Ordering Shakespeare Around

Shakespearean Studies
September 11, 2013
The Taming of the Shrew –
Working out language issues
•Notes: Shakepeare’s approach to
language (contractions)
•Everything Old is New
Again…translating Shakespeare
•Ordering Shakespeare Around
•Class Reading-Act 1, Scene 1
L11-12.1-2 (Combined) Demonstrate
command of the conventions of standard
English grammar and usage. (And how
Shakespeare used them in his writing!)
Shakespeare’s “play” with language
A special vocabulary case is
Shakespeare’s common use of
Shown below are a few of the most common
contractions found in Shakespeare.
'tis = it is
o'er = over
ne'er = never
e'er = ever
a' = he
ope = open
gi' = give
i' = in
oft = often
e'en = even
Everything Old is New Again
•Work independently to translate the
provided quotes into modern English.
•Volunteer to write one on the board…
Ordering Shakespeare Around
•In your notes, write down a simple
•Ex: I ate the sandwich
•Then, re-write the sentence 4 times by
re-ordering the words.
Ordering Shakespeare Around
•Unusual word order in a sentence is
called inversion. Shakespeare used
inversion to create specific dramatic
and poetic effects. Inversion can be
used to emphasize key words, to create
specific poetic rhythms, to give a
character a specific speech pattern
(think Polonius, for example), or for a
variety of other purposes.
Ordering Shakespeare Around
•Experienced readers “re-order” the words
to understand the sentence. They locate
the subject and the verb and “re-write” the
sentence for clarity (“Ate the sandwich I” is
quickly changed to “I ate the sandwich”).
Class Reading:Act 1, Scene 1

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