Essay in Linguistics
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Essay in Linguistics


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Compare, analyse and explain how the notion of an audience is similar or different across Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays.



All literary works have a voice, a speaker, and an addressee. While voice is an integral part of such works, it is prudent to presume that the author will always be the speaker. As per Rosenberg, a speaker in a poem is a thinking entity who shares their perspectives on issues with the audience (1). In a literary unit, a writer often shares their perspectives through the use of literary context, idioms, metaphor, and other poetic elements. Irrespective of the speaker, when studying a literary work, the understanding of the role of audience and their relation also enhances the comprehension of work.

The nature of the audience has been a point of differentiation across literature throughout history. Where often they are deemed as imaginary crowds for the works, or at other they are the people in front of the performer. Irrespective of this difference, for each work, the focus of the writer is to enable a connection with the audience (Burrow, p.31). Shakespeare has been one of the most prominent playwright and poet of his time, and has been known to often play tricks on his audience. He has been known to lead the readers into believing that they are primary audience, while in reality the speaker himself is the real audience (Wesier, 516). It is however, prudent to presume that this is the speaker' perception towards the audience, rather is recognized as the result of the idioms of the language, as well as the context of the work.


It is for this reason; it becomes vital to understand the reasons for variation in the audience in the works of Shakespeare. Through the course of the present essay an attempt to critique the works of Shakespeare in terms of the intended audience is made. In many of his works, Shakespeare has used hyperbole to express perspective. While the depth of feelings in his work often appear to share some romanticism in its essence, in many cases it appears that the poet intends to use double meaning, and challenge the authorities of the government of that time. In this sense, Deitch (528) argues that in many context Shakespeare plays with the attributes of pathetic fallacy in his work, as a means to represent the intricacy of the human relations and emotions. However, the associated innateness of the object, often renders the work difficult to comprehend for the readers.

While, many would concur that Shakespeare is amongst the most noted playwright of his time, it is recognized that his sonnets have not enjoyed such unconstructive praise in the history (Wesier, 516). However, the very success of the sonnets has provided a peripheral audience to the works of Shakespeare. This audience further share the unique immutability of the human emotions, only recognised by Shakespeare (Burrow, 46). While, many concur that the sonnets amongst other are autobiographical holograms of Shakespeare' life. Meanwhile, through his plays and other narrative works, Shakespeare has shared the intricacy of the human life, and his vision (Deitch, 528).

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