Monday, October 1, 2007


Elements of Subtext

Subtext refers to all those parts of a scene’s or speech’s meaning which are implied but unspoken in the text itself. Specifically, it includes the following elements:

•The characters’ motives in each part of the scene
•Unspoken thoughts whose existence is clearly implied in
the dialogue
•Tone of voice

In reading Shakespeare our goal is always to grasp first the literal meaning of the text but more importantly to understand the importance of the subtext of each scene and speech.