Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: August ::
Re: Nunnery; Shakespeare's Pronunciation
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0739  Thursday, 6 August 1998.

[1]     From:   Andrew Walker White <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Aug 1998 17:43:00 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Nunnery, indeed

[2]     From:   Dale Coye <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 6 Aug 1998 13:32:19 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0708  Re: Shakespeare's Pronunciation


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 5 Aug 1998 17:43:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Nunnery, indeed

I'm catching up after a long vacation from the computer (refreshing,
that), and wanted to offer my own observation on this term:

From contemporary readings, I get the impression that 'nunnery' was used
to mean 'convent', perhaps it was its primary meaning.  But I am also
curious about the possibility of this double-meaning, since the
Southwark stewes were just outside the Globe's door, and constituted
pretty mean competition for the entertainment money.

The fact that these stewes were run for several hundred years by the
Bishop of  Winchester, now, that couldn't have anything to do with that
other, darker meaning to nunnery, now could it?  I found E.J. Burford's
book "The Bishop's Brothels" (on sale at the New Globe, not too near the
kid stuff) to be a very enlightening, sobering read about the history of
prostitution in that neighborhood.

It seems to me that Hamlet uses nunnery in _both_ senses of the word,
given the different nature of his talk with Ophelia before and after his
question, "where is your father?"  He seems to mean 'convent' initially,
accusing himself of all kinds of evils; but when Ophelia lies to him
about being spied upon, look at how his attitude changes.  Suddenly, she
jigs, ambles, lisps, etc., and Hamlet's own sins are history, compared
to hers.

His mind appears to be completely overthrown, if he goes from one pole
to another in his attitude towards Ophelia at the drop of a hat.

Andy White
Arlington, VA

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Coye <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 6 Aug 1998 13:32:19 EDT
Subject: 9.0708  Re: Shakespeare's Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0708  Re: Shakespeare's Pronunciation


To what J. Hope answered I would only add that Cercignani too is a work
of tremendous scholarship, often challenging Koekeritz's conclusions,
but like Dobson it is not for the uninitiated.   I found all three of
these helpful in my guide to pronunciation which has just now become
available from Greenwood: Pronouncing Shakespeare's Words: A Guide from
A to Zounds.   My Guide, however, is only indirectly interested in
Elizabethan pronunciation, its main objective being to help actors,
directors, students and professors pronounce Shakespeare's 'hard' words
in today's English.

Dale Coye
Dept. of English
The College of New Jersey
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.