15

There are two parts to this question: why does English use iambic meter while French doesn't, and why does English have 10 syllables in each line of iambic pentameter, while French has 12 syllables per line in an alexandrine. To answer the second question first, it may be pure chance that French settled on 12 syllables per line, while English settled on 10. ...


9

I'm adding my own answer to complement Peter Shor's. In an interview, the Shakespeare scholar Kenneth Muir talks, among other things, about his translations of Racine and Corneille. When asked how he translated the alexandrines, Muir responds that he translated them into pentamers: I decided that alexandrines would not be taken by an English audience, ...


6

"An Attempt to Ascertain the Order in which the Plays Attributed to Shakespeare Were Written" can be found on pages 269 - 346 of the first volume of The Plays of William Shakespeare in Ten Volumes. The chronology itself can be found on pages 274-275. It start with Titus Andronicus (1589) and ends with the following plays and years: A Yorkshire Tragedy (1608;...


5

I can find in Annals of the Liverpool stage: from the earliest period to the present time from Google books, the following: In June, 1759, the Drury Lane Theatre was opened with the tragedy of The Orphans. The book states that there were playhouses around in Liverpool before that, at least since 1740, and even that the Drury Lane Theatre was around ...


5

After some more research, I found the answer to my question. According to The Growth Of English Drama by Arnold Wynne (p. 176), [George Peele's play] Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes merits a passing notice if only because it contains the earliest known example of a girl disguised as a page, the Princess Neronis waiting upon her lover in that office. Since ...


4

The Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450–1700 (CELM) has a comprehensive list of manuscripts from the period of interest. I sampled some of the authors and I estimate that the catalogue includes roughly 65 manuscripts of plays. It's hard to be precise because it's not entirely clear what counts as a "play". Do extracts of plays count? Or musical ...


3

To my knowledge, the only Elizabethan or Jacobean play that is a sequel to a Shakespeare play is The Woman's Prize, or the Tamer Tamed by John Fletcher, a play that was first performed in 1609 – 1610. The play is a mock sequel to Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. In The Taming of the Shrew, Petrucio "tames" Katharina. In Fletcher's "sequel", Petruchio ...


3

The English Parliament did pass a ban on swearing in 1623, that much at least is agreed upon by several records: The Statutes Relating to the Ecclesiastical and Eleemosynary Institutions of England, Wales, Ireland, India, and the Colonies: With the Decisions Thereon, Volume 1, Archibald John Stephens, 1845, which names the law as part of Statuta Jacobi: ...


2

A foot of three unstressed syllables is called a tribrach. Do tribrachs exist in Shakespeare? I don't know. It is going to be very hard, if not impossible, to find tribrachs in Shakespeare (or any other English pentameter, for that matter) that can't be reanalyzed in terms of other feet. Googling "tribrach" gives a number of websites that include the ...


2

The traditional distinction between syllabic (French) and metrical (English) verse is misleading. French has long and short vowels (long and short syllables) just like any other language. English poetry, on the other hand, is "accented" (tricky term here) by long syllables or so-called "stresses" just like French, Italian, Latin and Greek verse. If you don'...


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