Are We Getting Shakespeare's Rhythms All Wrong?

Are We Getting Shakespeare's Rhythms All Wrong?
(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Have you ever gone to a performance of one of William Shakespeare’s plays and found yourself confused about what an actor is going on about? Take heart. Mort Paterson is a Shakespearean actor and he writes that even he has the same problem sometimes.

“Even when all the words are audible, the thoughts and images packed into the verse seem to arrive as an intractable jumble,” he writes. “Too often, after hearing a speech on stage or screen, have I turned to my companion and asked ‘What did he/she just say?’—only to receive a shrug of incomprehension.”

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