Useful Tips

Shakespeare's language


The famous polyglot Dmitry Petrov assures that to communicate with foreigners it is enough to know all three hundred words. Of course, you can learn them yourself - stick stickers around the apartment and memorize, for example, ten words a day. But how to build one big picture out of puzzles? Here professionals will help. Smart linguists know how to turn boring cramming into an exciting journey into the world of foreign language knowledge.

Do you speak English?

Comprehend foreign languages they have been advising here since the age of six. According to teachers, it is at this age that children freely master native and other people's speech. They have a special work of brain mechanisms. In addition, unlike adults, they do not build logical chains and perceive information as it is. Small polyglot develops flexible memory and thinking. However, learning is never too late! Isn't it? ("Is not it")

So, if your child 5-6 years, pay attention to the initial course Family and Friends Starter ("Start for family and friends"). In the lessons, kids learn the alphabet, and then learn to read and even write. All this takes place in a playful way with songs, poems and fairy tales. Not training, but entertainment!

Separate course there is for primary school students. Effective methods have been developed for them, thanks to which children will quickly learn to read and pronounce correctly.

Entertaining lessons will be for older students. High school students will help get rid of the fear of public speaking and prepare for final exams.

To read or not to read?

Shakespeare's English is considered fairly simple.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. English has not yet managed to change so much that we could not understand it. Say, “The Word of Igor’s Regiment” cannot be read without translation: it is as if written in another language. Shakespeare wrote with those words that we are actively using now. Although, perhaps, some of the meanings of these words are lost.
  2. Shakespeare never used complex words and terms. He wrote for the "public theater" (public theater), the stalls of which were filled with spectators from the people, mainly apprentices. His plays should have been understood by everyone.
  3. Although Shakespeare’s dictionary is richer than its predecessors, it is inferior to the “vocabulary” of London, Galsworthy and modern naturalist writers. According to Schmidt's Lexicon, Shakespeare used up to 20,000 words in total.

Meanwhile, to understand Shakespeare’s works is still not easy, because the poet actively used the spoken language of his time and reflected the reality surrounding him. We won’t understand his phrase “Good wine doesn’t need a bush” in the same way we would not have understood the “pastes” of A. S. Pushkin without deciphering the editors.

Speaking of wine. This phrase is pronounced by Rosalind in the comedy "How You Like It." It turns out that in the era of Shakespeare, people were mostly illiterate and could not read. Therefore, instead of signboards with words, a bunch of branches were hung above the doors of wine shops. Accordingly, good wine does not need advertising. In the context of the work, an even deeper meaning can be caught in this phrase: a good comedy does not need an epilogue.

What's new?

Shakespeare's English is remarkable for its ambiguity and metaphor. It was more important for the writer to extract from each word as many different shades as possible than to bring a whole dictionary into the speech.

Often, not finding the right words in the lexicon, Shakespeare himself invented the words. Therefore, the name of the writer is so often mentioned in the New English Distionary (The Great Oxford Dictionary): he created new words, introduced the neologisms of his friends, actively used colloquial expressions and borrowings.

What did he make up?

Shakespeare lived in an era when English literary language did not exist: there were no works that educated people could orient themselves to. Not only William Shakespeare, but also other writers of that time often resorted to neologisms. The language was unstable and flexible.

Shakespeare often formed new words by adding the prefixes "en", "un", and "out" to nouns and adjectives.

From the diminutive and affectionate nouns, he borrowed the suffix "let", and the words in the spirit of "smilet" were obtained - a smile.

The playwright also loved complex compound words: "eye-drop" - a tear (eye - eye, drop - drop), "to after-eye" - to look after (after - after and eye - eye) and so on.

He often borrowed words from French (oeillades - lovers' views), German (crants - wreaths) and Latin.

Of particular interest is the following playwright trick. Very often he "translated" words from one part of speech to another. For example, he turned verbs into nouns, achieving greater specificity.

In Cymbelin, instead of “Such a thing that only crazy people can talk about without understanding it,” he says: “Such stuff as madmen tongue and brain not” (Such a thing that crazy people talk and don’t think about). Tongue (language) and brain (brain) turn into verbs.

In the same play, Jazimo speaks of his lover: “He furnaces. sighs ”(he bakes sighs). By substituting the noun for the furnace with the verb, the beloved is identified, as it were, with the furnace. The heat of love becomes physically tangible.

The phrases “to be fathered” and “to be childed” also seem amusing. Thanks to this formulation, the father and children from God's gift turn into a heavy cross that limits life.

Rich dad, poor dad

The father of English literature and the grandfather of Shakespeare is called for his ability to find dozens of meanings for one word. For example, “free” in its texts can be translated as follows: free, independent, voluntary, ready to do something, frank, unrestrained, generous, healthy, happy, carefree, innocent, harmless, noble, elegant, etc.

When Hamlet sees the ghost of his father, he says:

"Be thy intents wicked or charitable, Thou com'st in such a questionable shape, That I shall speak to thee. "

“Your intentions are malicious or benevolent - you appear in such. the way that I’ll speak with you

The word questionable alone caused a lot of controversy among contemporaries. Some suggested that it meant "knowing the answers," someone thought it meant "supportive of conversation," and some even saw it as "stimulating stubborn questions."

Shakespeare deliberately did not specify such nuances: the plot should have been a mystery. Moreover, Hamlet, like other works, was written for the scene. With the correct cast of the actors, each viewer would understand the meaning of the words.

Moreover, Shakespeare often puts several meanings in one word or phrase. For example, when the dying King John says, “I beg cold comfort,” we cannot clearly understand and translate the cue.

On the one hand, the king asks for participation in his suffering.

On the other hand, fever took hold of his body, and he physically longs for a cold, respite.

A lot of controversy arises because of the playwright’s love for puns. In this respect, at least the conversation of the servants at the beginning of the Romeo and Juliet tragedy or the replicas of the stupid constable Lokte in the comedy Measure for Measure, which either distortes and confuses the words, or “play” them voluntarily or involuntarily, is typical.

A pun can even be a tragic exclamation: “Then let's make haste away and look unto the main. - Warwick: Unto the Main! About father, Main is lost ”, playing on the consonance of main in the meaning of the main business and Main - the county of Maine in France.

For a clear rhythmic organization of the text, Shakespeare often missed the word. Here's how one of the ellipses (passes) from Romeo and Juliet decodes:

"I neither know it nor can learn of him"

"I neither know [the cause of] it, nor can [I] learn [about it from] him"

Learn English with Shakespeare

Shakespeare gave the English language a lot of idioms. Let's learn the most popular ones.

What? S done is doneWhat is done is done (Macbeth)
Vanish into thin airMelt in the air (Othello)
UnrealIncredible (Macbeth)
UncomfortableAwkward, Uncomfortable (Romeo and Juliet)
The world? S mine oysterEverything is in my hands (Windsor Mockers)
Salad daysSalad days
Own flesh and bloodFlesh from the flesh (Othello)
ObsceneObscene ("The fruitless efforts of love")
Not slept one winkThe eye did not close (Zymbelin)
ManagerAdvisor, Manager (“A Midsummer Night's Dream”)
Love is blindLove is blind (The Merchant of Venice)
LonelyLonely (Coriolanus)
Lie lowGet low (“A lot of noise from nothing”)
LaughableRidiculous ("The Merchant of Venice")
Green-eyed monsterThe green-eyed monster, jealousy (Othello)
Good riddanceGood riddance ("The Merchant of Venice")
Give the devil his duePay tribute to the adversary (Henry IV)
Forever and a dayEternity and one day ("How do you like it")
For goodness sakeFor heaven’s sake (Henry VIII)
Fast and looseGo bad
FashionableFashionable, secular (Troilus and Cressida)
Devil incarnateThe Devil in the Flesh (Titus Andronicus)
Catch a coldGrab a cold (Cymbelinus)
Break the iceMelt the ice (The Taming of the Shrew)
At one fell swoopIn one fell swoop
All of a suddenOut of nowhere (The Taming of the Shrew)
AddictionAddiction (Othello)
A sorry sightPitiful sight ("Macbeth")

The semantic, poetic and linguistic richness of Shakespeare's language surprisingly combines complexity and simplicity, depth and intelligibility. This is the power of Shakespeare, which the poet Alexander Pop elegantly described in the preface to the 1725 edition: “He addressed the people.”

Some practical tips

We give some tips to help you read Shakespeare in the original.

  1. Do not take everything seriously. Shakespeare's texts are full of puns, they can be found even in heartbreakingly sad scenes.
  2. Think it over. Although we are usually taught to hear only what has been said, in the case of William Shakespeare, everything works the other way around. Do not be afraid to find a hidden meaning in the words and do not give up your understanding, even if critics and editors see something else. Perhaps it was you who most accurately understood the great playwright.
  3. Use the dictionaries. We especially recommend the portal where you can read about the writer's work and use the special Shakespeare language dictionary:

Do not forget to tell everyone that you are already reading Shakespeare in the original! You can do this in a very unusual way - to communicate with friends in the language of the playwright. For example, instead of “Hello”, say “Good greetings, my lady” and spice up the words with the words “pray pardon me”, “pray tell”, “privy”, “stay” and so on.

Morphological features of the language of Shakespeare. Transition of a word from one grammatical category to another. Verb. Adjective. Pronoun. Prepositions. Syntactic features of the language of Shakespeare. Violation of the solid word order in the construction of sentences.

HeadingForeign languages ​​and linguistics
Viewcourse work
Date Added28.10.2003


§Transition of a word from one grammatical category to another

§Personal endings of the verb Strong verbs and their forms

§Long View Category

§Perfect Shape System

§Subjunctive modes of transmission

§Use of compound adjectives

§Features of the formation of degrees of comparison of adjectives

§Use of the pronoun "you" along with "thou"and specific shades of the latter

§Features of the use of prepositions

6.Syntactic features of Shakespeare's language

§Violation of the hard word order in the construction of sentences

§ “Ellipse” as a characteristic feature of Shakespeare's style

§ Features of the use of the auxiliary verb "do".

§Features of the formation of negative offers

The era of William Shakespeare linguistically enters the Early English language period, covering the second half of the 15th century and the first half of the 18th century. The English language of this period represents a further and quite natural development of the English language system of the previous period.

The main changes that occurred at this time relate to the phonetic structure of the English language. Henry Sweet called this period a period of “lost endings,” since a neutral vowel disappeared in unstressed endings. The departure of the final vowel is associated with significant changes in the field of grammatical structure, with its disappearance the infinitive of many verbs ceased to differ in sound composition from nouns in the singular form, for example: answer “answer” and “answer”, love “love” and “love” and etc.

However, the most significant phonetic change of this era, which left a special imprint on the entire vowel system of the New English language, is the Great Vowel Shift, which began in the 15th century. The essence of this shift was that all the long vowels narrowed, and the narrowest vowels [i:] and [u:] were diphthongized: [i:> ai], [u:> au].

During the early New England period, the consonant system also underwent a number of changes, of which we should mention the voicing of deaf slit [f], [s] and [o] in unstressed syllables, the vocalization of the consonant [r], the simplification of consonants, the formation of new tweaking and affricates.

As for the grammatical structure of the English language, starting from the 15th century, a single way of expressing the plural of nouns along with the preservation of the surviving plural forms is being established. During this period, the form of possessive 's develops and changes occur in the pronoun system. Also at this time there is no longer coordination of adjectives with nouns in number, that is, the language is characterized by the general immutability of adjectives, except for changes in degrees of comparison preserved from ancient English times.

As for the verb, here we observe an almost complete destruction of the system of alternating verbs, which, due to complex phonetic changes of this period, have lost their systemic character and preserved as an element of old quality to the present day. At this time, there was also a transition of a number of verbs with alternation into a group of verbs with suffix. In addition, the new in the morphological system of the English language was the intensive development of analytical forms of the verb and non-personal forms of the verb.

In the field of word formation, it should be noted that the vocabulary of the language is significantly filled with new words formed by various word formation tools that were widely used during this period, as well as the wide development of a new, very productive way of forming new words: the so-called root word formation method, due to the death of various formative elements characteristic for one or another part of speech.

However, in the early New England period, modern English was only forming, and within the limits of the recognized language norm, the possibility of deviations and varieties remained to some extent, and greater freedom prevailed than in later times.

However, the Shakespeare era, which English historians commonly call Elizabethan, named after Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603), was not a time of absolute linguistic instability and chaos, as it was sometimes portrayed by nineteenth-century scholars. It was only a period of more freely coexisting options and many more functional archaisms. The proximity of the spoken and literary book language gave rise to the impression of “freedom” of the English language of that time, which has developed among many philologists. E. Abbott writes: “The English language of the Elizabethan era at first glance is very different from the modern one in that in the first, any irregularities both in the formation of words and in sentences are completely permissible. Firstly, almost every part of speech can be used as any other part of speech. Secondly, we encounter an extraordinary variety of seeming grammatical inaccuracies. With a more careful analysis, however, these anomalies, seeming erratic and inexplicable, are categorized. We must remember that the Elizabethan period was a transitional stage in the history of the English language. ”

The features typical of the language of the early New England period are especially pronounced in Shakespeare. These features will be considered in this work using examples from William Shakespeare's greatest tragedy Hamlet.


William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) is the greatest playwright, thinker, poet and, undoubtedly, one of the most mysterious figures in literature. Shakespeare's work is highly humane and humane, grandiose in scale. It seems that the whole globe, all of humanity is drawn into the action of his plays. Life appears before us in an endless and irresistible movement forward, in constant change and renewal. This is the main reason for the popularity and immortality of Shakespeare's works.

However, when writing this work, Shakespeare interested us primarily as the greatest master of the word. It was Shakespeare who introduced the many words into the English literary language for the first time. The great playwright opened the doors wide before the lively speech of his era. Along with the borrowings from this speech, Shakespeare often himself created new words.

Composing words is a typical feature of Shakespeare's writing. These primarily include compound adjectives that are so characteristic of Shakespeare's style, and to which we will return in this work.

But the great thing is not that Shakespeare introduced many new words into his works. It is remarkable that a large number of them remained in the English literary language. Причина не только в том влиянии, которое оказал Шекспир и со сцены, и через многочисленные издания его произведений, но и в самом подходе Шекспира к задаче расширения словаря. Касаясь множества областей жизни, Шекспир почти не трогал узких терминов, понятных лишь знатокам, а также почти не коснулся английских диалектов, так как писал для лондонской публики.

Кроме того, Шекспир никогда не сводил индивидуализацию речи своих героев к копированию каких-либо мелких особенностей. Исключение составляют лишь несколько второстепенных персонажей. So, for example, Ozrik’s fanciful linguistic tricks in Hamlet were primarily typical of euphistic gentlemen. Shakespeare did not copy linguistic reality. But he widely used it to express thoughts and feelings, as well as characteristic and at the same time always typical features of his characters.

When evaluating the words introduced or created by Shakespeare, one must remember that Shakespeare wrote for the motley crowd of the “public theater”, the stalls of which were filled with a public audience, mainly apprentices. This motley viewer should have been familiar with most of the words Shakespeare used. In the vast majority of cases, if the new word created by Shakespeare was not familiar to the viewer in form, it was known to him by its root. The words introduced or created by Shakespeare were based on a broad basis and therefore easily grafted onto the trunk of the English literary language. If in the field of language Shakespeare, in the words of his commentators, “did the work of a whole nation”, he could achieve this only because the work of a whole nation found its fullest expression in his work.

However, the richness of the language of Shakespeare is not so much in the number of words, but in the huge number of meanings and shades in which Shakespeare uses the word. Shakespeare's language stands out sharply for its semantic richness. The root of this wealth lies in the fact that Shakespeare widely drew the meanings and nuances of the meanings of words from the folk language of his era. At that time, modern English literary language was still being created, and the meanings of words were not yet limited by definitions of explanatory dictionaries.

Shakespeare was not a conscious violator of established norms, since these norms in the surrounding linguistic reality were far from being established.

Mastering the semantics of the language allowed Shakespeare to widely apply the "pun" or pun. Shakespeare’s semantics also include a peculiar trait that genetically goes back to the pun, but has nothing to do with the pun. It lies in the fact that Shakespeare often uses one word in two or more meanings at the same time.

When talking about the language of Shakespeare, mention should also be made of cases of movement of a word from one grammatical function to another. Among his contemporaries, Shakespeare is here in the first place. Turning, for example, a noun into a verb, Shakespeare, as it were, “materializes” the verb and achieves the concreteness and, at the same time, condensation that is generally characteristic of his style.

Saturation with imagery is a particularly typical feature of Shakespeare's style. “Each word has a picture,” said poet Thomas Gray about Shakespeare. The great playwright first of all strove for compactness, for every word to express, if possible, a whole thought, emotion or image.

Shakespeare's concise style is also characterized by elliptical forms that do not obscure the meaning, but only give the syntax a peculiar flavor.

Thus, the language of Shakespeare not only has a special flavor and originality, but also reflects all the features of the language of its era, since the interaction of the literary and spoken language was a typical feature of the 16th century. As a result of a thorough analysis of various written documents, both literary and non-literary, G. Ould comes to the conclusion that “the close connection between the spoken literary language and the language of English literature should be emphasized in every way. The language in which Shakespeare spoke was the language in which he wrote. "


Transition of a word from one grammatical category to another

In English, one word can be a noun, an adjective, or a verb. In this regard, the Shakespeare era is particularly notable. That was the time when a huge number of words were given new grammatical functions. Among his contemporaries, Shakespeare is here in the first place. The imagery of Shakespeare’s language is due, inter alia, to the fact that his word is especially easy to pass from one grammatical category to another.

So, for example, from any noun or adjective a verb can be formed (usually in the active sense), which was generally characteristic of the authors of the Elizabethan era: “And 'gins topale his uneffectual fire. ”(I, 5). From the adjective "pale", Shakespeare forms the verb to "pale" (make pale).

From the noun "night" Shakespeare forms the participle form "nighted (benighted)": “Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off ”

(I, 2), which means thy night-like color.

Shakespeare adjectives are freely used as adverbs:

“I do know, when the blood burns, howprodigalthe soul lends the tongue vows. ”(I, 3)

“And you, my sinews, grow notinstantold. ”(I, 5)

In addition, adjectives are often used as nouns, even in the singular: “. 'twas caviare to thegeneral. ”(II, 2) (“ ... this play was caviar for crowds…”).

Shakespeare's intransitive verbs sometimes acquire a transitive meaning. For example, “to toil” (to work) may mean “exhausting oneself with labor”:

“Why this same strict and observant watch so nightly toils the subject of the land? ”(I, 1)

(“Why stay nightly on guard exhausting nationals of the country? ”)

In rare cases, transitive verbs were used in an intransitive meaning, for example, the verb "to lack (to be needed)":

“... and what so poor a man as Hamlet is may do to express his love and friending to you, God willing, shall not lack. ”(I, 5)

Personal endings of the verb

As for the verb, in Shakespeare he has not yet lost the ability to convey the meaning of the face. Typical singular endings for the singular "-st" and "-est":

I know - thou knowest,

I have - thou hast,

I do - thou doest (dost),

I should - thou shouldst,

I would - thou wouldst.

“I prithee, when thou seestthat act afoot ... ”(III, 2)

“So is it, if thou knew 'stour purposes. ”(IV, 3)

“Thou still hastbeen the father of good news. ”(II, 2)

“O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadstthou! ”(II, 2)

“And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed that roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf, wouldst thou not stir in this. ”(I, 5)

“Well said, old mole! canstwork i 'the earth so fast? ”(I, 5)

“... thou may 'stnot coldly set our sovereign process. ”(IV, 3)

“What have I done that thou darestwag thy tongue in noise so rude against me? ”(III, 4)

At the same time, the same character when referring to the same interlocutor sometimes uses the pronoun "you" with the corresponding form of the verb, sometimes the pronoun "thou" with the corresponding form of the verb on "-st":

Dost thouhear me old friendcan youplay "The Murder of Gonzado?”

“Sense sureyou have, elsecould you nothave motion, ... Ifthou canstmutine in a matron's bones ... ”(III, 4)

Thus, the difference between these two forms does not correspond to any very definite difference in the relations between people. It is only clear that the use of forms on "-st" is possible only with a certain degree of closeness between them. However, such a degree of closeness that makes possible the use of forms on "-st", at the same time, does not at all preclude the use of forms without endings. Apparently, between these two options there is some kind of stylistic difference, which, however, is difficult for the modern researcher to perceive.

Thus, the category of the number in the second person of the verb is in the process of disappearance during this period, but has not yet completely disappeared, since under certain conditions the possibility of expressing the difference between the singular and plural in the second person of the verb is still preserved. The singular second-person form in "-st", associated with the personal pronoun "thou", was gradually superseded from the ordinary literary language during the 17th century.

The verb "to be" as a suppletive in the second person has the following forms:

I was - thou wast,

I were - thou wert,

I will - thou wilt,

I shall - thou shalt.

“Ifthou artprivy to the country fate ... ”(I, 1)

“Or, ifthou wiltneeds marry, marry a fool. ”(III, 1)

“Andthou shaltlive in this fair world behind. ”(III, 2)

Another form that retained Shakespeare's ability to morphologically convey the meaning of the face was the singular third person form. However, there is an important change due to the fact that in the XV-XVI centuries, along with the ending "- (e) th", the ending "- (e) s" appears in the third person of the present tense, which in the Middle English period was a characteristic feature of the northern dialect. Its origin remains controversial. Perhaps it entered the third-person form from the second-person singular form, which in the northern dialect ended in "-s" (and not in "-st"). It is also very likely that in its distribution the third person was affected by the influence of the third person form "is" from the verb "be". In the 15th century, the third-person form of the "-s" began to penetrate through the central dialects into the national language. But for some time both forms - with the endings "- (e) th" and "- (e) s" - function in parallel and can be found almost in the same text.

So, Ivanova I.P. and Chakhoyan L.P. in “History of the English language” the following example is given: in the prologue to the mousetrap scene in “Hamlet” in the 1603 edition we meet “then the Queene commeth and findes him dead. ”

In Shakespeare's works, the form on "- (e) s" is found along with the form on "- (e) th", apparently, without any stylistic differences. This can be judged, for example, by the following excerpt from the first scene of the first act of Hamlet:

Marcellus: O! Farewell, honest soldier.

However, the form on "- (e) s" already replaces the form on "- (e) th". So, in the first action of "Hamlet" the form on "- (e) s" occurs three times more often than the form on "- (e) th "(74 times and 25, respectively). In this case, the ending "- (e) th" is used mainly with the verbs "to have" and "to do" (16 and 7 times, respectively), which are most often used as auxiliary:

“With martial stalkhathhe gone by our watch. ”(I, 1)

“And now so soil nor cauteldothbesmirch the virtue of his will. ”(I, 3)

The verbs "to have" and "to do" with the ending "- (e) s" are used only two and three times, respectively:

“What,hasthis thing appear'd again to-night? ”(I, 1)

“... whose sore taskdoesnot divide the Sunday from the week. ”(I, 1)

“For nature crescentdoesnot grow done in thews and bulk. ”(I, 3)

With semantic verbs, Shakespeare uses the form on "- (e)s":

“Haratiosays'tis but our fantasy. ”(I, 1)

“Thisbodessome strange eruption to our state. ”(I, 1)

“Itshowsa will most incorrect to heaven. ”(I, 2)

In the first act, there are only two semantic verbs with which Shakespeare uses the ending "- (e) th":

The bird of dawningsingethall night long. ”(I, 1)

“But I have that within whichpassethshow. ”(I, 2)

Strong verbs and their forms

In the New English period, there were three forms of strong verbs: 1) the infinitive, 2) the past tense form, 3) the second participle.

In the Shakespeare era, many verbs were still dominated by instability in vowels. So, for example, along with "wrote" there was a past tense form "writ", along with "rode - rid", along with "sang - sung", along with "began - begun":

“Nor what he spake (= spoke) ... was not like madness. ”(III, 1)

In addition, in Shakespeare's time, and sometimes in later times, there are also cases where the second participle coincides in form with the past tense in verbs in which these forms now differ. For example, from the verb "take" the second participle sometimes has the form "took", whereas in the modern language only the form "taken" is permissible. In Hamlet we encounter the following similar case:

“... you must not think ... that we can let our beard be shook with danger ... ”(IV, 7)

The development of the ending "-en" in the second participle deserves special consideration. This ending in many verbs was strong enough to withstand the general tendency for non-stressed endings to fall away. For some verbs that were already beginning to lose the ending "-en" in the second participle in the Middle English period, it was subsequently restored and is now mandatory. So, for example, with the verb "fall". In the Middle English period, "-n" in the participle of this verb, like many others, could disappear. In New English, the only possible form of this participle is "fallen." These cases confirm the principle that only endings that have lost their meaning could fall away.

In this regard, the following examples from Hamlet can be given:

“... We have herewritto Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras, - who impotent and bed-rid... ”(I, 2)

“And we did think itwritdown in our duty to let you know of it. ”(I, 2)

“But that I amforbidto tell the secrets of my prison-house ... ”(I, 5)

“I will find where truth ishid. ”(II, 2)

“... the story is extant, andwritin choice Italian. ”(III, 2)

“A man may fish with the worm that hatheatof a king. ”(IV, 3)

As can be seen from these examples, Shakespeare forms the second participle without the help of the ending "-en". However, along with this, we encounter the participle form of the second “forgotten”, which once again indicates the presence of various freely coexisting options and many more functional archaisms:

“... die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? ”(III, 2)

In few verbs, there is still a fluctuation between the forms of the participle of the second with and without the ending "-en". For example, from the verb "bite" the participle "bitten" and "bit", from "bid - bidden" and "bid". In most of these cases, it is the forms without the "-en" that sound archaic.

Long View Category

The system of transmitting species values ​​in Old English can be represented by two contrasts: short-term action / long-term and incomplete action / completed. Moreover, the first members of these oppositions were expressed morphologically, and the second ones syntactically. In Central English, prerequisites arise for the creation of a new system of species contrasts: the opposition of species forms to non-species and to each other (which is typical for the modern system of species-time forms). For this new system of verb specific forms, a qualitatively new form of long-acting transmission was required. This need was realized at the end of the Middle English period.

In the fourteenth century, the quantitative growth of descriptive constructions, consisting of "to be + second communion," begins again. At the same time, another way of transmitting a long-acting action appears with the help of a syntactic construct consisting of the verb "bzfn (wesan)" and a circumstance expressed by gerund with the pretext "in" or "on":

hz was on huntinge - he was on the hunt

Since its inception, this design has conveyed the meaning of long-term action, limited in time, that is, the value inherent in modern Continuous.

During the 15th century, the preposition is reduced to the element "-a", which is proclitically added to gerund. So there are two parallel constructions that differ only in the element "-a": is speaking, is a-coming. The outward coincidence of these constructions led to their merger, which apparently took place already in the 16th century. In this case, the value is preserved from the construction with gerund, that is, the value of long-term action, limited in time.

The element "a-" was used until the end of the 17th century. Only since the XVII century, Continuous forms finally take on a modern look.

Gerundium with the element “a-" is also found in Shakespeare:

“Even in their promise, as it isa-making, you must not take fire. ”(I, 3)

“This is most brave, that I ... must ... unpack my heart with words, and falla-cursing.”(II, 2)

The emergence of Continuous as a single analytical form dates back to the Early New England period. At this time, the verb "to be" completely goes through the process of grammatization and turns into an auxiliary verb. Both parts of the former syntactic constructions combine and begin to convey a single grammatical meaning. This union of parts into a single indecomposable grammatical form is proved in particular by the fact that two initially different syntactic constructions were combined in one morphological form.

In Shakespeare, the forms of a prolonged appearance are somewhat more common than in Chaucer, but they are still relatively small in number:

“We coted them on the way, and hitheraretheycoming, to offer you service. ”(II, 2)

“Theyare comingto the play, I must be idle. ”(III, 2)

“The king, and queen, and allare comingdown. ”(V, 2)

“His sword whichwas decliningon the milky head of reverend priam, seem'd i'the air to stick. ”(II, 2)

“My lord, as Iwas sewingin my closet, lord Hamlet ... he comes before me. ”(II, 1)

Perfect Shape System

The system of perfect forms that arose in Old English continues to develop in the New English period. Shakespeare has a developed system of perfect forms:

“I know the good king and queenhave sentfor you. ”(II, 2)

“Hehath, my lord, of late,mademany tenders of his affection to me. ”(I, 3)

“Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tearshad leftthe flushing in her galled eyes, she married. ”(I, 2)

“Ihave thoughtsome of nature's journeymenhad mademen. ”(III, 2)

During the early New England period, there is a further restriction on the use of the verb "to be" as an auxiliary verb of the analytical form of the perfect. The withering away of the construction with the verb "to be" or its limited use is undoubtedly associated with the increasing rationalization of English grammar. In addition, the formation of passive forms from many intransitive verbs is more and more common, and the latter were always formed with the verb "to be". Therefore, the perfect forms with the verb "to be" are possible only from such verbs that in their meaning cannot have a passive form. However, in quick colloquial speech in the third person singular perfect, both forms coincide in sound terms: both "is" and "has" are reduced to [z].

However, Shakespeare sometimes has perfect forms from movement verbs with the auxiliary verb "to be":

“The ambassadors from Norway, my lord,arejoyfullyreturn'd. ”(II, 2)

“The actorsare comehither, my lord. ”(II, 2)

“Hamlet return'd shall know youare comehome. ”(IV, 7)

In the future, such forms gradually become obsolete.

Subjunctive modes of transmission

The system of moods develops in the New England period in the direction of clarifying the means of expression of individual modal shades and, in this regard, in the direction of the growth of analytical forms. The emergence of analytical forms of the subjunctive mood is associated with the loss by some modal verbs of their own lexical meaning in combination with the infinitive. The process of morphologization, that is, the transition to analytical forms of the subjunctive mood, in early New English underwent combinations "might + infinitive", "should + infinitive", "would + infinitive" and partially "may + infinitive":

“Imight notthisbelievewithout the sensible and true avouch of mine own eyes. ”(I, 1)

“Whyshouldwe in our peevish oppositiontakeit to heart? ”(I, 2)

“Iwould not hearyour enemy say so. ”(I, 2)

“Whatmaythismean, that thou ... revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon. ”(I, 4)

В эпоху Шекспира в условных периодах употребляются как формы синтетического конъюнктива, унаследованные от древнеанглийского периода, так и формы аналитического кондиционалиса. Синтетический конъюнктив встречается, например, в следующих предложениях:

“… a moiety competent was gaged by our king, which had return'd to the inheritance of Fortinbras, had he been vanquisher.” (I, 1)

“… but yet I could accuse me of such things that itwerebetter my mother had not borne me.” (III, 1)

“Ithad beenso with us had we been there.” (IV, 1)

Как мы видим из этих примеров, в ряде случаев в течение ранненовоанглийского периода возможно употребление форм синтетического конъюнктива в главном предложении условного периода.

Шекспиром широко употреблялось сослагательное наклонение, которое выражало предположение, условие, желание. Однако по форме оно нередко было тождественно с инфинитивом и ничто, кроме контекста (в случае прошедшего времени), не указывало на сослагательное наклонение:

“… I think itbeno other but e'en so.” (I, 1)

“if therebeany good thing to be done…” (I, 1)

“Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death the memorybegreen…”

“If itassumemy noble father's person, I'll speak to it.” (I, 2)

Bethou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,bringwith thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,bethy intents wicked or charitable, thou comest in such a questionable shape, that I will speak to thee…” (I, 4)

“But if'tbehe I mean, he's very wild.” (II, 1)

“Though thisbemadness, yet there is method in't.” (II, 2)

“Take this from this, if thisbeotherwise.” (II, 2)

“… if heloveher not, andbenot from his reason fall'n thereon, let me be no assistant for a state…” (II, 2)

“If itlivein your memory, begin at this line.” (II, 2)

“For murder, though ithaveno tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ.” (II, 2)

“I do wish that your good beautiesbethe happy cause of Hamlet's wildness.” (III, 1)

“That if youbehonest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.” (III, 1)

“Pray can I not, though inclinationbeas sharp as will.” (III, 3)

“What is a man, if his chief good and market of his timebebut to sleep and feed?” (IV, 4)

“If he by chanceescape<