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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: March ::
Much Ado Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0636  Tuesday, 9 March 2004

[1]     From:   Peter Groves <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 9 Mar 2004 00:12:13 +1100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0627 Much Ado Questions

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Monday, 8 Mar 2004 15:20:03 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0627 Much Ado Questions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <
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Date:           Tuesday, 9 Mar 2004 00:12:13 +1100
Subject: 15.0627 Much Ado Questions
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0627 Much Ado Questions

Robin Hamilton writes:

 >If the obscene sense of "case" was popular enough at the time,

"Beale's revision of Partridge gives for CASA the meaning "a house, a
brothel" in use from the mid-17thC on, and links this to CASE-KEEPER --
the owner of a brothel -- though this appears to be (documented) only
much later.

But I'd guess that "case" +did+ have a (possibly diffused) range of
sexual connotations in the late 16th/early 17th centuries."

There's a nice example in Overbury's <Characters>, where he writes of
the marriage-choices of an "Ordinary Widow" (in a passage full of what
editors used to call "obscene quibbles"):

"A Church-man shee dare not venture upon; for shee hath heard widdowes
complaine of dilapidations: nor a Souldier, though hee have Candle-rents
in the City, for his estate may bee subject to fire: very seldome a
Lawyer, without hee shew his exceeding great practise, and can make her
case the better: but a Knight with the old rent may doe much, for a
great comming in is all in all with a Widdow."

Peter Groves
Monash University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Monday, 8 Mar 2004 15:20:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 15.0627 Much Ado Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0627 Much Ado Questions

If I may be indulged for one other Much Ado question:

I posted here almost a year ago a draft of an essay on the religious
connotations of Dogberry's language. I'm thinking of returning to that
essay this summer. The question: Before the creation of Mrs. Malaprop in
Sheridan's The Rivals, what would a malapropism have been called? I'm
wondering if it might be misleading to refer to Dogberry's malapropisms
if in fact his words can have straightforward meanings.

Jack Heller
Huntington College

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