Fear Not the Bard

Shakespeare figurine
Source: John C. Wilett, Wikimedia Commons

Hark dear reader! No Fear Shakespeare is here! You are not alone in your endeavors to understand The Bard. How happy was I, about a fortnight ago, when I discovered this series of 18 of Bill’s most famous plays in their original text with side-by-side translations in good olde plain English.

For example, here's an excerpt of the original text from Act 1, Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice:

Antonio:

“Thou know’st that all my fortunes are at sea.

Neither have I money nor commodity

To raise a present sum.”

This is how it's translated in No Fear Shakespeare:

“You know right now all my money’s tied up in that cargo that’s still at sea.  I can’t give you the cash you need because I don’t have it.”

(OK, so it loses a bit of pizzazz in good olde plain English, but at least it’s understandable.)

One need only get thee to a library, or catalog, to find this wonderful series that includes The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Othello and the other ones too.


But, nay, you say. It's not me, it’s my offspring who hath a test tomorrow on King Lear and has waited until the last minute to study. Then, please allow me to direct you to our website, where you will find a number of excellent resources, like Literary Reference Center, with plot summaries, criticism and overviews.

Before I bid thee farewell, I must tell you the most thrilling news of all. April 23 is right around the corner and after all this reading and research into the Bard, you’ll be amply prepared for Talk Like Shakespeare Day.

Now faire reader, I bid thee good day.