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Inspired Contributor
katknit
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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on the topic of Shakespeare and taking poetic license with truth

I think we 21st century readers are somewhat obsessed with writers sticking to the absolute facts as they are known. One of the few genres in which we allow leeway is fantasy/scifi. Historical novels aren't meant to teach people the "real" history, whatever that may be. But readers seem to be insisting that that be done. To read a book, nonfiction , like Mayflower, is to expect historical accuracy based upon old and new scholarly sources. But Shakespeare (and Dan Brown) was writing entertainment, drama and comedy for the masses. Just as we lampoon GW Bush today, 16th (and 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th) century writers threw tomatoes at their bigwigs.

So, I think to enjoy Shakespeare, and Mac Beth, both of which are wonderful in the definitive sense of the word, it's best to suspend your sense of reality. The play's the thing!

Just my opinion......
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: on the topic of Shakespeare and taking poetic license with truth

I entirely agree Katknit - especially with the bit about throwing tomatoes at George Bush.:smileyvery-happy:



katknit wrote:
I think we 21st century readers are somewhat obsessed with writers sticking to the absolute facts as they are known. One of the few genres in which we allow leeway is fantasy/scifi. Historical novels aren't meant to teach people the "real" history, whatever that may be. But readers seem to be insisting that that be done. To read a book, nonfiction , like Mayflower, is to expect historical accuracy based upon old and new scholarly sources. But Shakespeare (and Dan Brown) was writing entertainment, drama and comedy for the masses. Just as we lampoon GW Bush today, 16th (and 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th) century writers threw tomatoes at their bigwigs.

So, I think to enjoy Shakespeare, and Mac Beth, both of which are wonderful in the definitive sense of the word, it's best to suspend your sense of reality. The play's the thing!

Just my opinion......