PowerPoint - Senior-Learners

“Have you the tongues?”:
Translation Matters
in Shakespearean Drama
Dr. Liz Oakley-Brown
Lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance Writing
Department of English &Creative Writing, Lancaster University
editing as translation?
17th century
21st century
First Folio (1623)
‘The First Folio is the collected edition of
Shakespeare's plays, published seven years after
his death by Isaac Iaggard and Edward Blount. It
was edited or overseen by his fellow actors, John
Heminge and Henry Condell, and contains the
texts of 36 plays, half of which had not previously
been published. The Folio was based on earlier
sources (the Quartos) that show the plays as
actually performed in the theatre. The title page
incorporates a portrait of Shakespeare, engraved
by Martin Droeshout’
British Library
The Norton Shakespeare, ed. By Stephen
Greenblatt, Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard
and Katherine Eisaman Maus, second edition
(New York, Norton, 2008)
Reading Shakespeare
e.g. Identity Politics
‘To be or not to be...’?
• ‘other’
Shakespeare at Cardiff c. 1990
Catherine Belsey
Terence Hawkes
Why Shakespeare? (Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan , 2007)
That Shakespeherian Rag (1986)
reprint edition (London:
Routledge, 2008)
Shakespeare in Theory and
Practice (Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press, 2008)
Meaning by Shakespeare
(London: Routledge, 1992)
Shakespeare in the Present
(London: Routledge, 2002)
‘Thou art translated’?
Studying Shakespeare in Wales
Acts of Union [’Assimilation’] 1536-43
Welsh Language Act 1993
• deficits in language teaching and learning at school;
• the perceived global dominance of English;
• the failure of many state schools to promote language
learning as effectively as do private schools:
(RAND Europe report, cited ‘Language Matters: The supply of
and demand for UK born and educated academic researchers
with skills in languages other than English’, British Academy
position paper (2009). See further ‘Language Matters More
and More’, British Academy position paper (2010))
In questions of translation,
poetics readily slides into
Inga-Stina Ewbank, ‘Shakespeare
Translation as Cultural Exchange’,
Shakespeare Survey 48 (1995): 1-12,
p. 7
Shakespeare in translation
Shakespeare in Hungary
1790 Hamlet first translated
1794 Hamlet first performed
See further Istvan Palffy, ‘Shakespeare in Hungary’, Shakespeare Quarterly 29: 2 (1978): 292-294
Eagleton/ Translation/ Textuality
… translation from one language to another, may lay bare for us something
of the very productive mechanisms of textuality itself – may figure as some
kind of model or paradigm of the very secret of writing.
Terry Eagleton, ‘Translation and Transformation’, Stand 19 (1977): 72-77, p.
Shakespeare and the Translation of Identity
Shakespeare and the Classics
…in an early modern education such as Shakespeare’s, the
progression is not from language to literature but from grammar
to rhetoric. Thus the real focus of reading in the middle and
upper school years […] is on that body of texts devoted to
Leonard Barkan, ‘What did Shakespeare Read?’, in The Cambridge Companion to
Shakespeare, ed. Margreta de Grazia and Stanley Wells (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2001), pp. 41-37, p. 34)
• The. xi. bookes of the Golden asse conteininge the Metamorphosie of Lucius Apuleius (tr. William
Adlington 1566));
• Seauen bookes of the Iliades of Homere, prince of poets, translated according to the Greeke (tr.
George Chapman (1598));
• Ouid his inuectiue against Ibis. (tr. Thomas Underdown (1569));
• The heroycall epistles of the learned poet Publius Ouidius Naso, in English verse (tr. George
Tuberville (1567));
• The. xv. bookes of P. Ouidius Naso, entytuled Metamorphosis, translated oute of Latin into
English meeter (tr. Arthur Golding (1567));
• The thre first bookes of Ouids De tristibus, translated into Englishe (tr. Thomas Churchyard
• The liues of the noble Grecians and Romanes, compared together by that graue learned
philosopher and historiographer, Plutarke of Chaeronea: translated out of Greeke into French by
Iames Amyot (tr. Thomas North (1579));
• Seneca his tenne tragedies, translated into Englysh (trs. Jasper Heywood, Alex Nevile, John
Studley, T. Nuce and Thomas Newton (1581))
• The xiii. bukes of Eneados of the famose poete Virgill translatet out of Latyne verses into Scottish
metir (tr. Gavin Douglas (1553).
Ovid’s Metamorphoses
• The. xv. bookes of P. Ouidius Naso, entytuled Metamorphosis,
translated oute of Latin into English meeter (tr. Arthur Golding
(1567) [‘Shakespeare’s Ovid’]
Translation in Shakespeare
episodes from:
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (c.1590)
The Taming of the Shrew (c.1590)
Titus Andronicus (1594)
Timon of Athens (1605)
SECOND OUTLAW: Have you the tongues?
VALENTINE: My youthful travail therein made me happy,
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (c.1590)
[HORTENSIO tunes his lute. LUCENTIO opens a book]
Where left we last?
Here, madam.
Hic ibat Simois, hic est Sigeia tellus,
Hic steterat Priami regia celsa senis.
The Taming of the Shrew (c.1590)
[tr. ‘Here flowed the Simois: here was the Sigeian land; here the palace of old Priam
had stood’]
Conster them.
Hic ibat, as I told you before – Simois, I am
Lucentio; hic est – son unto Vincentio of Pisa;
Sigeia tellus – disguised thus to get your love.
Hic steterat – and that Lucentio that comes awooing; Priami, is my man Tranio; regia,
bearing my port; celsa senis, that we might
beguile the old pantaloon.
Now let me see if I can conster it. Hic ibat
Simois – I know you not; hic est Sigeia tellus –
I trust you not; hic steterat Priami – take heed
he hear us not; regi a– presume not; celsa
senis – depair not.
As the soule of Euphorbus was thought to live in Pythagoras: so the
sweete wittie soule of Ouid lives in melifluos and hony-tongued
Shakespeare, witness his Venus and Adonis, his Lucrece, his sugred
Sonnets among his priuate friends, &c.
As Plautus and Seneca are accounted the best for Comedy and Tragedy
among the Latines: So Shakespeare among the English is the most
excellent in both kinds for the stage. For Comedy, witness his
Gentlemen of Verona, his Errors, his Loue Labours Lost, his Loue
Labours Wonne, his Midsummers Night Dreame, and his Merchant of
Venice; for Tragedy, his Richard the 2, Richard the 3, Henry the 4, King
John, Titus Andronicus, and his Romeo and Juliet.
Francis Meres, Palladis Tama, Wits Treasury (1598)
… Lavinia, raped and mutilated, can explain her ordeal only by
making a double translational detour, first pointing to a similar
tale and rape in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (in Golding’s 1567
translation?), then writing a few Latin words in the sand for the
others to interpret (after translation?).
(Delabastita, Dirk, ‘If I know the letters and the language’: translation as dramatic
device in Shakespeare’s plays’, in Shakespeare and the Language of Translation, ed.
Ton Hoenselaars (London: Thomson Learning, 2004), pp. 31-53, p. 51)
The world into which the English schoolboy was initiated […] was
not so much the world of ‘men’ as opposed to ‘women’, as the
world of a few select men, mainly those who belonged to the
privileged minority by virtue of property, wealth and power.
(Margaret Tudeau-Clayton, Jonson, Shakespeare and Early
Modern Virgil (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p.
Enter [SOLDIER] with a tablet of wax
My noble general, Timon is dead;
Entombed upon the very hem o’th’sea;
And on his grave-stone this insculpture, which
With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
Interprets for my poor ignorance.
ALCIBIADES reads the Epitaph
Timon of Athens (1605)
suggestions for further reading
Susan Bassnett, Translation Studies, third edition (London, Routledge, 2002)
Michael Cronin, Translation and Identity (London, Routledhe, 2006)
Roger Ellis and Liz Oakley-Brown (eds.), Translation and Nation: Towards a Cultural
Politics of Englishness (Cleveland: Multilingual Matters, 2001)
Ton Hoenselaars, Shakespeare and European Politics (Delaware: University of
Delaware Press, 2008)
Charles Martindale and A.B.Taylor (eds.), Shakespeare and the Classics, reissue
edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)
Willy Maley and Philip Schwyzer (eds.), Shakespeare and Wales (Aldershot:
Ashgate, 2010)
George Steiner, After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation, third edition
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)

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