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7 things about Shakespeare

 你所不知道的莎士比亚

April 23 is the 450th anniversary of the birth of Britain's most famous playwright and poet. The relatively few facts we know about William Shakespeare have made him an enigmatic figure. Here are a few things that you may not know about him:

4月23日是英国最伟大的剧作家和诗人威廉·莎士比亚诞辰450周年的日子。由于我们对莎翁知之甚少,他的身上总是笼罩着神秘的色彩。以下是一些关于莎翁的鲜为人知的事情:

1.Shakespeare was a "fat cat"

莎士比亚是个富豪

From his career in the theatre, which included acting, playwriting, and being a "sharer" in the profits of his company, Shakespeare amassed a comfortable fortune. By the age of 33 he was able to buy New Place, the 2nd largest house in Stratfordupon-Avon. He later bought property in London as well as Stratford.

在剧院的工作让莎士比亚通过表演、戏剧写作和公司分红等途径获利颇丰。到33岁时,他已能买下埃文河畔斯特拉特福镇第2大住宅New Place。此后,他在伦敦和斯特拉特福德也购置了房产。

2.Shakespeare was a co-writer

他与别人共同创作

It was common for playwrights of Shakespeare's time to collaborate. There are many passages in Shakespeare's plays that were written by someone else. He worked with Thomas Middleton on "Timon of Athens", and with John Fletcher on "Henry VIII".

As for some of the most famous parts of "Macbeth" - the witchy bits - it's likely they were Middleton's work too, bolted on to the play at a later date.

在莎士比亚那个时代,剧作家合作是很普遍的事。莎翁的作品中有许多片段是别人写的。他与汤玛士??梅道登合作编写《雅典的泰门》,和约翰??弗莱彻一起创作《亨利八世》。而《麦克白》中的一些著名片段,比如在后来才被加进作品的巫婆那段,很可能也出自梅道登的手笔。

3.You speak Shakespeare

你说的是莎士比亚创造的英语

In spite of his flowery language, Shakespeare created many of the words or expressions we use in English today. We owe him: eyeball, bloodstained, radiance, assassination and lackluster, to name but a few.

虽然他的辞藻非常华丽,但如今我们仍在使用的很多英语单词和表达就是莎翁创造的,随便举几个例子,如eyeball(眼球)、bloodstained(血染的)、radiance(光辉)、assassination(暗杀)和lackluster(无光泽的)等。

4.Shakespeare's daughter was illiterate

莎翁的女儿不识字

In that period, literacy was a skill, useful in certain trades and professions, mainly male. Shakespeare was a man of his time, and his time did not value literacy in women.

在那个时代,读写能力是运用于特定专业领域的一种技能,主要适用于男性。莎士比亚是那个特定时代的人,而那个时代并不看重女性的文化水平。

5.Shakespeare did not care about posterity

莎士比亚不在意是否为后世所流传

It seems that Shakespeare did not care whether his plays survived or not. This may partly reflect the low esteem in which plays - a form of literature - were held at the time.

莎士比亚似乎并不怎么在意他的剧作是否留存。这可能部分反映出戏剧作为一种文学形式在当时并不受到重视。

6.Shakespeare has no descendants

莎士比亚没有后人

His only son, Hamnet, died at the age of 11. His daughter Susanna had no children and all his daughter Judith's children died young. None of his 3 brothers married. The Shakespeare line effectively ran out within 25 years of the poet's death.

他唯一的儿子哈姆内特在11岁的时候就夭亡了。他的女儿苏珊娜没有孩子,而另一个女儿朱迪斯生的小孩也都早夭了。他的3个兄弟都没结过婚。实际上莎士比亚家族的血脉在诗人死后的25年内就消亡了。

7.Shakespeare has had some heavyweight haters

莎士比亚有些重量级的仇人

Not everyone has concurred in Shakespeare's greatness as a writer. Voltaire thought "Hamlet" the work of a "drunken savage"; George III said: "Was there ever such stuff as great part of Shakespeare? Only one must not say so!" And George Bernard Shaw got quite carried away in his detestation of the poet: "It would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him." That was in a newspaper. Imagine if Shakespeare had been on Twitter.

不是每个人都认同莎翁作为一个作家的成就。伏尔泰认为《哈姆雷特》是"醉酒的野蛮人"的产物;英王乔治三世称:"莎士比亚真有那么伟大吗?没人敢否定他而已!"乔治·萧伯纳将自己对这位诗人的厌恶之情表露无遗:"把他从坟墓里挖出来向他扔石头对我而言绝对是个安慰。"这还是登在报纸上的文字。试想一下,如果莎翁上Twitter的话?

(来源:中国日报双语手机报,编辑 Helen)

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