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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: September ::
Re: Romeo & Juliet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1742  Monday, 18 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Friday, 15 Sep 2000 15:53:52 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet

[2]     From:   Paul S. Rhodes <
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        Date:   Friday, 15 Sep 2000 15:11:55 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet

[3]     From:   David Kathman <
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        Date:   Friday, 15 Sep 2000 21:47:47 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet

[4]     From:   Werner Broennimann <
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        Date:   Saturday, 16 Sep 2000 15:14:19 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 11.1732 open-arse

[5]     From:   Judy Kennedy <
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        Date:   Saturday, 16 Sep 2000 12:07:34 -0300 (ADT)
        Subj:   Re: Romeo and Juliet

[6]     From:   Phil Rogers <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 2000 08:41:38 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet

[7]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 2000 13:01:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
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Date:           Friday, 15 Sep 2000 15:53:52 -0400
Subject: 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet

The crux is discussed in detail by Jonathan Goldberg in his essay on the
play in his anthology Queering the Renaissance.  Naturally, G prefers
the "arse" reading.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul S. Rhodes <
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Date:           Friday, 15 Sep 2000 15:11:55 -0500
Subject: 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet

"Open[-arse]" is, according to my textual apparatus, an emendation made
by a certain Hosley.  The second and third quartos and the first folia
all have "open, or".  The fourth quarto has "open & catera".  The 'bad'
first quarto has "open Et caetera".

Pax,
Paul S. Rhodes

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <
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Date:           Friday, 15 Sep 2000 21:47:47 -0600
Subject: 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1732 Romeo & Juliet

Ed Kranz wrote:

>Several texts render line 38 ActII scene1 of R&J as "An open et cetera,
>thou a pop'rin pear!" Bloom has it as "An open arse..." .  Does anyone
>know where Bloom gets this from? Is this accurate?

Q1 has "An open Et caetera thou a pop'rin pear"
Q4 has "An open & catera, and thou a pop'rin pear"
F1 has "An open, or thou a Poprin Peare" (Q2 and Q3 are similar)

Farmer and Henley's *Slang and its Analogues* (1902) were the first to
suggest that "et cetera" in Q1 and Q4 was a euphemism for "open-arse", a
slang dialect term for the medlar, the fruit Mercutio mentioned two
lines earlier.  This emendation makes an obvious bawdy pun in Mercutio's
"O that she were/ An open-arse and thou a poperin ["pop her in"] pear".
It wasn't until Richard Hosley's Yale edition in 1954, though, that an
editor actually adopted this reading, though all major editions since
then have followed suit.  Some have suggested that the "or" of Q2/Q3/F
originated in a compositor's misreading of "ars".

Dave Kathman

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[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Werner Broennimann <
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Date:           Saturday, 16 Sep 2000 15:14:19 +0100
Subject: open-arse
Comment:        SHK 11.1732 open-arse

Mercutio's speech uses Arcimboldo-like fruit imagery for his obscenities
in Romeo and Juliet II.1.33-41, and he mentions "medlar" twice; hence
Hosley's emendation "open-arse", which is a slangy term for that fruit.

The Folio reads:
O Romeo that she were, O that she were
An open, or thou a Poprin Peare

Q1 has:
open Et Caetera

Modern editions follow Hosley, taking "or" as a misreading of "ars" or
"ers" and interpreting "etc" as a euphemism.  OED entries under
"open-arse" show that the fruit must not be eaten when green, but rather
when very ripe.  Of course readers must pick and choose for themselves.

Werner Br

 

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