Dorothy E. Litt


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Nominal jests were very popular among the literati of the English Renaissance. The plays and poems of the period are studded with name-play, and Shakespeare, with his lively mind, excelled at the game. 1 Much has been written of his jests on his own name in the Sonnets 2 and on his name usage in the plays. 3 Although much name-play may at times seem trivial or obvious, when it appears in a consistent pattern linked to the play's function we may gain insight into Shakespeare's method and purposes. My first two examples are of name duplication which serve as foreshadowing devices.



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