Shakespeare's Language Part 4.


You'd have to be as nutty as a fruitcake to walk around speaking in poetry. I don't do it (much). It'll help if you know why Shakespeare wrote like that.

Only the Posh characters talk in Poetry.

In Shakespere's day, writers always made their posh characters talk in verse - while their more common characters talked in normal, everyday prose (like, not poetry).

NURSE: I will tell her, sir, that you do protest - which, as I

take it, is a gentlemanlike offer.

ROMEO: Bid her devise

Some means to come to shrift this afternoon;

And there she shall at Friar Lawrence' cell

Be shrived and married. Here is for thy pains.

  • In this scene from Romeo and Juliet, Nurse (an ordinary woman) talks in prose, but Romeo talks in verse.
  • If Romeo talked in prose, it would have sounded daft to audiences at the time - like a newsreader talking in cockney slang.

Posh characters talk


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