177. What Shakespeare Plays Originally Sounded Like *gasp!*

“There’s something about working our way back to Shakespeare, rather than dragging him into the 21st century.”

Okay, I was writing out the second part for The Final Miracle buuuuuuuut, I just had to digress after this grabbed my attention! Fellow linguists and literature lovers will know why I JUST HAD TO SHARE THIS! 😀

In this video from The Open University, we learn about the Globe Theater’s experiments with “Original Pronunciation” (OP), which is exactly what it sounds like–English as it was pronounced at the time Shakespeare’s plays were written and first performed. Unsurprisingly, OP is quite different from modern pronunciation, and often changes lines dramatically. Often lines rhyme in the OP accent, but do not in a modern accent (also known as Received Pronunciation, or RP). My favorite is an example late in the video, when “proved” is pronounced like “loved,” as they are supposed to rhyme in Sonnet 116. Brilliant and illuminating.


1) This is absolutely brilliant!
3) I miss the British accent and
4) Whoever would have thought David Crystal has a goodlooking actor son?! (LOL).

5 thoughts on “177. What Shakespeare Plays Originally Sounded Like *gasp!*

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