The movie 8 Mile, which chronicles the rise of aspiring rapper Jimmy ‘B-Rabbit’ Smith (played by Eminem), has been translated into over 15 languages including Russian, Dutch and Japa- nese. Noticeably absent from this list is Elizabethan- Era English (EEE), the language used by William Shakespeare. From a commercial perspective, this omission is perfectly understandable, as there seems to be few native EEE speakers alive today. How- ever, from an historical and academic perspective, this omission is unfortunate, as Shakespeare’s works have often been compared to rap lyrics (Brock 2009, Bradley and duBois 2011, Lars 2012, Akala 2012), and a recent analysis lists Shakespeare as having the 15th most unique vocabulary among rappers (Daniels 2014). Thus it would be interesting to see just how easily 8 Mile translates into EEE.
Shakespearean translation of the last rap battle in 8 Mile, with a subsequent analysis of its quality
Ein wenig zu analytisch, zu wenig philosophisch — aber fett auf der letzten Seite: http://pnis.co/hard3.pdf
Behold! This knave afore me doth not signal his duty, a spite of his vain attempts to appear so shrewdly. Methinks his rabble hath impressed upon him
a false reckoning of the odor of his bottom.
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino.
Thou a low, He a low, but a Marlowe? No!
This rascal here, he resembleth not a poet.
So stale be his act, e’en the groundlings know’t. I am but a peasant swain, I do hath pale skin.
I liveth with my mother in but a small cabin. My coz Future doth act as a vassal.
My boorish friend, Cheddar Bob, hath a pistol, and with great fortune hath missed his missile. ‘Gainst thine company, I alone dost battle.
And my once dear Wink didst cuckold me true.
Yet, ‘fore you I stand, I still bite my thumb at your crew! Judgeth me not, thou whoreson mountebank.
Thou knowest not my torments and cruel pains. Howbeit of some knowledge, I am privy.
Thou attendeth Cranbrook University.
Lo, how his face changed to a rotten medlar!
His true title is Clarence, not ne’er the Bard.
Thine parents of Clarence his apparent landlords.
But, soft, it that thine tool or thy mother’s cord?
Thine eyes betray fear, for near is thine defeat,
‘cause there existeth nothing like in-’twixt thieves! Afeard is he, afeard to peep at his life so sweet.
Fie on Cranbrook.
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