It’s All in the Interpretation
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Two of my favorite things in the world are cover songs and Shakespeare. For years, I saw these as random, unrelated quirks of my personality…but lying in bed last week watching a new-to-me take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it struck me that these two things are not as unrelated as I thought they were. I tell you this not because I’m begging serenades or soliloquies of you, but because of what they have in common – interpretation.
Cover songs show us old favorites through new eyes, new voices, new arrangements. Modern productions of Shakespeare’s plays choose to bring out the romance, the comedy, the madness, the trauma, the bawdy, in different doses and in different ways (for a great example of this, check out the differences in the Branagh/Thompson and Tennant/Tate versions of Much Ado…but I digress.)
The way we intepret things changes not only with our own experiences, but based on our cultural experiences and the things we’re taught to believe. Take, for example, the word apocolypse. Big, scary, end-of-the-world stuff, right? But the word apocalypse comes from the Greek apokálypsis, meaning “lifting of the veil”. Disclosure. Clarity. Seeing what was hidden. Wacky, right? It’s all in the interpretation. All in the meaning we give it.
The next time you’re up against the wall of overwhem, when you have that stomach-dropping “oh shit” feeling, step back and ask yourself – is it really that bad? How else can I interpret this situation? Is this really an apocalypse, or is it showing me something I need to see?
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