Why do people think good Shakespeare is just them yelling the lines very loud?

Why do people think good Shakespeare is just them yelling the lines very loud? I want to like theatre but I find myself being unable to physically sit and watch it.

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Look for the oldest possible English productions on film. People today mostly just want to shit on Shakespeare or can't say more than two lines without a "like, ya'know senpai?" thrown in there somewhere.

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Because theatre is dead and as the anon above me said, you have to go back to old films of actors trained in the classic English theatre culture.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      yo I didnt know he did Shakespeare before Iron Maiden. Thats metal as frick.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >yelling lines very loud
    Brother like literally no one performs shakespeare like this. You need to have a full, strong instrument but no one is yelling. I regularly go to Shakespeare festivals and if anything the issue is people having too weak of voices and too casual of delivery these days.
    Do you consider this 'yelling'?:

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >no one performs shakespeare like this
      >I regularly go to Shakespeare festivals and if anything the issue is people having too weak of voices and too casual of delivery these days

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        She is straight yelling that is fair enough but my greater issue with this scene is I get the impression neither of these actors really understand what they're saying

        Do you live in the UK? How is Shakespeare generally over there? I live in the states and here it is a pretty low level these days.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I'm not a Brit or American and I haven't seen any Shakespeare performances irl, but I can imagine why Americans speak Shakespeare so quietly, with all their method culture.

          The Globe Theatre youtube channel is a treasury of awful Shakespeare performances and a good guide of what not to do on the stage. I imagine most British theatre is like that.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            The Globe during the 80's and 90's had some of the greatest performances of all time. It is really, really sad to see what's become of theater the whole world over. In America they add lines and adlibs to Shakespeare, it is very, very shameful.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            The Bard will live again. His text, the drama, is so vital, and stands before our minds with indefatigable reality, that he will always find revival, as long as we have our English language. The same language to reach back to Shakespeare, to find new strength in that language.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The biggest problem with his delivery is that it doesn't feel regal. At best, it reminds me of Joe Biden delivering a stock speech. It's better than many deliveries, but falls short of the kind of bearing you would expect from a warrior king.

      >which didn’t attempt to portray characters realistically
      that certainly is not true
      >addressing lines directly to the audience like one would read poetry
      and this only happens a few times in his plays, usually at the end of acts.
      sounds to me you think you kno more than you actually do. Most actors aren't stupid, either. I have also seen first hand working as a small actor and understudy at a few Shakespearen festivals and actors tend to be smarter and have a clearer understanding of the text, character and drama than the director. Maybe in amateur productions, sure, actors are stupid but for the most part these people are professionals for a reason

      >I have also seen first hand working as a small actor and understudy at a few Shakespearen festivals and actors tend to be smarter and have a clearer understanding of the text, character and drama than the director
      The key here is "at a few Shakespearean festivals." People who act for Shakespeare will certainly know Shakespeare, but they're not going to be representative of the average actor.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That's just Rylance's style. And on the contrary, it feels very regal, thoughtful, reflective, and passionate. watch it again, and think about it.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The fact that it calls to mind a high politician delivering a speech is no condemnation. Delivering speeches like that is central to their jobs. My qualm is that he sounds more thoughtful and reflective than passionate and determined, which isn't how I would imagine Henry V.
          That said, I haven't read the play and must instead rely on my historical knowledge. If Henry V is supposed to be a thoughtful and reflective figure with a more casual demeanor, then Rylance accomplishes it perfectly.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >I haven't read the play
            then it's a bit absurd to me that you are making any remark or criticism on the performance. Rylance's performance here is in line with Shakespeare's characterization of him in the play. I do agree it could be a bit more declamitory much in the way an actor like Burton or Barrymore might have delivered it, but in general it is more than acceptable. Whereas a Rylance performance like his portrayl of Richard II I believe misses the mark.

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Checked

    Anon, they didn't have microphones / theater is already kind of awkward. I prefer a performance that's loud and hammy to one that's nuanced and sincere. I'd much rather a man in a dress yelling at the top of his lungs to modern theater.

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    shakespeare wrote with the acting style of his day in mind, that style being “oratorical” or “declaratory,” which didn’t attempt to portray characters realistically and instead focused on addressing lines directly to the audience like one would read poetry. modern actors attempt to perform in this style, but since they’re trained in a post-stanislavsky style of realistic acting, they fail to really capture what made actors like James Quin captivating to elizabethan audiences.

    he’s just a hard author to perform. it doesn’t sound quite right to perform him like an Odets or Miller, but the idea of the “Shakespearean Actor” trained to act in a way amenable to plays from that period is largely not a thing anymore. combine that with the fact that actors are generally kind of stupid and have trouble with comprehending the bard’s writing (i’ve seen it first hand), you get into a pretty rough spot.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >which didn’t attempt to portray characters realistically
      that certainly is not true
      >addressing lines directly to the audience like one would read poetry
      and this only happens a few times in his plays, usually at the end of acts.
      sounds to me you think you kno more than you actually do. Most actors aren't stupid, either. I have also seen first hand working as a small actor and understudy at a few Shakespearen festivals and actors tend to be smarter and have a clearer understanding of the text, character and drama than the director. Maybe in amateur productions, sure, actors are stupid but for the most part these people are professionals for a reason

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        i’m not talking about soliloquies when i say “addressing lines to the audience directly,” i’m talking about the basic way that theatre was performed at the time. the concept of the fourth wall didn’t really gain traction until the enlightenment, and guys like garrick were revolutionary around the same time for simply incorporating observation into their preparation for roles. people at the time may have called elizabethan acting “realistic,” but it didn’t at all resemble what we would now identify as a realistic performance.
        i’ll concede that i’m a little harsh on actors tho, i’m a former tech so i’ve still got the vague dislike for actors we tend to pick up.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          most scholarship on Shakespeare would disagree with you that the acting wasn't reallistic but we'll agree tondisagree since I now see you're a techie with an axe tongrind against actors (MANY such cases!!)

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            nah, the axe is pretty much set aside at this point. i respect actors a lot i just picked up the bad habit of being an butthole when i talk about them. i would be curious to see the scholarship you’re referring to because when i get home from work i will straight up dig up my old theatre history textbook bc that’s the source i’m pulling from, personally.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >incorporating observation into their preparation for roles.
          What the hell do you mean by this? Also the concept of a 4th wall may have been less literal, as in people could walk through and occasionally address the audience, but it still existed. It's implicit to the very nature of a theatrical illusion, of a performance, and essentially the same 'belief' in what is occurring is one of the most basic features to art in general.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            as in talking to some israeli people in preparation for playing Shylock, for example. and yeah, the fourth wall is somewhat implicit to theatre, but it wasn’t discussed explicitly pre-enlightenment. “illusion” was way less important to elizabethans than it is to us - actors mostly wore their own clothes on stage at the time (with some exceptions for characters that were foreign or from like, ancient rome) and sets were constructed out of stock scenery, if at all.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >as in talking to some israeli people in preparation for playing Shylock, for example.
            Oh, well that's almost arbitrary to the debate of realism since one can have realistic acting with or without trying to act exactly like how your character role acts irl.

            >“illusion” was way less important to elizabethans than it is to us
            I think this is just Shakespeare making do. If his imagination and theatrical desire were as poor as the theatrical scenery of his time then he wouldn't have bothered with all the extensive scenic descriptions and historical settings. We can only suppose, as anyone knows who has experienced it, that the forces of imagination can be so captivated as to ignore a poor degree of illusion in a theatrical setting. What Shakespeare hints at in his settings it has always been the duty of a theatre to convince the audience of, with whatever means it decides upon. I don't think that's opposed to realism.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            i don’t at all disagree that shakespeare was ahead of his time and limited by the theatrical environment around him. his work was certainly more realistic than writers before him. my core point is just that the way of thinking about and doing theatre that shakespeare comes out of is a fundamentally different approach than the modern way of doing theatre - “realistic” does not necessarily mean Realist. this is evident in the fact that shakespeare wrote in meter - nobody with, say, the naturalism of stella adler in mind is going to write the way shakespeare did.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            But I don't think Shakespeare's imagination being limited by his theatrical environment was at all unique to him. One has to assume that all the great dramatists of the Elizabethan era wrote above all on the basis of their imagination, just as in a novel or any other form of literature. That is the spring of true creation and we see fantastic settings and stage-happenings in Marlowe just as much as in Shakespeare. All I'm trying to say is that great drama generally aspires to, or finds a necessary outlet in, similar ideals. If you have a theatre culture totally divorced from all energy and emotion, magic, genius, etc., then a poet would have nowhere to stand on, nowhere to find original inspiration in turning to the drama.

            There is clearly a great confusion over what 'realistic' means here, as you point out. But in an ultimate sense I don't think it requires appearing exactly like real life, as in Stella Adler. Since, after all, the aim is to be art, and use all the moods, gestures, tones and so forth of real life for something greater, in the service of art, not as ends in themselves. Perhaps Shakespeare's ideal of theatre acting is like how a human being would act only in the most ideally meaningful and felicitously emotive circumstances. Hence it is no less 'realistic', and why one may often take a look or a moment from a classic Shakespeare actor, and see in it no less realism than in Marlon Brando, but viewing a whole scene it appears distinct from what is normally seen in life.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            > Perhaps Shakespeare's ideal of theatre acting is like how a human being would act only in the most ideally meaningful and felicitously emotive circumstances.

            I like this a lot. i agree with a lot of what you’ve said, but i think it illustrates the value in distinguishing “realism” as a stylistic feature from the greater theatrical ideals of Truth and Authenticity. Hamlet’s soliloquy is not “realistic,” in that it is not how a real person would talk, but it contains truth, and a skilled actor can perform it with authenticity by drawing on their own emotions and the world around them. i think that the overhwhelming influence of realism on and off the stage has led to a lot of people conflating these things, which is at best confusing (as in our discussion) and at worst makes people assume that old or alternative ways of doing theatre are bad.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Hamlet’s soliloquy is not “realistic,” in that it is not how a real person would talk
            This is curious to me, because while you're technically right, does it go beyond, in its own sphere of language, my proposed ideal of Shakespearian acting? That is, it's the words of a man in the most ideal circumstance (and one might add, from the most ideal mind)? For it not to be the latter, in my view, it would have to fundamentally break grammar or the most important elements of the English language, such as how it corresponds to thought. I know this may seem like a sophism, since of course no one WOULD talk like that, but its effect as something deathly real makes me defend its reality. Does Hamlet have any expression that deviates into a form that does not exist, in some way, in real, commonly used, language?

            On the whole I do agree with your distinction between realism and the theatrical ideals of Truth and Authenticity, certainly as the safest position.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >that style being “oratorical” or “declaratory,” which didn’t attempt to portray characters realistically and instead focused on addressing lines directly to the audience like one would read poetry.
      You are such a moron, stop talking out of your ass. Realism is so clearly embedded into the nature of Shakespeare's plays that it's practically impossible to come to any other style of acting if they're looked at with any degree of serious attention. And one finds exactly that in the Shakespeare revival, with Garrick's realistic style of acting. It could even be argued that Shakespeare shows himself conscious of this, in his portrayal of actors throughout his plays. It goes without saying that Stanislavsky is not the only 'realistic' alternative to the overtly oratorical in acting history.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    i have enjoyed every Shakespeare in the park I've gone to. Seems the right way to do it

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