Friday, August 27, 2010

Two Additional Shakespeare Allusions in Star Trek: The Animated Series

“The Practical Joker.” By Chuck Menville. Perf. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, and George Takei. Dir. Hal Sutherland. Star Trek: The Animated Series. Season 2, episode 3. NBC. 21 September 1974. DVD. Paramount, 2008.
Star Trek: The Animated Series offers a quote from King Lear late in its run. Earlier, it provided two near quotations.

The first is based on a speech from 1 Henry IV. Falstaff says, "The better pat of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have sav'd my life" (V.iv.119-21). Kirk's version is the usual paraphrase: "Discretion is the better part of valour."

Kirk also modifies Polonius' "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't" (II.ii.205-06), giving us "There is a method to this madness” in place of the more cumbersome phrase:

video

And the idea that The Enterprise is seeking revenge makes the entire episode into a Hamlet derivative!

Well . . . not really. But you can see how easy it is to get carried away.
Links: Shakespeare and Star Trek Complete.

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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