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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: May ::
Qs: Multiplying Time in Othello; *Fratricide Punished*
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0536.  Monday, 5 May 1997.

[1]     From:   C. David Frankel <
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        Date:   Saturday, 3 May 1997 23:22:45 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Multiplying Time in Othello

[2]     From:   Gabriel Wasserman <
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        Date:   Sunday, 04 May 1997 19:18:23 -0400
        Subj:   *Der Breschrafte Brudermore*


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           C. David Frankel <
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Date:           Saturday, 3 May 1997 23:22:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Multiplying Time in Othello

As a relative amateur in Shakespearean scholarship I don't know if my
questions ever been addressed before. If it has, I'd be grateful for any
pointers to sources; if not, I'd be grateful for any discussion.

In Othello (I.1.306 or so) Iago gives his age by saying "I have looked
upon the world for four times seven years. . . ."  Later in the play
(III.iv.171-173) Bianca reports the passing of time by saying:

        What, keep a week away?  Seven days and nights?
        Eightscore eight hours?  And lovers' absent hours
        More tedious than the dial eightscore times?

I have a few questions:

1)      Does anyone know if this kind of telling time by multiplication show
up elsewhere in Shakespeare?

2)      Does anyone know if this is an idiosyncratic usage, or does it show
up in other plays of the period?

3)      If the latter, does anyone know if there's any record (or any way to
tell) if this kind of formulation was in use in daily language (as a
fad, perhaps)?

4)      If it's only in Shakespeare (or only in _Othello_), what function is
served by this kind of formulation? (It's worth noting, I think, that
Iago's line comes from a prose passage, so it's not *just* a way of
filling our a line).

C. David Frankel
University of South Florida

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Wasserman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 04 May 1997 19:18:23 -0400
Subject:        *Der Breschrafte Brudermore*

What is the current consensus on *Fratricide Punished*?
 

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