Grammar-school students in Shakespeare's time were taught to recognise the two hundred figures of speech that Renaissance scholars had derived from Latin and Greek sources (from amphibologia through onomatopoeia to zeugma). This knowledge was one element in their thorough grounding in the liberal arts of logic, grammar, and rhetoric, known as the trivium. In Shakespeare's Use of the Arts of Language Sister Miriam Joseph writes: "The extraordinary power, vitality, and richness of Shakespeare's language are due in part to his genius, in part to the fact that the unsettled linguistic forms of his age promoted to an unusual degree the spirit of creativeness, and in part to the theory of composition then prevailing . . . The purpose of this study is to present to the modern reader the general theory of composition current in Shakespeare's England." The author then lays out those figures of speech in simple, understandable patterns and explains each one with examples from Shakespeare. Her analysis of his plays and poems illustrates that the Bard knew more about rhetoric than perhaps anyone else. Originally published in 1947, this book is a classic.
'Russ McDonald... offers an initiation into Shakespeares English... Like a good musician leading us beyond merely humming the tunes, he helps us hear Shakespearean unclarity, revealing just how expression in late Shakespeare sometimes transcends ordinary verbal meaning... particularly recommendable.' -Ruth Morse, Times Literary Supplement'Oxford University Press offer a mix of engagingly written introductions to a variety of Topics intended largely for undergraduates. Each author has clearly been reading and listening to the most recent scholarship, but they wear their learning lightly.' -Ruth Morse, Times Literary SupplementOxford Shakespeare Topics (General Editors Peter Holland and Stanley Wells) 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- especially in verse drama - can seem alien. Shakespeare and the Arts of Language offers practical help with linguistic and poetic obstacles. Written in a lucid, nontechnical style, the book defines Shakespeare's artistic tools, including imagery, rhetoric, and wordplay, and illustrates their effects. Throughout, the reader is encouraged to find delight in the physical properties of the words: their colour, weight, and texture, the appeal of verbal patterns, and the irresistible affective power of intensified language.
More than fifty specialists have contributed to this new edition of volume 1 of The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. The design of the original work has established itself so firmly as a workable solution to the immense problems of analysis, articulation and coordination that it has been retained in all its essentials for the new edition. The task of the new contributors has been to revise and integrate the lists of 1940 and 1957, to add materials of the following decade, to correct and refine the bibliographical details already available, and to re-shape the whole according to a new series of conventions devised to give greater clarity and consistency to the entries.
'Much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and not stand to: in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.' Porter, Macbeth, II i. Why would Elizabethan audiences find Shakespeare's Porter in Macbeth so funny? And what exactly is meant by the name the 'Weird' Sisters? Jonathan Hope, in a comprehensive and fascinating study, looks at how the concept of words meant something entirely different to Elizabethan audiences than they do to us today. In Shakespeare and Language: Reason, Eloquence and Artifice in the Renaissance, he traces the ideas about language that separate us from Shakespeare. Our understanding of 'words', and how they get their meanings, based on a stable spelling system and dictionary definitions, simply does not hold. Language in the Renaissance was speech rather than writing - for most writers at the time, a 'word' was by definition a collection of sounds, not letters - and the consequences of this run deep. They explain our culture's inability to appreciate Shakespeare's wordplay, and suggest that a rift opened up in the seventeenth century as language came to be regarded as essentially 'written'. The book also considers the visual iconography of language in the Renaissance, the influence of the rhetorical tradition, the extent to which Shakespeare's late style is driven by a desire to increase the subjective content of the text, and new ways of studying Shakespeare's language using computers. As such it will be of great interest to all serious students and teachers of Shakespeare. Despite the complexity of its subject matter, the book is accessibly written with an undergraduate readership in mind.
The second Oxford edition of Shakespeare's Complete Works reconsiders every detail of their text and presentation in the light of modern scholarship. The nature and authority of the early documents are re-examined, and the canon and chronological order of composition freshly established. Spelling and punctuation are modernized, and there is a brief introduction to each work, as well as an illuminating and informative General Introduction. Included here for the first time is the play The Reign of King Edward the Third as well as the full text of Sir Thomas More. This new edition also features an essay on Shakespeare's language by David Crystal, and a bibliography of foundational works.
This innovative volume testifies to the current revived interest in Shakespeare's language and style and opens up new and captivating vistas of investigation. Transcending old boundaries between literary and linguistic studies, this engaging collaborative book comes up with an original array of theoretical approaches and new findings. The chapters in the collection capture a rich diversity of points of view and cover such fields as lexicography, versification, dramaturgy, rhetorical analyses, cognitive and computational corpus-based stylistic studies, offering a holistic vision of Shakespeare's uses of language. The perspective is deliberately broad, confronting ideas and visions at the intersection of various techniques of textual investigation. Such novel explorations of Shakespeare's multifarious artistry and amazing inventiveness in his use of language will cater for a broad range of readers, from undergraduates, postgraduates, scholars and researchers, to poetry and theatre lovers alike.
Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England is an international volume published every year in hardcover, containing essays and studies as well as book reviews of the many significant books and essays dealing with the cultural history of medieval and early modern England as expressed by and realized in its drama exclusive of Shakespeare.
For this updated critical edition of King Lear, Professor Halio has added a new introductory section on recent stage, film, and critical interpretations of the play. He gives a comprehensive account of Shakespeare's sources and the literary, political and folkloric influences at work in the play; a detailed reading of the action; and a substantial stage history of major productions. Professor Halio chooses the Folio as the text for this edition. He explains the differences between the quarto and Folio versions and alerts the reader to the rival claims of the quarto by means of a sampling of parallel passages in the Introduction and by an appendix which contains annotated passages unique to the quarto. An updated reading list completes the edition.