Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Reading Shakespeare

Much harder than I thought. One of the many problems (leaving aside the physical difficulty of making it sound natural) is the temptation to try an cram in too many meanings: the guy was obsessed with puns. When he says 'made' he also, on another level (usually a more rude level) meant 'maid'. 'Sun' means 'sun' and 'son'.
The troublesome bit, when reading this, is that you have to choose one meaning for the poem to make any sense. The temptation is the stress the words with double meanings, sort of 'winking' to the listener, but after a few lines you find you've winked half a dozen times.
The only way to leave the ambiguities to the listener is to read in a completely flat way, which I feel would be a wasted opportunity. But it places a big responsibility on the reader to give Will his free will.

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