The Challenges Of Seamus Heaney

1406 Words Apr 16th, 2015 6 Pages
This essay will analyse the challenges Seamus Heaney faced during the process of translation and writing, including his own conscious effort to make the play suitable for a modern audience. It will demonstrate how Heaney’s use of language and poetry aided in presenting modern ideas through the timbre of Irish/English diction and idiom in an attempt to make the play more ‘speakable’. Identifying features of Greek theatrical conventions and how Heaney used these to shape his play. Heaney also presents social and political issues through The Burial at Thebes in a way that resonates with a contemporary audience. The responsibility of the translator of a piece first intended for performance are complex. The challenges can be different depending on whether a translation is commissioned for performance or for publication in text, or both. Translation of an ancient Greek play is far more than simply an act of transmission of one language into another, it involves the conveyance of a context and finding a balance of reference which will both keep faith with the original and allow for current thinking. There are many variables in the approaches to translating an ancient Greek play, these can include, attempting to be accurate to the original Greek letter and meaning, communicating the spirit and feel of the original, or a pragmatic translation where the emphasis is on the target language and culture (Hardwick, 2008, p. 207). A translator would have to make decisions about the…

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