Rhyme and reason

Oxford's spoken and written English, rather than similar, was very different from Shakespeare's.

  • Oxford rhymes “was” with “case” and “face” with “glass”. Shakespeare rhymed 'face' with 'place'.
  • Oxford rhymes “shows” with “lose”. Shakespeare rhymes it with 'rose'.
  • Oxford rhymes “grief” with “strife”. Shakespeare rhymes 'grief' with 'chief and 'strife' with 'wife'.
  • In the hundreds of lines that survive, Oxford lazily rhymes words ending in ‘s’ which do not otherwise rhyme. Shakespeare never does this once in tens of thousands of lines.

Oxford's written English is at odds with the more polished written English of Elizabethan men of letters who all contrived to achieve a consistent style and consistent spelling and made frequent use of Latin quotation.

Oxford's spelling and style do provide a profile, though it is not of a man who made his living by writing.

Share this post

Comments (4)

  • anon

    "Oxford rhymes “shows” with “lose”. Shakespeare rhymes it with 'rose'." So what? this is meaningless unless you have reconstructions for the pronunciations of these words, and evidence for these reconstructions.

    Feb 24, 2013
  • anon

    You do understand what a rhyme is, don't you??

    Feb 24, 2013
  • anon

    Yes, without further evidence of contemporary pronunciation, it doesn't prove that Oxford's rhymes were necessarily bad, any more than the rhyming of "Blow, blow, thou winter wind" with "Thou art not so unkind" by Shakespeare proves that he couldn't create a good rhyme. But it's still a pretty strong argument against Oxfordian claims, since Oxfordians are forced to choose one of two options:

    1. Oxford rhymed words that don't rhyme

    2. Oxford and Shakespeare pronounced the same words in different ways.

    The implications of number 2 are obvious.

    Jun 10, 2013
  • anon

    A warm (if slightly belated) welcome to Oxfraud, Old Nightwork. Oxford, of course, did rhyme words that don't rhyme. He repeatedly 'rhymes' plurals such as 'cares' and 'feares'* with no internal rhyme, simply because the words end in 's'. Other Elizabethan poets have this rather lazy habit too. In tens of thousands of lines, Will never does this once. *http://oxfraud.com/100-poet

    Jun 11, 2013