The thing that bugs me about most of the high-end Shakespeare productions is that you can't understand a damned word they're saying. Most of the actors think it very sophisticated to blow right through the dialogue. When I watch Shakespeare on DVD I always keep the subtitles turned on.
Is it the British accent? Whenever I see a production of Shakespeare, I assume I’m going to miss a great deal of it because of the difficulty of the language.
Several years ago I saw an hilarious production of Ben Jonson’s “The Alchemist” at the National Theatre. The actors completely raced through the script (which is amazingly dense and difficult) but it really worked!
Not only that, but they always put on the thickest royal accents out of pure pomposity, which is absolutely historically inaccurate.
The correct accent would be no easier to understand, perhaps more difficult, but the royals in Shakespeare’s time would sound like the country bumpkins of Monty Python’s. And, of course, neither Julius Caesar, Hamlet, MacBeth, Romeo, Juliet, nor King Lear spoke English, anyway.
So, by all means, speak in Shakespeare’s dialect, so the richness of his language can be learnt, but speak such words simply so they can be heard and learned, and in the clearest of accents.