ADHD and Shakespeare: Was William Writing For Me?
… or about me?
Sometimes it seems like my life is a Shakespearean comedy. Seriously (or not), it seems like every plot has ten subplots and each of them are as convoluted as the plot itself. Watching a poorly done bit of Shakespeare is as bad as being inside my head.
Let me explain
When a low budget Shakespearean production is mounted, the restrictions that are involved are usually time, space and talent. The subtleties of Will’s words, moods and actions need a lot of time and talent to be presented in an understandable way.
The book was better than the movie
Unless the players are completely immersed in their characters, a feat that requires time and effort, the vagaries and intricacies are not likely to be apparent in any way that you could perceive from the audience. To make short of this point, small budget Shakespearean productions don’t tell the whole story, you’d be better off reading the play.
I may have spoken too soon
There is, however, something to be said for listening to Shakespearean lines complete with inflection and expression. The archaic English (or as Bill called it, English), in these plays is easier understood with the clues of context.
That’s right, we need context in order to take in and comprehend. I mean people, not just us ADHDers. I have noticed that many of us with ADHD “get it” quicker than many people suffering from delusions of normalcy … when we get it. When we don’t get it, we are lost.
And what makes us not “get it?” Usually distraction fuelled by boredom pulls us away out the window or into our thoughts just at a time when some pertinent piece of information is being presented. When that happens, we are left rudderless and becalmed in the eye of storm of words and emotions.
What’s this got to do with Shakespeare?
Well, I was watching Much Ado About Nothing the other day, and it occurred to me that the number of plot lines, subplots and subtle nuances all being brought to a cataclysmic culmination was the very thing that kept me riveted.
If you want to confuse me, bury your single story line in dull dialogue and make it simple. If you want to keep my rapt attention, challenge me to follow ten plots at once. I love a challenge.
See, he was writing for us …
So, William Shakespeare was picturing me as his target audience, was he? Well, when you stop to think about it, don’t his romantic comedy titles describe our lives aptly? When your day is done and you realize you’ve accomplished nothing of the tasks you set out to do and you’re asking yourself why, the answer will be distraction. And the distraction, on reflection, will have been — “Much Ado About Nothing.”
And lets not forget:
- The Tempest
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- As You Like It
- The Taming of the Shrew
- All’s Well That Ends Well
- Twelfth Night
… and there are more. Man, it’s like he was writing about me. Forsooth, I will away me, good gentle folk. Until the morrow’s morrow. Adieu.
Babcock, K. (2012). ADHD and Shakespeare: Was William Writing For Me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 1, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2012/11/adhd-and-shakespeare-was-william-writing-for-me/