Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ki-Ingereza cha Shakespeare

Miaka mia nne imepita tangu alipofairki Walliam Shakespeare. Lakini dunia haiwezi kumsahau, kwa mchango wake uliotukuka katika utunzi wa tamthilia na mashairi. Leo, ninarejea tena kwenye mada hii ya mchango wa Shakespeare, ambayo nimekuwa nikiiongelea katika blogu hii. Napenda kujikumbusha suala la ki-Ingereza cha Shakespeare.

Kumbukumbu hii imenijia leo kwa sababu maalum. Leo, katika kozi yangu ya African Literature, nimeanza kufundisha The Dilemma of a Ghost, tamthilia ya Ama Ata Aidoo. Nimeongelea mistari nane ya mwanzo ya "Prologue," yaani utangulizi, nikataja mambo mengi, kuanzia "folklore" hadi tamthilia za Shakespeare. Mistari hiyo ni hii:

I am the Bird of the Wayside--
The sudden scampering in the undergrowth,
Or the trunkless head
Of the shadow in the corner.
I am the asthmatic old hag
Eternally breaking the nuts
Whose soup, alas,
Nourished a bundle of whitened bones--

Miaka yetu, tulipokuwa tunasoma sekondari,  ambayo kwangu ilikuwa ni 1967-70, tulisoma na kuelewa ki-Ingereza cha Shakespeare. Tulipokutana na maneno magumu au misemo isiyoeleweka, tulifuatilia hadi kuelewa. Aghalabu, maelezo yalikuwemo katika vitabu tulivyokuwa tunasoma. Vinginevyo, tuliangalia kamusi. Tulikuwa na tabia ya kujituma.

Utamu wa ki-Ingereza cha Shakespeare unaonekana katika maandishi yake yote. Humo tunaona nidhamu ya hali ya juu katika matumizi ya maneno na uundaji wa sentensi. Kila neno lina umuhimu, na limewekwa mahali panapostahili. Hakuna sehemu inayolegalega.

Kumsoma Shakespeare ni chemsha bongo. Ni kunoa akili, sio tu kutokana na namna Shakespeare anavyotumia lugha bali pia kutokana na ukweli kuwa Shakespeare ndiye aliyekuwa na msamiati mkubwa kuliko mtumiaji mwingine yeyote wa ki-Ingereza. Hapa naleta mfano kutoka katika tamthilia yake ya Hamlet, ambayo nimeikumbuka leo kwa namna ya pekee, ili angalau wale tuliosoma zamani tujikumbushe enzi zile, ambapo shule ilikuwa shule kweli:

ACT I SCENE III A room in Polonius' house.
[Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA]
LAERTESMy necessaries are embark'd: farewell:

And, sister, as the winds give benefit

And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,

But let me hear from you.
OPHELIADo you doubt that?
LAERTESFor Hamlet and the trifling of his favour,

Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,

A violet in the youth of primy nature,

Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,

The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more.
OPHELIANo more but so?
LAERTESThink it no more;10

For nature, crescent, does not grow alone

In thews and bulk, but, as this temple waxes,

The inward service of the mind and soul

Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now,

And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch

The virtue of his will: but you must fear,

His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own;

For he himself is subject to his birth:

He may not, as unvalued persons do,

Carve for himself; for on his choice depends20

The safety and health of this whole state;

And therefore must his choice be circumscribed

Unto the voice and yielding of that body

Whereof he is the head. Then if he says he loves you,

It fits your wisdom so far to believe it

As he in his particular act and place

May give his saying deed; which is no further

Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.

Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain,

If with too credent ear you list his songs,30

Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open

To his unmaster'd importunity.

Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,

And keep you in the rear of your affection,

Out of the shot and danger of desire.

The chariest maid is prodigal enough,

If she unmask her beauty to the moon:

Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes:

The canker galls the infants of the spring,

Too oft before their buttons be disclosed,40

And in the morn and liquid dew of youth

Contagious blastments are most imminent.

Be wary then; best safety lies in fear:

Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.

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