Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1284 Friday, 10 May 2002
From: Paul Swanson <
Date: Thursday, 09 May 2002 10:48:07 -0500
Subject: Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound
This may be a silly or insignificant question, but I have wondered for a
while about the possible significance of two virtually identical lines
in The Tempest.
Burdened with guilt and sadness, Alonso reacts to Ariel-as-Harpy's
repudiation in 3.3 that "Therefore my son i' th' ooze is bedded; and /
I'll seek him deeper than e'er plummet sounded..." (3.3.100-101). Two
scenes later, Prospero, in renouncing his magic, virtually repeats the
line, stating that "...deeper than did ever plummet sound / I'll drown
my book" (5.1.56-57).
A few questions: Can someone explain how a plummet works? Secondly, why
does Shakespeare have Alonso and Prospero say virtually the same words?
I understand the basic parallel that each of them "loses" a child, as
they discuss in 5.1. But what other point(s) are behind line's
Let me thank you in advance for any responses.
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