Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-klj7v Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-23T01:29:23.063Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 2 - Shakespeare and ‘the King’s English’

Language, History, Power

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 October 2019

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Affiliation:
Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Get access

Summary

This chapter provides a history of ‘the King’s English’ as a context for an analysis of language, history and power in The Merry Wives of Windsor and the second tetralogy. The trope is used as a rhetorical and ideological tool in performatives. Associated with temperance and honesty, ‘the King’s English’ belongs to a set of defining values of true Englishness. The project to produce this linguistic norm coincides with a homologous project to produce a stable, monetary system of ‘good’ coin through exclusion of ‘bad’, ‘counterfeit’ or ‘clipped’ coin. These projects testify to a shift of the centre of economic and cultural gravity from the court to the merchant citizen class. Shakespeare’s one English comedy centred on English citizens which features his one use of ‘the King’s English’ is shown to engage critically with this ideology, and to set against it an idea of ‘our English’ as an inclusive mix, the ‘gallimaufry’ loved by the linguistically extravagant gentleman John Falstaff. The comedy draws out the implications of the banishment of Falstaff in the second tetralogy, which sets history against the project of cultural reformation ideology to produce (the) ‘true’ English.

Type
Chapter
Information
Shakespeare's Englishes
Against Englishness
, pp. 46 - 92
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×