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For our first week we challenge you to interpret and share:
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29
This week’s theme: ALONE TOGETHER
We’ve invited actors Phylicia Rashad and Raúl Esparza, as well as singer/musician Steve Earle, to share their interpretations of this famous sonnet, in English and Spanish.
JOIN THE BRAVE NEW SHAKESPEARE CHALLENGE
WATCH: Check out the videos from our Public Theater family for inspiration on this page.
CREATE: Get inspired! Act, sing, rewrite, translate, paint, dance – whatever moves you!
CAPTURE: Record a video or snap a photo of your work.
SHARE: Post your interpretation and share it with us and challenge your friends! Tag @PublicTheaterNY on Twitter and Instagram or @publictheater on Facebook, and be sure to use the hashtag #BraveNewShakespeare.
BONUS POINTS: Tag a friend who you think is up for the challenge.
By William Shakespeare
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Por William Shakespeare
Traducido por William Ospina
Cuando, infeliz, postrado por el hombre y la suerte,
En mi triste destierro lloro a solas conmigo;
Y agita al sordo cielo mi grito vano y fuerte,
Y, volviendo a mirarme, mi destino maldigo,
Y sueño ser como otro más rico en esperanza,
Tener su mismo aspecto, gozar sus compañías,
Y envidio el arte de éste, del otro la pujanza,
Hastiado aun de aquello que me daba alegrías
Si en estos pensamientos mi desprecio me espanta,
Pienso en ti felizmente, y entonces mi consuelo,
Como una alondra a orillas del día se levanta
Del mundo oscuro, y canta a las puertas del cielo.
Tal riqueza me ofreces, dulce amor recordado,
Que desdeño cambiar con los reyes mi estado.
Stay safe, and we look forward to sharing your own version!
From James Shapiro, The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Scholar in Residence
Sonnet 29 is one of Shakespeare’s most memorable and beloved poems. It wasn’t published until 1609, in a collection of 154 of these 14-line rhymed poems. The word “sonnet” derives from “sound” or “song,” suggesting that these short lyrics were meant to be read aloud. That seems to be the case for Shakespeare’s too; one of the very few things we know about his sonnets is that he recited them before “his private friends.” Most of his sonnets were likely written in the mid-1590s, in the aftermath of the devastating outbreak of plague that struck London in 1592-93. Sonnet 29 reflects on what, in difficult times, is ultimately of value: connection, love, and friendship. The speaker begins in isolation and despair, but—much like the lark, that welcomes the day and whose soaring flight symbolizes a new beginning—ends on an uplifting and hopeful note.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SONNETS? CLICK HERE
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