Review: Shakespeare as the Bard would have spoken it
David Crystal presented us with famous speeches from Shakespeare spoken, first by his wife in modern received pronunciation, and then by himself in the original pronunciation (OP) of Shakespeare's time. '¨The contrast was striking and much of the OP had elements of a strong Derbyshire accent.
He then went on to explain how he knew what Shakespearean English sounded like. He spoke of the evolution of pronunciation since Anglo Saxon times, then
he examined rhymes, puns, jokes and insults. He also showed how earlier pronunciation was exported to the far corners of the British Empire, where some of it still remains.
David has just published a dictionary of all the pronunciations and rhymes in Shakespeare’s First Folio. It took him ten years to write.
This could have been a very dry talk at Buxton’s Pavilion Arts Centre, but David Crystal made it fascinating and funny. I now want to go to an OP production at Shakespeare’s Globe.