Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1294  Monday, 13 May 2002

[1]     From:   Markus Marti <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 10 May 2002 18:20:32 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound

[2]     From:   Martin Steward <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 11 May 2002 10:14:05 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound

[3]     From:   Vick Bennison <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 11 May 2002 09:41:44 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Markus Marti <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 10 May 2002 18:20:32 +0100
Subject: 13.1284 Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1284 Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound

"Hardy M. Cook" wrote:

>  Can someone explain how a plummet works?

Is it not just a piece of lead (plumb) attached to a (very long) string?
I would say you just let it go and keep the end of the string in your
hand.  But then, Mark Twain would know better, perhaps.

Markus Marti

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 11 May 2002 10:14:05 +0100
Subject: 13.1284 Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1284 Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound

Paul Swanson asks, "Can someone explain how a plummet works?"

I am no old sea dog, but isn't it very simple, just a weight on a piece
of knotted string or rope, by which one can plumb the depth from one's
craft, in order not to run it aground. When the weight is taken from the
rope, you know you've plumbed the depth, and having counted the number
of knots that have disappeared below the waves, you can tell how deep
the waters are.

I think the echo of that "deeper than e'er plummet sounded" line might
have something to do with the issue of progeny and power. "The Tempest"
is concerned with primogeniture; Prospero loses power for two reasons -
his fiddling in his library and the uncertainty resulting from his lack
of a baby son and a wife with whom to have one. He regains it by
repudiating his books and marrying off his daughter to the son of his
erstwhile enemy. The books are really plummeted; Ferdinand is not really
plummeted; but the fear that he might be reduced Alonso to the same
uncertainty as Prospero for a short time (with similar results for his
own power).

I think an earlier post of mine dealt with these issues a bit more
cogently. But I did not notice, or make anything, of the echo which Paul
has spotted.

m

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Vick Bennison <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 11 May 2002 09:41:44 -0400
Subject: 13.1284  Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1284  Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound

From:  "Sea of Words", by Dean King

Plummet - a plumb, a sounding-lead.

Sounding - The process of finding out the depth of water by means of a
lead-line and lead.  To be in soundings is to be in a place at sea where
it is possible to reach the bottom with the ordinary (up to 20 fathoms)
or deep-sea (up to 100 fathoms) lead.  Derives from the Old English word
sund for "water, sea, or swimming".  See also Mark.

The description of "Mark" is fascinating, but long, it tells how the
lead-line was marked by pieces of leather or various colored fabrics and
shapes so that the leadsman could read off how deep the water was.
These were at 2 (mark twain), 3, 5 (full fathom five), 7, 10, 13, 15,
17, and 20 fathoms, and were called "marks".  Unmarked readings between
were called "deeps".  The leadsman would call "by the mark 5" or "by the
deep 6" the latter being a less accurate measure.

As for your literary question, I'll leave that to the Shakespeare
experts.  This was his last major play, however, he was getting old, and
maybe he forgot that he had already used that metaphor.  ;^)

- Vick

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.