13 2 mins 14 yrs

devere.pngI know you’re going to think me old-fashioned but I just recoil from the idea that the works of Shakespeare (Edward de Vere) have been written for the "chav-speak" generation.  Martin Baum penned his own version of the Bard’s classics entirely in Ali G language for the book entitled, "To Be Or Not To Be, Innit". It features 15 shortened versions of Shakespeare’s plays including one based on classic love-story Romeo and Juliet called ‘Romeo and His Fit Bitch Jools’.

Others titles include Macbeff, Much Ado About Sod All, Offello, De Happy Bitches of Windsor, Two Geezas Of Verona and All’s Sweet That Ends Sweet, Innit? This misses the entire point that the beauty of Shakespeare lies in the language he used, in the wordplay he invented, in the genius of his lexicon! Trying to make it fit with "da yoof" is such a bad idea. I’ll be honest  with you – when I was young I thought Shakespeare was a bore. I remember reading "As you like it" at school and it seemed grim. Lear was a bit better – but I never really got it. It was many years later that I got back into reading the plays and sonnets – and then I took a great interest in the man who had produced this awesome body of work. I think that the plays read really well – they require a bit of concentration but imagination is a powerful deceiver.

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13 thoughts on “2B R NOT 2B?

  1. The language inspired by Ali G (Sacha Baron Cowen) was meant to be a satirical, nay sarcastic, send-up of ChavSpeak, the language of stupid, moronic people, which Ali G parodied so uproariously.

    This as gone right over the head of stupid, moronic Martin Baum.

  2. All I know is Ole Willie was right, lets kill all the lawyers will kill them tonight….

    I don’t know I am mixed on this as much as I dont want to see Shakespeare butchered if it gets them reading it…..

  3. I hope it does get them reading it, then some might understand the context of Shakespeare’s quote which was intended to demonstrate the chaos that would result from killing all of my fellow snakes.

  4. Mama/Troll –

    Britain’s dysfunctional youth won’t read any Shakespeare because of this. You could clamp their heads in front of a book and they wouldn’t read. Most of them can’t read.

    The real story here is the infantile MSM and what turns it on. Martin Baum (or ‘Baumski’ as he describes himself on his website, for which he deserves to be horsewhipped) has lazily gone about this nonsense. ‘Lazily’ because it’s not an original idea and he’s truncated the plays. They must have seemed so long to him. Every now and then a story will hit the media about someone translating Shakespeare into Swahili or Scouse, so there’s nothing to report here.

    But the media can’t resist a bit of mindless drivel, and the mention of ‘chav’ clinches the deal. The end result is a completely worthless project given a load of free advertising.

  5. Well, translating into Swahili is at least translating it into a language. Converting it into Ali-G doggerel is an insult to both the Bard and to the barbarians.

    Unless the whole thing is a goof.

  6. Or a spoof even! – does Ali G do chav? – it looks suspiciously like Moron, sounding more ‘northern’ than Essex Chav, – but then I am no expert in colloquial retardism…

  7. Romeo and his FIT BITCH Jules

    Thank you Martin for singularly proving a point i was trying to make here the other day!

  8. Troll: We humble advocates of course prefer "What Fools these Mortals Be" from Act 3 of A Midsummer Nights Dream when discussing the rest of you.

  9. An idea for Sacha Baron Cohen’s next character. ‘Baumski’ – cringinly trendy privileged academic trying to get ‘daan wiv da yoof man’ and making a right pratt of himself.

  10. I don’t see how certain parts of Shakespeare can be truncated, nor even translated. How is Baum going to reproduce Mercutio’s "Queen Mab" speech, for example? Without the English rhyme and the actual sound of the words, it’s reduced to mere gibberish. (Which it is anyway, but at least it’s beautiful gibberish).

    But that’s just me, I suppose. I’ll happily sit through Brannagh’s four hour long "Hamlet", because every single line of the text is there, unlike most other film and theatre productions of it. If he had meant it to be shorter, he would have script-edited it himself.

  11. So Mahons are you claiming that lawyers are fairies?….LOL

    That by the way is one of my favorite stories.

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