So I’ve been sharing my writing lately with a friend. He’s not the literature type, he’s more of a music geek. Here’s what he wrote me back:
I kind of group Shakespeare with Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan has written some incredible songs, yet to listen to him sing them turns many people off, when other artists cover the material, you really get the depth of the lyrics and think of Shakespeare in that same realm, where because the language is so dense if you will, that people are turned off and don’t see the real beauty of the stories being told.
I can see his point. There are Dylan people who know every word the man ever spoke, who hunt down every scrap he may have written a note upon. Then there are those who know a couple of his tunes, and he doesn’t really do it for them. But then there’s a huge group in the middle who’ve probably heard a Dylan-penned tune and loved it, without ever realizing it was Dylan. (I could probably take it farther and say, “If you told them it was Dylan before they listened to it, they wouldn’t like it….”) The television series “Band of Brothers” was quite popular. Yet I’m continually surprised that people don’t know this is a Henry V reference. I wonder if I started like that – “Hey, did you see that HBO war series that’s named for Shakespeare’s Henry V?” – if people would like it as much?