The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0066 Sunday, 26 February 2006
Date: Monday, 20 Feb 2006 10:06:55 -0500
Subject: Word against Word
While SHAKSPER was lately in hospital, I posted this to the Milton List,
but, aside from a couple of leads, didn't get much joy. I thought I'd
try again here, closer to home:
I'm trying to ascertain whether the phrase "the word against the word"
was widespread or commonplace in England in our period. It occurs
(twice) in Richard 2 and also in Chapter 5 of Bunyan's "Discourse of the
House of the Forest of Lebanon", which is unlikely to be borrowing from
Shakespeare, I think. The notion of the evil of "setting word against
word" in religious explication or controversy is fairly widespread -- as
in both Article 20 of the 39 Articles and the famous "Baines note" about
Marlowe-but whether the phrase itself was widely or at all current I
haven't been able to establish. Any leads?
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