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Re: As they say in Northampton

Posted by Bob on November 03, 2005

In Reply to: As they say in Northampton posted by Lewis on November 03, 2005

: : : : : : : Can anybody translate the following Shakespeare phrase into new English. "The sixth age shifts into the lean and slippered pantaloon, with spectacles on nose and pouch on side, his youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide for his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history, is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

: : : : : : The only word that is not modern English is "sans," French for "without." One might argue that pantaloon is unfamiliar, but it clearly means "pants." There's nothing else difficult there, is there?
: : : : : Beg to differ - "pantaloon" here is a stock character ("Pantaleone" in Italian) from the commedia dell'arte theatre. He was a doddery old fool. He was traditionally portrayed in long trousers from which "pantaloons" subsequently got their name.
: : : : : (VSD)

: : : : Just replacing a few words hardly makes it seem like "modern English." The sentence, word order, punctuation is rather odd and stilted or perhaps overly poetic. How about something like (not pretending that this is good ^_^):
: : : : In the sixth age, he becomes a skinny, slipper-wearing geezer with glasses and a bum bag (fanny pack). Trousers (pants) still in good shape from his younger days are too baggy now. His once deep, manly voice is becoming high and childish, full of piping and whistling. The last scene, the end of this fanciful, involved story, is a second childhood and senility, losing teeth, sight, taste and everything else. ^_^ RRC

: : : I stand corrected on pantloon. To turn poetry into prose, however, does not make it more "modern." It makes it prosaic and witless and dull. One may need "translation" from Chaucer's English, but Shakespeare IS Modern English. The occasional word may need a footnote, but the passage is quite clear.

: : Well, excuse me for being prosaic, witless, and dull, but I think there's a difference between being understood and being modern. No amount of explication would change the fact that it is not written in the way a 21st century person would write or speak (even poetically) which is my interpretation of what the poster was requesting.

: ...Cobblers!

: there are no rules as to how contemporary poets may express themselves and the passage from Shakespeare is poetic and well-expressed. there is no reason why a person writing poetry today would feel contrained from using an odd word order or referring to a character from drama as a comparison. Shakespeare may not need a pedestal, but it is wrong to say that he needs interpretation with reference to that particular passage. (from "the seven ages of man", I recall)

: whilst if written in the 1970s, a poet might have said "to become an Albert Steptoe from his son" or in the 1980s "though unbelieving, become Meldrew at his worst" or 1990s "to be seated and be very, very drunk" - it is not compulsory. To refer back to a stock character from Comedia Dell'Arte is at least avoiding the need for a particularly contemporary figure.

: new english is prolly dispesin wiv letters ur 2 la-z to txt.

: what next on the curriculum ? 2B or not 2B
: (that is the pencil)

: L

IMpressive.