Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Have you ever tried reading a script for a William Shakespeare play?
Chances are, you would not understand it the first time you read it.
That was what happened to me. I had to re-read the script multiple times before understanding the situation. You may think that Shakespeare plays are really long, draggy and boring. However, I beg to differ. Once you master The Shakespeare Language, you would actually understand the story he is trying to tell. There’s love, humour, drama and tragedy involved. Just like your average TV show or movie. Just with some fancy words and a little slang to how you pronounce those words. 🙂
Read through any of William’s works and you will definitely find these three common words; thou, thee and thy.
Thou can mean either you or I (depends on the sentence).
Thee means you.
Thy means I.
There is also a way to say these words. You have to emphasize on the TH- of the word. As if it were THou, THee and THy. You sort of have to speak with a little liss on your tongue.
There are also many words that were modernised to what we speak today;
Adieu = Goodbye
Alas = Unfortunately
Art = Are
Doth = Does
Hath = Has
Hither = Here
Wherefore = Where/Why
And my favourite word since I did the play “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” has got to be Fie!, which means Nonsense! In the original script, Helena says “Fie, fie! You counterfeit, you puppet, you!”. In modern text, she would be saying, “Nonsense! You faker, you puppet!”
Of course, there is also the suffix ‘-eth’ in most of his words.
Words like ‘say’, ‘speak’ and ‘run’, would be ‘sayeth’, ‘speaketh’ and ‘runneth’.
The ‘-eth’ is added behind any verb.
So I hope I helped you understand a little bit about The Shakespeare Language. Now, go on and pick up a copy of any Shakespeare play and be mesmerised by his works. Just like I have.
Rest assured, I am a fan of William Shakespeare.