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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: December ::
Re: You/Thou and I/We in Shakespeare's Work
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 945. Thursday, 16 December 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Bruce Sajdak <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Dec 93 8:15 CST
        Subj:   "you" vs. "thou" in Shakespeare's work
 
(2)     From:   Ellen Edgerton <EBEDGERT@SUADMIN>
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Dec 1993 08:53 ET
        Subj:   You/Thou, I/We
 
(3)     From:   James Schaefer <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Dec 1993 09:39:39 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0939  Re: You/Thou in Shakespeare's Work
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Sajdak <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 93 8:15 CST
Subject:        "you" vs. "thou" in Shakespeare's work
 
This topic has received much treatment over the years - although not always in
the standard journals.  Here is a sampling of some articles on the subject:
 
Milward, Celia.  "Pronominal Case in Shakespearean Imperatives."  _Language_,
        Vol. 42, No. 1 (1966) 10-17.
 
Mulholland, Joan.  "'Thou' and 'You' in Shakespeare: A Study in the Second
        Person Pronoun." _English Studies_, Vol. 48, No. 1 (February, 1967)
        34-43 and Vol. 48, No. 2 (April, 1967) 63.
 
Edmonson, Barbara.  "The Pronouns of Address in Shakespeare: A Lament for the
        Loss of Thou."  _Human Mosaic_, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Winter, 1973/74) 9-19.
 
Johnson, Judith A.  "Second Person Pronouns in Shakespeare's Tragedies."
        _Michigan Academician_, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Fall, 1975) 151-156.
 
McIntosh, Angus.  "As You Like It: A Grammatical Clue to Character."
        _Review of English Literature_, Vol. 4, No. 2 (April, 1963) 68-81.
 
Draudt, Manfred.  "Shakespeare's Use of 'You' and 'Thou': The Subtext of Love's
        Labour's Lost."  _Yearbook of Studies in English Language and Litera-
        ture_, Vol. 3 (1982-1983) 1-12.
 
Babcock, Weston.  "Iago--An Extraordinary Honest Man." _Shakespeare
        Quarterly_,     Vol. 16, No. 4 (Autumn, 1965) 297-301.
 
Linfield, Nicholas.  "You and Thou in Shakespeare's Othello as an Example."
        _Iowa State Journal of Research_, Vol. 57, No. 2 (November, 1982)
        163-178.
 
Barber, Charles.  "'You' and 'Thou' in Shakespeare's Richard III."  _Leeds
        Studies in English_, New Series, Vol. 12 (1981) 273-287.
 
PS - Maybe not so minor after all!  Hope this helps!
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ellen Edgerton <EBEDGERT@SUADMIN>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1993 08:53 ET
Subject:        You/Thou, I/We
 
Just as an addendum to Herb Donow's post about Claudius' usage of the
"royal We" in *Hamlet*, a similarly interesting shift between I's and
We's can be of course found in the St. Crispin's Day speech in *H5*.
(Personally, I could never figure out which meaning of "us" Henry meant
when he says "who fought with us upon St. Crispin's Day" -- did Henry go
back to the royal "we" at this point?)
 
Ellen Edgerton
Syracuse University

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Schaefer <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1993 09:39:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0939  Re: You/Thou in Shakespeare's Work
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0939  Re: You/Thou in Shakespeare's Work
 
Today's collective posting of comments on the you/thou distinction was
one of the best and most useful lately, full of practical examples and
many useful references.  I especially like David Bank's observation that
the existence of such a distinction completely destroys the argument for
paraphrase.  What we want our students (and especially our performers)
to understand is that great characters (and great roles in
performance) are built from small blocks like this, details that only
close reading reveal.
 
Jim Schaefer

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