that will come in hadny in my kids' future. And then I'll have an excuse to read it as well!

At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How cool is that? Thanks for the tip! Don't forget to use your B&N card to get a teacher discount, too.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Beck said...

That's smart. I've always found Shakespeare's comedies to be incredibly accessible live - if you have a chance to go see a good production, it will really change your perception of Shakespeare being a "hard" writer.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger lrlwreath said...

What an awesome idea!!!

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This gives me another reason to forego the laundry and visit Barnes & Noble instead (and I'd make sure to tell my wife to blame you).:)

Happy Wednesday.


At 11:36 AM, Blogger lightshines said...

That's cool. And, I just won a Borders gift card today. Maybe I will have to stop on my way home.

At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a great idea!!

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Rae said...

This is wonderful, thank you so much for sharing. I love Shakespeare but I always hated reading his books, I wouldn't understand half of it so I'd get bored and just not read it. I'm going to look for these immediately. Awesome tip! =)

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Barb said...

It's about time! I love Shakespeare but it's darned hard to read. This is great!

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Cristina said...

Where was that Shakespeare translation book when I needed in college. It would have made my English major a helluva lot easier to get through!!

At 6:42 PM, Blogger mira said...

I can see I'm going to have to re-read Shakespeare and see how much I DIDN'T understand when I was younger.

Thanks for the tip.

At 7:24 PM, Blogger Nettie said...

That is a great idea. And think how much more beautiful Shakespears's language must seem when placed side by side with the boring way we speak now!

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Catch said...

what a good idea OW....thank you!

At 9:41 PM, Blogger said...

Very good idea. I love Shakespeare! I haven't had the time to invest in actually reading a full book in oh, say, 7 1/2 years now! But I took a class specifically on Shakespeare in college and loved it.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger lilfeathers2000 said...

Falstaf is a hoot.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger owlhaven said...

Thanks for all....

At 8:05 AM, Blogger owlhaven said...

...your comments over at....

At 8:06 AM, Blogger owlhaven said... place!!

Mary, mom to many

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Angie said...

That is WAY cool! I love Shakespeare, but it is a bear to read sometimes. I might have to pick one of those up for myself and pass it on to my oldest daughter.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is too cute! It may be a good way to introduce the kids to it to, having the explanation right there!

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

As an English teacher, I have used this in the classroom. They're great for comprehension, but the dirty jokes and other wordplay are often lost, and the historical context of some things is lost. It's a good supplement, but not a replacement.

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Gette, I couldn't agree with you more. I would also view this as a supplement, but not a replacement. Good point!

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Karla said...

I have kept this post 'new' in my Bloglines since you posted it (so I can remember it). This is the coolest idea! I really want to check it out.
And I can't believe I'm just now getting over here to say "thanks for sharing"! ;)
Hope you're doing well.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger HappyChyck said...

I use these books when I teach Shakespeare. With a little practice I can understand the original text pretty well, but then there are some phrases I just have no clue about (they are too archaic) and sometimes I have a hard time explaining what a passages says exactly. You know those times when you know what you've read, but explaining it word for word is too hard? Yea, so this IS a great series!

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all,
Though you might like these - teachers and students are finding them very helpful.
And completely free of charge (of course!)
Do let me know what you think.


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