Alliteration - repetition of beginning consonant sounds
ACTING CLUE: Ignore alliteration at your peril! It doesn't take much, just a little attention will
improve the sound quality of your spoken presentation.
EXAMPLE: "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought..." (Sonnet 30)
Assonance - repetition of vowel sounds
ACTING CLUE: I like to think of vowels as the 'emotion of' or 'soul in' a word. It's in the repetition
of vowel sounds that we can discover the mood or tone of a particular speech.
EXAMPLE: "If I could write the beauty of your eyes..." (Sonnet 17)
Consonance - repetition of consonant sounds
ACTING CLUE: As with alliteration and assonance, consonance should never be ignored.
Whereas I referred to vowel sounds being the soul of a word, the consonants
are the protective skin - sometimes soft and malleable, other times hard and
immovable. All authors (not just Shakespeare) choose their words carefully,
and the emotion and impact those words have carry great significance to the
overall message. Ignore these clues and you will miss that message.
EXAMPLE 1: "Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows..." (Sonnet 40)
EXAMPLE 2*: "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought..." (Sonnet 30)
*This example was also used above under 'alliteration.' Double the fun!
Pronounciation / Spelling - using the earlier versions of the text (First Folio or Quartos) and their phonetic
spellings gives us an idea on how words were meant to be pronounced (author's
ACTING CLUE: Look at it as getting your direction from the playwrite himself. Follow directions!
EXAMPLE: "For truth prooves theevish for a prize so deare." (Sonnet 48)
O - an exhalation of thought or emotion
ACTING CLUE: Please do not say, "Oh," as a word. Shakespeare is giving you the opportunity
to express the emotion of the moment, by giving you an 'O' - take advantage
of it, try it different ways, and see what suits the tone of the other words in the line.
EXAMPLE: "It is my lady, O it is my love!
O that she knew she were!" (Romeo & Juliet, Act II, sc ii)
Onomatopeia - a word that sounds like what it is or does
ACTING CLUE: Exaggerate these sounds when playing with your reading! Discoveries might be
made about other aspects of the text. Whether or not you use the full
exaggeration in your 'performed' reading, is up to you.
EXAMPLES: sunk, ooze, hiss, blot, sap, ...
**Of course, I'm a firm believer in not just saying words like you mean it, but like the word means.**
moon, fierce, rage, fire, spite, ...
- SOUND CLUES -