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Shakespeare and the Origins of English$
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Neil Rhodes

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245727.001.0001

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Renaissance Articulations

Renaissance Articulations

(p.5) I Renaissance Articulations
Shakespeare and the Origins of English

Neil Rhodes (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with speech — the original medium of communication — and with the related terms ‘expression’ and ‘articulation’. Both are shown to have bodily associations in addition to their functions in the context of language. It focuses on the Renaissance literary and educational values associated with speech-based skills, notably ‘liveliness’ (enargeia). Illustrations are given from Quintilian, Erasmus, Mulcaster, and Derrida. The issues raised in the first half of the chapter are developed in a discussion of Hamlet, a play (and character) much concerned with the problems of the media and with the relations between the oral and the written, rhetoric and performance. It is argued that the play tracks the future of English as a subject as it rejects the world of speech and performance as inauthentic, and searches for an idealized world of self and text.

Keywords:   speech, expression, articulation, enargeia, Mulcaster, Derrida, Hamlet, media

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