2009

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0039  Monday, 26 January 2009

From:      Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:      Thursday, 22 Jan 2009 17:18:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject:   Scottish Language in the Scottish Play

Colleagues:

I spent some time last week reading King James's _Demonology_ and the 
_News from Scotland_. The _Demonology_ has moments which reflect, I 
think, an early Scottish dialect, such as the use of quhat (what) and 
freits (not sure what this is, but "frights" does not always seem to fit).

Some Jacobean plays, most notoriously Jonson's, Chapman's, and Marston's 
_Eastward Ho!_ (1605) included satire on the Scottish dialect.

Are there any hints of the use of dialect in a related way in _Macbeth_? 
I was thinking of Duncan's line in 1.6: "How you shall bid God 'ild us 
for your pains?" Would this qualify as an example?

Jack Heller

[Editor's Note: Fortuitously, I missed this query when it was originally 
sent to me on January 12. It is appropriate, however, that I send it out 
today, the day after the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns 
  <http://www.oxforddnb.com/public/dnb/4093.html>, which I learned about 
from my receiving the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography "Life of 
the Day", a free service of ODNB 
<http://www.oup.com/oxforddnb/info/freeodnb/>.]

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