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Reading Shakespeare's Language

Macbeth Research Project

Catherine Peng

on 8 November 2014

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Transcript of Reading Shakespeare's Language

By: Meg McGuinness, Lily Zhao, and Catherine Peng
Reading Shakespeare's Language
The Basics
"If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me"
Rhythm is the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables
Meter is reoccurring, formal rhythm
The stressed syllable is notated by a slash
The unstressed syllable is marked by a "U."
CAR- pet
/ U
A foot is the combination of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up a line of verse
The two types are iamb and troche.
Blank Verse
Prose/Deviations on Blank Verse
Witty Words
Elizabethan Insults
Prose has no regular pattern/rhythm
It is used when verse doesn't fit in context
EX: Serious letters, exposition, transitions, relaxed conversation, etc.

Rhymed verse is usually present in couplets, where the final words of two lines rhyme)
A capping couplet is at the end of speech or scene in blank verse.
A Heroic Couplet is a rhyming couplet in iambic pentameter

Rhymes are used for choral effects, the supernatural, and songs, etc.
Rhetorical Devices
Shakespeare is held responsible for the creation of several words and phrases, which is just one way he contributed to the English language.

Phrase Examples: -"All that glitters is not gold."
-Shakespeare (Henry VIII)
Shakespeare's Influence
Works Cited
It is a type of "foot" made of an unstressed syllable and then a stressed syllable
U /
con - struct
It's opposite is trochaic:
/ U
Ham - let
It is made of iambic Pentameter, which is five iambs (10 syllables).

-It does not rhyme.
-There are slight irregularities at times, such as a troche, or an extra syllable at the end of a line.

-It sounds like relatively natural, but slightly elevated English.
-It is used in plays at moments of introspection, passion, and importance etc.
-It expresses refinement, as most famous speeches were written in blank verse.
Sonnets/ Songs
Songs have complex rhyme pattern, such as ababcc
Ex: The Tempest

Full fathom five thy father LIES A Of his bones are coral MADE B Those are pears that were his EYES A
Nothing of him doth FADE B
But doth suffer a sea CHANGE C
Into something rich and STRANGE C

Sonnets are made of
14 lines of iambic pentameter and
a rhyme scheme of ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG
- Shakespeare is credited with introducing almost 3000 words into English language by the Oxford English Dictionary.

- Shakespeare used obsolete words even for his own time.
ex: Wight --> man

- He had a vocabulary of 25,000-29,000 words.
Shakespeare believed that the iambic pentameter most closely resembled speech in the Elizabethan Age, which is why he used it.
**Deviations from the iambic pentameter had a purpose! Changes could convey changes to a character's feelings or thoughts or even be used to, in a way, isolate the character from others. **

ex: The witches in
speak with a musical rhythm, making them seem surreal and otherworldly.
Characterization & Enhancement
"If reasons were as plentiful as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I."
, Part On (Act ii, S.4)
*Reason is pronounced raisin

"No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door, but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man."
(Act iii, S.1)
*The word Grave has double meaning
-"They have a plentiful lack of wit."

-"You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things."
-Julius Caesar
-"O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch! Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?"
-Measure for Measure
Shakespeare-online.com (Shakespeare's Insults)
-The Merchant of Venice
Break the ice."
-The Taming of the Shrew
-"A sorry sight."
Word Examples:
- accused (noun)
-Richard II
-Amazement (noun)
-13 Instances
-Pathguy:Words and Phrases Coined by Shakespeare
-Henry IV
-Romeo and Juliet
-Shakespeare coined several words and phrases still used today.
-His uses of differing grammatical structures, spelling, and grammar helped set a standard for the English language.

Shakespeare is an iconic figure of literary history who produced masterpieces that are well loved today. Learning the style, grammar, and vocabulary of his writing is crucial in understanding and appreciating his works.
-Pangloss (Shakespeare Insulter/ Insult Kit) http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/shake_rule.html

-Shakespeareonline.com (quotes)
-Western Michigan University:
-Royal Shakespeare Company:
-Bath Central School District:
-California Polytechnic State University:
-California State University, Los Angeles:
http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/jgarret/417/Reading-Shakespeare.pdfBand of Brothers Shakespeare Company:http://www.bandofbrothersshakespeare.org/insults.htmlUniversity of Northern Iowa -Fall 2001 Course “Craft of Poetry”
http://www.uni.edu/~gotera/CraftOfPoetry/blankverse.htmlThe Independent
http://blogs.independent.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Shakespeare.jpgWikipedia:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/Cobbe_portrait_of_Shakespeare.jpgWikia:http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110423121255/literature/images/b/b4/TitlePageShakespeareFirstFolio1623.jpgArkaprabha Sircarhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/_sa1Tp8QSSJE/Sw_VCbQkvkI/AAAAAAAAB4Y/B9auRJmc4Jo/s1600/shakes_peace.gif
by Shakespeare (book)
-Shakespeare used a local dialect called Brummie.
-People in London would not understand what these words meant.
- He also used East Anglian words
-Shakespeare referred to harnsa, the East Anglian word for hawk, in hawking lingo of that region.
- Addick is Brummie for haddock, which is a type of fish.
- Dog is wamul in Brummie.
Blank Verse Examples
-"So foul and fair a day I have not seen."
-"If music be the food of love, play on..."
-Twelfth Night
-"Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen,
Who, as 'tis thought, by self and violent hands..."
( u/ u/ u/ u/ u/ )
Now Introducing:
Due to his manipulation of grammar and blank verse, as well as his contributions towards coinage, William Shakespeare greatly impacted the English language.
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