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What did an “alarum” sound like?

Graduate Intern, Luke Wilding, discusses the term alarum, and suggests what it might have actually sounded like… The term alarum occurs 89 times in Shakespeare’s first folio. The Oxford English Dictionary states that an alarum is “used as a call to arms or warning of imminent danger, esp. of being attacked.” Christopher R. Wilson and […]

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Summer school reflections

Claire McGann, a first year PhD student in the English Literature and Creative Writing Department at Lancaster University, discusses attending Lancaster University’s Summer School in Corpus Linguistics. In June I attended several of the events held at Lancaster University’s Summer School in Corpus Linguistics. Andrew Hardie’s introductory session provided a great initial overview of corpus […]

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Writing Tips from Shakespeare – Lancaster University’s Language Detectives

Jules Horne, a playwright and attendee of the Lancaster Summer Schools in Corpus Linguistics and other Digital Methods reflects on her visit, and discusses the importance of the Encyclopaedia and Shakespeare’s Language project… Ever wondered about Shakespeare as a writer? What techniques did he use? How did he create his effects? What can you learn for […]

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Music in Shakespeare

Graduate intern, Luke Wilding, discusses his work researching music in the works of Shakespeare. I came to work on The Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s Language through a graduate internship scheme run by Lancaster University. I finished my undergraduate degree in English Literature in the summer of 2016 at Lancaster, and was keen to get some experience […]

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Shakespeare and social status

Shakespeare and Social Status Senior Research Associate, Dr Sean Murphy, discusses how he categorised each of Shakespeare’s 1,402 characters according to social status.   Introduction Social class matters. Sir Thomas Smith, writing at the time Shakespeare was born, was certainly attuned to such classifications, dividing men [sic] into foure sortes: Gentlemen, Citizens, yeoman artificers and […]

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On Valentine’s Day

By Sean Murphy. Each numbered phrase is from a Shakespeare play, but which one? Answers below: Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window To be your Valentine[i]. I am so love-shaked[ii] that I need a remedy. My love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers[iii]. I […]

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What was Christmas like for Shakespeare?

Christmas in Shakespeare’s time wasn’t a particularly glamorous affair, and it was quite unlike the finely-decorated homes and glitzy German markets that we know today. It should therefore come as no surprise that the word Christmas only appears a mere three times in Shakespeare’s First Folio, and the word Yule doesn’t appear at all. Likewise, […]

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