The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0897 Monday, 9 October 2006
Date: Sunday, 08 Oct 2006 09:02:17 -0500
Subject: Re: New Screenplay
>I am contemplating an idea for a screenplay with Shakespeare being
>transported to the modern day. Sorry I can't reveal any more of the
>premise than that. One of the themes involved revolves around the
>differences between the plain, ordinary, everyday Elizabethan language and
>the plain, ordinary, everyday language of today (in the US).
>Do we know anything of the vernacular during Shakespeare's life? If we
>recorded a conversation, what would it have been like? How similar or
>different was it to the character's language in Shakespeare's plays? Are
>the linguistic interactions between characters in his plays highly
>artificial or realistic?
For a screenplay, you wouldn't want the language to be too historically
accurate or your audience members would have trouble following the dialog.
Although it is set in 1692, I would suggest a viewing of Arthur Miller's
"The Crucible." It is obvious that Miller studied the language and did a
credible job, IMO, of capturing the flavor of spoken speech of the era.
Here's a short summary of the techniques Miller used to give the
language a realistic flavor:
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