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Directions: Write a 1500 word essay on the following topic: How does the language in Romeo and Juliet support the widely accepted belief that Shakespeare is the greatest writer in the English language and the greatest playwright of all time?

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Shakespeare and the English Language
Shakespeare is without adoubt, one of the greatest contributors to the English language. What made the Bard one of the most influential men in the history of English language is the responsibility he had in the development of the Early Modern English. Most people do not realize how profound the influence of the playwright is in the English language. Our everyday speech is full of phrases coined by Shakespeare. In the Bard’s time, the language was shifting toward what it is today. The English of Chaucer was changing, and reflecting the new expressions and inflections that the language had acquired during the Renaissance. The language of Chaucer had been less flexible in terms of use, and when compared to the Shakespearean English, it lacks the expressive and discursive capabilities of the latter. When compared to other languages, the English language has undergone many changes, and it became a language with considerable expressive capacities. For instance, Shakespeare, noticing the lack of expression of his language, entered and adopted new words to the everyday lexicon.Words like “dauntless” to name one, were not used before the Bard gave them to life in his play Henry VII “To fortune’s yoke, bur let thy dauntless/mind/still ride in triumph over all mischance (Shakespeare III, 3). That kind of things were only possible in a changing language such as the English of the time. A changing and alive language that allowed writers to play; change, and transform the words to make them fit their prose and poetry.

Wait! Directions: Write a 1500 word essay on the following topic: How does the language in Romeo and Juliet support the widely accepted belief that Shakespeare is the greatest writer in the English language and the greatest playwright of all time? paper is just an example!

In Shakespeare’s case, he uses the language the way he pleases, regardless of the conventions of the time, creating a whole new dimension of the words. In a strict sense, the language has not stopped evolving, as it picks up new phrases every day to accommodate and adapt to the new realities of the society.
In England, the renewed contact with the ancient culture and sources changed the thinkers’ way of seeing life, and classic texts. The rediscovery of Latin and Greek books and documents, along with the introduction of printing into the country developed the language as it gave it a new richness and expressive power. During the Renaissance, the language had made many turns, and had changed to become an almost new tongue that drew considerably from French, and dismissed many sounds. In the same way, a linguistic change known as the Great Vowel Shift market the end of the Middle English of Chaucer, to the Shakespearean pronunciation. New words were coined to reflect the new uses of the language, along with the acceptance of influences of Greek and Latin in the lexicon. In the same way, it is important to note that Shakespeare would not have done many of the things he did, without the stable central power such as the Queen Elizabeth’s. During Elizabeth’s reign, the country was prosperous and buoyant. A situation that helped the creation of theaters where players were able to perform in front of the crowd, nobles and peasants alike. In a period where culture has held up by a myriad of means, a man like the Bard was able to create a new way to see language. The rescuable points on Shakespeare use of language are many, and although it can be perceived as complex, his language surpassed many barriers, bringing English culture to the entire world. The man’s uses of language are a diamond ready to be exploited, and its complexities a challenge for many scholars.
In this essay, we shall explore the uses of language done by William Shakespeare in the play “Romeo and Juliet”.Also, we shall answer the question about how the language in “Romeo and Juliet” explore the accepted belief of Shakespeare as one of the greatest playwrights of all time.
Shakespeare’s style. Although the convention in Shakespeare’s time was to write in verse, he made a great use of prose in his plays. This, can be regarded as a sign of inconformism toward his time’s theater, and as a sign of inventive, and willingness to do something different than the rest of the playwrights of his time. However, the Bard uses prose for a varied amount of subjects. For instance, we can see in Romeo and Juliet that the characters of high social class tend to speak in verse while the characters of the plebe speak in prose. This is done as a way to differentiate the two social classes and elicit humor among his audience. Also, the shift to prose and verse serves a purpose of changing the rhythm of the conversations, thus making the play more entertaining and fast-paced. The tone of the prose is often conversational, and seems more human, and nature-like, whereas the verse is more poetic. It is used to mark important parts of the play, such as soliloquies and dramatic moments. However, it is not that Shakespearean prose lacks rhetoric or coherence. On the contrary, in his prose we can find many speech devices to increase the spectator’s attention.
There is another important stylistic element to see in “Romeo and Juliet”. It is called blank verse. The blank verse is an unmetered verse that uses a pattern or meter. Blank verse is also called iambic pentameter. In the same way, it is important to note that when a character is in a moment of strong emotions, it tends to use unmetered language, as if the emotion of the moment strips it of all its dignity, leaving only a man. For instance, in Act III, scene 1, we see Romeo telling Tybalt “”Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?”, Moreover, Tybalt responds“Ask me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.” (III, 1)
Shakespeare’s Originality. As we have shown, part of the playwright’s innovation and genius came from the way he intertwined words to create complex meanings and excellent plays. Nevertheless, it is also a matter of his discourse and the rhetoric used. Shakespeare was one of the first men in the history of the English language to play with syntax. This is not only the mark of a man of singular intellect, but of a man who had a profound knowledge of English. He was aware of the speech, of its speed; its cadence, and the way it should be used to create moments in the play. The bard used stylistic devices such as multiple negations; shifting the Middle English particle –eth, and using –es (Damascelli 2). All of the Shakespeare’s plays are linguistically peculiar, and offer their own set of lexical complexities. In Romeo and Juliet we see a language used to convey emotions, but not cold emotions that are outside of the human sphere, on the contrary, emotions used to elicit the belief of Romeo and Juliet as two lovers meant for each other from the beginning. Also, Shakespeare uses the sonnet and all its historic implications to convey the image of both lovers that would die for their love. The use of sonnet-like imagery is important since it shows the implicit intentions of Shakespeare of drawing from the present symbols and imagery to present the story as something entirely new. He uses sonnet-like speech when he wants to separate the lovers from the rest of the world. For instance, in passages such as “The holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,/ my lips two blushing pilgrims actually stand” (I, 3). The use of chivalric imagery drawn from medieval poetry shows the man’s powerful creativity and intellect, and creates a prose that can be regarded as the bridge to modernity.
All of Shakespeare’s literary productions can stand the most exhaustive scrutiny. However, it is in “Romeo and Juliet” where we can find many of the stylistic traits that turned the man into most renowned playwright of his century, and of the English world. Shakespeare encompasses all of the previous advancements in the language and brings it to a new standard by using new processes and creating an entirely new corpus of words. In Romeo and Juliet, we find the story of two Italian lovers, a situation that can be regarded as a wink to the Renaissance. People who use entirely new words drawn from new sources, to bring English from its status as a language spoken only in everyday contexts to a language capable of being used in the arts. In Romeo and Juliet, we can see the beginning of the use of English a language of beauty, as an expression of feelings. We could go even further and say that the play open the doors for what English is today, a language of mass communications and almost a universal tongue.
Works Cited
Damascelli, A. “Shakespeare: The Power of Language and the Language of Power.” University of Birmingham. Web.
Shakespeare, W. “Romeo and Juliet: Entire Play.” Romeo and Juliet: Entire Play. MIT. Web.
Shakespeare, W. “Shakespeare’s King Henry VI.” Shakespeare’s King Henry VI Part 3. 3.3.Shakespeare Online. Web.

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