1 6 - l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e Winter 2016 In their own words Why is Shakespeare relevant today? Shakespeare is alive and well at Linfield College. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, assistant professor of English at Linfield, is the scholar-in-residence for the Portland Shakespeare Project and has published articles about Shakespeare in The New Yorker. Here, Linfield students and alumni share their own views about the Bard’s relevance today. Tricia Castañeda-Gonzales ’09 Theatre arts Actor and teaching artist, Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program in Collaboration with Oregon Children’s Theatre During these long winter months, I eagerly wait for hot, midsummer nights. Nothing is more heavenly than listening to the sound of the Bard’s words spoken aloud under the stars. Shakespeare can be intimidating and may even sound like a foreign language if one is unfamiliar. But, if an actor’s homework is done, Shakespeare can easily become music to one’s ears. In his text, the Bard has so meticulously left a multitude of clues to guide an actor along in performance. His themes are universal. From love and loss to war and politics, it isn’t hard to apply his themes to contemporary times. He has mastered the art of poetry and scriptwriting, directly influenced the language that is spoken to this day and continues to influence people around the world. Here is to many Shakespearean summer nights! Give you good morrow! Kristie Castanera ’14 Creative writing Social media and reputation specialist at Easy Media Shakespeare delves deftly into shared human experience – his pop culture references may be archaic, yet we are riveted by his depiction of love, of loss, of guilt. Othello is brilliant because we have all felt Othello’s burning jealousy, can cower and cry with Desdemona as her husband rages. This universal draw is most easily seen when Shakespeare is performed. Though many of us slog through half-page footnotes, when we watch these plays onstage, the language barrier drops away. At its core, Shakespeare’s work delves deep into the mine of human emotion – time can never render that obsolete.
2016 Linfield Magazine Winter
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