Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary And Language Companion

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9780141007373: Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary And Language Companion
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This is a book for anyone who wants to understand all the nuances of Shakespeare's language: David Crystal and his actor son, Ben, have collected 4000 words from Shakespeare's lexicon which are frequently misunderstood by, or incomprehensible to, the modern reader. The words are glossed and there is a quotation illustrating the word in context. They have also collected into panels words of particular kinds (Shakespeare's bawdy for example). The book includes a unique series of diagrammatical representations of the relationships between characters and places for each play.

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About the Author:

David Crystal is one of the most authoritative commentators on the English language. He is the author of the best-selling 'The English Language' and the editor of the 'Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language'. He lives in Anglesey, Wales. Ben Crystal, David's son, is an actor and lives in London (NW1). Stanley Wells is General Editor of the Oxford Shakespeare and Associate Editor of the New Penguin Shakespeare series.

From Booklist:

The main lexical references for Shakespeare scholars in the twentieth century were first Alexander Schmidt's two-volume Shakespeare Lexicon (1874) and later C. T. Onions' Shakespeare Glossary, which appeared in 1911 and was revised by Onions in 1919. A further revision in 1986, by Robert D. Eagleson, kept Onions in print but failed, to some extent, to satisfy scholars. The new Shakespeare's Words seems likely to fill the void created by the superannuated Onions.

Using the New Penguin Shakespeare as their text, the editors, linguist David Crystal and his actor son Ben Crystal, first collected all of the "problem" words flagged by the Penguin editors and then scoured the plays and sonnets for additional "difficult" words--especially words that are no longer current or that have developed a different sense since Shakespeare's time. After a few further additions, their entries totaled 21,263 under 13,626 headwords.

Rather than defining a word by listing a single near synonym, the Crystals decided that a system called lexical triangulation would better reflect the complexity of Shakespeare's language. Most entries have three glosses, each providing a slightly different slant. For example, englut is glossed as "swallow up, gulp down, devour." Each entry includes part of speech, an illustrative quotation (with text and context identified), and selected references to other occurrences. Sidebars contain brief tutorials on address forms, money, weapons, and more.

Readers newly acquainted with Shakespeare will benefit greatly by browsing through the Crystals' list of 100 frequently encountered words, which are accompanied by more illustrative quotations than are provided elsewhere. Other useful features are a chronology, plot synopses, diagrams illustrating interactions of characters, and 16 appendixes providing brief definitions for historical people, places, foreign terms, and other vocabulary not found in the A-Z section.

This is a most ambitious work that will be of immense value to student and scholar alike, a worthy successor to the landmark volumes that preceded it. Recommended for large public and academic libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780140291179: Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary and Language Companion

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ISBN 10:  0140291172 ISBN 13:  9780140291179
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2002
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9780141011622: Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary And Language Companion

Pengui..., 2002
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