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To be or not to be – Sein oder nicht Sein

January 6th, 2008 in Art

Hamlets monologue in a revised german translation

(Hamlets Monolg in einer überarbeiteten deutschen Übersetzung)

As a follow-up to this article, here’s a revised translation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a compromise between keeping the content translated as accurate as possible and not omitting anything on one hand and on the other maintaining Schlegels composition and syntax. Obviously, the lyric metre had to be ignored.

Zu sein oder nicht zu sein, das ist die Frage:
Ob´s edler im Gemüt, die Pfeil´ und Schleudern
Des wütenden Geschicks zu erleiden, oder,
Sich waffnend gegen eine See von Plagen,
Durch Widerstand zu enden. Sterben – schlafen – Read the rest of this entry »

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Translating Shakespeare

January 6th, 2008 in Art

Process and problems of a translation into German demonstrated at Hamlet

The most famous tragedy “Hamlet – Prince of Denmark” of William Shakespeare was, among other works of his, translated into German by August Wilhelm von Schlegel at the beginning of the 19th century. (The translations of the remaining works were later finished by Johann Ludwig Tieck and his daughter Dorothea Tieck.) The Schlegel/Tieck editions are till today by far the most recognized translations of the works of William Shakespeare into german language. Because it was done in such a skilled and aesthetic manner, Shakespeare is regarded as third german classic master after Goethe and Schiller. Read the rest of this entry »

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To live or to die

December 31st, 2007 in Art

The vital question and its approach in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

In doubt, if life has any sense, Hamlet raises the question whether to live or rather to die. He balances the hardships of life against the promises of death for relieve from the pains of the material world. Whatever the decision is, to bear all hostilities or to fight against them, death will be the end. Death is compared with sleeping: The only uncertainties are the dreams that will infest us. Although it could be so simple, just a needle would be enough to enter, but people rather suffer than take a risk in pre-drawing their inescapable fate. Death seems like a new and yet to discover country, from which no traveller ever returns. The strength of purpose grows weak over qualms and regards. Read the rest of this entry »

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