Sunday, 10 January 2010

Shakespeare's Sonnet Sunday: Sonnet 1

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,

But as the riper should by time decease,

His tender heir might bear his memory:

But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,

Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

Now the modern version:

We want beautiful people to have children.
So that, in good time, all Brits will have good teeth.
And when the old die...
The good looking, with good teeth, will still be around for us who have gone through corrective dental surgery.
But you, you like what you see in the mirror.
And feel content to just stand there and not procreate. (What's the matter with you!?)
Oh, listen to the women weeping!
The ugly will rise and take over the earth!(And all our movies will be Avatars)
Because you, you vain man, though you are the newest sweeeet thing,
And can lift us from downcast spirits,
You keep your beauty to yourself.
What a bloody waste! (Niggarding means stingy, in case you felt offended.)
Take pity on us uglies or continue to be a selfish glutton,
Give us our beautiful children or take your beauty to the grave.

To sum up: If your good-looking, have lots of babies.

What was the bard thinking when he wrote this?
'And I must say, I am one fine looking chap. Now, why does not my wife want to make lots of babies with me?'

When did he write this?
Pretty early in the day, I'd imagine. Here's the scene:
'Bill, it's early, I'm sleeping. Stop it, don't touch me there. Look, this is off limits until you make us some bloody money, now shoo, I'm sleeping.' (Liberties taken.)

Source: Analysis of Shakespeare


DK said...

:) This is nice :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love that you're doing a sonnet Sunday! I so want to understand Shakespeare but fear his reputation terrifies me.

Witty translation there, Ann. :)

Once I read your take, I reread his version and it popped out like one of those 3-D paintings. (Which never 'pop' for me.)


~ Corra

from the desk of a writer

Ann Elle Altman said...

I wasn't sure how witty I should make it but the translation is based on others I found on the internet, though theirs are not so modern...


Elspeth Futcher said...

Brilliant. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...


Ann Elle Altman said...

Elspeth, of course. You're absolutely right. But, that's why I wear glasses. :)


Indie said...

Fabulous post! Glad I found your site.


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