Studies on Shakespeare’s so-called ‘Roman plays’ have often emphasized that their dramatization of the past serves to shed light on the peculiar conditions of Shakespeare’s own age, and on the social and political anxieties of the Elizabethans, who could only hope to understand themselves by taking a long, hard look in the mirror of history. The linguistic world of Shakespeare’s time also had a past to deal with, and the pre-standardized language we call ‘Early Modern English’ could by no means provide a stable linguistic identity, which in any case had to come to terms with the looming model and prestige of Latin and neo-Latin languages. This essay pays special attention to two lexical items that appear in Act 3, scene 1 of Cymbeline, specifically the verb pronounce and the noun utterance. By following the web of meanings created by the presence of these two key words in other important Roman scenes, it is suggested that the different emerging and residual senses, at times relating to distinct Germanic and Latinate roots, work together in complementary ways,foregrounding linguistic strategies of expression of power and authority in some momentous instances in Shakespeare’s Roman plays.

"In Caesar's Name Pronounce I": Language and Power in Shakespeare's Roman Plays / Plescia, Iolanda. - STAMPA. - (2018), pp. 107-126.

"In Caesar's Name Pronounce I": Language and Power in Shakespeare's Roman Plays

Plescia, Iolanda
2018

Abstract

Studies on Shakespeare’s so-called ‘Roman plays’ have often emphasized that their dramatization of the past serves to shed light on the peculiar conditions of Shakespeare’s own age, and on the social and political anxieties of the Elizabethans, who could only hope to understand themselves by taking a long, hard look in the mirror of history. The linguistic world of Shakespeare’s time also had a past to deal with, and the pre-standardized language we call ‘Early Modern English’ could by no means provide a stable linguistic identity, which in any case had to come to terms with the looming model and prestige of Latin and neo-Latin languages. This essay pays special attention to two lexical items that appear in Act 3, scene 1 of Cymbeline, specifically the verb pronounce and the noun utterance. By following the web of meanings created by the presence of these two key words in other important Roman scenes, it is suggested that the different emerging and residual senses, at times relating to distinct Germanic and Latinate roots, work together in complementary ways,foregrounding linguistic strategies of expression of power and authority in some momentous instances in Shakespeare’s Roman plays.
Rome in Shakespeare's World
9788893591591
Shakespeare; language; power; Germanic; Latinate roots; history of English
02 Pubblicazione su volume::02a Capitolo o Articolo
"In Caesar's Name Pronounce I": Language and Power in Shakespeare's Roman Plays / Plescia, Iolanda. - STAMPA. - (2018), pp. 107-126.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1270028
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