Whenever people talk to one another there are at least two things going on at once. First, and most obviously, there is an exchange of speech. Second, and slightly less obviously, there is a negotiation about how that exchange is organised--about whose turn it is to talk at any given moment. Linguists call this second, organisational level of communicative activity ‘turn-taking', and since the late 1970s it has become central to the way in which spoken interaction is understood. Its impact on the study of fictional dialogue, however, has so far been minimal. This thesis is an attempt to repair that omission. Its premise is simple: as well as scripting the words the characters say to one another, a dramatist scripts an ongoing negotiation between them about who speaks when. The turn-taking patterns of Shakespearean dialogue are a part of what Emrys Jones has called the ‘basic structural shaping' of the plays and we ignore them at our peril.