Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: February ::
Atone
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0120  Friday, 9 February 2007

From: 		Dennis Taylor <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Thursday, 08 Feb 2007 14:40:54 -0500
Subject: 	Atone

I have long been struck by Shakespeare's use of the word "atone", which 
strikes me as pun on "make one" and "propitiate" in a religious sense. 
The OED lists the earliest ("obsolete") uses of "attone" as meaning "to 
set at one, bring into concord", with Shakespeare as first citation for 
the verb, 1593, RII; also 1607 AYLI. (More had used "atonement" in this 
sense much earlier).   The OED claims that "atone" in the sense of make 
propitiation a later usage, ie. by Glanville 1665.  Yet in the Chadwyck 
Bible data base, I find the following:  Tyndale, Bible, 2 Cor 5 (1530-34): 
"praye we you in Christes stede / that ye be atone with God."  This seems 
to have some evocation of the later "atone"; should the OED list it as a 
first citation?

Historical linguists to the rescue, please!

(The subject interests me because the dramatic uniting--at-oneing--of 
warring parties, seems to evoke in S. some sense of "atoning" for the 
terrible religious divisions in S.'s England)

Dennis Taylor
Professor of English
Boston College

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions 
expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor 
assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.