A critical analysis of the semantic dimension of sound patterns in the language of selected Shakespearean works and Elizabethan lyrics
William Shakespeare’s poetry and language have appealed to our deepest emotions across the centuries. This universal appeal of Shakespeare’s language has been an intriguing aspect of critical enquiry. Various general analyses have been done on his poetry to determine meaning and imagery. However, the analysis of sound and sound patterns has been neglected. This dissertation will thus attempt to analyse his poetry with regard to sound and how sound and sound patterns contribute to the meaning and mood. It argues that sound and sense are interwoven and play a crucial role in the interpretation of Shakespeare’s poetry. The analyses will be based on the theories and ideas offered by Reuven Tsur (1992; 2008) on the expressiveness of sound patterns, the association between sounds and the meaning and emotions evoked. On the premise that sound contributes to contextual meaning, this dissertation will analyse Shakespeare’s Sonnet 64, two Elizabethan1 lyrics and an extract from Macbeth to determine the effect of sounds, sound patterns and rhythmic elements on meaning and mood.
- Humanities