The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0049 Monday, 28 January 2008
From: Stephen Merriam Foley <
Date: Saturday, 26 Jan 2008 18:44:12 -0500
Subject: Littered Under Mercury
I am wondering about the lines in A Winter's Tale 4.2 when Autolycus
reproduces his naming. "My father called me Autolycus" This seems clear
enough, if suspiciously indirect, and parallel to the naming of the
false Autolycus (Some call him Autolycus). But then the next pronoun is
"someone who was" which should be Autolycus himself (nearest noun) but
who is clearly (tense of verb "was") the father and not the son. So
"littered under Mercury" presents a puzzle. Since the father IS Mercury.
Autolycus and his half-brother twin were the result of two
inseminations, one by Hermes and one by Apollo. So what I am wondering
is how Mercury is littered under Mercury. Where have I gone wrong?
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