Shakespeare vs Spielberg

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Can you compare Spielberg to Shakespeare?

No, you cannot even mention their names in the same sentence.
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Yes, Spielberg is as great an artist as Shakespeare was.
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Shakespeare vs Spielberg

Postby Whole Lotta Lotta » 20 Jun 2012, 19:30

I was at a bookstore the other day and saw Shakespeare for Dummies. I noticed on the back of the book that it called Shakespeare the Spielberg of his time. What :raspberry: :fume: ? You can't even compare Shakespeare and Spielberg! Shakespeare's plays are classics that have lasted centuries while Spielberg is just an entertaining director who steals from other directors and doesn't acknowledge it. I want to know if other people feel the same way.
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Re: Shakespeare vs Spielberg

Postby Zla'od » 10 Jul 2012, 12:27

Shakespeare was not above lifting the plots of his dramas. His genius lies partly in his mastery of the art of stagecraft (it's not easy to tell a story--and hold the interest of an often rowdy audience--just by having actors talk and move around), in the psychological depth of his characters (we still argue about them), and in his apparently effortless ability to write it all up in that gorgeous iambic pentameter. Spielberg has many virtues, and has made some great movies, but surely no one would claim that he redefined his art, setting a standard for centuries to come.
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Re: Shakespeare vs Spielberg

Postby cfimages » 10 Jul 2012, 12:30

Everything Shakespeare wrote is mind-numbingly boring. Only about half of Spielberg's movies are mind-numbingly boring.
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Re: Shakespeare vs Spielberg

Postby finley » 10 Jul 2012, 12:48

cfimages wrote:Everything Shakespeare wrote is mind-numbingly boring. Only about half of Spielberg's movies are mind-numbingly boring.

That about sums it up.

Almost all drama is a creature of its time. It dates; it loses its relevance - it's "connection" with the audience or reader - and therefore its entertainment value. There are one or two classics from past ages that are still entertaining when translated, but Shakespeare's crap masterpieces are mostly showing their age. Anyway, I'd still rather watch Star Wars (the first one) than Twelfth Night.

So, I'd say you can't compare Spielberg and Shakespeare because they were writing in different media in different centuries for different audiences. There is really no common frame of reference.
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Re: Shakespeare vs Spielberg

Postby Zla'od » 10 Jul 2012, 18:46

Ah, but Shakespeare's plays translate quite readily into the language of cinema. Have you seen The Banquet (a Chinese-language version of Hamlet)? Or Shakespeare Must Die? (a modernist Thai version of the Scottish play, banned for appearing to criticize the monarchy!) Or even 10 Things I Hate About You? (The Taming of the Shrew) I don't mean to suggest that all of the dramas are of equal merit, or that every staging or adaptation is good, but surely there is something out there that would avoid boring you.

For comparison's sake, can we imagine new versions of E.T. or Schindler's List constantly appearing, and challenging how we view these screenplays and/or original films? How much analysis do the characters of E.T. or Eliot deserve?
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Re: Shakespeare vs Spielberg

Postby urodacus » 10 Jul 2012, 20:15

They both start with an S, and both are masters of the ensemble production, with many people contributing to a single work, but Shakespeare is much better. How many people will remember Spielberg in 100 years?

Oh, and Star Wars was George Lucas, not Spielberg. bzzzzzzzt.
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Re: Shakespeare vs Spielberg

Postby Whole Lotta Lotta » 10 Jul 2012, 22:13

Zla'od wrote:Ah, but Shakespeare's plays translate quite readily into the language of cinema. Have you seen The Banquet (a Chinese-language version of Hamlet)? Or Shakespeare Must Die? (a modernist Thai version of the Scottish play, banned for appearing to criticize the monarchy!) Or even 10 Things I Hate About You? (The Taming of the Shrew) I don't mean to suggest that all of the dramas are of equal merit, or that every staging or adaptation is good, but surely there is something out there that would avoid boring you.

For comparison's sake, can we imagine new versions of E.T. or Schindler's List constantly appearing, and challenging how we view these screenplays and/or original films? How much analysis do the characters of E.T. or Eliot deserve?

You forgot to mention RAN (King Lear).
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Re: Shakespeare vs Spielberg

Postby Steviebike » 10 Jul 2012, 22:29

Shakespeare fishing equipment is considered to be some of the finest. What is this Spielberg fishing apparatus you speak of?
Just checking but you're a South African Engrish Teachur right? No. I'm a Russian nuclear physicist.
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Re: Shakespeare vs Spielberg

Postby Charlie Jack » 11 Jul 2012, 02:17

INTERVIEWER: You teach Freud and Shakespeare.

[Harold] BLOOM: Oh, yes, increasingly. I keep telling my students that I'm not interested in a Freudian reading of Shakespeare but a kind of Shakespearean reading of Freud. In some sense, Freud has to be seen as a prose version of Shakespeare, the Freudian map of the mind being in fact Shakespearean. There's a lot of resentment about this on Freud's part because I think he recognizes it. What we think of as Freudian psychology is really a Shakespearean invention, and, for the most part, Freud is merely codifying it. This shouldn't be too surprising. Freud himself says, "The poets were here before me," and the poet in particular is necessarily Shakespeare.

* * *

Most of what we know about how to represent cognition and personality in language was permanently altered by Shakespeare.

The principal insight I've had in teaching and writing about Shakespeare is that there isn't anyone before Shakespeare who actually gives you a representation of characters or human figures speaking out loud, whether to themselves or to others or both, and then brooding out loud, whether to themselves or to others or both, on what they themselves have said. And then, in the course of pondering, undergoing a serious or vital change-becoming a different kind of character or personality, and even a different kind of mind. We take that utterly for granted in representation. But it doesn't exist before Shakespeare.

* * *

The ability to do that, and to persuade one that this is a natural mode of representation, is purely Shakespearean. We are now so contained by it that we can't see its originality anymore. But the originality of it is bewildering.
--"From an interview with Harold Bloom in the Spring 1991 issue of The Paris Review"

From my boyish days I had always felt a great perplexity on one point in Macbeth. It was this: the knocking at the gate, which succeeds to the murder of Duncan, produced to my feelings an effect for which I never could account. The effect was, that it reflected back upon the murderer a peculiar awfulness and a depth of solemnity; yet, however obstinately I endeavoured with my understanding to comprehend this, for many years I never could see why it should produce such an effect.

* * *

Murder, in ordinary cases, where the sympathy is wholly directed to the case of the murdered person, is an incident of coarse and vulgar horror; and for this reason, that it flings the interest exclusively upon the natural but ignoble instinct by which we cleave to life.

* * *

Such an attitude would little suit the purposes of the poet. What then must he do? He must throw the interest on the murderer. Our sympathy must be with him (of course I mean a sympathy of comprehension, a sympathy by which we enter into his feelings, and are made to understand them,- not a sympathy of pity or approbation*). In the murdered person, all strife of thought, all flux and reflux of passion and of purpose, are crushed by one overwhelming panic; the fear of instant death smites him 'with its petrific mace'. But in the murderer, such a murderer as a poet will condescend to, there must be raging some great storm of passion- jealousy, ambition, vengeance, hatred- which will create a hell within him; and into this hell we are to look.

* * *

O mighty poet! Thy works are not as those of other men, simply and merely great works of art; but are also like the phenomena of nature, like the sun and the sea, the stars and the flowers; like frost and snow, rain and dew, hail-storm and thunder, which are to be studied with entire submission of our own faculties, and in the perfect faith that in them there can be no too much or too little, nothing useless or inert- but that, the farther we press in our discoveries, the more we shall see proofs of design and self-supporting arrangement where the careless eye had seen nothing but accident!
--Thomas De Quincey, "On the Knocking at the Gate" ("First published in The London Magazine, October 1823")

[Socrates:] And there is another artist, --I should like to know what you would say of him.

[Glaucon:] Who is he?

[Socrates:] One who is the maker of all the works of all other workmen.

[Glaucon:] What an extraordinary man!

[Socrates:] Wait a little, and there will be more reason for your saying so. For this is he who is able to make not only vessels of every kind, but plants and animals, himself and all other things --the earth and heaven, and the things which are in heaven or under the earth; he makes the gods also.

[Glaucon:] He must be a wizard and no mistake.
--Plato, The Republic, Book X

Enter PROSPERO in his magic robes; and ARIEL.
--The Tempest 5.1.2

[Socrates:] Oh! you are incredulous, are you? Do you mean that there is no such maker or creator, or that in one sense there might be a maker of all these things but in another not? Do you see that there is a way in which you could make them all yourself?

[Glaucon:] What way?

[Socrates:] An easy way enough; or rather, there are many ways in which the feat might be quickly and easily accomplished, none quicker than that of turning a mirror round and round --you would soon enough make the sun and the heavens, and the earth and yourself, and other animals and plants, and all the, other things of which we were just now speaking, in the mirror.
Plato, ibid.

. . . to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature. . . .
--Hamlet 3.2.5

Admir’d Miranda!
Indeed, the top of admiration; worth
What’s dearest to the world! * * * [You,]
[s]o perfect and so peerless, are created
Of every creature’s best.
--The Tempest 3.1.49-60
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