Speak it in Welsh

Speak it in Welsh : Wales and the Welsh Language in Shakespeare

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From the quarrelling captains in Henry V, to the linguistically challenged lovers in I Henry IV, to the monoglot vocalist Lady Mortimer, to the proud Sir Hugh Evans, Shakespeare offers Welsh characters whose voices, language use, and presence help reflect a sometimes marginalized aspect of British identity. "Speak It in Welsh": Wales and the Welsh Language in Shakespeare seeks to understand why Shakespeare included the Welsh voice in his plays.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 226 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 476.27g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739117602
  • 9780739117606
  • 2,121,961

About Megan S. Lloyd

Megan S. Lloyd is associate professor at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA.show more

Review quote

The place of Wales in Shakespeare, and the place of Shakespeare in Wales, extends far beyond the setting of Cymbeline and the character of Glendower. Megan Lloyd, like Fluellen, offers a Welsh correction to an English condition-the condition of paying too little heed to England's neighbor nations. Lloyd is to be congratulated for bringing such clarity of purpose and critical acumen to discussion of the vital but vexed nature of Anglo-Welsh relations in the early modern period.'Speak It in Welsh' is a valuable contribution to current debates around colonial and national identities in Shakespeare and in Renaissance studies more generally. By examining the Welsh dimensions of Shakespeare alongside the work of his contemporaries, and establishing a detailed historical context for questions of language and identity, Lloyd makes a convincing case for the importance of Wales as a site of resistance, a source of rhetoric, and a staging post for idea about empire and union. All those interested in the politics of performance, and the ways in which issues of race and representation crisscross the drama, will find something to savour in this rich and rewarding study. -- Willy Maley, professor of Renaissance studies, University of Glasgow This attractively written volume provides an authoritative point of entry into the intriguing extent to which Wales and its native language figured in the works of Shakespeare. It casts new light on issues of identity, anglicization, and the emergence of Cambro-Britons in the days of 'The Bard.' -- Geraint Jenkins, director, University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies The references to the plays are very comprehensive and the historical background informative...She has undoubtedly made a considerable contribution to understanding the position of the Welsh in the time of Elizabeth. Renaissance Quarterly The volume is clearly the result of several years' study and is fully researched and up-to-date, presenting not only a study from the Shakespearean side (the author is an expert in this area) but also casts the net wider and gives a picture of ethnicity in the Elizabethan period, including intermarriage and language problems; the author looks at attitudes to the situation of the Welsh language in the period , and the exiled Welsh in England (and in particular, in London) in the period...The study is successful, and what we have is an interesting and full picture of Elizabethan society with a focus on Wales and the Welsh language...full, informative, and fascinating...Speak It in Welsh is a long-overdue study of this topic and will hopefully prove to be the first of several. Sixteenth Century Journal Megan Lloyd's 'Speak It in Welsh' illuminates a usually forgotten aspect of early modern British studies: the place of Wales and the Welsh. By examining how Welsh characters were portrayed in Shakespeare's plays, Lloyd goes to the heart of issues of language, identity, and nation. Her study not only examines Welsh characters, but places them within a cultural context with descriptions of historical Welsh people in early modern Britain. Thoroughly researched and elegantly written,'Speak It in Welsh' is an important scholarly contribution. -- Carole Levin, Willa Cather Professor of History, University of Nebraska, author of The Heart and Stomach of a King: Elizabeth I and the Politishow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter 1: "To Speak Welsh": Nonsense and Subversion in Henry IV, Part I Chapter 3 Chapter 2: "The Lady Speaks in Welsh": Lady Mortimer and Tudor Policy in Shakespeare's I Henry IV Chapter 4 Chapter 3: "I cannot speak your England": Language, Britishness, and Shakespeare's Henriad Chapter 5 Chapter 4: Acquiesce or Eat My Leek: Approaches to Assimilation in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry V Chapter 6 Chapter 5: Location, Location, Location: Wales in Cymbeline Chapter 7 Chapter 6: Welsh "Noise" and Communicating Couples: Playing Welsh Language and Culture on Stage Chapter 8 Chapter 7: "Here the Lady Sings a Welsh Song": Shakespeare's Welsh Language in Performance Chapter 9 Appendix A: The Welsh Language and the Welsh Character on Stage Chapter 10 Appendix B: A Note on Editionsshow more