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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Re: Hamlet's Song
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1359  Thursday, 3 July 2003

[1]     From:   Ted Dykstra <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 15:23:29 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

[2]     From:   Nora Kreimer <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 16:27:12 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

[3]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 20:49:10 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

[4]     From:   Gerald E. Downs <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 19:14:27 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

[5]     From:   Matt Henerson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 Jul 2003 02:39:56 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

[6]     From:   Colin Cox <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 02 Jul 2003 23:55:51 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

[7]     From:   R L Widmann <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 Jul 2003 05:11:08 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

[8]     From:   Rainbow Saari <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 Jul 2003 21:54:50 +1200
        Subj:   Help with Hamlet's song


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ted Dykstra <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 15:23:29 EDT
Subject: 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

>Following *The Mousetrap* Hamlet quotes a poem or song
>
>'For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
>This realm dismantled was
>Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
>A very, very--pajock.'
>Horatio then says: 'You might have rhymed.' (III.ii.281-285.)
>
>What's the missing word which might have rhymed with 'was'? Clearly an
>Elizabethan audience was supposed to know. Equally clearly the word is
>the opposite of Jove, therefore probably the name of some minor god or
>fallen deity.

I always thought that the missing rhyme was ASS, as several times I have
noted the word "was" (due to the words it used to rhyme with) must have
at one time been pronounced "wass". In fact, in Dutch, which has so much
old English in it, it still is! I don't think the song or poem is known,
I think Hamlet makes it up on the spot, and either misses the rhyme on
purpose to make Horatio laugh, or has "painted himself into a corner",
much to Horatio's delight.

Ted Dykstra

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nora Kreimer <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 16:27:12 -0300
Subject: 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

The Rhyme offered as a possibility in the annotated The New Cambridge
Shakespeare in III. ii, 255-8 is ass, which I feel very temped to accept
on the grounds of the pronunciation of Early Mod English.

Regards,
Nora Kreimer
Instituto Superior del Profesorado Joaquin V. Gonzalez
Buenos Aires, Argentina

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 20:49:10 +0100
Subject: 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

Michael Egan wrote:

>Following *The Mousetrap* Hamlet quotes a poem or song
>
>'For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
>This realm dismantled was
>Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
>A very, very--pajock.'
>Horatio then says: 'You might have rhymed.' (III.ii.281-285.)
>
>What's the missing word which might have rhymed with 'was'? Clearly an
>Elizabethan audience was supposed to know. Equally clearly the word is
>the opposite of Jove, therefore probably the name of some minor god or
>fallen deity.

Harold Jenkins (Arden2, 1982) and G.R. Hibbard (Oxford, 1987) concur
that the word was "ass".  (It is the word 'pajock' [F Paiocke] that is
problematic.)  In my innocence I had always assumed that it was the
pupose of annotated editions to answer questions such as these.  If
provoked, I shall give the origin of the term "Variorum".

John Briggs

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gerald E. Downs <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 19:14:27 EDT
Subject: 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

Lucrece 393 and 1764 the rhyme wass grass and glass.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matt Henerson <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 Jul 2003 02:39:56 EDT
Subject: 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

What's the missing word which might have rhymed with 'was'?

I always imagined it was "ass."  No?

Matt Henerson

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Colin Cox <
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Date:           Wednesday, 02 Jul 2003 23:55:51 -0700
Subject: 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

Michael Egan asks,

>Following *The Mousetrap* Hamlet quotes a poem or song
>
>'For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
>This realm dismantled was
>Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
>A very, very--pajock.'
>Horatio then says: 'You might have rhymed.' (III.ii.281-285.)
>
>What's the missing word to complete the rhyme.

The missing word is 'ass'.

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R L Widmann <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 Jul 2003 05:11:08 -0400
Subject: 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1351 Help with Hamlet's Song

The missing rhyme is "ass," another insult to Polonius.

Best,
R L Widmann

[8]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rainbow Saari <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 Jul 2003 21:54:50 +1200
Subject:        Help with Hamlet's song

Theobald ( Shakespeare Restored, p.94) suggested the final word of the
song was 'ass'. It would  both rhyme and suit the metre.

Cheers all,
Rainbow Saari

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