Words and Weddings: Shifts in the Vocabulary of Marriage and Literature
Southern New Hampshire University
Literature abounds with versions of courtship leading to marriage. By exploring the morphology and usage of words associated with matrimony, changes in grammar, as well as mining Greek, Elizabethan, Shakespearean, Romantic, and Victorian works, changes occurred in what marriage meant to society, and what words were used to describe marriage. Identifying patterns, alongside interdisciplinary applications, and the heavy use of New Historicism, shows how the institution of marriage –the modern ones based on relationships, versus mere family ties, rank, and “business-like” arrangements of old - resulted in an evolution that could only have come about with societal changes allowing that relearning.