Monday, March 19, 2012

"This is like, so stupid..."

So, today in Shakespeare (I'm taking a small, 2 credit course focusing on a few of his tragedies)- I had a moment that resembled this:


We were watching a production (BBC - 1974?? I want to say) of Scene 5- the famous "death" scene in the play and a girl who sits behind me (and mind you, is constantly texting and checking her Facebook) murmurs, "This is like, so stupid.  It's like, so unrealistic."

THANK YOU FOR ENLIGHTENING ME TO THE SINGLE-HANDEDLY MOST INTELLIGENT CRITIQUE I HAVE EVER HEARD.  My view of Shakespeare is forever changed.  

Yes, I was just using the sarcasm font.

This play was published, I want to say in- 1597?  That is over 400 years ago, and we are still studying it!  This is one of the most poetic plays that I have ever read.  There are so many themes to be discovered, and so much metaphor, ahh!  It's an incredible work of literature, of art.  It is simultaneously tragic and beautiful.  And, to sit in a college level classroom, with other English majors and hear some ignorant girl mutter something so mundane and generic just got UNDER.MY.SKIN.

I turned around and asked her if she'd rather watch the love story unfold in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days."*  She returned my question with pursed lips and her eyebrows raised.  Don't worry, I gave her the "bitch-please-you-don't-phase-me" look right back.  Because, let's be honest- no one phases me.

Why go to college and study literature if you do not appreciate it?  You don't have to like this play... As another girl, Dana, later pointed out during discussion, she doesn't believe Romeo, despite being a protagonist has any true redeeming qualities- and further, she explained WHY.  This is a true critique, this is the type of thing I expect to hear and discuss in a college level Shakespeare course.

Obviously, this play is like, not like, realistic.  It's a play, and it's a play that was written over 400 years ago!  I swear, college campuses are becoming a mecca for the unintelligent- all these kids care about is partying and looking "cool."  Rarely, in any of my classes is there debate.  Everyone just wants the answers to the test.  It's disheartening.

But, Romeo and Juliet- it is breathtaking!  A classic!  C'mon guys!  Here is Act 3- Scene 1 in the 1968 Zeffereli version:

I couldn't find the entire scene in this version that shows Romeo killing Tybalt.. But, you get the picture.

Looking at the modernized, 1996 version of the same scene... Yes, it's definitely one of the loosest interpretations of the play, but it's still amazing!  And brilliant!


Moral of the story- Romeo and Juliet is awesome and, if you are going to take college level coursework.. be serious about it or PLEASE quit wasting every one's time and stay inside watching Jersey Shore re-runs.  JEEZ.  Snookie wants squish squish.  And, Azia want's you to shut your freaking mouth!

*author's note: I thoroughly enjoy romantic comedies, and find pleasure in the above mentioned movie. please take no offense!

17 comments:

  1. Ha! People SAY stuff like that in college? The mind, it boggles.

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    1. Apparently anything is possible. Did Snookie go to college?

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  2. Baz Luhrmann's interpretation was really electric. It's one of my favorite movies. Then again, I don't watch many movies.

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    1. I love movies and I still completely agree with you.

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  3. I LOOOOVE Shakespeare. I even took a course on the tragedies at Oxford University before I had my kids. In my humble opinion, anyone who doesn't appreciate the beauty of Shakespeare is a fucking idiot. (how's that for poetry?)

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    1. Oxford?! NO way. My envy is at an unhealthy level currently, and I will return shortly.

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  4. Azia I love you for calling this girl out! That would have irritated me, too. Why the hell is she in school? Shakespeare was a fucking genius, way way way way way ahead of his time, sometimes referred to as the first psychologist because he knew the human condition so well that it's fucking scary to realize. And Romeo and Juliet is rich with meaning--I wrote a paper that looked at the ways the play has been interpreted over the years and WOW. Amazing. I'm rambling because I love Shakespeare so damn much. Going to stop now.

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    1. Yes. This. I am glad you agree. It's completely unfortunate, infuriating, GRRRRRR. Ramble away, because I'm eating it up.

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  5. I LOVE THE 1996 BAZ LURHMAN VERSION OF ROMEO AND JULIET!!!!!!!

    Oh my god. That movie is like major eye porn for me. I love that movie up, down, and all around. It's my go to movie when I'm feeling shitty and want to smile (I know, I'm weird)
    There's not a single bit of this movie that I hate.

    And honestly, just because people are studying something in college doesn't mean that they're actually intelligent enough to have a discussion about it. Sometimes college is a super awesome hyper combo of common sense mixed with learning. And we all know that some of us in the human race have no common sense.

    Sorry for the bible verse.

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    1. I actually no longer believe that a majority of college students are intelligent, unless intelligent falls under the category of dominating a game of Edward 40-Hands.

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  6. Give me that bitch's name, picture, and location. No one hates on my Shakespeare.

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    1. I haven't even bothered picking up her name. But, I know she drinks Bud Light. Loves Bud Light, actually. And her hair is brown, but she wants to dye it blonde. She talks about a lot of deep things in class.

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  7. GAH! I also loathe this girl's comment. Agree with you she should get the F outta college if that's going to be her attitude. AND THANK YOU for reminding me how much I love Romeo and Juliet. Especially the new version... Leo = Ahhhhmazing.

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    1. Thank you for agreeing with me! And yes... young Leo as Romeo? K Thanks.

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  8. Ugh. I would have had to slap a bitch or maybe a punch in the kidney would have gotten the point across. You know I love classic film and most modern films are trash. They have no plot and are ALL EFFECTS! How is that entertaining? I mean, I guess I get it, but shit I like a story with my movies, you know? It's like, so stupid that people say that about the classics. You know why? Because they're like, so stupid.

    Sorry for the anger. I'm kinda in a crappy, sickly mood today. Love you oodles though!

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  9. i actually dont care for Shakespeare at all.
    brilliant?
    sure.
    but im not interested.
    and i can say that i am actually NOT a fucking idiot
    [thanks sarah lindahl]
    ;)

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  10. If you've read a lot of shakespeare, you really need to buy the DVD of The Reduced Shakespeare Company. I hadn't read enough to really appreciate it all, but even so it was pretty funny.

    I personally don't care for Shakespeare tragedies. But I ADORE The Taming Of The Shrew. I freaking LOVE Kate!

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