Twelfth Night, Or, What You Will
This complete, line-by-line translation of Twelfth Night makes the language of Shakespeare's play contemporary while preserving the metrical rhythm, complexity, and poetic qualities of the original. The aim is to capture both the sound and sense of Shakespeare's romantic comedy without the need for glosses or notes--to use more comprehensible language without simplifying or modernizing the play in any other way.
Readers experience this hilarious tale of mistaken identity and frustrated love with the challenge, comprehension, and delight of audiences 400 years ago--the way Shakespeare intended. "Too often, unless we read a Shakespeare play beforehand, we process the language as if it were coming from a poorly tuned-in radio station. Shakespeare didn't write his plays to be experienced impressionistically as 'poetry;' he assumed his language was readily comprehensible. At what point does a stage of a language become so different from the modern one as to make translation necessary? Mr. Richmond is brave enough to assert that, for Shakespeare, that time has come. The French have Moliere, the Russians have Chekhov-and now, we can truly say that we have our Shakespeare."
-John McWhorter, Manhattan Institute
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