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Reading and Analysing The Prose Of Shakespeare

Class 6
Jun 13, 2023

Let’s study more about “Prose of a Famous Person” right away.

What Does Shakespeare’s “Prose” Mean?

Shakespeare uses one of three types of language in his plays: prose, rhymed verse, or blank poetry, each of which he employs to produce effects.

You must be conversant with a number of technical phrases in order to identify these sorts of language and comprehend how Shakespeare employs them in his plays.

What is the Primary Subject of Shakespeare’s Prose?

Shakespeare’s English could be challenging for us to read and comprehend. They claim he doesn’t speak English and won’t accept that his characters speak like regular people.

It can be helpful to keep in mind that his plays are written in both prose and verse.


Activity time

Activity time
Activity time

In a few sentences, turn this image into a short story.



Let’s Learn a Few Things About Shakespeare’s Poetry

  • William Shakespeare was a well-known English playwright, poet, and performer who was born in 1564. Most people celebrate his birthday on April 23, which is also said to be the day of his death in 1616.
  • Shakespeare wrote 38 plays, two narrative poems, 154 sonnets, and numerous other pieces.
  • Even today, different pieces of art are still being influenced by his plays.
  • Shakespeare’s language might be a barrier for certain people since it requires them to become accustomed to a completely new lexicon.
  • His plays can be rather intimidating to read on paper if you’re not accustomed to early modern writing, and when you try to read the opening speech, you immediately begin to feel anxious.

What Does Shakespeare’s Prose Look Like?

Shakespeare’s plays have prose as the typical speech pattern. The line lacks any sense of timing or meter. It uses a common language. The speech would seem familiar to Shakespeare’s audience.


How to Analyze Shakespeare’s Prose?

Shakespeare included stage direction in his writing in this way.


Shakespeare’s plays have prose as the typical speech pattern. The phrase lacks any sense of timing or meter. It uses a common language. The speech would seem familiar to Shakespeare’s audience. Many significant characters, though, can talk in prose.


Shakespeare wrote a large number of verse-based plays. Usually, a noble or upper-class character will speak in a poem. These characters dominated the majority of Shakespeare’s plays. He employs the blank verse style. Each line has an inherent beat and a predictable rhythmic structure despite the absence of rhyme.

How to Analyze the Prose/Verse of Shakespeare’s Writing?

  • Recognize the genres

Comprehension of how to study Shakespeare’s texts requires a thorough understanding of the genres in which he wrote. Shakespeare wrote plays in a variety of genres, including comedies, tragedies, and late romances.

  • Examine the footnotes

These provide in-depth analyses and articles on the play. Excellent footnotes that describe the dated terms are included as well.

  • Reading the text several times

The text’s meaning frequently does not become clear at first reading. Since Shakespearean theatre uses antiquated vocabulary, theatrical forms, and unclear metaphorical language, it is doubly difficult to understand.

  • Read and read out loud.

Shakespeare wrote theatrical plays that were meant to be read aloud. To understand what is being stated, you must pay attention to the spoken words.

  • Originally ignore the enjambment.

Poets do this to develop opposing ideas. It regularly appears in Shakespeare’s works. Try to overlook the poetic enjambment and presentation of the lines, though, when reading the lines for the first time.

  • Welcome ambiguity

You might use this as a springboard to talk about the numerous theories about Iago’s motivations. This will show a marker that you fully comprehend the content and all of its possible interpretations.

  • Understand your serious limitations.
  • Instead, then attempting to read the plays in an esoteric, revolutionary, or profound manner, the best method to achieve good grades is to provide ideas that are straightforward and well-supported.

The Importance of Shakespeare’s Use of Prose

Verse writing was commonplace in Shakespeare’s time since it was seen as a sign of literary excellence. Shakespeare defied tradition and fearlessly deviated from the rules to achieve more powerful effects by penning some of his most somber and moving addresses in prose.

Describe prose. How is it Different From Verse?

Understanding the distinction between prose and verse is not as difficult as you would imagine, yet it is essential to understanding Shakespeare’s writing.

Shakespeare alternated between prose and verse in his writing to change the meter of his plays’ plots and give his characters greater nuance. Don’t be fooled. His handling of prose is just as proficient as his use of verse.

List a few of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays.

  1. ________________________
  2. ________________________
  3. ________________________
  4. ________________________
  5. _________________________


  • All’s Well That Ends Well (1601–05)
  • Antony and Cleopatra (1606–07)
  • As You Like It (1598–1600)
  • The Comedy of Errors (1589–94)
  • Coriolanus (c. 1608)
  • Cymbeline (1608–10)
  • Hamlet (c. 1599–1601)
  • Henry IV, Part 1 (c. 1596–97)

Let’s practice with a few examples

Read the following from Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to grasp the primary idea, then write it in your lines.

Titania:  Or say, sweet love, what thou desire to eat.

Bottom: Truly, a peck of provender. I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks, I have a great desire to a bottle of hay. Good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.

Titania:  I have a venturous fairy that shall seek the squirrel’s hoard and fetch thee new nuts.

Bottom: I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas. But I pray you, let none of your people stir me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.

Write the poem analysis from your perspective.



Titania asks Bottom if he’d like something to eat, and he asks for oats and hay. She offers to have a fairy steal some nuts from a squirrel, but Bottom says he’d rather have a couple handfuls of dried peas. None of it matters, though, because Bottom is feeling very sleepy.

Analysing The Prose Of Shakespeare


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