• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14

An examination of Shakespeare's use of colloquial language. Although we cannot be sure of how Shakespeare used himself used the language of his time we can look at his contemporaries

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Gillian Tansey An examination of Shakespeare's use of colloquial language. Although we cannot be sure of how Shakespeare used himself used the language of his time we can look at his contemporaries to get ideas and draw some conclusions about how Shakespeare spoke and how he used language during his lifetime and in the plays he wrote. The language in Shakespeare's plays varies dramatically as ha has so many different styles of writing; his tragedies obviously differ from his comedy plays and history plays differ from his poems and sonnets. The use of colloquial language and swearing appear throughout the plays. Because language has changed so much over time, as modern day readers of the plays we do not recognise the colloquial language used as we speak using colloquial language on a day-to-day basis so it is seen as normal in modern day English. With this in mind we often overlook Shakespeare's use of jokes and slang and moments in plays that would have been considered amusing or rude to an audience of Shakespeare's time. For example HC Wyld, in A History of Modern Colloquial English ( 1953) quotes be Salmon, says: We should not know how to greet or take leave of those we met, how to express our thanks in a subtle manner, how to ask for a favour, pay a compliment, or send a polite message to a gentleman's wife..We should hesitate every minute how to address the person we are talking to. ...read more.

Middle

We have changed them slightly in modern day English, for example instead of 'good morrow' we would use 'good morning' and instead of 'good even' we would say 'good evening'. It is likely that we would only use 'God bless you' or God save you' in the religious context. In modern day English greetings it is very common to comment on the weather, for example; 'Good morning, nice day isn't it'. Commenting on the weather in Shakespearean time did not occur. A main reason for commenting on the weather is that it makes it easier to begin a conversation, particularly with strangers. Commenting on the weather in greetings makes it easier for everybody to speak to one another. As the weather is so changeable it is something we all have knowledge about and if it were a nice day the other person would not disagree with them. As well as greeting changing from today's usage, the partings that were most frequently used have also changed. Dismissals had varying degrees of politeness whilst dismissing a servant or an intimate. Invitations to leave for example appear in: Merry Wives of Windsor, act 2: scene1: line 139. Mrs Ford: Will you go, Mistress Page? Mrs Page: Have with you. Shall we wag? This was also a popular parting, this was used as friendly invitations to leave, to equals. Shall we shag? Farewell/Adieu - This was a neuteral greeting used interchangeably and could be used together. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Shakespearean time the people seemed to be more aware of the status of other people, unlike now we do not frequently use the words 'madam' or 'your Lordship' as they people of his time would of. When we address people as often as people as often as the 1600's did, and it is rare that we need to know some people very closely in order for us to be able to use each others nicknames. It is commonly known that the use of nicknames can be used with anybody and probably even more likely with people that we do not know aswell as others as that is what everybody call this person and we do not want to feel like outsiders, whereas if we lived in the 1600s we would feel like outsiders if we used this form of address. There are many noticeable differences between speakers of this age and speakers of the 17th Century. As stated at the beginning of this essay in Wylds quote, it would be very difficult for us to work out how to speak to servants, knights or Sirs and also ordinary men and women. We have changed the way we address each other so dramatically and it is difficult to understand every aspect of the unique aspects of Shakespearean language. As time progresses and our language evolves the way we speak and use language will keep changing as it has from Shakespeare's time of writing and performing to that of out modern day English. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating how language has changed in children's literature; in relation to interaction between ...

    5 star(s)

    Based on my hypothesis, it was anticipated that "The Doctor" would be a disciplinarian given the social context of male boarding schools. However, the headmaster begins with a very friendly, colloquial (for the time period) greeting, followed by what comes across as a polite request, "Well, my little fellows [...] what makes you so late?"

  2. Peer reviewed

    The Language used in School Reports

    3 star(s)

    to understand what their child is doing and how they are getting on in each aspect of the subject. This reflects the emphasis on teaching with a set agenda in modern teaching. The structure within the final comments section of the report usually begins with a positive comment, for example "Gary mixes well with others."

  1. Extended response to journeys.

    The last image in the background features minarets which symbolise a spiritual and exotic culture. These images are deliberately overlapped, giving the cover the sense of depth and suggesting a distance to the journey between them. The graphics employed by the composer radiate a sense of wander, exploration and a journey that is limited only by one's imagination.

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    were used by on the profiles of males and females to describe both themselves and others. As the diagram shows the term "girl" to describe adult women is used far more frequently in my sample of profiles than the term "boy" to describe adult men, and is used equally by men and women.

  1. Act 3 scene 3 is a pivotal scene in the play Othello. How does ...

    throughout the rest of the play, as jealousy takes control of him. Iago continues to encourage Othello's jealousy in Act4 scene1, as Othello overhears Iago deliberately teasing Cassio about some woman, whom Othello assumes to be Desdemona. In Act 4 scene 1 we see Desdemona explaining to Lodovico (a messenger),

  2. Language investigation into the language used by George Bush on the day of and ...

    Prosodic Features Probably the most important factor of a speech is its prosodic features and phonological devices. Text one capitalises on this with the use of varied sentence length providing different degrees of information. Long sentences such as... ''The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing

  1. How does Arthur Miller use the character of Eddie to build tension in his ...

    Alfieri the Italian-American is true to his ethnic identity. He is well educated man, who respects the American law, but is still loyal to Italian customs. The play is told from the viewpoint of Alfieri. One day Eddie arrives home with the news that Beatrice's 2 cousins have landed in New York and they will arrive at the family's house at 10 o'clock.

  2. Language Investigation. This essay will show the evolvement of gender fairness in the ...

    There are many reasons for this [7], the predominant being that the globalization of the world means that children of all ethnic backgrounds will watch Disney films, creating the need for more ethnic princesses. The Lexis which the men use, gradually as the films become more recent gets less harsh and more like indirect questions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work