Letters to the Editor

Film: Reviewer puts words in Bard's mouth

Most readers of reviews will agree that reviewing is not an exact science. Many subjective elements go into an art form and performance, and taste is not uniform. Reviewers may therefore be either lauded or criticized, depending on how much their tastes and opinions line up with that of readers.

What is not open to dispute are the words from the texts of writers, particularly those who are considered part of the literary canon. In Katie Walsh’s review (TNT, 12-11) of the recent film version of “Macbeth,” the Tribune News Service reviewer almost immediately loses credibility by misquoting Shakespeare.

Walsh speaks of “vaunting ambition” rather than the correct “vaulting ambition.” It took me about a minute to check our old copy of Bartlett’s for the proper wording.

One of the major premises of journalism has been that credible newspapers, etc., provide accurate facts or opinions backed up by reasonable interpretation of facts. If a reviewer and a newspaper can’t be bothered to properly quote a well-known line from one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, why bother even reading or subscribing?

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