Lost Of Meaning In Shakespeare's Translations

1264 words - 6 pages

Any encounter that we might have had with Shakespeare's work via books, theater, or, in a more modern era, films, has probably left most of us more than confused. We know that Shakespeare's plays are extremely hard to understand because of the ambiguity in his topics and the multiple meanings and interpretations that the readers and audience could give to his passages. To make things even harder, the language he used is not the same language we use nowadays. Because of this, many have tried to “translate” Shakespeare’s work into a easy-to-read English, however, when all the factors that make his plays difficult to understand are together at the same time, this becomes a not-so-easy job. ...view middle of the document...

The problem becomes even bigger when all the factors that make Shakespeare’s plays difficult to understand are all together at the same time, and this is when the translators are more prone to make mistakes. When texts are difficult to translate, many of the things that the author wanted to convey originally could be lost. In this case, in the many of the translations of Shakespeare’s plays factors such as imagery, meaning, emotions, pun, ambiguity, etc. are lost from their respective original texts.
In the Elizabethan Age, the time in which Shakespeare lived, individuals showed a lot of respect for their superiors and for people of more power, and this is not an exception in Shakespeare’s plays. Throughout his plays, individuals always show respect for their kings or governors, sons and daughters for their parents, servants for their masters, etc. Respect was not only shown by the way they spoke or the expressions they used, but also by the usage of proper pronouns. We can see that Shakespeare uses two different pronouns when referring to the singular second person pronouns: “thou” and “you.” Both pronouns were widely used by Shakespeare, and in most cases we, the audience, tend to give them equivalent meaning. However, in the Elizabethan Age, such pronouns were used for different purposes in different circumstances. After paying close attention to some passages, we can see that the pronoun “thou” is used by superiors towards their inferiors, and vice versa for the pronoun “you.” As a result, we come to the conclusion that the word “you” is used in formally to show respect, while the word “thou” is used in informal contexts. As a trilingual person, I confirm this interpretation because in French and Spanish, such different in pronouns is still present; “tu” and “vous” are the informal and formal second person pronouns in French and “tú” and “usted” are the ones in Spanish, respectively. In Modern English, this distinction between the formal and informal second person pronoun does not exists, and this is when a translation from Early Modern to Modern English starts losing its “originality.”
Throughout the play Othello, Shakespeare used both pronouns correctly based on the context. For Example, in Act 1, Scene 1, Brabantio refers to Roderigo in the following manner:
In honest plainness thou hast heard me say
My daughter is not for thee; and now, in madness,
Being full of supper and distempering draughts,
Upon malicious bravery, dost thou come
To start my quiet.
In the previous passage we can see that the use of the pronoun “thou” is informal. Brabantio, an important Venetian Senator, is talking to Roderigo, s young, rich, buy silly individual who is in love with Desdemona....

Other Essays Like Lost of Meaning in Shakespeare's Translations

What Is the Meaning of Success in Today’s Culture

573 words - 3 pages Aaron Qi October 11 2011 Essay on the meaning of success Secrets of success What is the meaning of success in today’s culture In a current day and age, people in such a competitive society all want to be successful. But what is the meaning of success in today’s culture? Different people have different opinions about the meaning of success, some of them think only the amount of money can show that if they are successful while

What Is The Meaning Of Free Will In Life

1974 words - 8 pages of their lives. However, without any sense of free will in the world, life would be hollow and empty as depicted in Pilgrim’s world. The essential idea of free will is imperative because it provides individuals with a greater purpose, value, and significance, which will deeply enrich the meaning of life. Initially, believing in the fact that individuals cannot choose their own path in life would give life a lesser importance in purpose. The

The Lost of King Charles in English Civil War

597 words - 3 pages had a organized system also they controlled the south east the richest region in the country and also the navy based in the south meant they had links to different countries for supplies. Parliamentarians had a big control/authority over London because of Charles’ mistake which is leaving at the beginning pf the civil war and was not able to control again. The second reason why Charles lost the war is because of his army. Charles had a good

Reflections of Milton in Paradise Lost and On Having Arrived

1149 words - 5 pages Reflections of Milton in Paradise Lost and On Having Arrived        At a young age, John Milton was convinced that he was destined for greatness.  He thought that he "might perhaps leave something so written to aftertimes as they should not willingly let it die"(Text 414).  For this reason he thought that his life was very important to himself and to others.  He often wrote directly

The Role of Reputation in Shakespeare's Othello

967 words - 4 pages The Role of Reputation in Shakespeare's Othello Reputation plays a big role in the play Othello written by William Shakespeare. Iago uses his reputation as an honest man to deceive Othello and everyone else. Othello's reputation also plays a big role throughout the play. Cassio's changing reputation has a big part in the outcome of the play as well. Iago's reputation played a key role in the play. Everyone thought of Iago as an honest man

The Virus of Evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth

953 words - 4 pages The Virus of Evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth For one to fully understand Macbeth's decent into hell, one must define evil and have an idea of how the process of evil effects the decent. One may relate the process of evil to a virus. Evil is a thing that one chooses to come into their life, and if one does choose for it to be a

The Character Of Claudius In Shakespeare's Hamlet

599 words - 3 pages The Character of Claudius in Hamlet It is easy to overlook some of Claudius' villainy. He may not rant and rave, nor pluck out eyes on stage or hands, or tongues, nor does he conspire with crafty rationality like Edmund or Iago in Othello, nor bake little children in a pie. But as the murderer, usurper, and incestuous step-father, Claudius is one of Shakespeare's greatest villains. His distinguishing features are hypocrisy and subterfuge

Shakespeare's Presentation Of Shylock In The Merchant Of Venice

662 words - 3 pages Shakespeare's Presentation of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice In every play or story, you need a villain, someone you can hate - in Cinderella you have the evil stepmother, in Harry Potter you have Lord Voldermort, and in the Merchant of Venice you have Shylock. In this scene, I see Shylock not as the comical buffoon or villain but as the outsider. The scene opens with a conversation between Basanio and Shylock

Hope As A Means Of Discovering Personal Meaning In Crime And Punishment

1346 words - 6 pages Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky places a form of collective hope in Raskolnikov that revolves around searching for his meaning in life. In the novel it is inevitable to associate the actions of the characters to their differing hopes, therefore coming to the compromise that hope explains the process of a character's journey. As a consequence, many readers mistaken hope as a source of aggression, or murder in the case of Crime and Punishment, or even

Shylock In William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice

1587 words - 7 pages Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice There are many reasons how this scene is more effective than all the others in the play for range of reasons. In this one scene it goes through nearly every other thing that has been mentioned earlier in the play. Also why most scenes have mainly one big point to them, this one has five, and some more sub - plots. Before it starts there is the aspect of Christian

The Duality of Hamlet’S Character Portrayed in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1203 words - 5 pages his speech to Gertrude, Hamlet is able to severely criticize her for her actions because she thinks he is insane. During the play he also makes many sexual innuendos and even blatantly sexual remarks towards Ophelia such as ?That?s a fair thought to lie between maids? legs (3.2.125).? His convincing insanity act gives him the chance to . The Duality of Hamlet’s Character Portrayed in Shakespeare's Hamlet One of the first images that are

Related Papers

The Futility Of Meaning In Midnight's Children

3484 words - 14 pages Salman Rushdie uses Saleem’s failed attempts at establishing importance through connections to portray the futility of achieving life’s meaning. In Midnight’s Children, Saleem attempts to demonstrate the meaningfulness of his life through his all-reaching connections, despite this being impossible unless Saleem was omnipotent. A connection is simply a relationship with something else, and if one has a relationship with everything, then that

Analysis Of Hell In Paradise Lost

826 words - 4 pages Analysis of Hell in Paradise Lost ,Book-I by John Milton Of all the narrative passages in Paradise Lost, Book-I , John Milton’s description of Hell stands out unique by virtue of its graphics pictorial quality and its evocation of a sense of gloomy terror. Though Milton was aware of the Renaissance concept that heaven and hell are no specifics topographical locals, but states of the mind itself, he clings to the medieval concept of Hell

Meaning Of Life In The Bridge Of San Luis Rey

544 words - 3 pages Meaning of Life At the end of the book, the survivors gather. A year later, Camila Perichole visits Madre María when she realizes that the Abbess lost people she loved in the accident and she thinks that Madre María could understand the way she feels. Camila Perichole regrets about her inability to show love to her son and Uncle Pio and she knows that she failed to love them. Finally, the daughter of the Marquesa, Doña Clara, also visits the

The Meaning Of Changing Of Color In Pleasantville

1174 words - 5 pages The Meaning of Changing into Color in Pleasantville Most humans have the chance feel and express their individuality in their lives, learning from their experiences whether they are good or bad. The human experience evolves and changes people by the imparting of knowledge and wisdom that cannot be gained from just reading a book. In Gary Ross’s movie “Pleasantville” the people of Pleasantville have robotic lives are aware of things