Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: November ::
Re: Hazle
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1170.  Wednesday, 19 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Roy Flannagan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 09:23:49 -0500
        Subj:   Hazelnuts

[2]     From:   E. H. Pearlman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 15:13:45 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1165  Re: Hazle

[3]     From:   John E. Perry <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 22:46:06 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1165  Re: Hazle


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roy Flannagan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 09:23:49 -0500
Subject:        Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are a deep brown, which might well be an unflattering color
for an Elizabethan woman.

Hazelnut shells in abundance were found, if I remember rightly, on the
groundling level, in recent archeological excavations of the Globe, if
not the Swan.  There are, in one Elizabethan play or another, allusions
to the noise of nuts cracking in the audience.  Apparently, servants
cracked nuts for their masters.

The hazelnut, un-cracked, might make an excellent weapon to use on bad
actors.

A hazel twig, on the other hand, might be used as a switch (Petruchio
disciplining unruly wife?).

Witch hazel, the variety of shrub that (in the U.S.) produces the
concoction now sometimes used with an alcohol base as an astringent, may
have nothing to do with twig or fruit.  As far as I can tell from
looking through the OED, the English witch hazel is the hornbeam, a
species of broad-leaved elm.  The "witch" part may have come from
flexible forked twigs used for divining rods.

Roy Flannagan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           E. H. Pearlman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 15:13:45 -0700 (MST)
Subject: 8.1165  Re: Hazle
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1165  Re: Hazle

Any gardeners on this list?  There is the common American variety called
the "beaked hazelnut."  This shrub forms dense stands (the cutting down
fo which can be quite a relief from the labor of scholarship).  This
sort of hazel grows straight and slim - so straight that it has
traditionally been used to make canes for walking.  I believe that the
European hazel (or filbert) grows in a similar manner.  There is also a
variety (corylus avellana contorta) that grows in a weirdly contorted
manner.  I don't know if this commercial variety was known in
Shakespeare's time or is a later sport.  So take your pick.  (There's
also "witch hazel," a separate plant, but I've never dealt with it).

E. Pearlman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John E. Perry <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 22:46:06 -0500
Subject: 8.1165  Re: Hazle
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1165  Re: Hazle

Julie Blumenthal <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 > says,

> Hence I guess the answer to "how can you compliment someone by calling
> them brown of hue?" is : you can't.

Why? Having spent a good deal of time in Italy, I can confidently state
that there are very dark-skinned women there who are extravagantly
beautiful.  Indeed, in many parts Italy of women appreciate comments
upon their pelle scura.

Ever since I first read the play, I've felt that it works _only_ if Kate
is dark and beautiful, and Bianca is fair and _less_ beautiful.  Then
Lucentio's comment about Kate's being "young and beauteous, but dreadful
curst" (or something like that-I don't have the text with me) makes
sense in a way that no other interpretation can.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.