Shakespeare's Vocabulary: Myth and Reality

  title={Shakespeare's Vocabulary: Myth and Reality},
  author={Hugh Craig},
  journal={Shakespeare Quarterly},
  pages={53 - 74}
  • Hugh Craig
  • Published 2011
  • History
  • Shakespeare Quarterly
One of the staples of Shakespeare commentary for the past century and more has been the idea that Shakespeare had an exceptionally large vocabulary. Now that electronic texts of early modern English drama are available in quantity, it is possible to check this claim. Comparing Shakespeare's plays to a large group of plays by other writers from the period shows that his vocabulary is indeed large, but this would seem to be only because his canon of surviving single-author plays is larger than… Expand
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