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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: June ::
Re: Pasties
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1083  Tuesday, 29 June 1999.

[1]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Monday, 28 Jun 1999 11:56:29 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1074 Shakespeare's Pasty

[2]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <
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        Date:   Monday, 28 Jun 1999 13:16:47 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1074 Shakespeare's Pasty

[3]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Monday, 28 Jun 1999 12:10:29 -0400
        Subj:   The Worst Pies in London

[4]     From:   Julia MacKenzie <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Jun 1999 19:09:06 +1000
        Subj:   Re: Pasties


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Monday, 28 Jun 1999 11:56:29 EDT
Subject: 10.1074 Shakespeare's Pasty
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1074 Shakespeare's Pasty

>The ongoing discussion of pasties reminds me of the related passage in
>Hamlet, where Pyrrhus becomes one:

>                               Head to foot
> Now is be total gules, horridly trick'd
> With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
> Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets,
> That lend a tyrannous and a damned light
> To their lord's murther. Roasted in wrath and fire,
> And thus o'ersized with coagulate gore,
> With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
> Old grandsire Priam seeks.
>
>This description from the discourse of cooking chimes with other things
>in the play, from the Ghost's posset and curd and vile crust, to Pyrrhus
>mincing old Priam, to Polonius dining (rhyming with Pyrrhus) not where
>he eats but where he is eaten.
>
>What do folks think about this strand of cooking, eating, and food
>references?

It being lunchtime, Frank -- yuck!

But I think it has to do with the something that is rotting in
Denmark-and with Hamlet pere's flesh and skin being devoured by the
poison (I don't have the text here, but it follows the Ghost's
description of the murder in the garden . . . "in at the porches of mine
ear," as I recall, probably abysmally).

Best,
Carol Barton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 28 Jun 1999 13:16:47 -0400
Subject: 10.1074 Shakespeare's Pasty
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1074 Shakespeare's Pasty

>The ongoing discussion of pasties reminds me of the related passage in
>Hamlet, where Pyrrhus becomes one:
>
>                               Head to foot
> Now is be total gules, horridly trick'd
> With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
> Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets,
> That lend a tyrannous and a damned light
> To their lord's murther. Roasted in wrath and fire,
> And thus o'ersized with coagulate gore,
> With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
> Old grandsire Priam seeks.
>
>This description from the discourse of cooking chimes with other things
>in the play, from the Ghost's posset and curd and vile crust, to Pyrrhus
>mincing old Priam, to Polonius dining (rhyming with Pyrrhus) not where
>he eats but where he is eaten.
>
>What do folks think about this strand of cooking, eating, and food
>references?
>
>Frank Whigham

The Reduced Shakespeare Company pointed out on their radio show a long
time ago that what with the references to vegetation "Oh that this too
too salad fresh should melt," expiration dates "something is rotten in
the state of Denmark" and Hamlet's own comments "I shall think meat
hereafter" that (and I quote):  "Boom!  There's your smoking gun, my
friends.  The play is about food."

Let's not forget Polonius's alternate occupation (fishmonger)  nor the
nummy herbs that Ophelia hands out (rosemary goes better with lamb,
though.)

So all in all, I think the RSC may be right. The play is about Hamlet's
"edible complex."

Melissa  D.  Aaron
University of Michigan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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Date:           Monday, 28 Jun 1999 12:10:29 -0400
Subject:        The Worst Pies in London

Re the most direct connection between Shakespeare and pasties:

If you go into the woods today,
You're going to get a surprise
If you go into the woods today,
You'd better believe your eyes (or someone's)
'Cos today is the day the Andronici are having their picnic.

Dana Shilling

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Julia MacKenzie <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Jun 1999 19:09:06 +1000
Subject:        Re: Pasties

The pasty thread reminds me of the Noel Coward exchange that had an
Englishman and an American driving along in a car.  It started to rain
and the American said, "Turn on the windshield wipers", to which the
Englishman said "It's a windscreen".  The American said, "Look here, we
invented the motor car" to which the Englishman said, "Yes, but we
invented the language".

Julia MacKenzie.
 

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