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WHY IS SHAKESPEARE SO HARD TO READ?????. IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS  TRAGEDY: A serious and often somber drama that typically ends in disaster and that focuses.

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Presentation on theme: "WHY IS SHAKESPEARE SO HARD TO READ?????. IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS  TRAGEDY: A serious and often somber drama that typically ends in disaster and that focuses."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHY IS SHAKESPEARE SO HARD TO READ?????

2 IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS  TRAGEDY: A serious and often somber drama that typically ends in disaster and that focuses on a character who undergoes unexpected personal reversals.  ACT: A major division of a play or drama. Subdivided into scenes.  SCENE: Subdivision of an act in drama. Transitions between scenes may be indicated by: logical breaks in the action and dialogue, lowering the curtain, a change of setting, or an indication that time has passed.

3 Understanding Shakespeare’s Language: Selections from Surfing with the Bard, available online Unusual Word Arrangements Shakespeare wrote the way he did for poetic and dramatic purposes. There are many reasons why he did this--to create a specific poetic rhythm, to emphasize a certain word, to give a character a specific speech pattern, etc. For example, from Robinson's Unlocking Shakespeare's Language.Unlocking Shakespeare's Language I ate the sandwich. I the sandwich ate. Ate the sandwich I. Ate I the sandwich. The sandwich I ate. The sandwich ate I. Robinson shows us that these four words can create six unique sentences which carry the same meaning. When you are reading Shakespeare's plays, look for this type of unusual word arrangement. Locate the subject, verb, and the object of the sentence. Notice that the object of the sentence is often placed at the beginning (the sandwich) in front of the verb (ate) and subject (I). Rearrange the words in the order that makes the most sense to you (I ate the sandwich). This will be one of your first steps in making sense of Shakespeare's language.

4 In this way, Shakespeare sounds like YODA! Yoda speaks in a style of rhetoric called, hyperbaton. He rearranges word order too; Yoda might say:  Always two there are, a master, and an apprentice.  If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did to Obi-Wan's apprentice.  Away put your weapon!  Check out YODA here from Episode V: The Empire Strikes BackYODA here But notice how we still know what he’s saying, even though the words are out of order. Shakespeare does this, too. He often changes the syntax around in order to make a pun, or to fit iambic pentameter, or to end the line with a rhyme.

5 For example: And the continuance of their parents’ rage, Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove, Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. (1.1:10-14) line by line, rearrange text. Let’s replace some words with words we know  nought  nothing Together with first 2 lines: first 2 lines: Nothing could remove the feud between the families except their children’s deaths. Now you try with the last 3 lines: So really, Shakespeare is just Yoda! If you can understand Yoda, you can understand him!

6 But… on top of that, Shakespeare writes poetry: Poetry We speak in prose (language without metrical structure). Shakespeare wrote both prose and verse (poetry). Much of the language discussion we will have in this guide revolves around Shakespeare's poetry. So, it is important that you understand the following terms: Blank Verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter. Iambic Pentameter: five beats of alternating unstressed and stressed syllables; ten syllables per line. 'So fair / and foul / a day / I have / not seen' 'The course / of true / love nev/er did / run smooth'

7 And Shakespeare uses Omissions: Omissions Again, for the sake of his poetry, Shakespeare often left out letters, syllables, and whole words. These omissions really aren't that much different from the way we speak today. We say: "Been to class yet?" "No. Heard BWay's givin' a test." We leave out words and parts of words to speed up our speech. If we were speaking in complete sentences, we would say: "Have you been to class yet?" "No, I have not been to class. I heard that Ms. Brohman-Way is giving a test today." A few examples of Shakespearean omissions/contractions follow: 'tis ~ it isope ~ open o'er ~ overgi' ~ give ne'er ~ neveri' ~ in e'er ~ everoft ~ often a' ~ hee'en ~ even

8 Shakespeare Invented Words Yes, he made up over 3,000 words, although many of them didn't catch on, as it were, and today we've incorporated around 1200 of them in one form or another. Here is a partial list of some of the words Shakespeare is credited with inventing: accused addiction advertising aerial alligator amazement arouse articulate assassination bandit beached bedroom befriend besmirch birthplace blanket blushing bloodstained bump buzzer caked cater champion circumstantial cold-blooded compromise countless courtship critic critical daunting dawn deafening demure discontent dishearten dislocate dwindle educate elbow entomb epileptic equivocal excitement exposure eyeball fashionable fixture flawed frugal generous gloomy gnarled gossip gust hint hobnob hoodwink hurried hurry impartial impede investment invulnerable jaded label lackluster lapse laughable leapfrog lonely lower luggage majestic marketable metamorphiz e mimic misplaced monumental moonbeam mountaineer negotiate noiseless numb obscene obsequious ode olympian outbreak pander pedant premeditated radiance rant remorseless savagery scuffle secure submerge summit swagger torture tranquil trickling undress unreal varied vaulting wappened worthless zany

9 Here are some common archaic (old) words that you will encounter in your reading of Shakespeare. To their right are modern words that mean essentially the same thing. Use this as a thesaurus to help translate the play’s words when you need help. alack – expressing regret anon – until later / soon art – are aught – nothing aye – yes canst – can dost / doth – does e’en – evening e’er – ever ere – before fair – beautiful fare-the-well – goodbye fie – scolding / a curse (like “shoot”) forsooth – indeed gall – irritate go to – get going haply – maybe / perhaps happy – fortunate hark - listen hast / hath – has hence – away / from here hie – hasten / hurry hither – here knave – rascal marry – indeed / expressing surprise mayhap – maybe / perchance morrow – day nay – no naught – nothing ne’er – never o’er – over oft – often prithee / pray – please query – inquire quoth – said take care – be careful thee / thou – you thither – close / toward thine / thy – your thrice – three / several ‘tis – it is unto – by / onto visage – sorrow wench – young lady wert –were whence – where whilt – will wherefore – why withal – in addition whither – to what place or result would – wish verily – very / truly yonder / yon – over there / at or in that place

10 The following phrases are listed with the play from which they have been adopted: A dish fit for the gods - Julius Caesar A foregone conclusion - Othello A laughing stock - The Merry Wives of Windsor A sorry sight - Macbeth All corners of the world - Cymbeline All that glisters is not gold - The Merchant of Venice All's well that ends well - All's Well That Ends Well As dead as a doornail - Henry VI As good luck would have it - The Merry Wives of Windsor As pure as the driven snow - The Winter's Tale / Macbeth At one fell swoop - Macbeth Bloody minded - Henry VI Cold comfort - The Taming of the Shrew The dogs of war - Julius Caesar Eaten out of house and home - Henry V, Part 2 Fair play - The Tempest Fancy free - A Midsummer Night's Dream Flesh and blood - Hamlet For ever and a day - As You Like It Green-eyed monster - Othello High time - A Comedy of Errors I have not slept one wink - Cymbeline I will wear my heart upon my sleeve - Othello In a pickle - The Tempest In my mind's eye - Hamlet In stitches - Twelfth Night In the twinkling of an eye - The Merchant Of Venice Lay it on with a trowel - As You Like It Lie low - Much Ado About Nothing Love is blind - The Merchant Of Venice Milk of human kindness - Macbeth More fool you - The Taming of the Shrew Mum's the word - Henry VI, Part 2 Neither here nor there - Othello Send him packing - Henry IV Set your teeth on edge - Henry IV The Queen's English - The Merry Wives of Windsor There's method in my madness - Hamlet This is the short and the long of it - The Merry Wives of Windsor Too much of a good thing - As You Like It Tower of strength - Richard III Vanish into thin air - Othello

11 FOUR STEPS TO TRANSLATE SHAKESPEARE  1. What do I already know? What words do I recognize? Can I guess the overall topic or meaning stringing together the words I know? What do I already know about the events leading up to this passage?  2. What can the notes tell me? If there are any words I don’t recognize, are they defined in the notes? Are there allusions to history/mythology/religious texts embedded here? What meaning do they contribute?  3. Think like Yoda. If I rearrange the words, do they make more sense to me?  4. Rewrite in your own words. Can I summarize the main idea?

12 Elizabethan Vocabulary Worksheet – in your journal… Translate the following sentences into modern English: 1. Thou art more fair than yonder moon. 2. Marry my lady Thy visage has ne’er been so apparent. 3. Pray, whilt thou hie to the commons my fair lady. 4. Fare-the-well wench, thou dost gall me. 5. Hie up! I’ve thrice quoth unto thou to hie unto thine class.

13 Organization of Shakespeare’s 37 Plays The arrangement of the plays into the three categories is a practice begun with the First Folio, which was printed in seven years after Shakespeare's death. Tragedies Anthony and Cleopatra Coriolanus Hamlet Julius Caesar The Tragedy of King Lear Macbeth Othello Romeo and Juliet Timon of Athens Titus Andronicus Comedies All's Well That Ends Well As You Like It The Comedy of Errors Cymbeline Love's Labours Lost Measure for Measure The Merry Wives of Windsor The Merchant of Venice A Midsummer Night's Dream Much Ado About Nothing Pericles, Prince of Tyre Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Troilus and Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona Winter's Tale Histories Henry IV, part 1 Henry IV, part 2 Henry V Henry VI, part 1 Henry VI, part 2 Henry VI, part 3 Henry VIII King John Richard II Richard III


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