RadleyRadley

  • Radley College, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 2HR
  • Telephone: 01235 543000, Fax: 01235 543106

Accessibility

Portals

Portals

Navigation

Main Menu

David Crystal Lecture

David Crystal Lecture

Report by Rory Marsh and Robert Crawfurd, J Social 6.1s

David Crystal is far from your everyday academic, writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster. He is an accomplished Shakespeare enthusiast, alongside his far from modest achievements, including his OBE, FBA and FLSW to name a few.  Everything you know about Shakespeare is wrong. The language, the comedy, the complexity, may seem antique, but is as potent as ever.

Crystal shared his knowledge with us through his humorous dissection of the language of one of the greatest writers to ever live. His delivery was nothing short of enthralling, as passion seeped from every word spoken. His broad, perhaps unmatched knowledge of the subject shared with us, cementing this man’s reputation as a veteran of Shakespearian study. He dusted off the mundane technique of iambic pentameter to explain it in a new light. David Crystal breathed life into a tired, age-old study with showmanship and unmatched charisma, with a central message throughout: ‘The plays are for the stage, not for the page’.

Further Report 

The distinguished Shakespeare scholar, David Crystal OBE, came to Radley on the afternoon on Wednesday September 14th to give a fascinating Talk to a large audience, which included pupils from Radley, Oxford Spires Academy, Didcot Girls’ School and Desborough College (Radley’s partner school).

David Crystal took as his theme ‘The Tongue that Shakespeare Spoke’ and gave his audience some fascinating insights into how the Plays were actually performed and pronounced at the time.

Everyone learned something new about The Bard: including, for example, the fact that of the million or so words he used in his Canon, only around 5% were different to those in modern English. As he put it, “Most of the time, the language of Shakespeare is the same as we use today.” David Crystal also underlined the importance of iambic pentameter in helping actors learn their lines at very short notice, from “cue scripts” – often memorised overnight.

This event was organised by Anne Muhlberg, Radley’s Librarian (pictured below, with David and Hilary Crystal).

Main Menu