The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0897  Monday, 9 October 2006

From: 		Tom Reedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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?
 >Mark Alexander

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: 

Tom Reedy

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