Monday, 30 June 2014

Shakespeare (Original Pronunciation)

If you're any kind of a Shakespeare fan I think you'll find this video absolutely fascinating. A linguistics professor and his Shakespearian actor son demonstrate the original pronunciation of Shakespeare's plays. It sounds like the West Country accent with a little bit of Yorkshire thrown in! :)


Hamlette said...

FASCINATING! Wow, that's just amazing, all the jokes and nuances that come to light that way. The accent made me think a lot of Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies, interestingly.

When I took English Lit back in college, we had to read part of Canterbury Tales in the original Chaucerian English, and I was also taking German that year. I discovered if I read Chaucer aloud, pronouncing everything with German pronunciations instead of English, the words actually made sense! It was the craziest thing, and such fun.

Sarah said...

I saw this before... somewhere... and it is! Very fascinating. Someone should do an adaptation were they speak like that. That would be very interesting.

Hannah said...

Hamlette - Yes, Robbie Coltrane uses a strong West Country accent in the Harry Potter movies :) Sean Astin uses a West Country accent in the LOTR movies too.

I wished I'd tried your German trick when I was back at school! I had to read The Canterbury Tales, in the original English, when I was doing English Lit at high school. No-one in the class liked it. Middle English is so hard to understand that we'd spend most of the lesson just translating it. We were doing Shakespeare's Othello at the same time and we all loved that :) Shakespeare rules, Chaucer drools.

Sarah - I think an original pronunciation production of As You Like It would be really interesting. It has a rural setting and in Britain the West Country accent is seen as the "farmer's accent". I think it could be kind of cool :D