Thee Thou Thine Thy

Chasint

Senior Member
English - England
Difficult to say. There was no way of recording voices back then! Also grammar, spelling and pronunciation changed. Have a look at this article in Wikipedia.

The Great Vowel Shift
The Great Vowel Shift was a series of changes in the pronunciation of the English language that took place primarily between 1350 and the 1600s and 1700s, beginning in southern England and today having influenced effectively all dialects of English. Through this vowel shift, all Middle English long vowels changed their pronunciation.
Great Vowel Shift - Wikipedia
As to a good guess as to the actual sounds, have a look at the suggestion by in #41 by Hermione Golightly.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    To hear what Shakespeare's English sounded like. look for the YouTube videos produced by the language expert David Crystal and his actor son Ben. One of the most noticeable features is the rhotic R, still found in some regional accents.
    I've just watched the Open University's presentation, by Ben Crystal, on the English accent with which Shakespeare would have spoken - it is very much the "Oo-Aaar" accent much favoured in films by pirates (Think "Pirates of the Caribbean"). The best approximation is probably an accent somewhere around Gloucester although this would have been modified by the length of time Shakespeare spent in London.

    Another point of interest he makes is that the speech of the plays was delivered far faster than today's "declamatory verse" would have us believe. Ben Crystal points out that Romeo and Juliet has the lines
    "The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
    And the continuance of their parents' rage,
    Which, but their children's end, naught could remove,
    Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;

    Whereas a modern production takes nearer 3 hours.
     
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