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Paul Dry Books' edition of this 1947 classic has been produced with the highest publishing standards as a companion to our edition of The Trivium“Sister Miriam Joseph’s Shakespeare’s Use of the Arts of Language remains after than half a century an immensely valuable aid to serious students of the greatest of all writers The book manifests enormous learning and real wisdom in applying that erudition to the needs of contemporary readers”—Harold Bloom“The importance of this book is that it makes clear what we ought to mean when we call Shakespeare an artist in languageThe average person today knows two figures of speech if he knows anyShakespeare knew two hundred”—Mark Van Doren New York Herald TribuneAs part of their education in the trivium the liberal arts of logic grammar and rhetoric grammar school students in Shakespeare’s time were taught to recognize the two hundred figures of speech that Renaissance scholars had derived from Latin and Greek sources Sister Miriam Joseph views this theory of composition as integral to Shakespeare’s mastery of language In her classic 1947 book she lays out these figures of speech in simple understandable patterns and explains each one with examples from Shakespeare Her analysis of his plays and poems illustrates that the Bard knew about rhetoric than perhaps anyone elseSister Miriam Joseph 1898–1982 earned her doctorate from Columbia University A member of the Sisters of the Holy Cross Sister Miriam was professor of English at Saint Mary’s College from 1931 to 1960

10 thoughts on “Shakespeare's Use of the Arts of Language

  1. says:

    I have an interest in rhetoric and specifically figures of speech Shakespeare and the KJV Bible use them to a beautiful effect and I enjoy identifying them and trying to use them With that background I was very interested in this book The scope of the book is much larger than figures of speech however It covers a wide range of linguistic devices and techniues grammar logic and rhetoric However interested readers should know that this is less a close analysis of Shakespeare’s use of these devices and a catalog of the ClassicalRenaissance devices with examples The author is interested in spelling out the elements of ClassicalRenaissance language and checking off the fact that Shakespeare used a particular device than how or why he used it So it’s good for what it is – a lesson on classical rhetoric and evidence that Shakespeare knew it well and practiced its basic tenets with aplomb It does not answer what devices or figures Shakespeare used most how this changed throughout his career and what he hoped to achieve by using them But this is for the hardcore grammarianrhetoricianlogician only It’s pretty dry reading

  2. says:

    Unbelievable scholarship