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Shakespeare's Language: Revealing Meanings and Exploring Myths

Lancaster University via FutureLearn


Debunk and discover common myths surrounding the language of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is a global phenomenon, yet there is actually relatively little work specifically devoted to his language, and even less deploying the latest techniques from linguistics.

On this course, you will explore Shakespeare’s language and, more generally, the language of his time.

Over four weeks, you will be introduced to “big data” corpus methods (methods that use computers to explore large volumes of language data) which you can use for your own investigations, and will explore how words and meanings pattern across plays, characters, and more.

Along the way, you will find out why various beliefs about Shakespeare’s life and language–like that he coined an extraordinary number of new words–are actually myths.

This course will be actively facilitated between the 12th July and 8th August.

This course is for anyone interested in Shakespeare, language, and corpus linguistics. This includes English or literature teachers and students.

To fully engage with this course, you will need to sign up to use an external tool called CQPWeb provided by Lancaster University. Details of how to do this will be provided during the course.

Taught by

Jonathan Culpeper

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