Motivation and Subtext



By speaking the lines aloud and by attending performances and rehearsals, a student begins to understand how a text comes alive in speech, action and performance. He will also learn to recognise the cues which Shakespeare has written into his dialogue to guide an actor and control dramatic effect. Meaning, allusion, reference, repetition, double meanings, syntax, metre, verse-lining, rhetorical structure, exchange of lead, interruption, silence, description of speech or action are among the obvious cues we have noticed already. Others are more hidden, and a reader, like an actor, has to be aware of them.


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© John Russell Brown 1981

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