Shakespeare's grammar key to his prominence

Dr. Jonathan Hope believes that the key to William Shakespeare's success was not the words that he used, but the way in which he used them. In a chapter in his new book on the English language, Hope finds that the Bard's grammar and word ordering are what set him apart from other writers.

Hope writes, "[Shakespeare's] grammatical skill shows even more dexterity with language. He wrote during a transitional period for English grammar when there was a range of grammatical options open to writers--much of the grammar he chose now seems old--fashioned but it lends poetry to commonplace words and, significantly, while his spelling is often updated, his grammar is not."

Physorg.com adds:

More information: Dr Hope's article, Shakespeare and the English Language, appears in an Open University collection, "English in the World: History, Diversity, Change," edited by Philip Seargeant and Joan Swann (Routledge in association with The Open University).