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How does the introduction to To Be Or Not To Be, Innit use language to achieve its purposes and what issues does it raise about language and power?

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Introduction

How does the introduction to "To Be Or Not To Be, Innit" use language to achieve its purposes and what issues does it raise about language and power? The purpose of the text 'To Be Or Not To Be, Innit' is to persuade those who believe Shakespeare is not 'cool' enough to be used in modern society to not take negative attitude towards him and his works, and as a result, educate youths into developing a passion for Shakespeare. The author believes that civilization has abandoned Shakespeare, and he wishes to once again return it and the excitement which was created when the works were first published. This is achieved through the genre of the introduction and the rest of the book, by merging both the old English of Shakespearian times and the modern teenage 'slang' to create a text which appeals to both crowds. By attempting to use street language, the reader gains a sense of familiarity with the writer, and the humour is used to make Shakespeare interesting rather than as a joke. However, the author also uses many sophisticated phrases, quotes from Shakespeare's texts, and the idea of educating the young in a 'modern' way of learning to also encourage the older generations to read and enjoy the book. ...read more.

Middle

He also refers to Shakespeare as 'The Bard', and 'William Shakespeare'. Although this gives the sense that Shakespeare is a title, it is used to reflect the importance and greatness of him. Partway through the text, the author challenges the young readers and their opinions of Shakespeare. He follows the quote 'a lot of people think he's boring and lacks street cred.' With the single-worded reply, 'Perhaps.'. This reply shows he is willing to listen to the judgments of the youth, but will still informally express adapting to Shakespeare by stating it as his feelings towards the matter. This way, when the author goes on to argue his point that Shakespeare would be exceedingly popular today, it is not presented to the reader as an insult, but rather an optional belief. The novelist does not attempt to oppose the youth readers, as he would appear very formal, and would be seen as taking away their freedom and authority. The use of many discourse markers and conjunctions helps the novelist create various links between the old Shakespearian English with the modern lingo used culturally today. By doing this, he merges the two groups into one, and persuades each other that they are together. ...read more.

Conclusion

The dropdown capital 'A' also represents the olden traditions which showed the works to be high prestige. Many phonetics are shown in various parts of the writer's introduction. By using such words as 'de', 'Jools' and 'Macbeff', the writer appeals to the lower register to state that a link between Shakespeare and common phonetics used in street language can be created, making Shakespeare more accessible to them. This can be contrasted by the many declaratives and the occasional rhetorical statement he uses. By asking 'what would he have to prove', it's asking the reader to find a reason as to why he should not be popular today if he was around, raising his prestige as well as 'street cred'. Overall, the author has successful accomplished his goal by making Shakespeare more accessible to the modern youth and users of street language, as well as keeping the appeal of the older generation towards Shakespeare. Although the author can seem undermining of the youths at certain points, the overall use of teen-slang and attempting to appear on their side can convince them that the writer is being sincere. However, even though this can be of use to older readers as a way to connect with the youths, some readers may oppose the idea, and state the negative points of attempt to 'simplify' Shakespeare's works. Nevertheless, because of the effect of his language, the author will receive more praise than concern. ...read more.

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