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Showing posts from 2013

Afternoon Ramblings: Writing Poems is...

Emotionally tiresome. I spent a few minutes writing just now, trying to get into somebody's character and write a poem from his viewpoint. It tires me out emotionally. I feel like I have just finished crying for half an hour. It's extraordinary.

I experience such feeling over and over again, because writing poems is just one of my hobbies. I find joy and relief through it. But I just realised....

How did Shakespeare manage to do it over and over again without losing his sanity? The range and varieties of emotions, feelings, and characters he had to play inside his mind to write plays like Othello, Macbeth, and Hamlet is uncountable. How did he manage to do it?

For me, to be able to write a poem that would convince myself of an emotion or feeling, I need to repeat a scene or situation in the character I want to write it for, over and over again, until the words come to me, or until I find the word I'm looking for. But when you write a poem, you only play a character - one c…

Say It Like Shakespeare: “I don't understand.”

Have you ever wanted to say “I don't get it” without making yourself look stupid? Shakespeare is your solution. Firstly, if your friend knows Shakespeare, he would think you're cool. If he's not Shakespeare-literate, you still sound great. Well, here's some help.
“I understand the fury in your words, but not your words.” - Desdemona, Othello Othello was full of wrath, and Desdemona innocently said this like, “Calm down, Honey. I don't know what you're talking about.” 'Fury' means super ARRGHHHH! type of anger, not the Greek furies, though the word was probably derived from that. But hey, why not calling your frienemy a Fury anyway? It's like, “Hey Bro, you act like a monster and I still don't understand any word you say.”
“More matter with less art.” - Gertrude, Hamlet Polonius was going down the rabbit hole explaining Hamlet and Ophelia's love story in superfluous lines. The Queen wanted it quick, so, “Stop all the fuss and say what you me…

"Leve-toi, soleil!" - Juliet is the sun

Ah! lève-toi, soleil!Fait pâlir les étoilesQui, dans l'azur sans voiles,Brillent au firmament. Just 4 lines of Romeo's famous aria, L'amour, l'amour!...Ah! lève-toi, soleil!

I've been a fan of Gounod's opera interpretation of Shakespeare's tragic lovers RnJ, but yesterday something brought it to my attention, again. Somebody (on a TV program) describes the aria as "Romeo waiting for the sun to rise so he can see his beloved again."

How huge the difference is between what Shakespeare expressed in his play and this tenor understands through the libretto  I rushed to the Aria Database website and checked the lyric of the aria again. Today, I'd like to discuss it with you guys here.

The scene opens with Romeo, under Juliet's balcony, trying to express his feelings, the love that he experiences after much heart break in his previous unrequited love story, while hiding himself in the dark, avoiding any contact with both his friends and the Capu…

Problems with Translating Shakespeare

I've found several articles regarding this on the net. I'm new to the Shakespeare world, therefore I didn't know much about the translation issue.

In the net, there are "study guides" for Shakespeare, such as No Fear Shakespeare which provides students with modern English translation of William Shakespeare. I bet students will find it highly useful, especially those who are not well-acquainted with plays or old classical literatures or writings in verse. Apart from that, I am also aware that there are modern English editions of Shakespeare available in book stores. (I know that accidentally, because I found some quotes on Goodreads which convey Shakespeare's ideas but not in his exact words.)

On the other hand, there are people like David Crystal, which I highly respect (truly I love everything he says about Shakespeare's words and also original pronunciation), who insists that no translation is needed in understanding Shakespeare. There is even a debate …

Sonnet 55: By Shakespeare for Shakespeare

This is one of my favourite sonnets of the Bard. The idea of being remembered forever, no matter how the world may change, is beautiful. Upon a second thought, that's exactly what happened to Shakespeare and his works throughout the ages. The Bard has died, but his legacy lives.
It makes me wonder whether Shakespeare had written this sonnet while thinking about himself, whether he will live through the ages in 'this', the verses and works that he made, and 'dwell in lovers' eyes'. Well, I love him. Does that make me a lover in a sense?
But whatever it was that entered Shakespeare's mind when he wrote this, the sonnet truly can apply to himself. And maybe, it can apply to anyone great enough to be remembered by the rest of their fellow human beings when they die.
Just a thought. Have a nice day.

Much Ado About Nothing: “They who love believe easily in love”

So says Dumas in his brilliant novel – The Three Musketeers. I couldn't help thinking about that when I read Much Ado About Nothing. I sincerely think that it's very funny how people could do foolish things in love.
When the prince decided to deceive both Benedick and Beatrice into loving each others, he might not have thought that they were in love with each other already. But I feel that those two were already in love with each other – consciously or unconsciously.
Ladies first, that is, Beatrice. What is her first line in all the play? “Is Signior Mountanto return'd from the wars, or no?” Who is Signior Mountanto? Well, Benedick. The first thing that this lady asked, knowing that Don Pedro was coming, is about Benedick. Out of scorn? Well, may be, may be not. On Don Pedro and his friends' arrival, to whom did Beatrice speak first? Aha, Benedick! Don Pedro, Claudio and all other people didn't matter. She has a thing for Benedick. What's that thing? Enmity? I t…

Much Ado About Nothing: “Every Word Stabs”

Watching Much Ado About Nothing, and expecting the new adaptation of it, it suddenly came into my mind that the play is so full of insults – smart insults – which resemble the things that people nowadays use at school, or at people they don't really like, or really like, but like to tease.
For my personal enjoyment, and hopefully enjoyment of others, I'd like to put some – just some – inspirational lines that might come in handy when you're upset (but please think twice before saying any of these to anyone except you are sure he won't understand it anyway), and their accompaniment in Bahasa. Any damage done is attributed to Shakespeare.
“I wonder that you will still be talking, <insert name or anything you want to call him/her with>. Nobody marks you.” (“Kok kamu masih betah ngomong sih? Ga ada yang dengerin.”)
“What, my dear <insert name or anything you want to call him/her with>! are you yet living?” (“Oh, <insert name or anything you want to call him/…

World Poetry Day: A Sonnet Dedicated to Shakespeare

Just found out that this is World Poetry Day! Yay! What could be cooler than that? Had I known earlier, I could have organised a Shakespeare event or something. Alas, I read it just now on twittter and had a quick check on Google.

The other day, I read a rather enlightening book by Paul Edmonson and Stanley Wells entitled Shakespeare Bites Back (you can get it HERE for free). The book addresses an issue I never seriously think about before but now I think very important. Some people think - and I do believe they have their reason - that Shakespeare was not easily the person Shakespeare, if you know what I mean. Well, I believe that Shakespeare is Shakespeare, that amazing William Shakespeare who had great understanding of people's hearts and desires. I hold nothing against anyone who says otherwise, but I have always believed that Shakespeare is the rightful playwright and author of works attributed to him, and I still haven't found a reason to think otherwise.

Too much of th…

Quote Tag: Much Ado About Nothing

"I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried thy eyes" 
This is what happen when I wake up too early in the morning and have nothing to do. Just a simple tag (I tried to make good ones but failed). I've been in love with Much Ado About Nothing and I want a quote from that play. 
By the way, it's such a funny play, very, very funny, but it contains some very wise sentences which sound even wiser when you drag them out of their context. Else they would just be part of the jests.

Bad Translation: Shakespeare's Comedies

(In Bahasa Indonesia below)
Sebenernya ini semua terjadi akibat posting ga penting di Facebook, yang berujung pada saya menerjemahkan (sembarangan) judul-judul komedi Shakespeare. Sejujurnya, Shakespeare benar-benar tidka kreatif kalau sudah masalah pemberian judul. Karya-karya tragedi dan historinya sebagian besar diberi penamaan macam sinetron dan telenovela (macam CahayaAnugerahPaulinaRosalindaMarimar, dll), Silakan periksa, hampir semua tragedinya berisi nama tokoh utama. Tapi setidaknya, komedi-komedinya masih agak kreatif dalam pemilihan nama. Atau mungkin saking tidak kreatifnya Shakespeare kasih nama sembarangan. Pembaca boleh nilai sendiri.
Di bawah ini adalah daftar drama komedi karya Shakespeare. 
All's Well That Ends Well: Asal Happy Ending Ga Masalah As You Like It: Suka-Suka Loe (thx to: Melisa)
Comedy of Errors: Komedi Kacau Balau
Love's Labour's Lost: Capek-Capek Ga Dapet
Measure for Measure: Balasan yang Setimpal
Merchant of Venice: Pedagang dari Venezia

Does Hamlet Love Ophelia?

I lov'd Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers
Could not (with all their quantity of love)
Make up my sum.
Really? Is it true that Hamlet loves Ophelia so much that he would do anything (including eating a crocodile) for her? I don't think so.
Well, okay, perhaps he does love her, to some extent, but not that much.

We first know that there is something between Hamlet and Ophelia when she talks with her brother about it and Laertes, as a good and loving brother, warns her about the danger of loving a prince, because “his will is not his own; For he himself is subject to his birth...for on his choice depends/ The safety and health of this whole state.”
Talking about duty before pleasure, I think Hamlet extremely exploits Ophelia to ensure people of his madness. He plays with Polonius' mind, and subsequently, although not much, the king and queen's minds and assures them that his madness results from his unrequited love to Ophelia. It's part of the plan. That's very …


Hi, I'm Lemon Tree, and this is my second blog. I don't like to manage more than a blog at a time, it's true, but some difficult circumstances kind of force me to do so.
Lately, I've been more and more drawn to Shakespeare and his wonderful works. I know I can't put all of my thoughts on him and his works on my personal book blog, since it contains so many other things (among which challenges and stuff), so I decided to make a new blog focusing on my feelings about the Bard. Therefore I name this blog, “to one, of one, still such and ever so.” (Perhaps I need to add, “let not my love be called idolatry,” just a little bit of fangirling.)
Now, I don't expect it to be a “serious” blog sort-of thing, but I want it to be a blog that talks about Shakespeare as a funny, and sometimes sarcastic, fellow. I'm not an academician, and I admit I have very limited knowledge on Shakespeare, therefore my opinion and interpretation might be unusual, of even worse, pedestr…