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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: February ::
Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0356  Monday, 9 February 2004

From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Monday, 9 Feb 2004 00:02:00 -0000
Subject:        'Angels and ministers of grace defend us!'

Hamlet, Act I, Scene 4 (line 39 in Arden2, line 18 in Oxford).

Someone asked in a Latin newsgroup for this to be translated into Latin.
Which it can rather easily:

O Angeli et gratiae Ministri, defendite nos.

So easily, in fact, that it rather sounds as if the original really
could be a translation from the Latin.  Does anyone know of anything
similar, from which this might derive?  The nearest I can find seems to
date from 1608 (Commemoratio Angelorum):

Sancti Angeli, custodes nostri, defendite nos in proelio ut non pereamus
in tremendo iudicio.

But Paul V sounds an unlikely Shakespearean!

John Briggs

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