Critically discuss the syntactic differences between the modern English and the Elizabethan English?answer in detail

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a complex question, and I certainly don't claim to have much to offer you; however, I'll give you two observations (without as much detail as you'd like, I'm afraid). 

When I think of Elizabethan English I think of the language of the Bible, commissioned by James I (successor to Queen Elizabeth) and printed in 1611; I also think of Shakespeare, who is the most famous writer of English during that period.  An examination of that writing gives us several points of syntactical comparison to modern English writing.

First, Elizabethan English demonstrates much more inversion than we use today.  For example, "An hour of quiet shortly shall we see" (Hamlet, Vi); and "brief let me be" (Hamlet Iv). 

Elizabethan English often places direct/indirect objects at the beginning of sentences rather than putting them in a more recognizable modern structure after the verb:  "O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust" (Psalm 7:1), and  [I saw the Ghost] "But answer made it none" (Hamlet Iii).

Adverbs such as not and never are also generally inverted: "Let not man prevail" (Psalm 9:19) and "I loved you not" (Hamlet (IIIi)   

Second, Elizabethan Engllish often includes the pronoun in imperative sentences: "Go ye into all the world" (Mark 16:15); "Break thou the arm of the wicked" (Psalm 10:15);  and "Get thee to a nunnery" (Hamlet IIIi). If anyone today does use the actual rather than the implied "you," it's generally as some sort of a humorous take or putting on false propriety (as in "Go thou and dump the trash"). We just don't see that in any conventional modern writing--or speaking.

It's not much, but I hope it helps. The link below is likely to give you an even more complete discussion of this issue.