Tips for reading Shakespearean drama
You must learn to hear the verse spoken aloud
as you read it
You must see it enacted in an imaginary theater
DO NOT try to understand every single word.
Worrying about one or two words you don’t know
can take away from the overall
Do not stop at the end of each line…follow the
blank verse – unrhymed verse written in
iambic pentameter – 10 syllable lines in
which every second syllable is stressed.
imagery – helps to create mood, reveal
characters, and suggest ideas.
soliloquy – a speech in which a
character, alone on stage, expresses his
or her thoughts to the audience.
aside – a remark made to the audience,
unheard by other characters.
monologue – lengthy speech addressed
to other characters, not the audience.
metaphorical language – involves a
comparison of unlike things.
theme – the central idea(s) or insight(s)
about life revealed in a work of literature.
prologue – an introduction; poem recited
to introduce a play.
pun – the humorous use of a word, or of
different words sounded alike, so as to
play on the various meanings.
foreshadowing – to indicate or suggest