English GCSE - Shakespeare's Language

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Shakespeare's Language
Language Technique: Description:
Blank verse: The standard language of most of Shakespeare's
characters ­ it is rhythmic, unrhymed verse which
usually has ten syllables and five stresses per line:
it is also called iambic pentameter.
Rhymed verse: Used sparingly for moments of heightened emotions
or to signal the end of a scene.
e.g. ­ `Go! I'll to dinner. Hie you to your cell!
Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse farewell.'
(Romeo and Juliet)
Prose Less organised than verse and is used when the
normal order of things has been disrupted.
Sometimes it is used by `low' characters or in comic
scenes. When King Lear goes mad his language
becomes chaotic.
e.g. ­ `Natures above art in that respect. There's your
press money. That fellow handles his bow like
a crow-keeper: draw me a clothier's yard. Look,
look, a mouse! Peace, peace; this piece of
toasted cheese will do `t'
(King Lear)


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