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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Writing Tidbit #4- Dialogue



When writing dialogue, always try to keep in mind the character's educational background. Social status is a similar idea to remember. Those with more education generally tend to speak in more complex sentences and have a larger vocabulary. The following is from Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Juliet has faked her death and the Capulet household has just discovered her seemingly dead body.

Romeo and Juliet- Act 4, Scene 4, Lines 72- 84

Lady Capulet

Accursed, unhappy, wretched, hateful, day!
Most miserable hour that e'er time saw
In lasting labor of his pilgramage.
But one, poor one, one poor and loving child,
But one thing to rejoice and solace in,
And cruel death had catched it from my sight!

Nurse

O woe! O woeful, woeful, woeful day!
Most lamentable day, most woeful day
That ever, ever, I did yet behold!
O day, O day, O day, O hateful day!
Never was seen so black a day as this.
O woeful, O woeful day!

I'm sure you can see the point I'm trying to make. The Nurse uses considerable lower vocabulary than Lady Capulet. And yes, the Nurse was closer to Juliet than Lady Capulet ever was, but their different words of mourning are still worth noting.

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