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Shakespeare's Wordcraft

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    engaging lessons on the craft of writing from Shakespeare's plays

    Kaiser has the entertaining idea of using brief quotes from Shakespeare--hundreds and hundreds of quotes--to impart lessons for effective, occasionally memorable writing, mostly word usage and sentence structure. Thus one is treated to numerous Shakespearean quotes as examples of notable word usage and fundamental writing techniques identified by Kaiser. He names these words, additions, repetitions, reverberations, transformations, substitutions, omissions, order, and disorder. Within each of the nine chapters are several subsections for different aspects of the technique. Delayed Repetitions and Landings are two of the eight aspects under Reverberations. 'Shame, and eternal shame, nothing but shame' from 'Hamlet' is one example of the former. 'Dost thou teach pardon, pardon to destroy?' is an example from 'King Richard the Second' of Landings, explained as '[t]he last word or words of a phrase repeated as the beginning of the next phrase.' The unique writer's handbook can be studied systematically or be a bedside companion to dip into randomly for enjoyment and instruction.

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