Original Pronunciation

Original Pronunciation

Original pronunciation is a popular topic among actors, directors, linguists and scholars. OP, as it is called, is the dialect spoken in Shakespeare’s time. We cannot be 100% certain as to how the dialect sounded when Shakespeare wrote his plays because there weren’t any recordings but linguists have found many clues in the plays and sonnets. How we Know what … Read More

Words To Watch Out For

Audio Shakespeare pronunciation dictionary

The Audio Shakespeare Pronunciation Dictionary This section offers brief observations on the poetic diction of each play. Each entry notes the percentage of prose and/or verse in a given play, as well as the amount of rhyming verse, if significant. It also includes a sampling of contractions and of words that expand to fulfill the demands of the meter. Examples … Read More

Scanning the Verse

Pronouncing Shakespeare

Pronouncing Shakespeare by Scanning the Lines Many of the suggested pronunciations in this dictionary are influenced by Shakespeare’s use of iambic pentameter. It was the staple of English poetry from the time of Chaucer until the turn of the last century when free verse (that is, verse written outside of a metrical form) came into play. The verse form and … Read More

Why Use the Audio Shakespeare Pronunciation App?

Shakespeare pronunciation app/Shakespeare mobile app

Audio Shakespeare Pronunciation App While listening to the Audio Shakespeare Pronunciation App one might ask: Why are correct pronunciations in Shakespeare important? The primary reason is consistency. All of the characters inhabiting the world of the play should be consistent. For example, everyone says roh-SIL-yuhn for the Countess in All’s Well that Ends Well so we know that they all … Read More

Accents Dialects and Foreign Languages

Audio shakespeare pronunciation guide

Accents, Dialects and Foreign Languages In some plays, accents are required of characters whose native language is not English. This occurs in both The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry V. In the former, Dr. Caius, the physician, speaks English with a French accent and Hugh Evans, the schoolmaster, speaks English with a Welsh accent. The different accents of the … Read More


Shakespeare audio dictionary/Latin

Latin In an attempt at consistency, the pronunciations in the Shakespeare Audio Dictionary App are rendered into what is commonly referred to as “restored” or classical Latin. Many Latin words and phrases have entered the English language. Clearly, it is best to pronounce these in the manner with which the audience is most familiar. Thus, the letter c is always … Read More


All the Words on Stage/Shakespeare dictionary

THE Shakespeare Dictionary “All English words in this Shakespeare dictionary, including words absorbed into English from other languages, are listed alphabetically.” Latin words and phrases are arranged alphabetically in their own section. We have chosen not to include malaprops or comic blunders. We believe that each actor should be free to develop a pronunciation for these words. As much as … Read More

Hendiadys in Shakespeare

Hamlet in O.P./Hendiadys

Hendiadys Hendiadys is a figure of speech in which two words connected by a conjunction (usually ‘and’) are used to express a single notion that would normally be expressed by an adjective and a substantive, such as “gracious favor” in place of “grace and favor.” It stems from the Latin phrase “one thing by means of two” or “one through … Read More