The Secret Reference of John Locke
This chapter begins with the discussion of the low register (or plain English) and its history by looking closely at Shakespeare's King Lear. It draws up Lear's description of Edgar as an example of this low register. The chapter looks at the history of plain English by dividing it into two distinct periods that differ from one another greatly. The first period lasts roughly from 1500 to 1660, which includes Shakespeare. The second period begins with Wordsworth and continues on towards the present, presenting a gap of 140 years between the two periods. The chapter is also mostly devoted to the individual that lay the groundwork for Wordsworth: John Locke, and thus examines the earliest arguments for plain English.
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