“Jazzing up” Shakespeare is risky, but it’s not risky to Shakespeare. It can only make the particular production look silly – it does no harm to the canon.
Shakespeare is under a deadly threat, the dry rot that comes from lying, from uncomprehending audiences sitting politely through skilled but passionless productions, with everyone too afraid to admit that they don’t understand what is being said. The way teenagers conspire not to let on that they have no idea what Led Zeppelin is really saying, but it sounds good.
Storytelling in Shakespeare doesn't really come from the plot. Most Shakespeare plays are poorly edited in a conventional sense. They have way too many irrelevant characters and unnecessary digressions. The best parts of Shakespeare often come from insignificant characters in scenes that don’t really fit with the rest of the play (the Gravedigger in Hamlet, Mercutio’s Queen Mab speech in Romeo & Juliet)
Shakespeare and dreams - A dream is all wrong, absurd, composite, and yet at the same time it is completely right: put together in this strange way it makes an impression.
The reason why I cannot understand Shakespeare is that I want to find symmetry in all this asymmetry. His plays give the impression of enormous sketches rather than of paintings, as though they were dashed off by someone who can permit himself anything.
And if Shakespeare is great, as he is said to be, then it must be possible to say: it’s all wrong, things aren’t like that – and yet his brush strokes are so individual that each of his characters looks significant, worth looking at.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value
Winston dreamed the girl with dark hair was coming toward him across the field. With a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. What overwhelmed him in the instant was admiration for the gesture. With its grace and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a whole system of thought, as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single movement of the arm. That too was a gesture belonging to the ancient time. Winston woke with the word “Shakespeare” on his lips.
- George Orwell, 1984