Syntax is everything to writers! Little difference is found between being and doing when dealing with the future as life is all about choices. It seems that Shakespeare was a great influence to future writers in many ways since his line was so influential. It seems that line has been interpreted many times over the years, so it is not surprising to find it many times in books and movies. Curzan and Adams write, “Syntax encompasses the set of descriptive rules for how words combine into phrases, phrases into clauses, and clauses into sentences” (164). I am sure we all have those favorite lines from books, movies, or even ads that stay with us. Even though we forget details about them, we remember the lines that made them great. In the scene where Yoda advises Anakin about the dark forces around him, the scene is excellently set. It is darkly lit, and it matches the characters’ moods perfectly.
What I immediately saw was the writing pattern that I know is found in Shakespeare’s words. I know I am about to highly offend the Star Wars people, but for a loss of the right term, that little creature talking said, “Mourn them, do not. Miss them, do not” (Stack Exchange). The line structure is reversed much like Shakespeare used all the time. It catches the ear as it is not what we expect to hear. So, it is a line that is memorable as it is poetic.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet also dark and moody. The language, as well as the speaker’s delivery of it, fit the scene as was written. The script above also shows how Shakespeare played with the lines grammatically. If you look at the lines as he wrote them, they are not completed sentences because the punctuation does not end the thoughts, yet the next line is capitalized as if it were a new sentence. The reader (or speaker and listener perhaps) understands the importance in what is said because of the changes in the rules of syntax structure. It is masterfully written in a way that you remember the scene all the same. Also, where there are periods, there are no complete thoughts. Shakespeare wrote, “To Die, to sleep” (Shakespeare Notes). Yet, it is meaningful all the same to someone who has experienced death and loss.
That is what appears similar. Death and loss seem to be the greatest theme ever written about in history. Both characters ponder death and the future. I think that the writer of Star Wars probably studied Shakespeare’s writing technique in Hamlet well as it seems that the Star Wars scene is similar to the Shakespeare scene. It is like the writer interpreted Shakespeare’s words for a more modern audience. But, the language is different, the characters are different, and the scene props are different which make them seem as if they are in two different worlds (which was the point, right?).
Similar: Theme, reversed grammar structure (Shakespearean influence), language that reflects dark mood, and scene layout.
Difference: Genre, style, character delivery (stage/movie scene), and marketed audience (one is for movie goers and the other for play goers). In each of these videos, one author chose short sentences and the other chose extended lines (poetic verse) to deliver their dark moods.
I thought of a movie that had similar themes (to be/to do), but the syntax delivery was different because the characters were all kids. The movie that came to mind was Lord of the Flies as the kids think about being/not being, doing/not doing, choosing sides, their futures, and death. Jack says, “The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream” (Lord of the Flies). Again, fear, dreams, and death are in a scene that is dark much like the first two scenes in our assignment. To do, to be, or to choose sides matters little when death is the final answer to them all! Worrying changes nothing either way! But, to be can relate to the way we are and to do can relate to how we do it which can make all the difference to the outcome of situations. Thoughts often lead to dark places as we see in all three videos. Perhaps it is the way we talk about these themes that is remembered most in literature. By studying the videos and scripts, it reminds writers to be cautious about our delivery. One of the scenes that always stays with me is when Piggy dies.
The human emotions that center on fear, loss, future, and death seem to be unchanging no matter what author, era, or society uses them as themes as the people in each society do not change emotionally. For these authors, it also might signify that writers who connect to their readers with these issues may have greater chances of success because they speak to the heart and souls of those who are suffering similar fates. It is the way that authors define those emotions in their work that people remember the most. In each of the videos, the lines were delivered to who the authors believed the audience to be. Shakespeare’s lines were more adapted to audiences in 1601. Star Wars was written with the same themes to sci-fi type audiences. Lord of the Flies was written in 1954, but the movie was released in 1990, and the syntax was also structured to these audiences. So, what is important about the way we write is to consider what language is appropriate for who we believe to be our readers. Death can be delivered in many different ways, and each of these writers have proven effective in doing so even when using the same archetype to do it. It is their creativity is how they chose to do it that made them great!
Curzan, Anne, and Michael Adams. How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction. Boston: Longman 2012. Print
Lord of the Flies, Piggy is Killed, Youtube Movie Clips, (2015 May 7), retrieved on July 6, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQCgzi4j3eM
Stack Exchange, Science Fiction and Fantasy, StackExchange, Inc, Image, (2017). retrieved on July 6, 2017, from https://scifi.stackexchange.com
Shakespeare Notes, No Fear Shakespeare, ShakespeareNotes, LLC. Image, (2017), retrieved on July 6. 2017, from http://nfs.sparknotes.com/hamlet/page_138.html