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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: August ::
Re: "Content"; Scansion
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0636.  Wednesday, 23 August 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Martin Green <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Aug 1995 10:48:25 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0624, 0627 and 0632  Re: "Content"
 
(2)     From:   Kate Wilson <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 1995 07:01:38 +1000 (EST)
        Subj:   Content and Scansion
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Green <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 Aug 1995 10:48:25 -0400
Subject: 6.0624, 0627 and 0632  Re: "Content"
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0624, 0627 and 0632  Re: "Content"
 
Since puns are (in my opinion) NOT Shakespeare's Cleopatra, but his crowning
glory (because as used by him they infuse so many meanings and hence so much
depth  into his writings), I do not doubt that "content" can mean both
"substance" and "satisfaction" in Lady Macbeth's speech.  The word appears in
the first of Shakespeare's Sonnets, where only by imputing to it these two
meanings (in a sonnet written to a young man urging him to reproduce in order
to perpetuate his beauty) can we discern all that Shakespeare is saying to a
youth who in lines 5-6 is chided for being one who, contracted to his own
bright eyes, feeds his light's flame with self-substantial fuel. Lines 9-12
continue this thought:
 
    Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
    And only herald to the gaudy spring,
    Within thine own bud buriest thy content
    And tender churl mak'st waste in niggarding.
 
See also the entry under "Content(ion)" in Frankie Rubinstein's "Dictionary
of Shakespeare's Sexual Puns and their Significance."
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kate Wilson <
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Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 1995 07:01:38 +1000 (EST)
Subject:        Content and Scansion
 
Peter
 
Ah the joys of scansion, they hath made us mad!
 
Out of curiosity, what did your students make of the pronounciation. of
*Hippolyta* in Now fair Hippolyta our nuptial hour/grows on apace. Did they
stick on *nuptial* as well...wanting 3 syllables or 2...and did anyone stumble
onto the value of strongly-accenting *Now*? I have a group of first-level
acting majors who are discovering daily the acting *clues* (as John Barton puts
it) in WS's text.
 
Cheers
Kate
 

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