As already hinted, Ben has his own very chummy, colloquial style which will make the book very readable for many people. Which is? Those who are already interested in Shakespeare, yes; those who are a bit iffy about him, perhaps; the rest, who knows? But do buy a few copies and try it out. Shakespeare on Toast may just cut the mustard.
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The large second floor room was full for actor and author Ben Crystal Shakespeare on Toast and rightly so. His energetic talk brought life and meaning to his book, which is what he wanted to do with Shakespeare for the masses. This was a combination of three things, rhyme scheme, spelling and guess work. London in Elizabethan time was much more a melting pot of accents than the high brow proper English accent we see in productions of Shakespeare today. They would have also spoken much faster. A lot of the humor and feeling is lost in present day productions of Shakespeare because the pronunciation is wrong.
Ben toured us around the globe drawing pictures with his arms, his gaze and imagination. He invited two volunteers to read a scene from Macbeth. A company that will play Shakespeare with the proper pronunciation. Ben: To leave away after doing a Shakespeare play indifferent. If you can walk away without being touched to your core, is sinful.
I know I will be revisiting the great works. After 3 days of perusing its pages while walking out of school to the bus-stop and while traveling on the MRT, I think the book has certainly fulfilled its objectives. David Crystal has a very informal style of writing that aims to put readers at ease, and it seems Ben Crystal has that same gift are they related?
Forget scholarly dissertations or technical analysis — the author makes his point in clear, concise English, with a generous helping of pop-culture references too. The book is separated into Acts and Scenes like a typical Shakespearean play.
He does however take pains to convince the reader that Shakespeare can be enjoyed in a variety of settings and mediums. Students may come to his plays with many preconceived ideas about Shakespeare, and this can be a barrier to enjoying or understanding the plays. One approach that may work, especially with year olds, is to break down the plays to their simplest denominators first — a tale of greed, and jealousy, passionate love, betrayal, the fall of a great man ….
Although the lines are couched in elaborate poetry, it is the ideas which will resonate with the students first, because these are universal ideas. Crystal quotes Orson Welles: Shakespeare speaks to everyone. It is these fundamental ideas which make us able to relate to his plays, even though they were written for audiences years ago. The last thing we should do I guess is to scare students by diving into the deep end immediately, floundering in the currents of Iambic Pentameter and soliloquies.
She suggested starting students off on more accessible plays like Merchant Of Venice or Julius Caesar. On the other hand, it may prove to be a worthwhile investment.
English and Related Literature
Anybody out there have any thoughts on this? The size of the book makes it ideal for reading on the go.
Ben Crystal has made it easier for readers new to Shakespeare to approach his plays, and he has also given possibly jaded Shakespeare teachers and students a light and breezy refresher course. He is hardly the first person to attempt it, but Ben Crystal does an excellent job of demystifying Shakespeare, perhaps unique in his desire to do so on behalf of the hip-hop generation.
ISBN 13: 9780415319645
Like most of us, his initial introduction to the canon came about at school when the prospect of reading vast quantities of unintelligible words, seemingly written in a language very different from his own, proved terrifying. Having got over his own hang-ups, Crystal is now keen to help others to do the same, probably far less painfully.
His main advantage is relative youth and an ability to talk directly to those in their teens and 20s, liberally dropping in contemporary cultural references from film, literature and music. If that makes the book sound lightweight, it is unfair, since perhaps the greatest value in what Ben Crystal offers is an intelligible explanation of both the background to the works and also the language and poetry. He is the first person who has made a decent fist of explaining the use of language and iambic pentameter to this reviewer. The book is set out in five acts and then divided up into scenes.
If you want to help a younger friend or relative to get hooked on Shakespeare, you would do well to commend this competitively priced manual. Not only will it help them to appreciate perhaps the greatest writer of the last millennium but it will also give them a really good read.
Accents on Shakespeare - Routledge
Click here to read more of the review…. While poetry aficionados and perplexed tourists crowded into the innovative Poetry Taxi outside Bath Abbey, others, including EssentialWriters. Ben opened the presentation with a reading that began in the stilted voice of an eleven-year-old, before exploding into a passion and fervour than made some audience members choke on their complimentary glass of Highland Park malt whisky.
The result was astonishingly different, both de-sanitising the words and speeding them up. Context was just as important, as he described the setting of the Globe Theatre in London — the space the majority of the plays were written for. Instead of focused discussions of individual plays, Stern provides specific examples from a wide variety of plays to support her points.
The account of the process of printing all those confusing details about quartos, folios, formes and such is as clear as any I've seen and helps explain some of the peculiarities of the tex This is an interesting and accessible book about how the conditions of putting on Shakespeare's plays and of printing them influenced the content that has come down to us. The account of the process of printing all those confusing details about quartos, folios, formes and such is as clear as any I've seen and helps explain some of the peculiarities of the texts we have.
The focus is on what we know about early modern performance rather than on more recent performance: Stern mentions the reconstruction of the Globe in London and the Blackfriars in Virginia as evidence of recent interest in theater history, without providing any details about what new knowledge those projects have contributed. Still, the whole book convincingly shows that reading only modern editions of Shakespeare provides a limited experience of the plays.
Dec 16, Libby rated it really liked it. Great history of Shakespeare rehearsal practices. Mar 19, Davey Morrison Dillard rated it it was amazing. Essential reading for anyone interested in the study or the performance of Shakespeare. Fawad Khan rated it it was amazing Nov 05, Kate rated it it was amazing Dec 20, Hannah rated it really liked it Mar 04, Katie Marquette rated it really liked it Feb 06, Em rated it really liked it Jan 31, Chris Marquette rated it really liked it Feb 04, Daniel Anderson rated it it was amazing Apr 18, Rachel rated it really liked it Mar 13, Ryan Bastian rated it it was amazing Mar 20, Holly Hancocks rated it it was amazing Apr 28, Lucy Clarke rated it it was amazing Mar 27, Alex LaGrand rated it it was amazing Jan 23, Mollie Reznick rated it it was amazing Jan 07, Diana rated it really liked it Mar 15, Lylah rated it it was amazing Feb 22, Violet rated it it was amazing Oct 05, Emma Reese rated it liked it Aug 13, A V rated it really liked it Jun 28, Loesja rated it it was ok Jul 25, Sammy rated it really liked it May 02, Jessica Myer rated it it was amazing May 03, Alice rated it it was amazing Mar 15, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing Mar 01, Abigail F rated it it was amazing Apr 14, Hilary rated it it was amazing Jan 29, Tom Delise rated it really liked it Oct 13, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
From Stage to Page, 1st Edition
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