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William Shakespear and English Vocabulary

  • Date Submitted: 06/08/2014 03:04 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 36.2 
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Kermode, one of the foremost British scholars of 16th-and 17th-century literature, has written a host of highly regarded studies. Here he rums his finely tuned literary ear to Shakespeare's linguistic development by concentrating on the poetic evolution of the Bard from 1594 to 1608. Kermode maintains that between the creation of Titus Andronicus and Coriolanus Shakespeare grew into a different kind of poet, developing a more complex and more ambiguous poetics. Kermode explores this development by diving into Shakespeare's language, pulling and pushing at the verse to reveal its secrets and illustrate Ills thesis. He revels in the wonder of Shakespeare's words and constructions as he works his way through play by play, explaining what is going on, explicating the verse, showing how the change, both subtle and powerful, affects the heart of the work. His take on Shakespeare, view of the plays, and summation of the Shakespearean world are all explained with finely crafted prose. This long-awaited work is an essential purchase for all large public and academic libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, Here, Crystal (Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language) explains the nature of language and poetic effect in Shakespeare's work, giving a brief and clear description of English prosody and commenting on old (through the 1100s), middle (through the 1400s), early modern (1500-1750), and modern English. Crystal examines the differences between Shakespeare's plays written before and after 1600 to track the playwright's art and development. (He mostly uses the first folio of 1623 but also makes comparisons to the quarto texts.) He explains the nature and use of iambic pentameter and how it works in Shakespeare's plays; gives a good overview of Elizabethan printing practices; brilliantly describes Shakespeare's grammar, spelling, punctuation, pronunciation, and vocabulary; and insightfully shows how the elements of syntax, morphology, and accents combine to form Shakespeare's...

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