The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
Lickdafoot
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

Shakespeare's works should be abridged and enhanced to make them more enjoyable

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Lickdafoot
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/19/2011 Category: Arts
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,242 times Debate No: 18393
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (10)
Votes (6)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro


Shakespeare may have written some quite good plays, but few would disagree that most of them are far too long and boring.


That’s why they should be edited and spiced up a bit at the same time. Here is an example of what I have in mind:


Romeo & Juliet


SCENE: Int. Night. Juliet’s bedchamber


JULIET: How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore? The wall is high and hard to climb.


ROMEO: With love's light wings did I o'er-perch that wall, now get thy fvcking nightgown off, darling.


JULIET: Although I joy in thee, I have no joy of this contract to-night: It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden.


ROMEO: O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?


JULIET: What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?


ROMEO: The exchange of thy bodily fluids for mine.


JULIET: If that thy bent of love be honourable, I will perform the rite.


ROMEO: Great, I’ve been looking forward to this all night. But wait, what is this between thy legs? It looks like something out of a butcher’s shop window. Wherefore is thy minge so untidy? Art thou not still a maiden?


JULIET: Er, yes.


ROMEO: Really? Whereas I yearned for a nice tight little chuff I am presented with a gash like a wizard’s sleeve. Never mind, I am here now. Bend over, Juliet, so that I may smash thy back doors in.


You see? The play becomes easier to read and more interesting, doesn’t it?


That’s why I affirm that Shakespeare’s works should be abridged and enhanced.


Thank you.


Lickdafoot

Con

I thank my opponent for instigating this interesting debate! I would like to start by saying that a scene involving a sloppy minge and the smashing of the back door would be highly un-enjoyable. However, as this was more of an example by my opponent rather than an argument for the debate issue at hand, I will focus on other matters for the remainder of the debate.

In this round of the debate, I will attempt to show two things: 1. Shakespeare's works are already enjoyable. 2. Revisions of Shakespeare's works are not enjoyable, and in comparison to the original, are completely and utterly useless.

Shakespeare's works have stood the test of time for a multitude of reasons; the main one being that they are enjoyable. Elequent prose, subtle foreshadowing, and character ambiguity all add to the appeal of the artists' intended vision. Abridging (shortening) and enhancing (altering) of the dialouge is simply taking away some of the more enjoyable aspects of Shakespeare's works. You cannot have effective foreshadowing and charachter building with a shortened story.

Even people who have not read his works can be influenced by them in an enjoyable way. Shakespeare has a plethora of one-liners that are famous, merely because of the joy-inducing excellence of his skillful writing.

"To Be or not to be; that is the question"
"This above all: to thine own self be true"
"The Lady doth protest too much"
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose" [1]

The craftsmanship of these words simply cannot be altered to be made any more enjoyable. The subtle and philisophical nature of the writing is irreplacable.

Shakespeare's works have been enchanced and abridged and they are not more enjoyable. Case In Point: O, a remake of Shakespeare's affluential Othello.

Not only does this movie include some of the cheesiest actors of our time, (Julia Stiles, Mekhi Phipher, & Josh Harntnett) but the movie is horrid. The writting is more akin to verbal diarreah than well written prose. The characters are one-dimensional and obvious. There is no sense of the emotional engagement that is often felt upon indulging in Shakespeare's original works. I urge the reader to attempt to watch the trailer I provided [2] without cringing. If this movie is enjoyable to anyone, I question their sanity.

1. http://www.enotes.com...
2. http://www.imdb.com...
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

I am indebted to Lickdafoot for accepting this debate and also for posting such an educated response, and I would like to address her two main arguments in turn as follows:

1. Shakespeare's works are already enjoyable.

Shakespeare's works are, indeed, enjoyable but they are mainly enjoyed by a privileged few - those people whose parents were able to provide them with a classical education at a private school and who will be familiar with the great writers, composers and artists, and their major works and will, therefore, be in a position to appreciate them.

This will also stand them in very good stead at business functions and upper-middle class social gatherings when the topic of conversation turns to cultural matters, by the way: places where someone is unfamiliar with one of Shakespeare's most celebrated plays might be regarded as an ignorant philistine with no appreciation of the arts.

It seems to me that it is unfair that people who did not benefit from an expensive education should be socially and professionally disadvantaged by their lack of familiarity with, for example, William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet and it is, therefore, the moral responsibility of those fortunate enough to be acquainted with the play to adapt it to broaden its appeal.

2. Revisions of Shakespeare's works are not enjoyable, and in comparison to the original, are completely and utterly useless.

This, from the point of view of a purist, is correct – any revision to the work of the Bard is likely to impoverish it from a strictly literary perspective. However, you might make similar arguments about many things in life. For example, Wagyu beef is perhaps the finest beef in the world and, with this being the case, you should expect to pay upwards of $300 for a Kobe fillet steak in a Japanese restaurant. I don't know, but I suspect that McDonald's do not source their beef from Wagyu cattle farmers and that the meat they use for their hamburgers is of an inferior quality. Perhaps if all McDonald's customers were in a position to pay $300 for a Big Mac the restaurant chain would use Wagyu beef but, the reality is, very few customers have that sort of money to spend on a meal, so have to make their products more widely accessible.

Similarly, the works of Shakespeare need to be made more widely accessible and the vast majority of ordinary people don't have the time, inclination or the education to wade through dusty old books containing dull stories written in antiquated English – what they want to read are books that are not too intellectually taxing and that have plenty of steamy action in them.

Finally, I agree that to call the film that my opponent linked to "Othello" was an unmitigated and outrageous travesty but, I'm sure that most of the people who watched the film would not have had the opportunity to watch the play performed live by the likes of The Royal Shakespeare Company and at least now they know the story.

For these reasons, I reaffirm that Shakespeare's works should be abridged and enhanced to make them more enjoyable.

Thank you.
Lickdafoot

Con

I would like to tip my imaginary hat off to my opponent. Not only does he have an excellent sense of humor, (which I definitely agree is worthy of the conduct point,) but he has comprehensive ideas to back that humor up!

Unfortunately, I beleive my opponents case falls short in that he is looking at the word enjoyable in a one-dimension way; overlooking the essential aspects of joy. We will get to this later in this final round.

1. Shakespeare's works are already enjoyable.

My opponents case here is that Shakespeare's works are enjoyable only for the privellaged few who can pay for their education. Now, I do agree that Shakespeare is a handful for the average person. I don't know how the schooling system works in my opponents country, but in USA, public schools generally teach at least one Shakespeare play to students in high school. (Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet are the most common.) Even if someone doesn't have the option to learn Shakespeare in school, cliff notes can be bought to help the reader along. In fact, you can see here that this copy of Hamlet comes with its own notes; to guide the reader in disciphering the language and developing key plot awareness. [1] Surely, with just the tiniest bit of determination, any person of average intelligence can enjoy a Shakespearean play.

2. Revisions of Shakespeare's works are not enjoyable, and in comparison to the original, are completely and utterly useless.

My opponent is saying essentially that revisions are more enjoyable because they are easy, mindless entertainment. Any average joe can enjoy them. Well we've already seen that an average joe can enjoy a Shakespeare play if they put a little bit of time into it.

The idea here is that there are different layers and depths to an enjoyable experience. One can get joy out of being entertained for a while, yes. But this joy is instantaneous and depleted shortly after the experience. A joyous experience in which a person leaves with a greater sense of depth and knowledge is one that is more enriching, and longlasting.

Someone taking the time to decipher Shakespeare's works is not only enjoying the story line, but is challenging themselves. To commit to a task and accomplish it is extremely joyous, and often times more rewarding than being mindlessley entertained for a few hours.

Reading or even watching Shakespeare's plays in their original format not only is challenging, but is more engaging. The well written subtley of the works leave the readers actively contemplating the plot and characters. There is a bit of a mystery upon going through one of Shakespeares pieces, in that the characters have many facets to their motivations and intentions. This dynamic writting opens up the viewers perception to contemplate some of the deeper philosphies of life and people.

Revisions, on the other hand, are often shy of this mark. The dialouge changes the depth of the characters and in most cases, makes their depth non-existant.

So I leave you readers with a question about fulfilling your enjoyment. Would you get more fulfillment out of glossing over a great story and being mindlessly entertained for a while; or setting a challenge, accomplishing it, and in the end having a deeper sense of understanding about archetypal philosophies that exist in life?


1. http://www.amazon.com...
Debate Round No. 2
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by haert09 4 years ago
haert09
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Posted by Riversidegirl4life 5 years ago
Riversidegirl4life
@Brian... You're right, I was just making the point that not ONLY private school kids like Shakespeare (as said in the debate) but it looks like we're on the same sorta wavelength here.
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
@ Riversidegirl...I also went to a grammar school and it was as good or better than most private schools, but my opponent was American and they don't have grammar schools there, just government-funded and private schools.
Posted by Riversidegirl4life 5 years ago
Riversidegirl4life
@Brian, I don't know about that! There are plenty really well educated people who enjoy Shakespeare, but don't go to a private school. In my area, all the grammar schools get much higher results that the private schools do anyway, so not all private schools are the best at educating anyway. I'm not having a dig at private schools, merely pointing out that private school kids aren't always more educated than government funded school kids.
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
Good for you River...but you are in the minority, unfortunately.
Posted by Riversidegirl4life 5 years ago
Riversidegirl4life
I enjoy Shakespeare, and guess what- I don't go to a private school! It's pretty insulting to say that only rich people can enjoy Shakespeare. You can be less well off and still know good literature when you see it.
Posted by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
lol, when do Brians debates ever turn out to be what we thought?
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Rofl. When I saw the title I thought it was about remaking the plays in modern English so we could understand them. Turns out thats not exactly what Pro in mind.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
*Brian
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
I agree with Brain. This was absolutely hilarious, I actually laughed out loud when I saw " get thy fvcking nightgown off, darling"
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
brian_egglestonLickdafootTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Better argument from Con, Conduct points for humor because Con advocated it (although I normally wouldn't award the point for that reason).
Vote Placed by feverish 5 years ago
feverish
brian_egglestonLickdafootTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Hilarious from Brian, but in seriousness, Con shows why Shakespeare's original texts tend to be far superior to any adaptations. Pro could have used the Baz Lehman R
Vote Placed by Raisor 5 years ago
Raisor
brian_egglestonLickdafootTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Con proves that Hamlet is Wagyu but accessible to everyone who cares to reach for it. Pro gets conduct cuz Con told me to let him have it.
Vote Placed by innomen 5 years ago
innomen
brian_egglestonLickdafootTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Brian must get points for entertainment value. Those who enter in a debate with Brian should be aware that this is the point.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
brian_egglestonLickdafootTied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Brian tried his best to wreck the bard's pen but it proved too sharp for him to raze down with his excellent sense of humor...
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
brian_egglestonLickdafootTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a tough one. I have been frustrated at how complicated Shakespeare's plays were but the first thing I did was open sparknotes. Con is right in pointing out that the works would lose their original charm when abridged which is a big reason why they are enjoyable. Pro's point about everybody having an opportunity to enjoy them was negated by cliffnotes. Conduct and SG to Pro for good humor which was part of what this debate was about. Con freely concedes Conduct. I added SG as well.