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Understanding Shakespeares Language
Transcript of Understanding Shakespeares Language
...because sometimes he is just so darn confusing...
What kind of structure does he use when he writes?
A few different types...
One person speaking on stage.
There may be other characters on stage.
A long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone on stage.
Words spoken, usually in an undertone not intended to be heard by other characters.
Ordinary writing that is not poetry, drama or song.
Only characters in the lower social classes speak this way in Shakespeare's plays.
Humorous use of a word with two meanings
This is sometimes missed by the reader because of Elizabethan language and sexual innuendo, for example.
Ask for me tomorrow and you may find me a GRAVE man...
What might this mean?
Words that tell the reader who is being addressed.
in other words spoken to.
What are some problems that you may come up against when reading Shakespeare?
Words that you can't understand
Placement of words that you don't understand.
Use a thesaurus to change it to one you know
De-Yoda the phrase! Shakespeare liked to change the order of the words, for poetic rhythm
For example, in Macbeth, Malcolm (the Kings Son) says
My liege, they are not yet come back. But I have spoke withone that saw him die: who did report that very frankly he confess'd his treasons,
liege = sir
treason = betraying the king
spoke = talked
frankly = honestly
confessed = admitted
had not yet come back = haven't come back
very frankly he confess'd his treasons = he confessed his treasons very frankly
Some Elizabethan Words.
That you might want to write down
Hence:Away, from her
Wilt:Will, will you
Withal:In addition to