Shakespeare and the 'dark abyss' of language ('Pericles', 'Richard II')
UNSPECIFIED. (2003) Shakespeare and the 'dark abyss' of language ('Pericles', 'Richard II'). CAHIERS ELISABETHAINS (63). pp. 33-46. ISSN 0184-7678Full text not available from this repository.
Shakespeare explores, like many English poets, the existential and ontological differences between the Germanic and Franco-Latin layers of the English language. From about 1550 onwards, certain writers look to a renewing of English, not through borrowing from foreign languages but through drawing on Old English. Cheke translates Matthew's gospel by removing words of Latin origin as far as possible (resurrection becomes gainrising). Lever invents 'native' words for philosophical discourse (saywhat as a translation of premissae). 'E.K.' congratulates Spenser on having revived English words fallen into disuse. In Richard II, which explicitly recalls the hybrid nature of English ('Speak it in French, king, say "pardonne moy"'). John of Gaunt's prophecy concerning England moves between the language of the Anglo-Saxons ('This happy breed od men, this little world') and pointed combinations of the two linguistic hinterlands ('This royal throne of kings'). Above all, introducing Gower into Pericles enables Shakespeare to recover traces of the old language in the lines of a character who himself emerges from the abyss of time, in a play which explores both the role of creative memory and the renewal of the present by the past.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PR English literature|
|Journal or Publication Title:||CAHIERS ELISABETHAINS|
|Publisher:||UNIV PAUL VALERY|
|Official Date:||April 2003|
|Number of Pages:||14|
|Page Range:||pp. 33-46|
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