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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: Barque does not bark
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0892  Friday, 9 May 2003

[1]     From:   Todd Pettigrew <
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        Date:   Thursday, 8 May 2003 11:50:39 -0300
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.0878 Barque does not bark

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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 >
        Date:   Thursday, 08 May 2003 11:30:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0878 Barque does not bark


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd Pettigrew <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 May 2003 11:50:39 -0300
Subject: 14.0878 Barque does not bark
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.0878 Barque does not bark

Excellent point. Indeed, "bark" is often used by Shakespeare when he
means a small boat unfit for a sea voyage.

Richard III:

        First if all obstacles were cut away,
        And that my path were even to the crown,
        As my ripe revenue and due by birth
        Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
        So mighty and so many my defects,
        As I had rather hide me from my greatness,
        Being a bark to brook no mighty sea

Romeo and Juliet:

        In one little body
        Thou counterfeit'st a bark, a sea, a wind;
        For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea,
        Do ebb and flow with tears; the bark thy body is,
        Sailing in this salt flood; the winds, thy sighs;
        Who, raging with thy tears, and they with them,
        Without a sudden calm, will overset
        Thy tempest-tossed body.

Macbeth:

        He shall live a man forbid:
        Weary se'nnights nine times nine
        Shall he dwindle, peak and pine:
        Though his bark cannot be lost,
        Yet it shall be tempest-tost.

But notice that Prospero and Miranda do not go to sea in the bark
itself. That vessel is used to transport them to another vessel, perhaps
larger, but not more seaworthy:

        In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,
        Bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepared
        A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,
        Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats
        Instinctively had quit it: there they hoist us,
        To cry to the sea that roar'd to us, to sigh
        To the winds whose pity, sighing back again,
        Did us but loving wrong.

t.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 08 May 2003 11:30:02 -0400
Subject: 14.0878 Barque does not bark
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0878 Barque does not bark

Elliott H. Stone <
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 > writes,

>I am sure that all Shakespeare fans will be happy to once again have it
>confirmed that our dramatist is entitled to an "A" in geography!
>Prospero did not embark from the gates of Milan on a sea going vessel.
>It is more understandable that he left in a row boat! The Tempest I. 2
>144 "In few, they hurried us aboard a BARQUE, Bore us some leagues to
>sea--" My American Heritage Dictionary defines "Bark also barque- 1. A
>sailing ship with from three to five masts--2. A small vessel that is
>propelled by oars or sails--".  It is quite clear that even today you
>can travel around Northern Italy by a barge or a boat on a canal. It
>certainly was the preferred method of travel in the 16th century. Why is
>it hard for us to believe that Shakespeare just got it right? We
>certainly can believe that Shakespeare never made it to Bermuda but the
>jury is still out as to whether he made it to Milan, Naples or a small
>island off the coast of Sicily!

The third piece of anti-Strat propaganda on SHAKSPER today.

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