How to read Shakespeare

Madison Scheurich 3B

A couplet is two consecutive lines in poetry that rhyme. They signify an exit or end to a scene. Most of his words are archaic, which mean they aren't commonly used this day in age. Ex. Would be like nice means foolish, happy means lucky, and humor means mood.
He mixes the subject and the noun up. So instead of, I ate the sandwich, he would put the sandwich I ate. He would often leave out letters and syllables. So like if we said what's up with that, Shakespeare would say wha's up wi' that?

A few other examples would be: tis means it is, ope means open, o're means over, ne'er means never, and a' means he.

You should start by skimming the text, and identifying unknown words and defining them. Read with emotion, do not pause for punctuation unless it indicates a change, and use the rhyme as a guide. Some punctuation clues to help: period means to pause, infrequent commas mean a sudden change in delivery, repeated commas means emotion is building, a colon means the statement is being answered, and dash means to continue without pause, and a question mark represents you to raise your voice towards the end of the statement.

Resources

Pages 802-803

About.com video

How to read shakespeare handout