Shakespeare for trekkies

The Washington Shakespeare Company, based in Arlington, Va., is offering selections from “Hamlet” and “Much Ado About Nothing” in both English and Klingon. That’s right, Klingon. The translation will, of course, be in iambic pentameter.

Though Shakespeare’s collected works are among the most translated in the world, this is the first time Klingon has been attempted. The reason? Marc Okrand, the chairman of the Washington Shakespeare Company, also invented the Klingon language for the Star Trek films.

Though I appreciate the creativity, I can’t help but wonder exactly how big an audience the Company is expecting. Alternating English and Klingon should help convey any meaning potentially lost in translation, but if the Company interprets the selections in the way an actual Klingon would interpret them, some of the context of the original might be lost.

However, if this evening gets more people excited about Shakespeare, then I’m all for it. I might not understand the appeal of learning Klingon, but Shakespeare wrote for the masses. That includes trekkies. So, live long and prosper.


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