Ben Sutherland, taken on November 19, 2011

Department of English

To Write or Not to Write

To Write or Not to Write

As part of the Year of Languages at the Faculty of Arts, we at the Department of English are excited to announce a student competition in writing modern dialogues in Shakespearean English.

  • Let your creative juices flow and write a dialogue taking place today (e.g. between friends, family members, classmates, etc.) but in 16th century English – the kind of language that would have been used by William Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
  • Send your submission(s) to by 31 January 2023. They will be judged by a panel.
  • All BA and MA students studying at the University of Ljubljana are eligible, but they must be degree students (i.e. exchange students are not eligible). The dialogues can be written individually or as a team effort.
  • The main prize is one return plane ticket to London and a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Several other successful entries will also receive prizes.
  • For more information please contact Monika Kavalir.


To help you become fluent in Will Shakespeare’s lingo, we are organising the following:

  • a guest lecture by Mathew Gillings and Isolde van Dorst (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien) “Exploring myths about Shakespeare’s language: new insights from corpus linguistics” on Tuesday, 15 November 2022, between 8:50 and 12:10 in Room 15,
  • the Shakespeare corner in the departmental library where you can find useful books and reference materials (with thanks to Maja Lipužič and Kristina Pegan Vičič),
  • some ideas for useful resources on the departmental website; of particular note are Cambridge Shakespeare and Shakespeare's Words (to access the former use your UL digital identity, while the code for the latter can be found in the e-classroom).


Some Useful Resources

Alexander, Catherine M. S. (ed.). Shakespeare and Language. Cambridge: CUP, 2004.
Blake, Norman F. Shakespeare's Non-Standard English: A Dictionary of His Informal Language. London, New York: Continuum, 2004.
Blank, Paula. Shakesplish: How We Read Shakespeare's Language. Stanford: SUP, 2018.
Burness, Edwina, and Vivian Salmon (eds.). A Reader in the Language of Shakespearean Drama. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: J. Benjamins, 1987.
Busse, Beatrix. Vocative Constructions in the Language of Shakespeare. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: J. Benjamins, 2006.
Crystal, David. Think on My Words: Exploring Shakespeare's Language. Cambridge: CUP, 2012.
Evans, B. Ifor. The Language of Shakespeare's Plays. London, New York: Routledge, 2013.
Hasse, R. Chris. Shakespeare's Religious Language: A Dictionary. New York, London: Continuum, 2007.
Hope, Jonathan. Shakespeare's Grammar. London: Bloomsbury, 2003.
Hope, Jonathan. Shakespeare and Language: Reason, Eloquence and Artifice in the Renaissance. London: Bloomsbury, 2010.
Magnusson, Lynne. Shakespeare and Social Dialogue: Dramatic Language and Elizabethan Letters. Cambridge: CUP, 1999.
O'Dell, Leslie. Shakespearean Language. London: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Ravassat, Mireille, and Jonathan Culpeper (eds.). Stylistics and Shakespeare's Language: Transdisciplinary Approaches. London, New York: Continuum, 2011.
Williams, Gordon. Shakespeare's Sexual Language: A Glossary. London, New York: Continuum, 2006.
Shakespeare’s Language: Styles and Meanings via Computer. Language and Literature 29.3 (August 2020).  

Cambridge Shakespeare (Free trial: 1st December 2022 – 31st January 2023) 
Crystal, David, and Ben Crystal.
Shakespeare's Words (the code to log in is available here)
Encyclopedia of Shakespeare's Language
Explore Shakespeare
The Folger Shakespeare
Shakespeare's Language: Revealing Meanings and Exploring Myths (Lancaster University) 

*Fotografija / Photo by Ben Sutherland