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The Eloquent Shakespeare

A Pronouncing Dictionary for the Complete Dramatic Works with Notes to Untie the Modern Tongue

The Eloquent Shakespeare

A Pronouncing Dictionary for the Complete Dramatic Works with Notes to Untie the Modern Tongue

An actor’s deepest desire is to be understood. But when asked to pronounce such words as “chanson,” “phantasime,” or “quaestor,” many otherwise unflappable actors can be rendered speechless.
The Eloquent Shakespeare aims to untie those tongues and help anyone speak Shakespeare’s language with ease. More than 17,500 entries make it the most comprehensive pronunciation guide to Shakespeare’s words, from the common to the arcane. Each entry is written in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and represents standard American pronunciations, making this dictionary perfect for North American professionals or non-native speakers of American English.
Renowned Shakespearean voice and text coach Gary Logan has spent years teaching Shakespeare’s works to some of the best actors in the world. His book includes proper names, foreign words and phrases, as well as an extensive introduction that covers everything from how to interpret the entries to scansion dynamics. Designed especially for actors, directors, stage managers, and teachers, The Eloquent Shakespeare is a one-of-a-kind resource for performing Shakespeare’s dramatic works.

368 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2009

Language and Linguistics: Language--Reference

Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works


“Extremely useful to those who coach, act in, direct, and teach Shakespeare’s plays.”

Linda Gates, head of voice, department of theater, Northwestern University

“Logan’s knowledge of his material is both broad and deep, combining a theater professional’s sensitivity to the use of language, a phonetician’s precision, and a linguist’s knowledge of the history and development of English. The book is bound to be of tremendous use to actors, directors, vocal coaches, and theater teachers. Its comprehensiveness sets it apart from other similar works.”

Ralph Zito, Chair, Voice and Speech, Drama Division, The Juilliard School

“Terrifically useful, well planned, clear, and helpful. The Eloquent Shakespeare is a one-of-a-kind reference guide.”

Don Wadsworth, School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon University

“Logan’s account of prosody, verse versus prose, prevailing rhythm, foreign words, rhyme, and shifts in syllabic stress ought to be reprinted in all editions of Shakespeare used by high-school students and undergraduates. I know of no more succinct and practical an account anywhere.”

Bruce Smith, professor of English, University of Southern California

“Logan has given us a pronouncing dictionary for Shakespeare which surpasses anything previously available in both scope and depth. Thoroughly researched and carefully documented, it clearly indicates pronunciations which are conjectural or matters of debate, as well as laying out in detail the standard of pronunciation adopted for the dictionary. This is an invaluable resource for actors, voice coaches, and directors.”

Ellen O’Brien, head of voice and text, Shakespeare Theatre Company

The Eloquent Shakespeare is an archaeological site; a treasure trove of sumptuous words celebrating one of the richest languages on earth from the most generous dramatist who ever lived, and Logan has done all of the digging for us. This indispensable guide will become a trusted companion, assisting directors in their research and actors in their preparation.”

Michael Kahn, Artistic Director, Shakespeare Theatre Company

“Although the spelling of Shakespeare’s words has become largely standardized, their pronunciation (alas) remains subject to individual whim, varying from performer to performer and sometimes from one night to the next. In The Eloquent Shakespeare, Logan has undertaken not only to correct mispronunciations but to present preferred or recommended pronunciations as well.”

Harold Cordry | Booklist Online

"Logan’s volume will be very helpful for actors, directors, and speakers, while academics will appreciate his textual observations and linguistic detail."

American Reference Books Annual

“To browse through The Eloquent Shakespeare is to be reminded of the richness of Shakespeare’s language, but also of the difficulty of giving voice to his words. . . . Designed primarily for actors, directors, and teachers, Logan’s dictionary provides guidelines for pronouncing Shakespeare using ‘a modern standard English of the American variety.’ . . . [The book] is remarkably easy to use, in part because clear examples of phonemes are provided at bottom of each double page.”

Katharine A. Craik | Shakespeare Quarterly

The Eloquent Shakespeare is an engrossing, impeccably organized, sensitively written, highly accessible, academically sound and supremely useful font of knowledge that has set the new standard for pronunciation dictionaries.”

Voice & Speech Review

Table of Contents




1   The Pronounciation Paradigm
2   The Phonetic Transcription of Sounds in American English
3   The Properties of Standard American Stage Dialect

     Interpretation of Entries

     Shakespeare’s Verse

     Reference Guide


     The Dictionary

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