A-Z of Shakespeare – H


Today’s Shakespearean word of the day is… hautboy

H - hautboy

Pronounced hoh-boy, a hautboy is a wind instrument, later called an oboe.

Hautboys are usually sounded when someone important is coming on stage or something important is about to happen. In Macbeth a scene opens with the stage direction ‘Hautboys and torchers. Enter King Duncan’ (Macbeth, 1.6.1).

Listen to the pronunciation of hautboy here


Shakespeare Dictionary _130This definition is taken from the Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary, a unique dictionary to unlock the mysteries of Shakespeare’s world, words and language, compiled by renowned English language expert David Crystal and Shakespearean actor and producer Ben Crystal.