The Art of Speaking Forsoothly
"Speaking forsoothly", that is speaking in an Elizabethan manner, has varying amounts of credence throughout the society. While I think speaking forsoothly is a little silly myself (beyond eliminating words such as OK, kewl and phrases such as motoring along), if people insist on doing it you will be performing a service by ensuring that people get it right
Just your notes
Using thee and thou in the right place is as easy as using I and me. Explain subject and object. Explain when it is and isn't appropriate to use the word ye (ie. not in front of the words Olde Bottle Shoppe). Then those special little verb endings, -eth and -est, as in the Lord giveth.
Add a few small pieces of vocabulary, such as wherefore (meaning for what reason not why, hence Juliet's balcony refrain).
Give a few common expressions. Give a few expressions that can replace modern ones such as OK.
Some people may feel they should have left grammar lessons at high school, if not earlier. Try and keep things amusing.
- Be daring, do a scene from Shakespeare. 'Pyramus and Thisbie' from a Midsummer Nights Dream would do.
- If you're feeling brave bring along a few Shakespearean insults.
- Bring along a book with some of Chaucer's original text in it and read it out. The comparison between Chaucer's Middle English and Elizabethan English may prove interesting. Why not bring along some untranslated Beowulf too? Just don't expect anyone to understand a word.
Resources and References
Webbed by Conrad Leviston. Please mail any suggestions/corrections/comments