But in the 15th Century English grammar rules were nonexistent. During Shakespeare’s time grammar rules were at its inchoate stage and Shakespeare rarely adhered to grammatical constructions.
That’s nonsensical. Of course Shakespeare’s writing is grammatical. And they did have written rules of grammar. Shakespeare attended a grammar school in his youth.
I was responding to your statement that Shakespeare used the objective “who”. In modern English the standard usage would be in the subjective case. Why would the fact that Shakespeare used it in the objective case have any relevancy to modern English usage? I agree that Shakespeare’s writing is grammatical, but I never specifically stated that Shakespeare’s writing was ungrammatical. I said that in the 15th century English grammar rules were nonexistent, meaning that grammar rules at that time were not stringently adhered to. Furthermore those rules were modeled on Latin grammars. Shakespeare had broken some of the rules at some time in some of his works. It was only during the 19th century that English grammar rules were codified. Regarding Shakespeare’s education, there is in fact no record of Shakespeare’s name on the register of the King Edward VI Grammar School in Stratford; reasonable assumptions can be made; nevertheless it’s not a certainty.
Shakespeare also did not use the structured rule, subject, verb, object. “Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.” In present day English we would expect, “Thou has much offended thy father Hamlet.”
Of course he did. The Hamlet in both of these phrasings is a vocative, indicating who the subject (thou) refers to. The core of the clause, thou has offended your father, is a very standard SVO clause. (And in present-day English, we would expect Hamlet, you have offended your father, not Hamlet thou hast thy father offended.)
That’s precisely my argument; that in present-day English no one would say e.g., Hamlet, you have your father offended. It would seem an unorthodox construction, and just because Shakespeare used it five hundred years ago doesn’t make it applicable for modern English usage.
And if the argument is that they didn’t have grammar manuals back then, that’s wrong too. Grammar manuals for English date to the tenth century.
Never argued that; my only knowledge of the first English grammar manual was William Bullokar’s Pamphlet for Grammar published in 1586.
I wasn’t aware of any English grammar manuals going back to the tenth century. What were they?