Shakespeare is the most influential poet and playwright of the English language. Any good edition of his works includes notes on the meanings of obscure words, names, and phrases, but no edition gives any guidance on pronunciation. Students, actors, and even Shakespearean experts rely on guesswork or must consult a specialized dictionary when confronting unusual words. This volume is an authoritative resource that allows readers to quickly find the correct pronunciation of any difficult word in Shakespeare's works. In order to determine which pronunciations are actually in use today, 100 Shakespearean scholars and dramaturges from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom were asked for their recommendations on over 300 controversial words. This survey together with research from a variety of dictionaries and linguistic studies are the authorities for the pronunciations given here. Pronouncing Shakespeare's Words is written for a general audience and not solely for experts. Readers will find the language straightforward, and pronunciations are given in a clear, simple form. Variants are listed for the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., and the listings indicate which are most frequently used within that country, which are older or traditional, and which are nonstandard.
Helpful appendices, including a brief overview of pronunciation in Elizabethan England and special notes on selected words and word endings, are also included.
DALE F. COYE is Assistant Professor of English at The College of New Jersey.
Preface Pronunciation Key Abbreviations Introduction A Pronouncing Guide to the Plays and Poems The Plays The Poems Appendix A: Common Words with More than One Standard Pronunciation in Today's English Appendix B: Common Archaic Forms in Shakespeare Appendix C: The Vowel Systems of North American and British English Appendix D: Special Notes on Selected Words, Word Endings, and Prefixes References Index of Words Subject Index