Article published in:Multilingualism in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
Edited by Dirk Delabastita and Ton Hoenselaars
[Benjamins Current Topics 73] 2015
► pp. 137–160
Social stratification and stylistic choices in Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday
The English playwright Thomas Dekker belonged to a generation of dramatists, along with Shakespeare and Jonson, who, particularly in comedy, discriminated their characters through lexical and stylistic choices. This new conception of the dramatic character is well illustrated in Dekker’s play The Shoemaker’s Holiday (1600). Written and produced in London at a time when the city attracted many migrants from all over England and Wales as well as the European continent, the speech of the characters created by Dekker represents different social groups as well as nationalities. This paper seeks to investigate socio-linguistic choices associated with selected characters and code-switching between English and Dutch in Dekker’s play.
Keywords: Dutch, London English, socio-historical linguistics, standardisation and language change, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, Thomas Dekker
Published online: 24 June 2015