This book presents a magisterial linguistic-metrical study of Shakespeare's verse in the context of the English poetic tradition. Marina Tarlinskaja concentrates on the correlation between phrasal stresses and the iambic metrical scheme and goes on to explore links between meter, grammar and semantics. Her exhaustive statistical analysis helps to define minute idiosyncrasies of Shakespeare's particular type of iambic pentameter, shedding new light on the problem of chronology and authorship. Tarlinskaja also studies Shakespeare's use of verse rhythm for expressive purposes, e.g. to oppose character types. The book will interest not only students of Shakespeare and literary theory, but also people such as theatre directors and actors interested in Shakespeare's own interpretation of his dramatis personae.