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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: May ::
R2 Query
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1065  Thursday, 18 May 2000.

From:           Allan Blackman <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 May 2000 21:44:19 -0400
Subject:        R2 Query

This question concerns an interpretation of R2, 2.2.105 found in
Rubinstein, s.v. "sister(hood)":

"In addressing the Queen, York makes an error that reflects his feelings
on the illegitimacy of the King and Hereford: 'How shall we do for money
for these wars?/Come, sister-cousin, I would say, -- pray, pardon
me./Go, fellow, get thee home, provide some carts.'  'Wars', punning on
'whores' and like them requiring money, triggers York's slip of the
tongue, his misnaming the Queen 'sister' [whore] -- for which he begs
pardon and uses 'pray' as if speaking this time to a pure sister of a
religious order.  But substituting 'cousin' reflects the same doubts,
since cousin/cozen is deceive.  He associates sister with 'provide'
(pander) and 'cart', in which whores were removed from brothels."

Perhaps England's royals lived a more complicated life 600 years ago,
but can someone explain how implying that the Queen (a conflation of
Richard's two wives, according to the NCS) is a whore suggests that
Richard and Hereford are illegitimate?

Allan Blackman
 

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