Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers how the unique linguistic terrain of late 16th-century England—characterized by the changing status and structure of English, and new attention to the rules governing its use—informed the literary culture of the period. Focusing on the broad category of ‘grammar’, the chapter explores how Sidney and Shakespeare engage with the changing language in their sonnets. It suggests that Sidney’s witty appeals to the rules of grammar, and his experimentation on the border between classical and vernacular language, highlight the transitional linguistic resources available to late-century writers. Similarly, Shakespeare’s engagement with the shifting structure of the language points to a recognition of the rhetorical possibilities opened up by the distinctive linguistic climate of the age.

Keywords: Shakespeare, Sidney, sonnets, Astrophil and Stella, early modern English, English grammar, Latin grammar

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.