Tips to Talk Like Shakespeare

This April 23rd, it was the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare, the famous playwright. This greatest writer in the world is also known as the Bard of Avon. Every April 23rd, many choose to talk like him and remember his work. This greatest dramatist of all times is also often referred to as English National pet.Let us look at a few tips for those Shakespeare enthusiasts who would like to alter their everyday speak to the beautiful and musical Shakespeare prose. The first switch that one can make is the use of pronouns. It would be interesting to know that today the Modern English makes use of four pronouns, which are: you, your, yourself, and yours. And the English of Shakespeare’s time made use of ten pronouns: thou, thee, thy, thyself, thine, ye, you, your, yourself, and yours. Let us look at few examples:

  1. Thou art mine.                                                           You are mine. 
  2. I love thee.                                                                   I love you.
  3. Here is thy sword                                                     Here is your sword.
  4. Wash thyself. Thou thyself art a fool.                 Wash yourself. You yourself are a fool.
  5. Where is thine enemy?                                           Where is your enemy?

Verbs are very important for thy speech to sound like Shakespeare, let us look at few uses:

  1. Go home                                                                    Repair home
  2. Come here, quickly!                                               Hie thee hither! 
  3. Linger; move, act slowly                                     Dally
  4. Wait, stay, linger                                                  Tarry
  5. I do not know                                                        I wot not.   

Also, for a beginner who is new to the Shakespeare “be assured” to know that there are abundant resources to help. The easiest way to begin is to start the use of Shakespeare’s quote. Let us look at some of his most famous quotes, which would make a superb addition to your verbal repertoire. Practice these and you can be sure of speaking the authentic Shakespeare ‘talk’.

  1. “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
  2. “You speak an infinite deal of nothing.”
  3. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
  4. “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
  5. “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
  6. “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night til it be morrow.”
  7. “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”

Go on and read some of the novels and master the art! Did you know that in Shakespeare actually there are only 2000 words or so that are slightly different than the modern English? And most of this pop up very frequently in plays and poems. Thou nearly know most of them! So it shouldn’t be long before you are ready to show off your Williamisms to the world!

Remember to keep the above tips in mind, and pick up awesome swear words, idioms, flowery collocations. The essential thing is to make use of them as oft as thou canst so that thou can make thy speech as Shakespearean as Shakespeare himself.


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