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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Mercutio's Little Nasty Song
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0520  Friday, 22 February 2002

[1]     From:   Piotr Michalak <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 16:38:54 +0100
        Subj:   Mercutio's Naughty Little Song

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 15:31:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0513 Re: Mercutio's Little Nasty Song


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Piotr Michalak <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 16:38:54 +0100
Subject:        Mercutio's Naughty Little Song

Dear Alan,

There are some ideas about Mercutio's song below.  I think, this song is
a brilliant commentary to dramatic situation. Young Romeo is claimed a
man who has got sexual intercourses with more than one woman. The old
Nurse appreciates he's young and handsome and, she's horny when she's
nearby him.  The Nurse is of course a transformed fishmonger (very old
kind of dramatical hero) - a former whore who is living thanks younger
girls prostitute. Unfortunately to her, Romeo would like to have sex
with her only in case of totally lack of other women.  But Verona is not
a womanless desert. Romeo prefers making love with beautiful Juliet
rather than with old strumpet, especially, in Nurse's past many men used
her body and now her privet parts are unfresh and rather useless. What
more, the last verse probably suggests a danger of VD.

Yours,
Piotr.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 15:31:29 -0500
Subject: 13.0513 Re: Mercutio's Little Nasty Song
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0513 Re: Mercutio's Little Nasty Song

> By the same token - I'm not sure why Mercutio says "But" here - a hare
> that is old before you have paid your twenty ducats is over-priced, as
> is the whore. A hare that goes "hoar" after you have bought it, however,
> will mature nicely and take on a pleasantly gamey flavour.
>
> I am stumped by the suggested "whores ere it be spent", though. One can
> only go whoring ere one is spent, one would assume, both in terms of
> money and, well...

Perhaps the last "hoars" is hoars=goes grey, and "spent" means, well,
used up. A whore that is old, but still not completely unfit for her
profession, may be a blessing in lean times, but is too much in years to
ask such a price?  Perhaps also there is a satire of the Nurse's
injunctions to Juliet to marry Paris despite her inclinations.

Clifford

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