Tips On Reading Shakespeare

Word Placement

Why Shakespeare Wrote This Way


You may wonder if they really talked that way back then, the answer is no. Shakespeare wrote it that way for two purposes, to be poetic, and dramatic. He also did it this way to creat specific poetic rhythm, to emphasize a certain word, etc.


To understand it better, we say a sentence like this:

"I am going to a party"


Shakespeare would have wrote it like this:

"To a party going am I"


Weird huh? It's like Yoda trained him how to write, or talk. It's kinda funny to see how he wrote sentences out. If you remember this, it will help you read Shakespeare's writing with a better understanding.

Blank Verse

Shakespeare wrote like this to help make things rhyme with the next line, sometimes making them not rhyme, just because he wrote Romeo and Juliet in poetry and prose. One thing be used was blank verse, largely written poetry in unrhymed iambic pentameter. In a iambic meter each stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed one. In a iambic pentameter, there would be 5 iambic units in each line.


An example of a blank verse would be:

"But soft! What light through yonder

window breaks?"


In a iambic meter each stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed one. In a iambic pentameter, there would be 5 iambic units in each line.

Couplets

The way he wrote plays were also in couplets, two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme. Often used to show the character's exit or the end of a scene.


An example of a couplet would be:

"Good night, good night! Parting is such

sweet sorrow

That I shall say good night till it be morrow"

Punctuation

Use the rhymes as a guide, also make sure you follow the punctuation, meaning pay attention to it. That is also vital to reading these lines.


Here are some punctuation tips:


  • Period: a pause (take a breath)
  • Infrequent Commas: suddenly change the delivery (change how you're saying it)
  • Repeated Comma: building emotion (basically getting more into it)
  • Colon: answering statement (you're answering the previous line)
  • Dash: continue without pause (keep going, don't take a breath)
  • Question Mark: raise voice in question (as if you were getting angrier (don't though, unless signified) or were getting more excited or trying to prove a point)


Hoped this helped! Good luck!

Big image