No Fear Shakespeare

Have you ever wanted to give Shakespeare a try, but soon realized you couldn’t understand anything on the page? Is your English teacher making you read Macbeth, but you’re unsure what you’re reading? Are you tired of missing the entire Shakespeare category on Jeopardy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then No Fear Shakespeare is for you! No Fear Shakespeare gives you the complete Shakespearean text on the left-hand side with an easy to understand translation on the right! APLD has fifteen Shakespeare plays in this format, as well as a book dedicated solely to his sonnets. The days of not understanding Shakespeare are in the past with No Fear Shakespeare! Get ready to impress your friends with all your Shakespearean knowledge! Check out the examples below of the titles we have available at the library! Click on a book cover to learn more!

 

Hamlet

Original Text

To be or not to be? That is the question-
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep-
No more- and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to- ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep.
To sleep, perchance to dream.

 

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

The question is: is it better to be alive or dead? Is it nobler to put up with all the nasty things that luck throws your way, or to fight against all those troubles by simply putting an end to them once and for all? Dying, sleeping—that’s all dying is—a sleep that ends all the heartache and shocks that life on earth gives us—that’s an achievement to wish for. To die, to sleep—to sleep, maybe to dream.

 

Macbeth

Original Text

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two.
Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—
Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard?
What need we fear who knows it, when
none can call our power to account?—Yet
who would have thought the old man to
have had so much blood in him.

 

 

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

Come out, damned spot! Out, I command you! One, two. OK, it’s time to do it now.—Hell is murky!—Nonsense, my lord, nonsense! You are a soldier, and yet you are afraid? Why should we be scared, when no one can lay the guilt upon us?—But who would have thought the old man would have had so much blood in him?

 

King Lear

Original Text

Turn all her mother’s pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt, that she may feel—
That she may feel
How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child.—Away, away!

 

 

 

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

Let it be a wicked child who mocks the mother who cares for it. Make my daughter feel—make her feel how an ungrateful child hurts worse than a snakebite.—Now let’s leave. Go!

 

Julius Caesar

Original Text

Men at some time are masters of their fates.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Caesar—what should be in that “Caesar”?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name.
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well.

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

Men can be masters of their fate. It is not destiny’s fault, but our own faults, that we’re slaves. “Brutus” and “Caesar.” What’s so special about “Caesar”? Why should that name be proclaimed more than yours? Write them together—yours is just as good a name. Pronounce them—it is just as nice to say.

 

Romeo and Juliet

Original Text

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

But wait, what’s that light in the window over there? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Rise up, beautiful sun, and kill the jealous moon . The moon is already sick and pale with grief because you, Juliet, her maid, are more beautiful than she.

 

Midsummer Night’s Dream

Original Text

Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

 

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

Love can make worthless things beautiful. When we’re in love, we don’t see with our eyes but with our minds. That’s why paintings of Cupid, the god of love, always show him as blind.

 

Much Ado About Nothing

Original Text

He that hath a beard
is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than
a man; and he that is more than a youth is not for me, and
he that is less than a man, I am not for him. Therefore I will
even take sixpence in earnest of the bearherd, and lead his
apes into hell.

 

No Fear Shakespeare Translation

If he has a beard, he’s more than a boy; if he doesn’t have a beard, he’s less than a man. If he’s more than a boy, he’s not the one for me, and if he’s less than a man, I’m not the one for him. They say that women who die unmarried are destined to lead the apes to hell, and I suppose that’ll be my fate as well.

 

Check out our other No Fear Shakespeare titles!

                      


                     


                    

Shakespeare Day!

To celebrate, or not to celebrate? That is the question, but the answer is: Of course! April 23 is National Shakespeare Day!

Baptized on April 26, 1564, William Shakespeare is widely considered to be the greatest writer of the English language, having works ranging from plays to poems, as well as being an actor himself. He was born in raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Not much is known about his early life except at the age of eighteen, he married the much-older Anne Hathaway and had three children with her. He traveled to London sometime between 1585 and 1592 and became a successful writer, actor, and part-owner of a playing company, Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later the King’s Men. He retired to Stratford around 1613, around the age of 49, where he died three years later.

Little else is known about Shakespeare, except that he wrote and produced 37 plays during his time in London, ranging from comedies, including Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, to historical dramas, like Richard III, Henry IV, V, and VI, to tragedies, such as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Titus Andronicus. He also wrote 154 sonnets as well as narrative poetry. Shakespeare set the bar that many other writers would follow, influencing generations of writers still today. If you’re interested in learning more about William Shakespeare, follow this link to books in our collection about his life.

So, how can the Aurora Public Library District help you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? Well, you can check out DVDs based on his plays and life, as well as modern retellings of his classic plays. I think it is important to read Shakespeare, but I think it is even more important to watch Shakespeare to really understand him. There is nothing quite like watching words on the page come to life before your eyes, in period costumes with facial expressions and vocal intonations to help you to really grasp the play.

You can also check out copies of his plays and poems to read for yourself, if you’d like to let the words wash over you and give yourself time to process what takes place in each scene, or what each poem is really trying to say. There are physical copies as well as digital copies through the Indiana Digital Download Center. The Aurora Public Library District has a collection of No Fear Shakespeare titles, which puts the original text side-by-side with modern-day language in order to make it easier to understand. This will definitely come in handy if you want more depth to the play.

I am continually amazed at how relevant the themes of the plays are to today, even though Shakespeare’s time was almost 500 years ago. The language might seem archaic, but if you dig deeper until you find the meaning behind the prose, you’ll be surprised, too. Shakespeare was a genius at capturing humans, from their words to the words they weren’t speaking, but that their body language, facial expressions, and tones would show. If you ever get the chance to see one of Shakespeare’s plays in person, I highly recommend that you take it.

How will you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? I think I’ll reread my favorite play, Hamlet, and then watch The Lion King, which is what the Disney movie is based off of. Pretty cool, huh?

Happy Reading!