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Why is Shakespeare translated into Greek?

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Why is Shakespeare translated into Greek?

Postby Scribo » Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:06 pm

Curious thought.

I know, traditionally, that in exams etc, Classicists translate portions of Shakespeare into Greek, and that Latin traiditionally takes the form of...elegaics? (I can't think whatever else)

I can' help but wonder why? Let's not have any nonsensical philhellenism by the way, I hope we're all past that and able to give a proper answer.
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Re: Why is Shakespeare translated into Greek?

Postby annis » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:49 pm

Scribo wrote:I know, traditionally, that in exams etc, Classicists translate portions of Shakespeare into Greek, and that Latin traiditionally takes the form of...elegaics? (I can't think whatever else)


I don't understand your question. Is Shakespeare not turned into Latin at all, or rarely?

I can' help but wonder why? Let's not have any nonsensical philhellenism by the way, I hope we're all past that and able to give a proper answer.


I haven't the foggiest idea how philhellenism would work into this question.

Since the iambic trimeter as used in Greek drama is by far the most common verse form in Greek verse comp, I assume Shakespeare, being verse drama (often verse, at any rate) seemed a likely match.
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Re: Why is Shakespeare translated into Greek?

Postby Scribo » Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:48 pm

annis wrote:
Scribo wrote:I know, traditionally, that in exams etc, Classicists translate portions of Shakespeare into Greek, and that Latin traiditionally takes the form of...elegaics? (I can't think whatever else)


I don't understand your question. Is Shakespeare not turned into Latin at all, or rarely?

I can' help but wonder why? Let's not have any nonsensical philhellenism by the way, I hope we're all past that and able to give a proper answer.


I haven't the foggiest idea how philhellenism would work into this question.

Since the iambic trimeter as used in Greek drama is by far the most common verse form in Greek verse comp, I assume Shakespeare, being verse drama (often verse, at any rate) seemed a likely match.


Ah sorry, to clarify:

Well, from what I can make out, old exam papers always ask for portions of Shakespeare to be translated into Greek. As for philhellenism, you know, what seems to be the typical response from Classicists about Greek being a much richer language etc etc (I seem to get that reply alot you see)

I suppose that makes sense, thanks.
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Re: Why is Shakespeare translated into Greek?

Postby edonnelly » Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:02 pm

I've read you question many times, and it's not entirely clear to me, but I think you are asking why did they use Shakespeare for Greek composition exams, but they didn't use Shakespeare for Latin composition exams?

I kept reading that "philhellenism" and "richness of language" stuff as Greek vs. English, but you really you mean Greek vs. Latin, right?

I don't know the answer, but annis' explanation sounds pretty good -- that it has more to do with preparing students for the bulk of popular extant work from each language. I can't imagine there were a bunch of Latin experts, who had spent their life studying and teaching that language, who would say to themselves, "Latin just isn't good enough for Shakespeare."
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
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Postby Essorant » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:31 pm

As for philhellenism, you know, what seems to be the typical response from Classicists about Greek being a much richer language etc etc
.

That doesn't mean it is not true. :)<pre> </pre>
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