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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: August ::
Re: "Content" in *Mac.*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0632.  Tuesday, 22 August 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Tom Clayton <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Aug 95 15:54:51 CST
        Subj:   The Macbeths' lack of "content"
 
(2)     From:   Peter L Groves <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Aug 1995 11:41:15 GMT+1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0627  Re: Lady Macbeth's Speech -- Content
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Clayton <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Aug 95 15:54:51 CST
Subject:        The Macbeths' lack of "content"
 
Mike Field:
 
Both senses--contentment, what is contained--*could* be found(ed) in
"content"--where the stress goes on the second syllable in this regular
blank-verse line--with pertinent sense in either case: M and Lady M have got
nothing for all, and in place of content(ment) they live in "doubtful joy"--
"fearful 'joy,'" as it were. The sense "content(ment)" may be primary if not
exclusive, but the modern pronunciation "CON- tent" for "what is contained"
(COD et al., standard American) does not preclude "what is contained," because,
as OED2 says (*content* n. 1), "The stress *con'tent* is historical, and still
common among the educated." For what it's worth, a skimming of the nearly 200
uses in a concordance had "con- tent(ment)" the predominant sense, though one
or more con- tained "CONtent"s might be found on scrutiny.
 
Cheers, Tom
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter L Groves <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 22 Aug 1995 11:41:15 GMT+1000
Subject: 6.0627  Re: Lady Macbeth's Speech -- Content
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0627  Re: Lady Macbeth's Speech -- Content
 
It's good to see someone taking metre seriously as a source of evidence.  On
the latter topic, I was depressed recently to discover that after a two-hour
seminar on Shakespeare's metre, most of my students couldn't work out how to
stress the name Hippolyta from the first line of _MND_: "Now, fair Hippolyta,
our nuptial hour / Draws on apace".
 

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