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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: January ::
Why is the Prince of Darkness a Gentleman?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0046  Tuesday, 11 January 2005

From:           JD Markel <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 10 Jan 2005 18:22:59 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Why is the Prince of Darkness a Gentleman?

Any thoughts as to why Shakespeare calls the Prince of Darkness a
"gentleman?"  The reference is from King Lear act 3, scene 4:

GLOUCESTER:
What, hath your grace no better company?

EDGAR:
The prince of darkness is a gentleman:
Modo he's call'd, and Mahu.

There is a similar earlier reference in Henry V, act 4, scene 7:

KING HENRY V:
It may be his enemy is a gentleman of great sort,
quite from the answer of his degree.

FLUELLEN:
Though he be as good a gentleman as the devil is, as
Lucifer and Belzebub himself, it is necessary, look
your grace, that he keep his vow and his oath: ...

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