Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: "What's in a name?"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1740  Thursday, 12 July 2001

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Jul 2001 16:26:26 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1732 Re: "What's in a name?"

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Jul 2001 16:52:40 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1728 Re: "What's in a name?"

[3]     From:   Abigail Quart <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Jul 2001 13:39:22 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.1732 Re: "What's in a name?"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 11 Jul 2001 16:26:26 +0100
Subject: 12.1732 Re: "What's in a name?"
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1732 Re: "What's in a name?"

Is it time for this thread to peter out?

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 11 Jul 2001 16:52:40 +0100
Subject: 12.1728 Re: "What's in a name?"
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1728 Re: "What's in a name?"

Mike Jensen writes:

"Actually, people are working hard to capture the very expressions you
say they will not.  There was an article in the New York Times a year or
two ago about the man heading the effort.  Having mentioned that, I'll
go partly along with you."

An interesting example of contemporary expressions captured is "doh" ,
_int_,  displayed on the OED site at
http://www.oed.com/public/news/0106b.htm#doh

It's worth remembering that the OED is an ongoing project, and the
latest material is fed directly into the online version, where there's
an active attempt to extend the work in both chronological directions,
documenting previously unrecorded earliest uses as well as preserving
Homer Simpson in amber for posterity.

"Yes, the OED is flawed.  There are also words where earlier precedents
have been found than the OED records.  That does not make it useless."

I'd agree with Mike here, and it's never going to be perfect, but it
does get better.  Also, the existence of the material in electronic form
makes some kinds of research possible which couldn't be done (or at
least easily done) with the print edition.  Adding in the Early Modern
English Dictionary Database can produce interesting results.  I'm now in
a position to suggest just how large was the bump on Juliet's head that
the Nurse describes as the size of a cockerel's stone.

Robin Hamilton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 11 Jul 2001 13:39:22 -0400
Subject: 12.1732 Re: "What's in a name?"
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.1732 Re: "What's in a name?"

Mike, Mike, Mike, are you so sure that Shakespeare's the one who's
incompetent here?

I knew I'd have a real hard sell pushing the rose plucking to refer to
the rape of England during the Wars of the Roses. Because I see a
continuous underlying horror of civil war running through the plays
doesn't mean anybody else will. But there's always more than one way to
give information in a play and Shakespeare carefully, deliberately chose
to have representatives of the Houses of York and Lancaster in that
garden asking Warwick to choose between them. And he CHOSE to use
rose-plucking for their contest.

Now about not pointing the way to his meaning...uh...gosh. What would
clue an Elizabethan that the words in this scene are doing double and
maybe triple duty? Maybe we can come up with more than the "single clue"
you require.

SUFFOLK
Within the Temple-hall we were too loud;
The garden here is more convenient.

1500s meaning for garden: female genitals
but 'convenient' isn't found to officially mean 'prostitute till the
late
1600s.

WARWICK
Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;

This was MY clue to watch for double meanings, since I believe Will
associates 'hawk' with that farm implement used as a dungfork as well as
the bird. I also (possibly alone) notice that Will drags a 'defile'
meaning into any use of 'pitch', even the perfectly innocent verb. And
that was before I learned 'pitch' could mean 'prostitute.'

Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
        Rubenstein, however hated, gives respectable sourcing for
dogs=eunuchs,
sodomites; and mouth=anus; and mouth=vulva.

Between two blades, which bears the better temper:
        blades, blades, what could they be?

Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
        'horse' puns on 'whores.'
        and mustn't forget that 'maids were made to bear.'

Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye;
        eyes were equated with orifices: pudendum, anus. Pay attention
here. You
are being cued that something is happening with 'eye.'

PLANTAGENET
Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
The truth appears so naked on my side
That any purblind eye may find it out.
        A "blind eye" is an asshole.

SOMERSET
And on my side it is so well apparell'd,
So clear, so shining and so evident
That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.
        'Asshole' again!

If, at this point, you don't know that secondary meanings are the
important ones here, you are not paying attention. He has the parties in
the recent civil war calling each other 'Asshole!' in front of your
face. You should be sitting straight up and alert for the next attack.

Then they pluck a bunch of red and white roses.

VERNON
Then for the truth and plainness of the case.
I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,
        Note that Vernon is likening the rose to a virgin. After which
cue, we get
this:

SOMERSET
Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,
Lest bleeding you do paint the white rose red
And fall on my side so, against your will.

VERNON
If I my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt
And keep me on the side where still I am.

And this:

SOMERSET
Here in my scabbard, meditating that
Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.

And this:

SOMERSET
Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses,
That shall maintain what I have said is true,
Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

And this:

PLANTAGENET
Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,
I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

The maidens are bleeding, Mike. They have been brutally deflowered by
York and Lancaster.

And what is the result?

PLANTAGENET
And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
Will I for ever and my faction wear,
Until it wither with me to my grave
Or flourish to the height of my degree.

And:

WARWICK
Will I upon thy party wear this rose:
And here I prophesy: this brawl to-day,
Grown to this faction in the Temple-garden,
Shall send between the red rose and the white
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

Tell me again that Shakespeare is NOT saying these boys raped England.
Tell me again that he's given you no clue.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.