The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1903 Friday, 13 September 2002
From: D. Bloom <
Date: Friday, 13 Sep 2002 13:38:07 -0500
All and sundry:
I was working on LLL a while ago and came across this speech which
rather puzzled me. Read it aloud and I think you'll catch on:
BOYET Why, all his behaviors did make their retire
To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire:
His heart, like an agate, with your print impress'd,
Proud with his form, in his eye pride express'd:
His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
All senses to that sense did make their repair,
To feel only looking on fairest of fair:
Methought all his senses were lock'd in his eye,
As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy;
Who, tendering their own worth from where they were glass'd,
Did point you to buy them, along as you pass'd:
His face's own margent did quote such amazes
That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
I'll give you Aquitaine and all that is his,
An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.
When I first started reading them I had difficulty making them fit the
normal iambic pentameter of LLL, which I first presumed was my fault
(ignorance). But when I got to Line 5 I was certain I was reading
dactylic (tetrameter). Re-reading the first four lines I found that they
fit (though not always perfectly) better in that meter than iambic.
So, what's going on here? Has anybody written on this? Is there a
theory? Or is it just regarded as an anomaly?
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