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November 6, 2012 4:28 AM   Subscribe

What's with the language in Spartacus?

In the TV series Spartacus, the characters normally miss out articles, plurals and other words. Also the word order is sometimes funky.
  • Funky word order example: A sword in his chest would be a blow less felt.
  • Missing word: Spartacus tells a becomes lighter in time.
  • Missing word: You carry a shield as well as sword.
  • Missing word: ..bleated from tongue with sword to neck?
But sometimes they don't speak like this. Is there some lingual logic behind this?
posted by devnull to Writing & Language (1 answer total)
 
The guy who created Spartacus, Stephen DeKnight, is doing a kind of Shakespeare-light.
For me, I studied as a playwright so I was deeply steeped in Shakespeare, which is really my main influence in the dialogue. Not to say that it’s Shakespearean. I think this is – I call this Shakespeare extra, extra light. And I wanted to cross that – I always say the language is a cross between Shakespeare and Robert E. Howard who wrote all the Conan stories. So it’s kind of a mash up between those two.

It’s – it is absolutely not historically accurate. Much the way – when – and when people bring that up to me about, well, they didn’t speak this way in Latin, I always point out, well, in Shakespearean times they didn’t speak in iambic pentameter, but that’s an affectation to give it a style, which is exactly what we wanted to do on this show. And again, you know, we – about five scripts in after we had done this I realized holy shit, I got to write – I got to keep writing this way for the rest of the series, which is extremely challenging.
Source.
posted by xyzzy at 4:38 AM on November 6, 2012


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