Contemporary Shakespeare’s sonnets interpretation: from monomodality to multimodality

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This article explores interpretations of Shakespeare’s sonnets in other media, i.e. their intersemiotic translation. Print-based sonnets are basically monomodal and take on their meaning through the interaction among semantic, syntactic and phonetic elements. Their meaning making is based on verbal means, prosodic elements and figures of speech. Sonnet interpretations crossing the boundaries of printed text obtain additional qualities, new meanings and require new methods of analysis. Sonnets in other monomodal contexts focus on various aspects of the original e.g. illustrations render semantic elements (themes), visions versification pattern (the form of the English sonnet). Multimodal interpretations are based on interaction of several modes (such as linguistic, visual, aural, spatial). In audio interpretations (especially, songs) verbal and aural modes produce the final effect and its impact on human emotions is noted. In audio-visual interpretations verbal, aural, visual modes interplay and affect each other, however, visual level appears to be prevailing in the meaning making process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-212
JournalJournal of Language and Literature
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Shakespeare’s sonnets
  • Monomodal interpretation
  • Multimodal interpretation

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