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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: March ::
Re: Prounciation
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0147.  Thursday, 2March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Ronald Dwelle <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 01 Mar 95 11:11:54 EST
        Subj:   Another Prounciation Question
 
(2)     From:   Dan T. M. How <
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        Date:   Thursday, 2 Mar 1995 05:13:02 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0143  Q: Prounciation of P & K
 
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ronald Dwelle <
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Date:           Wednesday, 01 Mar 95 11:11:54 EST
Subject:        Another Prounciation Question
 
I've always assumed (I guess from the iambic pentameter) that "Romeo" was
pronounced as two syllables rather than three: Rome-yo as opposed to
Rome-eee-o. But the last two productions of the play I've seen have used the
three-syllable moniker. Expert opinion? (other than mine?)
 
O Rome-e-o, Rome-e-o, Where-fore art thou Rome-e-o: feminine dactylic
tetrameter?
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dan T. M. How <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 2 Mar 1995 05:13:02 -0800
Subject: 6.0143  Q: Prounciation of P & K
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0143  Q: Prounciation of P & K
 
In response to Jim Helsinger...
 
Pronunciation of Shakespearean English is different than the RP that your hear
in England today.  English during the Elizabethean and Jacobean eras sounded
like a hybrid of Scottish and New Englander (eg. JFK).  If you get the chance,
find John Barton's "Playing Shakespeare" on video.  In some of them he goes
through a phrase or two in approximated period English.
 
On Petruchio, I would assume it is "PetruKio", simply because that's the way it
would have been pronounced in Italian, and they speak l'italiano, no?  But that
doesn't necessarily mean it's right.  In R & J, "Capulet" and "Juliet" look
pretty French looking, so shouldn't we assume it's "Caputay", and "Julietuh"?
(Juliette is the feminine)  And Romeo would probably be roMEo, with the accent
on the second syllable.  "roMEo, roMEo, wherefore art thou roMEo?"  fits within
scansion, if you alight the syllables "ME" and "o" of romeo.  In AYLI,
shouldn't Rowland de Boys be pronounced "Rowlan de Buwah"?  de Boys is akin to
old French.  But lest we blow conventional scansion out of the water...
 
I saw a production of the New Shakepeare company (if I remember right) in
London of TotS, where the pronunciation, especially by the leads, was leaning
toward old English, and "household Kates" was pronounced close enough to
"household cats" so we all got the pun.  (The fact that Petruchio was using a
whip and a chair helped us get the point, too!)
 
-dan
 

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