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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: April ::
Re: The Date of Richard II
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0759  Wednesday, 23 April 2003

From:           Nancy Charlton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 Apr 2003 10:55:39 -0700
Subject: 14.0749 Re: The Date of Richard II
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0749 Re: The Date of Richard II

Graham Hall suggested:

>It is possible that she [Elizabeth] was alluding to Luke Chapter 4 (about
>Jesus in
>the wilderness) - can't remember if it's in any of the other Gospel
>accounts.

It is indeed in Matthew 4 also and is summed up in one verse in Mark
1:13.

The playing of this scene was a highlight of a performance of the
Lincoln mystery cycle that I saw 14 years ago this August, St Swithin's
Day in fact. Given the popularity of this story (which, after all, plays
well on stage) and the possibility that it was played in churches down
through this time, could this not be factored in by hearers of the
allusion?

>The phrase can be taken today, as it was then, as meaning "ages ago/ for
>ages/for a long time".

Could it also imply a period after which great change takes place? This
was the consequence of Moses' "forty" years wandering in the
wilderness.  Perhaps such a significance would give an added fillip to
the "full forty winters" of the sonnet.

Last year we discussed the significance of the number "three," and since
we're now looking at the temptation story, it may be worth noting again
that the temptation had three aspects, three spiritual hoops to jump
through before the ministry of the angels.

>"I waited ages for a devil and three came along at once."
>
>Best,
>Beelzebub Hall

What did I tell you?

Nancy Charlton

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