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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Private Urination
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0995  Tuesday, 9 April 2002

[1]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Monday, 8 Apr 2002 17:35:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0972 Re: Private Urination

[2]     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Monday, 08 Apr 2002 20:49:48 -0500
        Subj:   Urination (Private)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Monday, 8 Apr 2002 17:35:02 -0400
Subject: 13.0972 Re: Private Urination
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0972 Re: Private Urination

I always thought Autolycus was too good an actor to step so out of
character for the call of nature.  What I took to be vulgarity is merely
part of his courtier masquerade:

The Winter's Tale Act IV. Scene III.

Clo.  This cannot be but a great courtier.
Shep. His garments are rich, but he wears
      them not handsomely.
Clo.  He seems to be the more noble in being
      fantastical: a great man, I'll warrant; I know
      by the picking on's teeth.
....
Aut.  I will trust you. Walk before toward
      the sea-side; go on the right hand; I will but
      look upon the hedge and follow you.
Clo.  We are blessed in this man, as I may
      say, even blessed.

I wonder then if the Hebrew phrase was merely a designation of gender
and did not imply racial or cultural tendencies. "The uncircumcised"
generally doesn't translate as "female."  It also makes me wonder how
Early Modern women displayed their refinement.

Clifford

> As I recall, George Puttenham (Arte of English Poesie) notes that
> Frenchmen do not turn to a wall to urinate, whereas Englishmen do. The
> contrast is between immodesty and modesty.
BG

> in the KJV accounts in I Samuel 25,
> I Kings 14, 16, 21 and II Kings 9, the defending or attacking armies
> promise that by morning there won't be left any "that pisseth against
> the wall." Other translations simply use the less colorful term "male."
> It is less embarrassing to be read out loud in churches, but it loses
> the metaphorical punch.
NC

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Monday, 08 Apr 2002 20:49:48 -0500
Subject:        Urination (Private)

To Nancy Charlton and Bill Godshalk:  It seems useful to gather these
bits of scatology in the Sh. canon to recognize that the earthy is as
prevalent there as the lofty.  Do not forget Autolycus who turns to look
upon a hedge and perhaps the most compelling of all Sh's comparable
passages, when Octavius remembers that in his heroic days before
Cleopatra, Antony "drank the stale (piss) of horses" during a retreat
after losing the battle of Modena.

Cheers,
John


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