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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: February ::
Re: Cressida
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0365  Wednesday, 14 February 2001

From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Feb 2001 12:04:51 -0500
Subject: 12.0342 Re: Cressida
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0342 Re: Cressida

David is correct. The fact that I live in a quaint town by 21st century
standards may mean that at first I am bewildered by Dame Alisoun's
rhapsodies on her queynte ("quaint *what*?!) on first reading the
_Canterbury Tales_ -- but a quick check of the glossary will disabuse me
of my "modern" linguistic prejudices, and teach me that the word can
indeed be a noun, in the 14th century.

There are many "whores" in _Troilus_, and each application of the
principle (if not the term) puts another layer of meaning on the usage
when it is applied to Cressida.

Even today, we use the term pejoratively, but non-sexually, to mean
someone who sells his or her talents (or his or her soul) at a low
price. Not *a* price -- that could make the person well-paid prostitute
-- but at a price lower than their worth. In that case, as I said, there
are many whores . . .

Best to all,
Carol Barton

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