Estimations of his vocabulary range from 17,000 to a dizzying 29,000 words - at least double the number of words used by the average conversationalist. This edition (soon generally known as "The Cambridge Shakespeare") spelled the name "Shakespeare". [6] He states that the pseudonym "Martin Marprelate" was sometimes hyphenated, but usually not. Favorite Answer. This was common practice. [11] Kathman argues that any name that could be divided into two clear parts was liable to be hyphenated, especially if the parts could be interpreted as distinct words. ~Usually the main characters and the secondary characters have unique names in Shakespeare's writing. No. He linked this to a history of the Shakespeare family and its descendants, though he was not able to add much to the material already identified by Edmond Malone. We know that because of the six signatures that have to be his (his last name that is) to make official the legal documents on which they appear (deposition, bill of sale, will), in which he spelled his name differently every time. There followed a lengthy correspondence, mainly between John Bruce, who insisted on "Shakspere" because "a man's own mode of spelling his own name ought to be followed" and John William Burgon, who argued that "names are to be spelt as they are spelt in the printed books of the majority of well-educated persons", insisting that this rule authorised the spelling "Shakspeare". But do bear in mind that back in Shakespeare’s day there wasn’t actually such a thing as a standard spelling rule – it was a case of spelling words as they sounded. 10 William Shakespeare did not spell his name the way we write it today. He states that of "non-literary references" in Shakespeare's lifetime (1564–1616) the spelling "Shakespeare" appears 71 times, while "Shakespere" appears second with 27 usages. According to a host of Websites and books, William Shakespeare was called upon to add his artistic touch to the English translation of the Bible done at the behest of King James, which was finished in 1611. Shakespeare spelled his name all funky Spelling was not seen as important in Shakespeare’s time (a schoolchild’s heaven), even educated people would not necessarily spell words with any consistency. How did William spell his name? How many different ways did Shakespeare spell his name? With rare exceptions, the spelling is now standardised in English-speaking countries as "Shakespeare". His birthday is traditionally celebrated on April 23, which was the date of his death in 1616 and is the feast day of St. George, the patron saint of England. Albert Richard Smith in the satirical magazine The Month claimed that the controversy was finally "set to rest" by the discovery of a manuscript which proved that the spelling changed with the weather, "When the sun shone he made his 'A's, / When wet he took his 'E's. Although this form had been used occasionally in earlier publications, and other spellings continued to appear, from that point "Shakespeare" gained the dominance which it retains to this day. [9] A hyphen is also present in the first quarto of Hamlet (1602) and the second of King Lear (1619). The name printed at the end of the poem The Phoenix and the Turtle, which was published in a collection of verse in 1601, is hyphenated, as is the name on the title page and the poem A Lover's Complaint of Shake-speares Sonnets (1609). Shakespeare's signature appears on only 6 documents, and he spelled his name differently on each one. [3] There is also a signature on the fly-leaf of a copy of John Florio's translation of the works of Montaigne, which reads "Willm. William Shakespeare was an English dramatist, poet, and actor considered by many to be the greatest dramatist of all time. [2] The final signature was discovered by 1909 by Charles William Wallace. The former folded in 1894, but the latter still exists under its original name. 18th-century French critics were known to use "Shakpear, Shakespehar, Shakespeart, or Shakees Pear. [18], Although Dowden, the most influential voice in Shakespearean criticism in the last quarter of the 19th century,[29] used the spelling "Shakspere", between 1863 and 1866 the nine-volume The Works of William Shakespeare, edited by William George Clark, John Glover, and William Aldis Wright, all Fellows of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, had been published by the university. George Bernard Shaw, a strong advocate of spelling reform, insisted on the use of this spelling in all his publications. The choice of spelling for the Stratford man varied. George Steevens also used this spelling. However its spelled, Shakespeare is thought to derive from the Old English words schakken (to brandish) and speer (spear), and probably referred to a confrontational or ar… The second listconsists of references toShakespeare as a poet and/or playwright u… This list of Shakespeare plays brings together all 38 plays in alphabetical order. There are two separate lists, to make it easier to test the claim that the names of "the Stratfordman" and the playwright were distinct and spelled differently. In his hometown, he was known as the famous businessman and property owner whereas in the London he was known as the best famous playwright. Here is how the story goes. And there are no "Shakespearean" scripts in his handwriting. Did Shakespeare spell his name in different ways? [6], Fifty-eight quarto (or Q) editions of Shakespeare's plays and five editions of poetry were published before the First Folio. The bard himself was known to switch up the spelling of his last name during his lifetime, although he did spell it Shakespeare on the last page of his will, filed shortly before his death in 1616. These are all attached to legal documents. It’s likely that almost everyone reading this had to study at least one of Shakespeare’s plays at school and it’s guaranteed that everyone reading this has seen at least one movie based on one. [31], When the advocates of the Shakespeare authorship question began to claim that someone other than Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays, they drew on the fact that variant spellings existed to distinguish between the supposed pseudonym used by the hidden author and the name of the man born in Stratford, who is claimed to have acted as a "front man". Question: How did William Shakespeare spell his name? [13] It was also adopted by other authors of the Restoration Era. The two relating to the house sale were identified in 1768, and the document itself was acquired by Edmond Malone. ~Some names Shakespeare intentionally made, based on their role in the story. [15] The spelling with an "e" at the end persisted, however. After his death the name was spelled variously by editors of his work, and the spelling was not fixed until well into the 20th century. Sources from William Shakespeares lifetime spell his last name in more than 80 different ways, ranging from Shappere to Shaxberd. [13] This spelling continued to be popular throughout the later Georgian period. [13], The antiquarian Joseph Hunter was the first to publish all known variations of the spelling of the name, which he did in 1845 in his book Illustrations of the Life, Studies, and Writings of Shakespeare. Botched rhymes, buried puns and a staged accent that sounds more Victorian than Elizabethan. Steevens and Malone had both examined Shakespeare's will, and were convinced that the final signature was spelled this way, which also conformed to the spelling used on Shakespeare's tomb. Kathman argues that while it is possible that different pronunciations existed, there is no good reason to think so on the basis of spelling variations. As we spell him now 'William Shakespeare' in records there is nothing in which he spells his name like this. © 2004 – 2020 No Sweat Digital Ltd. All rights reserved. Various other contributors added to the debate. View Playing Fast and Loose with Shakespeare's Name - how did Shakespeare spell his own name anyway?.pdf from ENGL B225 at Bryn Mawr College. ~Some serve as clever Reading Shakespeare in the light of all of this information opens an entire new universe to those who already thrive on Shakespeare’s oeuvre. [20] The spelling continued to be preferred by many writers during the Victorian era, including the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in The Germ. It is used in the cast list of Ben Jonson's Sejanus His Fall, and in six literary allusions published between 1594 and 1623. [10], James S. Shapiro argues that Shakespeare's name caused difficulties for typesetters, and that is one reason why the form with the "e" in the centre is most commonly used, and why it is sometimes hyphenated. [30] With the ubiquity and authority of the Cambridge and Globe editions, backed by the impeccable academic credentials of the Cambridge editors, the spelling of the name as "Shakespeare" soon dominated in publications of works by and about Shakespeare. Captain:‘S foot, dost take me to be penman? Main (202) 544-4600 Box Office (202) 544-7077. [19] However, a later scholar identified a reference in The Gentleman's Magazine in 1784 to the deplorable "new fashion of writing Shakespeare's name SHAKSPERE", which suggests that the trend had been emerging since Steevens published facsimiles of the signatures in 1778. Several forms of the name of the English playwright have been used. … Fidelio:Take the seal off, captain. [13], Archival material relating to Shakespeare was first identified by 18th-century scholars, most notably Edmond Malone, who recorded variations in the spelling of the name. [10], Rarer spellings are "Shak‑speare" on the first quarto of King Lear (1608), and "Shakeſpere", in the first quarto of Love's Labour's Lost (1598). He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "the Bard"). Folio, the definitive collection of his plays published in 1623, after his death with hyphen. 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