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How to Waste Time Like an Intellectual

Ever since I decided to take writing seriously, I haven’t written a single word. The irony of ironies. And yes, I know that I have in fact written a few captions on my Instagram and Facebook posts (captions that are longer than my eyelashes – and my lashes are long!) but I don’t feel like that counts as writing. As you can imagine, that does wonders for the self-esteem. And I’ve tried to write, believe me, but I’ve had a bit of a hard time finding the words. I apologize for the avid readers of the blog. I hope you found something to occupy the time I was away.

In the meantime, me I have been filling my time following other people’s advice for writers. Advice like “You can’t be a good writer if you don’t read widely”, “You have to read everything. Read the classics, find out why they are indeed classics”, “Read everything, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoirs”. Basically, reading. And as the overachiever that I am, I chose to read a classic book. A classic that inspired my favourite movie of all time.


Now I don’t have a problem with the Shakes. He lived his best life and created many works of literary art. Art that inspired The Lion King for heaven’s sake and who knows how many other things. The problem is, why in the world is his work not translated?

I read that play. It’s not that long in terms of actual book-length but in terms of readability, it is longer than my eyelashes. Longer than that nail on the pinkie finger that men who I think are drug dealers keep. Longer than Omieri!

Honestly, reading Shakespeare as written in the 1600s is the biggest waste of time since Flappy Bird.

First of all, Hamlet has opportunities to answer someone with less than 5 words but ol’ Shakes gives him pages of dialogue. Pages! Someone asks him a question like, “How art thou?” and he goes into an entire essay on metaphysics. He doesn’t even answer the question. Another longwinded person is this guy called Laertes. Who names their kid Laertes?

But with my overachieving ways, I kept on reading. I read because this is Shakes. The man. The myth. The Legend. Surely I can get into his stories, right?


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But I read anyway because I’m a good scholar and I enjoy suffering. Got through almost all of the book too until I found something that made my blood boil. Something that will hopefully make your blood boil as well.

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Imagine, there’s a website out there that translates works like Hamlet into English you can actually read and enjoy. Works like The Merchant of Venice and all its ‘On such a night’ nonsense. 

Imagine reading this at the end of the day.

When you could instead be reading this:

Why in the @^*)@% world is Shakespeare not translated?! I mean, imagine the ease of reading and appreciating his work when you can actually understand it. What a world that would be!  I wish I had this site (and was actually allowed to use the internet) when I was in school. 

Look at this Laertes person writing an entire freaking thesis. Reading that thing in the 1600s English can literally take your breath away. But look at how the translation flows… Sigh.

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Where was this when I needed it?

I just came here to vent, y’all. You can go about your day now.

In other news, I learnt nothing from reading Hamlet. Therefore, it can be concluded that some pieces of advice are really pieces of sh- Oh, by the way, the site is called litcharts.com. If you’re interested in William’s stuff, click on the Shakescleare option to get the translation(s).



Comments: 4
  • Richie K. August 20, 2020 5:05 pm

    I have this Telegram Channel where books are posted and then you can download.

    Someone asked for Shakes books. All of them inits original text.

    So I send him the books he wants. Merchant of Venice and the others. Then me, in my infinite wisdom I decide to read one of them.

    I didn’t go past 35 pages.???

    So I feel you Mark!??

  • Shadrack August 31, 2020 9:39 pm

    Cries in bassanio’s voice

  • Mwalimu September 15, 2020 1:58 pm

    I did Macbeth in campus. Shakespearean language can be frustrating.

  • Shiku September 24, 2020 2:34 pm

    I feel you Mark…. Shakes meennn !

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