Twelfth Night, Or, What You Will

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Full Measure Press, 2004 - Drama - 157 pages
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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.
  • Line-by-line verse translations, not prose paraphrases.
  • Complete. No lines deleted or simplified.
  • Accurate, authentic iambic pentameter.
  • Looks and feels like Shakespeare's original.
  • Tone, complexity, and poetic devices preserved.
  • Subtlety and richness revealed without distracting notes and glosses.
  • Attractive, easy-to-read layout.
  • Ready for theatrical performance.

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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About the author (2004)

For 33 years until his retirement, Kent Richmond taught composition, critical thinking, literature, and linguistics for the English Department and American Language Program at California State University, Long Beach. His primary academic interest is adult second language acquisition and the role that vocabulary learning plays in that process. He is the author of Inside Reading 4 (2009, 2012) from Oxford University Press, which is part of a reading/vocabulary series that won the David E. Eskey Award for Curricular Innovation from the California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Drawing on his background in applied lingustics and literature, Kent has taken on the task of writing verse translations of Shakespeare plays in contemporary English. By applying his detailed knowledge of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter, he can give his translations an authenticity that the available prose translation's lack. He has completed translations of Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, and Macbeth. A musician and singer, Kent is a member of the California Trio, a folk-based group that performs regularly in Southern California.

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