Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"I am Sir Oracle, and when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!"- Speaking Shakespeare

Okay so the blog title isn't exactly accurate. I am not "sir oracle," nor am I so puffed up as to think that when I speak people will just stop everything and listen. But it's a fun quote eh?

The purpose of this fabulous quote, taken from the first act of "The Merchant of Venice," is to help relate my learning process for this play. What I've decided to do is embark on a journey of acting out the play. Believe it or not I love acting. I was involved in acting during my high school years and I was enamoured with it! This may seem odd because I'm immensely shy. I am not an excellent public speaker (I shake horrendously!), however, there is something about dressing in costume and portraying a different person that seems to set me at ease. Is that weird?

Anyway I digress...

So, what I've done is I've gotten a hold of an audio version of the play and I've attempt to become a part of the audio production by taking on the role of Portia. Whenever she speaks I speak. It's a lot of fun, even if I get strange looks from my husband when I speak the part while listening to the play through headphones.

By doing this I've really gotten to know the characters better. My imagination has started to go into hyperdrive and I am beginning to see the production in my head (do I sound crazy here?).

I also think that this is a great way to understand the dynamics of the relationships between characters as well. I'm picking up on a lot more of the humor as well as the sinister, bitter nature of some of the characters that I may not have completely understood by simply reading it silently.

Shakespeare is truly an art form that must be read and heard (and observed if possible) in order to experience the full effect. Don't you agree?

Lynn Collins as Portia in the 2004 movie "The Merchant of Venice."


  1. So true. I've been involved in theatre/theater before as well, and I know the performance is where a lot of the meaning comes in. There have been plays I've been involved with where I thought the director had made an insane play choice for the first couple of readthroughs. And sometimes up until dress rehearsal week.

    1. that's so great! Thanks for sharing that. It's always interesting to see how a play functions on stage when you've only read it on paper right? :)

  2. You're not crazy. That's a GREAT way to experience Shakespeare. I read aloud to my little guy (holding him on my hip) while flourishing every other line with the book in my other hand -- he got a kick out of that.