Elizabethan Era 1558 - 1603

Tudors Times 1485 - 1603

Jacobean Era 1603 - 1625

Elizabethan English Language and Words



When you consider how the Elizabethans spoke to one another, you can really see their uniqueness in their literature. For example, you can really feel the emotion and feelings about how they loved how their English sounded. Even the early plays were packed with rhythms and alliterations. As well, you can see that Shakespeare himself during the Elizabethan time adopted several unusual words.

Unlike today where sentences have to be well structured from a grammar perspective, this was not the case during Elizabethan times. It was much more important to have a nice sounding sentence. Therefore, you will see many sentences with repeated words to give emphasis.

Another problem that you may have if you were to read writings from the Elizabethan period is that there are often less transitional words or grammatical signals. So often times it can be difficult to hear or read and find the subject of a sentence.

Elizabethan Language and Elizabethan words:

Shakespeare is a classic example of how the English language has changed since the Elizabethan times. Throughout most of the literature he produced, you will find that he used the word "most" instead of the word "very". So for example, if I were to say, "He is very high." Shakespeare would have wrote, "He is most high". This is confusing but just a slight change in the way the words were used.

As mentioned above, you would also find several repeated words to give emphasis. Such as in Hamlet you will see sayings such as, "Excellent, Excellent well". While this is confusing, this is also how they would speak to one another. It has a very distinguished sound to it that even those who speak English may find difficult to understand by today's standards.

A classic example of how the Elizabethans likely talked can be seen in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Several translations have been made since then simply based on the fact that many people find it difficult to read. Also, several words have different meanings than they used to so the right context of the writing in the King James Version must be evaluated while reading it.

   
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