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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: May ::
Macbeth Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0877  Thursday, 5 May 2005

[1]     From:   Kris McDermott <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 4 May 2005 12:28:38 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0870 Macbeth Questions

[2]     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 5 May 2005 14:25:16 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0870 Macbeth Questions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kris McDermott <
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Date:           Wednesday, 4 May 2005 12:28:38 -0400
Subject: 16.0870 Macbeth Questions
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0870 Macbeth Questions

Sarah Cohen:

 >I always thought the phrase "swelling act" was a theatrical (or,
 >possibly, a musical) metaphor, not a priapic one.
 >
 >What about "swelling scene" in Henry V? Is that another reference to
 >tumescence? What exactly does the Chorus wish that monarchs should behold?

Sondheim and Styne make the exact same joke in "You Gotta Have a
Gimmick" (the comic apotheosis of "Gypsy") as the stripper Tessie Tura
punctuates her routine with Shakespearean quotes: "Where the bee sucks,
there suck I; In a cowslip bell I *bump!*"; "Oh that this too too solid
flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a *bump!*"; and "Oh for
a muse of fire -- a kingdom for a stage, princes to act, and monarchs to
behold the swelling *bump!*"

Kris McDermott
Central Michigan University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Thursday, 5 May 2005 14:25:16 +0100
Subject: 16.0870 Macbeth Questions
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0870 Macbeth Questions

Sarah Cohen is right, not all swelling signifies tumescence.  The
context is important though, don't you think?

Cheers,
John Drakakis

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