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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: June ::
Tiger References in Macbeth
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1322  Monday, 21 June 2004

[1]     From:   William Hamlin <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Jun 2004 08:41:48 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1310 Tiger References in Macbeth

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Jun 2004 20:57:09 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1310 Tiger References in Macbeth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Hamlin <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Jun 2004 08:41:48 -0700
Subject: 15.1310 Tiger References in Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1310 Tiger References in Macbeth

 >I read somewhere recently (can't remember where) that the Tiger was a
 >ship that arrived back from the Far East in 1605/1606.
 >
 >Peter Bridgman

Hakluyt's Principal Navigations includes an account of "The voyage of M.
Ralph Fitch . . . in the yeere of our Lord 1583" which refers to "a ship
of London called the Tyger, wherein we went for Tripolis in Syria: &
from thence we tooke the way for Aleppo" (5:465). This may be a source
for one of the Weird Sisters' speeches: "Her husband's to Aleppo gone,
master o' th' Tiger."

Will Hamlin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Jun 2004 20:57:09 -0700
Subject: 15.1310 Tiger References in Macbeth
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1310 Tiger References in Macbeth

Pamel Richards writes,

 >In the first instance you quote,
 >
 >"master o' th' Tiger" -- Witch 1,  I.iii.109
 >
 >it would almost be tempting to think of a ship christened "The Tiger",
 >to which the sailor, husband to the chestnut-loving woman, was "master".
 >But on careful reading, the husband is described as a sailor, not a
 >captain; therefore, it is not likely he would be named as such a ship's
 >"master".

I believe that every captain is by definition a sailor.  The term,
according to the OED, means "One who is professionally occupied with
navigation; a seaman, mariner."  Only secondarily does it indicate a
particular rank.

Moreover, the captain is not necessarily the master.  The OED (s.v.,
"Master", n1, 7) cites a stage direction of the 1st Part of the
Contention in which they enter as separate characters.  Under "Captain"
(n6) it cites a man named Smith referring to how a Captain gives orders
to a master.

Yours,
SKL.

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