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The Opening Lines of Romeo and Juliet Recited in the Original Accent of Shakespeare’s Time


British actor and voice artist Ben Crystal recited the opening lines from Romeo and Juliet in what is believed to be Shakespeare’s original accent to a group of students attending a seminar through the British Council English and Exams. In doing so, Crystal also explained the importance of knowing this accent, how he produced the accent, why his voice got deeper during the recitation and how the accent made its way around the world.

Wherever I go whatever age whether it’s eight years old or 80 years old and I say what accent does that remind you of and someone goes ‘Pirates of the Caribbean”… Shakespeare’s London was a melting pot of accents people would come from Norwich and Wales and Scotland and Ireland and Midlands and Somerset and pirate country and they come to London and their accents would all mix in together and then of course later on they’d go to Bristol and sail across to America and later still they’d be sent to Bristol and go down to Australia and that’s in part where those accents all come from


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