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How did Shakespeare's plays sound when they were originally performed? How can we know, and could the original pronunciation ever be recreated? For three days in June 2004 Shakespeare's Globe presented their production of Romeo and Juliet in original, Shakespearian pronunciation. In an unusual blend of autobiography, narrative, and academic content, reflecting the unique nature of the experience, this 2005 book by David Crystal recounts the first attempt in over 50 years to mount a full-length Shakespeare play in original pronunciation. Crystal begins by discussing the Globe theatre's approach to 'original practices', which has dealt with all aspects of Elizabethan stagecraft - except pronunciation. A large section is devoted to the nature of the Early Modern English sound system. There are reports of how the actors coped with the task of learning the pronunciation, how it affected their performances and how the audiences reacted.Read more
- An unprecedented exercise in applying linguistics
- Describes a special moment in theatre history
- A rare bridge between linguistic, literary, and theatre studies
Reviews & endorsements
"...bedazzles you with an eye-popping presentation of the cluck-clucking of the mother tongue. If you like fireworks with your information, this is a worthwhile language book." --William Safire, The New York Times Magazine, on the first edition of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (1995)See more reviews
"...a monstrous amount of information on a fascinating topic arranged in a clear, concise, and, above all, entertaining manner...can only lead to uncontrollable reading binges lasting hours or perhaps days." --Quill & Quire on ^The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language
"This is a fascinating and useful book....a fine introduction for a wide variety of potential users." --Choice on English as a Global Languge (Cambridge, 2003)
"...offers compact, profound, and easily accessible insights into the problem of linguistic extinction." --Choice on Language Death (Cambridge, 2000)
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- Date Published: May 2005
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521852135
- length: 208 pages
- dimensions: 203 x 127 x 13 mm
- weight: 0.33kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Prologue Tim Carroll
Appendix 1. The EME sound system
Appendix 2. Transcription sample
Appendix 3. Audio-visual aids.
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