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Sonnet 69 by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing is a play and also, at this point, an opera , and a TV show , and a movie , and the source of many additional songs and shows and movies with a very good title. The title suggests more than that, though.

Chapter 6 - Shakespeare’s Ballads, 1598–1610

So: Four little words, with three layers of meaning. A pun parfait, in the title of the play! The bard of Avon took advantage of rhymes and doubled-up and occasionally tripled-up meanings to turn his plays and poems into interactive riddles. As performed, that made for plays that pulsed with life for their audiences. In the years since Shakespeare made his bawdy puns, though, the evolution of language—and of pronunciation, in particular—has eroded many of the embedded bits of wordplay that would have been obvious to Elizabethan ears.

And also, quite often, its fun.

The Shame - a new poem by Daljit Nagra

For the plays, which together form a much larger corpus, the number is likely much higher. Which is a shame.

Written words, stellar constellations, bloodlines, inheritance, the behind-the-scenes workings of theater Later this month, his lengthy reference on the matter— The Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation — will be published. It can also help modern audiences simply to parse the plays, to tease out basic meanings that have been eroded in time.

Accents on Shakespeare - Routledge

If reasons were as plentiful as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion. A classic example lurks in the preamble to Romeo and Juliet.

The third type of evidence is spelling. Alas, as we know, the shifting sands and vowels of time were on the side of the dandy. But the old man, whether he realised it or not, was on the side of Shakespeare.

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