Elizabethan English and Shakespearean Vocabulary

One of the primary obstacles between Shakespeare’s plays and modern audiences is his language. When he was writing, English was on the cusp of becoming Modern English and leaving Middle English behind. (You wouldn’t recognize Old English, which started to morph into Middle English around 1066.) However, there are a few holdovers from Middle English still remaining. Because of two bodies of literature – Shakespeare’s works and the King James Bible, newly translated in 1605 – this moment in English’s development was captured in time, and is thus referred to as Elizabethan English, after Queen Elizabeth I. Why not Jacobean English, after King James I? I have no idea.

However, with practice, insight, and Mr. Shanley’s awesome handouts, this obstacle can be minimized. Here are a few lessons.

Please see the attachment for more details.