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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: January ::
Re: Tyrant's Bed 1
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0281  Thursday, 31 January 2002

[1]     From:   Paul Franssen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 17:46:14 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

[2]     From:   Geralyn Horton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 12:05:37 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

[3]     From:   Frank Whigham <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 11:09:46 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

[4]     From:   Roy Flannagan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 12:06:11 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

[5]     From:   David Knauer <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 11:22:41 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

[6]     From:   Mari Bonomi <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 13:02:54 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

[7]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 19:37:16 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

[8]     From:   Markus Marti <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 18:34:20 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

[9]     From:   John V. Knapp <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 12:08:44 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Response to Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Franssen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 17:46:14 +0100
Subject: 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

If I may hazard a guess: the bed of Procrustes?

Paul Franssen
Utrecht University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 12:05:37 -0500
Subject: 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

The giant Procrustes is the bed fellow, chopping and stretching his idea
of a joke.  Greek myth predates the rack, at least I hope so!
"Procrustean" is in every dictionary, and the story used to be common
coin, part of every kid's childhood.

Not so any longer, I gather?

Geralyn Horton
http://www.stagepage.org

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[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frank Whigham <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 11:09:46 -0600
Subject: 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

Surely Procrustes? Here's the Britannica 2001 reference:

also called POLYPEMON, DAMASTES, OR PROCOPTAS, in Greek legend, a robber
dwelling somewhere in Attica--in some versions, in the neighbourhood of
Eleusis. His father was said to be Poseidon. Procrustes had an iron bed
(or, according to some accounts, two beds) on which he compelled his
victims to lie. Here, if a victim was shorter than the bed, he stretched
him by hammering or racking the body to fit. Alternatively, if the
victim was longer than the bed, he cut off the legs to make the body fit
the bed's length. In either event the victim died. Ultimately Procrustes
was slain by his own method at the hands of the young Attic hero
Theseus, who as a young man went about slaying robbers and monsters that
pervaded the countryside.

Frank Whigham

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roy Flannagan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 12:06:11 -0500
Subject: 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

Try under "Procrustes."

Roy Flannagan

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Knauer <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 11:22:41 -0600
Subject: 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

The Greek legend of the robber Procrustes is the reference you want. He
had an iron bed on which he alternately stretched or hacked his victims
to make them fit. Extreme and untidy solutions are therefore known as
Procrustean.

Dave
(in no need of custom-tailoring)

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 13:02:54 -0500
Subject: 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

Herewith a good simplified description of the myth of Procrustes... he
was one of Theseus' challenges.

http://www.mythweb.com/teachers/why/basics/procrustes.html

Mari Bonomi

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 19:37:16 -0000
Subject: 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

> William Drummond of Hawthornden wrote that Ben Jonson, "cursed Petrarch
> for redacting verses to sonnets, which he said were like that tyrant's
> bed, where some who were too short were racked, others too long cut
> short." What exactly is the "tyrant's bed" and whence does the phrase
> come?

Procrustes.

Robin Hamilton

[8]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Markus Marti <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 18:34:20 +0100
Subject: 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

Procrustes - not exactly a tyrant, just a "robber" i.e. probably the
owner or manager of a Greek hotel. The tyrant Theseus spent a night
there. Beds have not improved in Greece since.

Sleep well,

Markus Marti
http://www.unibas.ch/shine/index.html

[9]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John V. Knapp <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 12:08:44 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed
Comment:        Response to Re: SHK 13.0263 Tyrant's Bed

Joseph Tate --

The reference is to the "bed of Procrustes," (Polypemon) who had two
beds in his house, one long, the other short..  "Offering a night's
lodging to travelers, he would lay the short man on the large bed, and
rack them out to fit it;  but the tall men on the small bed, sawing off
as much of their legs as projected beyond it.  Some say he only used one
bed ... ."  Robert Graves, *The Greek Myths,* I, pp. 329-330.

Clearly, Holiday Inns have been an improvement since then.

Cheers,
JVK

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