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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0609  Friday, 1 March 2002

[1]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 17:45:27 GMT0BST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex

[2]     From:   Paul Swanson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 14:00:21 -0600
        Subj:   SHK 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex

[3]     From:   Jill Phillips <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 19:58:13 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex

[4]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Friday, 1 Mar 2002 20:46:21 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 17:45:27 GMT0BST
Subject: 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex

Does anyone know of an instance in the period where "die" means have an
orgasm and could not also mean "cease to live" in context?

Yes, Nashe's 'Choice of Valentines', which describes a case of premature
ejaculation.  The sight of naked female flesh:

... makes the fruites of love eftsoone be rype;
And pleasure pluckt too tymelie from the stemme
To dye ere it hath seene Jerusalem.
Oh Gods, that ever anie thing so sweete
So suddenlie should fade awaie and fleete.
Hir armes are spread, and I am all unarm'd
Lyke one with Ovid's cursed hemlock charm'd,
So are my limms unwealdie for the fight,

Professor David Lindley
Head, School of English

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Swanson <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 14:00:21 -0600
Subject: Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex
Comment:        SHK 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex

Andy White touches on Ian McKellan's inferential connection of Romeo's
"dying" in Juliet's lap.

Numerous readers see both Romeo and Juliet's "die" references, and their
actual deaths, as sexually metaphorical. "Thus," Romeo says, "with a
kiss I die." Juliet ends her life with "O happy dagger / This is thy
sheath; there rust, and let me die."

Who knows. Even Freud knew that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but
the phallic and sexual images seem readily understandable here.

Paul

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jill Phillips <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 19:58:13 -0500
Subject: 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex

Has anyone mentioned _A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Sexual Puns and
their Significance_, by Frankie Rubinstein?  Although speculative at
times, and amazingly without a reference for either "kill" or "die," the
dictionary lists many other words re: sexual implications (372 pp).  It
received a good review from Jay Halio in Shakespeare Quarterly when it
first came out (1984) and was reissued in 1989.  It's really a lot of
fun to peruse.

Jill Phillips
Department of English
University of Virginia

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sophie Masson <
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Date:           Friday, 1 Mar 2002 20:46:21 +1100
Subject: 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0593 Re: Die as a Metaphor for Sex

Orgasm is known as 'la petite mort' in French, but I'm not at all sure
when the expression first came about.

Sophie Masson
Author site: http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson

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