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Shakespeare's Accents: Voicing identity in Performance

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages236
ISBN (Electronic)9781108558556
ISBN (Print)9781108429627
PublishedMay 2020

King's Authors


My book argues that English accents and dialects in Shakespearean performance have always functioned as central markers of personal, social and national identity. Accents are never neutral, even when they are believed to represent an ideal golden standard of correct pronunciation. The dominant influence of Standard pronunciation (also known as Received Pronunciation) on the Shakespearean stage from the mid-eighteenth century to date has deflected attention both from the subtle deployment of English accents and dialects on the early modern stage and from the emergence of non-standard voices and alternative approaches to the sounding of Shakespeare’s language in modern and contemporary performance. By focusing on the voice, my book therefore addresses a gap in current scholarship, offering the first history of the aural production and reception of Shakespeare on the English stage.

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