Shakespeare and the Arts of Language
Oxford Shakespeare Topics provide students and teachers with short books on important aspects of Shakespeare criticism and scholarship. Each book is written by an authority in its field, and combines accessible style with original discussion of its subject. Notes and a critical guide to further reading equip the interested reader with the means to broaden research. For the modern reader or playgoer, English as Shakespeare used it can seem alien and puzzling: vocabulary and grammar are in transition, pronouns and verb-forms can seem unfamiliar. Moreover, the conventions of poetic drama may also pose an impediment. Shakespeare and the Arts of Language provides a clear and helpful guide to the linguistic and rhetorical dimensions of the plays and poems. Written in a lucid, non-technical style, the book starts with the story of how the English language changed throughout the sixteenth century. Subsequent chapters define Shakespeare's main artistic tools and illustratetheir poetic and theatrical contributions: Renaissance rhetoric, imagery and metaphor, blank verse, prose speech, and wordplay. The conclusion surveys Shakespeare's multiple and often conflicting ideas about language, encompassing both his enthusiasm at what words can do for us and his suspicion of what words can do to us. Throughout, Russ McDonald helps his readers to appreciate a play's concerns and theatrical effects by thinking about its language in relation to other writings of the period. He also emphasizes pleasure in the physical properties of Shakespeare's words: their colour, weight, and texture, the appeal of verbal patterns, and the irresistible power of intensified language.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
1 The Language Shakespeare Learned
Words Patterns and the Traditions of Rhetoric
3 What is the Figure?
4 A World of Figures
Shakespeares Metrical Development
6 Here Follows Prose
Antony and Cleopatra artiﬁcial artistic audience aural begins Brian Vickers Brutus Cambridge chapter characters Cleopatra comedies comic context Coriolanus critical cultural deﬁnition discourse dramatic early modern effect Elizabethan eloquence English English language equivocation especially example Falstaff ﬁction ﬁguration ﬁgurative language ﬁgures ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬂower George Puttenham Hamlet Henry Iago identiﬁes imagery images inﬂuence Juliet King Lear King’s Latin linguistic literary Macbeth meaning metaphor metrical Midsummer Night’s Dream noun Othello Oxford passage patterns PETRUCCIO phrase plays playwright pleasure poet poetic poetry political Prince prose puns readers reﬂect Renaissance rhetorical rhythms Richard Richard II Romeo scene self—consciousness semantic sense sentences Shake Shakespeare Shakespearian signiﬁer sixteenth century sound speak speakers speare’s speciﬁcally speech Stephen Booth structure style syllable symbolic tenor theatre theatrical thee thou tion topic tragedies tropes University Press vehicle verb vernacular verse Winter’s Tale wordplay words writer