The British Library has released the first ever audio CD of clips of Shakespeare plays spoken in the original pronunciation. The recording includes some of Shakespeare’s best known speeches, such as the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet’s To Be Or Not To Be, and the Friends, Romans, countrymen… monologue from Julius Caesar.
The “new” pronunciation makes lines which were meant to rhyme actually rhyme, and demonstrates the importance of pronunciation in communications.
You can listen to some of the clips here. I think the accents used sound like a cross between Yorkshire and West Country styles. What do you think?
If you are further interested, the British Library will be holding an event with actors from the recordings. Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation – Live! will be held on Friday 4th May. Tickets are available here and are priced £7.50 / £5.
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