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Shall I compare thee to a summer’s podcast?

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate,” Shakespeare wrote in Sonnet 18. Though not quite as lovely as Shakespeare himself (or the Fair Youth he was addressing in the sonnet), Paul’s first In a Manner of Speaking podcast episode of the summer is nevertheless quite inspiring, as it’s all about the Bard!

Whether you’re an expert or just beginning your Shakespeare journey, you should get some enjoyment and inspiration from the July podcast, which you can listen to here, or on your favorite podcast channel of index.

Episode 66 (“Shakespeare’s Magical Keyboard”)

The July 2023 episode of In a Manner of Speaking is all about William Shakespeare. Paul dives deep into the Bard, from iambic pentameter, to scansion, to scoring, to metre, to Original Pronunciation. It’s a fun exercise for scholars and professionals but also actors just starting out on their Shakespeare journey.

Paul references his Voicing Shakespeare ebook, which is a great accompaniment to this month’s podcast. For details on how to purchase and download it, go here. (It’s available both in Windows and iTunes/Mac/iPhone formats.)


Below is Edmund’s speech from King Lear, Act 1, Scene 2. To hear Paul deliver the speech in Original Pronunciation (OP), click or tap the triangle-shaped play button. (To hear Paul’s reading of the speech in a modern dialect, go here. ) And for a more complete scansion and scoring of the speech, click here.


Thou, na│ture, art│ my god│dess; ││ to │thy law ENJ
My ser│vices│ are bound. │││Wherefore│ should I ENJ
Stand in│ the plague│ of cus│tom, ││ and│ permit ENJ
The cu│rios│ity│ of na│tions││ to│ deprive│ me, HEX
For that│ I am│││ some twelve│ or four│teen moon-│shines ENJ
Lag of│ a broth│er? │││Why bas│tard? where│fore base? HEX [1]
When my│ dimen│sions ││ are│ as well │compact,
My mind │as gen│’rous,
││and │my shape │as true ENJ
As hon│est ma│dam’s iss│ue? │││Why brand│ they us ENJ HEX[2]
With base? │ with base│ness? ││ bas│tardy? │ base, base?
Who, [in │the lust│y stealth│ of nat│ure, ││] take ENJ
More com│posi│tion ││and│ fierce qua│lity ENJ
Than doth, [│within│ a dull, │││stale, tir│ed bed,]
Go t’ the │crea│ting a│ whole tribe│ of fops,
Got ‘tween │asleep │and wake? │││Well, then, TETR
Legit│’mate Ed│gar, ││ I│ must have│ your land:
Our fa│ther’s love│││ is to│ the bas│tard Ed│mund ENJ
As to│ the le│git’mate: │││fine word, — │legit│imate! HEX
Well, my │legit│’mate, ││if │this let│ter speed,
And my │inven│tion thrive, │││ Edmund │the base ENJ
Shall top │the leg│it’mate. │││ I grow; │ I pros│per:
Now, gods, │││ stand up│ for bas│tards!

[1] This line scans as a broken-backed hexameter with a silent extra beat, taking up metrical space, following brother.  This is a very rare type of line.
[2] And again, another broken-backed hexameter.

For a partial phonetic analysis of the speech in Original Pronunciation, see below. (For further analysis of OP, see Paul’s Original Pronunciation ebook.)

Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
ðəʊ    nɛːtʰə˞  a˞t mɪ gɑdɛs    tʰə ðəɪ lɑː

My services are bound. Wherefore should I
mɪ  sɐ˞vɪsɪz  ə˞ bəʊnd   ʍɛ˞fɔ˞       ʃʊd əi

Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
stand ɪ ðə pʰlɛːg ə kʰɤstəm an pʰɐ˞mɪtʰ

The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
ðə kʰju̹ɹiɑsɪtʰəɪ ə nɛːsjənz tʰə dɪpʰɹəɪv mɪ

For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
fə˞ ðatʰ əi am sɤm tʰʍɛɫv ə˞ fo˞tʰeːn mu̹nʃəɪnz

Lag of a brother?  Why bastard? wherefore base?
lag əv ə bɹɤðə˞    ʍəɪ bastə˞d     ʍɛ˞fɔ˞    bɛːs

When my dimensions are as well compact,
ʍɛn məɪ dəmɛnsjənz a˞ əz wɛɫ kʰəmpʰaktʰ

My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
mɪ məɪnd əz d͡ʒɛnɹəs and mɪ ʃɛːp əz tɹu̹ː

As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us
az  ɑnɪst madəmz ɪsjə     ʍəɪ  bɹand ðɛ ɤs

With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
wɪ  bɛːs     wɪ bɛːsnəs     bastʰɐ˞dəɪ bɛːs bɛːs


And for further Shakespeare study, don’t forget to listen to Paul’s previous podcasts: episodes one, fifteen, thirty-six, forty-three, and fifty-eight.


(Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) is courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)

Episode 36 (Shakespeare’s Shapely Language)

Jan Gist

The topic for the January 2021 podcast is what Paul’s guest, Jan Gist, calls “Shakespeare’s Shapely Language.” Shapes is her term for literary or rhetorical tropes; she and Paul broaden the discussion to reflect on how such ancient devices figure in advertising, political oratory, and other forms of the spoken word today.

Jan Gist has been the voice, speech, and dialect coach for Old Globe productions on 89 shows and for 50 USD/Shiley MFA productions. She has coached at theatres around the country including Ahmanson Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., The American Shakespeare Center, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage, San Diego Repertory, North Coast Repertory, Milwaukee Repertory, PlayMakers’ Repertory, Indiana Repertory, American Players Theatre, and Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company. She coached dialects for the film The Rosa Parks Story and recorded dozens of Books To Listen To.

She is an original member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) and has presented at its conferences, as well as to Voice Foundation’s conferences. Gist has taught workshops at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama and the International Voice Teachers Exchange at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia. She has been published in numerous VASTA journals. Chapters in books include an interview in Voice and Speech Training in the New Millennium: Conversations with Master Teachers, exercises in The Complete Voice And Speech Workout, and Yiddish, in Jerry Blunt’s More Stage Dialects. Most recently, her article “Voicing Poems”, including some of her own poems, was published in Voice and Speech Review. She is a professor in The Old Globe/USD Shiley Graduate Theatre Program.

For more information on Jan, visit her website:

And for a related discussion, listen to episode 58 of this podcast.

(Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)

Episode 1 (Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation)

This first podcast focuses on Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation (the dialect of English spoken in the late 16th and early 17th century). It also serves as an introduction to the entire In a Manner of Speaking series, as Paul briefly touches on several topics of upcoming podcasts. For more information about the Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s upcoming production of Twelfth Night, visit the site. And here is the Original Pronunciation text that Paul references:

If music be the food of love, play on
ɪf mju̹ːzɪk beː ðə fu̹ːd ə lɤv ple ɑːn

Give me excess of it, that surfeiting,
gɪ mɪ ɪksɛs əv ɪt ðət sɐ˞fətɪn

The appetite may sicken and so die.
ðɪ apətəit mɛ sɪkn̩ n̩ so dəi

That strain again! It had a dying fall.
ðat stɹɛːn əgɛn ɪt ad ə dəiɪn fɑːɫ

O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
o ɪt kɛː oə˞ mɪ i˞ ləik ðə sweːt səʊnd

That breathes upon a bank of violets.
ðət bɹeːðz əpɑn ə baŋk ə vəiəlɪts

[Duke Orsino,  Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene 1]

(Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)