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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Margery and the Tearful Jestmonger
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0642  Wednesday, 6 April 2005

[1]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Apr 2005 17:32:43 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0629 Margery and the Tearful Jestmonger

[2]     From:   Florence Amit <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Apr 2005 21:19:52 +0300
        Subj:   Margery and the Tearful Jestmonger

[3]     From:   Joseph Egert <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Apr 2005 22:02:52 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0629 Margery and the Tearful Jestmonger


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Apr 2005 17:32:43 +0100
Subject: 16.0629 Margery and the Tearful Jestmonger
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0629 Margery and the Tearful Jestmonger

Florence Amit writes ...

 >If I were
 >a senior instructor of Shakespeare I would take the bull by the horns
 >and learn Hebrew. It is about time.

and ...

 >Now Margery can be read Mar- meaning bitter, Gar meaning convert or
 >friendly stranger (to the Jews) and the Y shows possession first person
 >singular.

"And though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek,
Thy great learning in Hebrew was unique.
Few actor-playwrights could repeat thy boast
They set ye crossword in Jerusalem Post."

Ben Jonson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Apr 2005 21:19:52 +0300
Subject:        Margery and the Tearful Jestmonger

I again read Joseph Egert's hypothesis which deserves more attention
than my original answer.

I . Mr. Egert calls Portia racist because she repeats Morroco's own term
of "complexion". He has shown his values and Portia does not like their
"complexion."   To color her show of differentiation with a post African
slavery connotation seems anachronistic and harsh to me. Portia
according to my reading is seeking a suitor with Jewish lineage as her
Hebrew word game that Schoenfeld so beautifully developed attests. (You
can see this at my web site or ask me for a copy by e-mail.)

2. Any educated person of Shakespeare's time would remember the harsh
measures of Pope Paul IV against converts and Jews. (Jews were not to
employ Gentile servants for example!) Just as Americans surely remember
the period of Jim Crow. There is no call for going into too many matters
that are English for this particular convergence of characters when the
historical reality is so weighty.  Therefore by mentioning the word
"Negro" the area of Monte Negro in the Balkans might be referred to. It
would be the port area for refugee converts after leaving Italy.
Launcelot could very well be referring to a liaison with local girl.

Florence

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph Egert <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Apr 2005 22:02:52 +0000
Subject: 16.0629 Margery and the Tearful Jestmonger
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0629 Margery and the Tearful Jestmonger

To Jane Brody, on the Kosher certificate:

I used "Kosher" in the orthodox Christian sense, indicating the Lady was
not for burning!

To Norman Hinton, on the dubious link between the Margeries:

As noted earlier, extracts of Kempe's Book were openly available from
1501 and again from 1521. These extracts are filled with pious mourning
and "great weeping" of "many a tear." Also, of note, Jesus in one
passage tells Margery: "I have bought thy love full dear"--perhaps one
more tie to "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE" with its dear-bought bonds and
husbands. Jesus goes on to acknowledge Margery's charity and weepy
prayers for "all lecherous men and women" (like Lancelot?) and later for
"all Jews and Saracens... that they should come to Christian faith"
(Jessica and Shylock?). Finally, the full manuscript by the late
fifteenth century belonged to the Mount Grace Carthusian Priory,
recipient of the Pembroke family's charity. Can "Belmont" be related to
"Mount Grace"?

To Florence Amit, on the Hebraic "Margery":

Thanks for the Hebrew lesson, though I frankly doubt Shakespeare had
such an etymologic allusion in mind. There may be a connection, however,
between the Moor's pregnancy in the play and Emilia Lanier's illicit
(and fruitful) affair with Lord Hundsdon about this time.  Also, don't
you mean "Ger" instead of "Gar"?


Joe Egert

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