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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: January ::
Littered Under Mercury
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0049  Monday, 28 January 2008

From:		Stephen Merriam Foley <
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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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