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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: September ::
Re: Use of Dialect
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1761  Wednesday, 20 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Ed Taft <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Sep 2000 10:41:15 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Use of Dialect

[2]     From:   Bob Haas <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Sep 2000 11:21:43 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1760 Re: Use of Dialect

[3]     From:   Jonathan Hope <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Sep 2000 12:28:24 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1735 Re: Use of Dialect

[4]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Sep 2000 19:19:31 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1760 Re: Use of Dialect


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Sep 2000 10:41:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Use of Dialect

In regard to Bob Haas's comments about Owen Glendower, I agree with Bob
that Glendower's "accent could be flawless." In fact, that may be the
point of his riposte to Hotspur.  Recently, there has been a lamentable
(in my view) tendency among critics to argue that Hotspur's put down of
Glendower earlier in 3.1 is authorial, and demonstrates Shakespeare's
condescending view of the Welsh and Welsh culture.

I confess that I am at a loss to understand such an opinion. It seems to
me that Glendower is a cosmopolitan character, able to master TWO
cultures (English and Welsh), and thus treated quite well, on the whole,
by Shakespeare. Even Hotspur admits at the end of 3.1 that Glendower is
a good musician, and Shakespeare takes pains to point out the beauty of
the Welsh language by foregrounding the song of Mortimer's new wife.

Is this prejudice or condescension?

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Haas <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Sep 2000 11:21:43 -0400
Subject: 11.1760 Re: Use of Dialect
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1760 Re: Use of Dialect

Terence,

I meant that Glendower's English could be dead-on, schoolhouse, standard
English, without a trace of accent that would differentiate him from the
other characters, especially Hotspur, in this case.  Forgive my
ambiguity.

Many individuals are quite capable of shifting accents and dialects.
Glendower could certainly be played as one of these types.

bob

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Sep 2000 12:28:24 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 11.1735 Re: Use of Dialect
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1735 Re: Use of Dialect

>If we're thinking of "authentic" dialect rather than "stage" dialect,
>the scene between Edgar and Oswald (Q, and Folio 4.5), "che vor ye"
>(etc.) is probably the only instance.

This exchange is frequently cited in linguistic accounts of Shakespeare
as a piece of stage dialect which mixes forms from various dialect areas
(see Charles Barber *Early Modern English* 1st ed 1976 pp. 24-5; 2nd ed
1997).

Jonathan Hope
Middlesex University, UK

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Sep 2000 19:19:31 -0700
Subject: 11.1760 Re: Use of Dialect
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1760 Re: Use of Dialect

Terry Hawkes asks:

> Bob Haas says that Glendower's 'English accent' could be 'flawless'.
> What does that mean?

It means he'll sound Nova Scotian.

Cheers,
Se

 

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