Saturday, November 6, 2010

Entertainment for the Masses

I've always found it rather interesting that we consider Shakespeare "high culture" in a modern context whereas the common people of England during the Renaissance found his works entertainment for the masses. I guess because his works are written in an older version of English, his words are considered foreign and must be interpreted and are thus automatically referred to as "high culture". On the other hand, they make witty remarks about societal and cultural issues of the time period, which the common mass would have found hilarious. We can see those sorts of things in witty movies that we often see today. Maybe in another four hundred years our movies will be considered "high culture" elsewhere. Who knows?


Katherine said...

Steven, I think you make a very interesting point. The modern day stories we get told, and re-told seem common and very usual to us but in years to come they might be thought of as "high culture" stories. "High culture" just seems to be a society's appreciation for certain pieces of art that vome from earlier time periods.

Blaine said...

Many people also think Shakespeare wrote for Queen Elizabeth I. Despite what many think, Shakespeare never dedicated any plays to the Queen. Actually, many of Shakespeare's plays were written after her death. Shakespeare wrote for the masses and intended on performing his plays at a public playhouse, not at a court for the Queen and her courtiers. Fortunately, Shakespeare did appease the masses and sold many tickets which in turn did please the queen.

efabio said...

I severely doubt today's movies will one day be high culture, because there are few that contain a message transcendent of time. I think Shakespeare's plays are considered high culture these days mostly because of the people who view them, and because they are not easily grasped by the masses. Shakespeare's language sounds nothing like the vernacular of today, and that is why I believe a reproduction in the modern tongue would be the closest imitation of his work.