Friday, June 1, 2012

The Perils of Shakespeare to Historical Fiction Writers--And a Rant

This is a little bit of a problem I have come across that maybe no one else has thought about, but something that I have been finding is increasingly hard to avoid. The general populous probably doesn't know that quite a few of the little sayings and words we say every day are things that were made up by the very famous and extremely talented William Shakespeare. It's truly amazing how many things he really "copyrighted" in his plays, and I doubt any one of us can go a day without quoting him, even if we don't know it, or are completely Shakespeare illiterate! This is where the problem starts. It is sometimes hard to define what he actually made up and what was around before hand. This is perfectly fine when writing anything during or after Shakespearian England, but before might prove a little more problematic. Obviously, you can't have your medieval characters quoting Hamlet, even if you didn't mean for them to quote him in the first place. It takes quite the Shakespeare expert to be able to discern what he made up and what he didn't, and I love people quoting Shakespeare. He never goes out of style--just make sure he was actually in style during the time you quote him!

And here's the rant...

Also on the topic of Shakespeare, I want to address something that is definitely one of my top pet peeves. And that is those whacked conspiracy theorists say that Shakespeare didn't write his own plays. Hello! it's obvious the same person wrote all of them, the humor and the plot lines and the writing are all too consistent (pure genius, in other words) to have been written by more than one person. Is it perhaps because Shakespeare is known to have spelt his name several different ways? Well, in Tudor times, there was no rules when it came to spelling, people spelled everything haphazardly, even their own names. It was not unlikely at all for anyone to misspell their name or a word or anything (perhaps a reason Shakespeare came up with so many words. He didn't care and neither did anyone else!) So I think people just need to let this one go. The only reason they try to convict him of being a fraud is because they know they could never write as well as Shakespeare, and who can? We writer's just aren't made like that anymore, so stop whining about it and just enjoy the plays for what they are!

I have decided I might have to make fridays official rant days ;)

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for "Ballad of the Highwayman" if you have not already! I'll be back soon with more posts.

Slainte, Hazel

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