Speech Analysis

It's understandable why people sometimes get a little overwhelmed when reading Shakespeare. You've got to contend with versification, poetic license, archaisms, words that we don't even use any more, and grammar and spelling that were in a state of flux when the works were written. If you do a close reading of any given speech, however, with a little work you can begin to see what Shakespeare was doing. These analyses are designed to help you—not to give you all the answers, but simply to demonstrate a method you can use for yourself. After all, these speeches are just a smattering of what the Bard wrote.

You may also be interested in the SRC's "A Quick Guide to Reading Shakespeare" for some further help.

Selected Readings

Introduction (You really should read this first)
To be or not to be....
Overview Line Analysis
Is this a dagger....
Overview Line Analysis
Julius Caesar
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears....
Overview Line Analysis
Romeo and Juliet
But soft! What light through yonder window breaks....
Overview Line Analysis
Richard III
Now is the winter of our discontent....
Overview Line Analysis
The Merchant of Venice
The quality of mercy is not strain'd....
Overview Line Analysis
The Tempest
Our revels now are ended....
Overview Line Analysis
Twelfth Night
If music be the food of love....
Overview Line Analysis