The use of You and Thou in The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Francisco Javier Díaz Pérez

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse the different factors which determine the choice of one of the two variants of the second person singular pronoun, You or Thou, by the various characters of Shakespeare's play The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The total number of you and thou forms which constitute this corpus is 777. Each of these forms has been analyzed taking into account the social relationships of power and solidarity established between the interlocutors, as well as the variables of social class and sex. In addition, emotional factors have been considered. It is not my intention to extrapolate the results obtained in this study to the English usage of Shakespeare's age. They simply refer to the play itself.

Keywords

Teatro inglés; Lenguaje literario; Recursos expresivos; Pronombre personal; Lengua inglesa; Shakespeare, William; The Two Gentlemen of Verona



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.1999.12.03