Shakespeare as His Words Were Originally Pronounced


(Video Link)


Paul Meier and other scholars of the history of the English Language have reconstructed what they believe to be the way in which English words were pronounced during the time of Shakespeare. He's staging a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" next month in that original pronunciation:

“American audiences will hear an accent and style surprisingly like their own in its informality and strong r-colored vowels,” Meier said. “The original pronunciation performance strongly contrasts with the notions of precise and polished delivery created by John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier and their colleagues from the 20th century British theater.”


The above video is a sample of the original pronunciation.

Link via Geekosystem

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When Zoe Caldwell was on Charlie Rose's show around the time of her performance in "Medea", she said the same thing.

Shakespearean English would have sounded much more like average American than it would British.

I think she said that you get the sound of modern British because one of their kings (George, I think) was German and couldn't pronounce English words properly, so instead of correcting him, they all tried to sound just like him.

-Same way the Spanish mispronounce their Bs, Ths and such because of one/more of their own kings; -Castillian lisp, I think.

Oh, and I think the current Queen of England is actually more German than she is English. Her real family name is Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, not Windsor.
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