Marc Antony’s Soliloquy: An Analysis
My transformation of the Shakespearean text employs many different grammatical features to create an effective, modern version of Marc Antony’s soliloquy. Features such as nominalisation, paragraphing and abstract noun groups are a few of the features used. My transformation is suitable for modern audiences, using both language and people that today’s society is familiar with. My transformed version of the soliloquy uses many grammatical techniques and features to make it as interesting and grammatically correct as possible, whilst making it a piece of writing that people today are used to reading and/or hearing.
Nominalisation is an important grammatical feature, which allows you to increase the levels of linguistic complexity as the text becomes more abstract, through leaving out the action of the nominalised verb. Words like ability, possibly and determination are all examples of nominalisation, and give more meaning into a sentence without needing to make the sentence longer than necessary. Overall, this gives the text as a whole more depth and meaning.
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The paragraphing used sets out the different ideas being introduced into the text, organising them into different paragraphs where all the ideas flow together.
Sentence structures tie together the text, ensuring that ideas flow and it is more interesting for the reader. Using different sentence types, like compound and complex, mixes up the text a bit and keeps readers engaged as they continue to read the text. Obviously, people are more likely to continue to read something if they are interested in it, and I wanted my speech to engage readers and listeners. Clause combinations help to set out and organise ideas nicely, using different types of sentences to again create interest.
I have used abstract noun groups to involve the listeners in the text, letting them connect with the speech through them using their pre-conceived ideas of what the words mean. Abstract nouns, being things that you can’t actually see or touch, means that listeners have to substitute in what their meaning of the word is, therefore making them think about the text more. I wanted my speech to make people think, and the use of abstract nouns helps to achieve that. Abstract noun groups such as ‘kind-hearted and generous, strong willed and fair’ are examples of this.
When I first started the modern version, I had in my mind a clear image of what I wanted it to be like. With using the different techniques and features, I believe I’ve reached my idea of what I wanted. One of the hardest things that I was faced with when I started to re-write the soliloquy was who to write about, and who’s perspective to write from. After a lot of thought, I finally decided on Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. I thought that it would be a good fit, for numerous reasons. Both Caesar and Thatcher were controversial people.
Both had their lovers and their haters, and there was never really an in between. They were both major political figures of their time, and had large effects on their society during their rein. Not only did I feel they shared many similarities, but I’ve always been interested in Thatcher. It seems that both Caesar and Thatcher were very strong-willed, and knew exactly what they wanted. In Antony’s speech, he was mainly paying tribute to Caesar, and I knew that a figure such as Tony Blair would do the same for Thatcher.
Having both speeches set at a funeral made sure that similarities were kept, same as the references to ‘after a person dies, the bad is remembered and the good forgotten’. Whilst I tried as much as I could to modernise the text, I tried to keep it quite formal. This is obviously because the speech is being performed by an ex-Prime Minister at another ex-Prime Minister’s funeral, which is quite the formal occasion. In the Shakespearean version, Antony talks about how Brutus says that Caesar is an honourable man, but he believes differently.
In my version, Blair speaks about how many people often loathed Thatcher. In this, I have both similarities and differences. The language I have used is more modern, employing slang and generally newer ways of speaking. Overall, I’m very happy with my transformation of the Shakespearean text. The different grammatical features used has made the soliloquy very effective. My version is suitable for modern readers, and follows the basic storyline the original soliloquy uses.