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Home :: Archive :: 2014 :: January ::
Scanning Shakespeare's Verse

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.046  Thursday, 23 January 2014

 

[1] From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         January 22, 2014 at 12:44:48 PM EST

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Scanning Shakespeare's Verse 

 

[2] From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         January 22, 2014 at 12:51:34 PM EST

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Scanning Shakespeare's Verse 

 

[3] From:        Conrad Geller < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         January 22, 2014 at 3:50:59 PM EST

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Scanning Shakespeare's Verse 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         January 22, 2014 at 12:44:48 PM EST

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Scanning Shakespeare's Verse

 

>Some problems just aren’t nails, which is why we don’t bring 

>our hammers into orchestra pits or hospital operating rooms.

 


I suppose Tony has never heard Il Trovatore or observed many orthopedic operations.  Otherwise, his post is spot on.

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         January 22, 2014 at 12:51:34 PM EST

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Scanning Shakespeare's Verse

 

>Identifying the extra syllable and its accompanying pause as a 

>metrical foot with a stressed silent syllable seems bizarre when

>describing meter but would sound to the ear exactly the same 

>as the more widely accepted description, right?

 

Maybe. I think the debate over whether a beat, as opposed to a syllable, can be counted as a metrical foot illustrates why rhythm is not the same as meter. A beat has no effect on the scansion; otherwise, the meter of any line varies with how the actor delivers it. But it strongly affects how the line sounds and, of course, how it is understood. 

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Conrad Geller < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         January 22, 2014 at 3:50:59 PM EST

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Scanning Shakespeare's Verse

 

Discussions of Shakespeare’s verse are generally confined by the conventions of scansion. Following the very different realities of Latin verse, scansion adheres to a binary concept of stress: a syllable is marked either stressed or unstressed. In reality, English contains four levels of stress (the faux word “blackerberry” is the linguists’ way of illustrating the four levels). Even dictionaries show two stresses.

 

When one scans using four stress levels, as English is actually spoken, some beautiful and surprising pattern emerge, especially in the best passages of Shakespeare.

 
 

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