Shakespeare As It Was Meant to Be Heard

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Via 22 Words, here’s a video demonstrating how Shakespeare plays sound when performed in their original pronunciation.

That’s right: the sonorous received pronunciation we associate with Shakespeare didn’t evolve until long after the bard’s death.

This new, old accent sounds strangely Irish (to American ears, anyway) and reveals all kinds of rhymes, jokes, and double-meanings that stay hidden in most modern performances.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →