Editor’s Note: Camilla, a 19-year-old intern at 826 Seattle, has selected some excellent work that 826 students are producing this summer to share with us on Push To Talk. This is the second installment in that series.
Camilla’s Note: Shakespeare can be really inaccessible to younger students, especially when it’s taught rigidly. This hilarious modern language “translation” of a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was performed alongside the original text, demonstrates an astute understanding of the material as well as a great deal of creative gusto.
A Translated Midsummer Night’s Dream
By Hailey (Greg), Claire (Bottom), Elsa (Titania), Yubi (Peaseblossom), and Meri (Walle)
The translation begins on line 940 in act 3, scene 1
(Here’s the original for comparison).
BOTTOM: I see what’s going on! They’re trying to make me as foolish as them. To scare me if they could. No matter what they do, I will not move from this place. I will walk and sing to show them I’m not afraid. [Sings “Pop Goes the Weasel” but with “Donkey” instead]
TITANIA: What dude wakes me from my wonderful bed?
BOTTOM: [Sings “The Alphabet Song”]
TITANIA: I beg you, peaceful dude, keep on singing! I’m totally digging your high-pitched screeching and my eyes love you; you look very dude-like. You are such a beautiful dude, you make me shout out loud I LOVE YOU!
BOTTOM: Oh, my gosh, you actually like me? Truth, reason, and love never hang out so I guess it makes sense that you love me.
BOTTOM: That’s not true. But if I’m smart enough to find my way out of this jungle, then I’m smart enough to fall in love with you! Let’s see if I can get out of here…
TITANIA: Don’t go! Dude, stay here, you’re going to enjoy it here ’cause I’m here—duh! You don’t wanna miss this. Also if you leave you might die, and I love you. So the point is, stay. Dude, I got fairies; dude, I got jewels from underground; and dude you can EVEN sleep on flowers while the fairies sing to you! I’ll take away your human self and you will be a forever living, floaty fairy dude. Peaseblossom! Walle! Greg! Get over here!
WALLE: And I!
GREG: And I…need to take a shower.
ALL: What are we gonna do?!
TITANIA: Be kind and nice to this dude. Jump in his path and boogie before his eyes. Feed him chips and fries. Say hey to this dude!
GREG: Hey. I’m Greg.
TITANIA: Come lead him to my basement and make him feel more dudely and good-looking. And tell him to shut up; I want him quiet.
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