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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: June ::
Shakespearean Rhymes?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0274  Sunday, 31 May 2009

From:       Ed Durbrow <
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Date:       Sunday, 31 May 2009 15:08:53 +0900
Subject:    Very Basic Question

Apologies for such a basic question, but I would like to confirm my 
suspicions with you experts.

Did words that do not rhyme in today's English usually (always?) rhyme 
in Shakespeare's English?

If so, how do you determine which word needs to be modified? Does anyone 
know of an online source for Shakespeare's pronunciation?

Some examples:
eats gets
hither weather

Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i' the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

(As You Like It, 2.5.4-10-16), Amiens

note pot
foul bowl owl

When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl -
To-who;
Tu-whit, Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl -
To-who;
Tu-whit, Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
Loves Labours Lost (1598)

 From "And turn his merry note Unto the sweet bird's throat" in the 
first example I would guess the o in pot would change to a long o in the 
second.


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