The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0322 Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Date: July 26, 2010 2:21:58 PM EDT
Subject: FYI: ShakesPalin
Washington Post: Sunday, July 25, 2010
I come not to bury Sarah Palin but to praise her ["To refudiate or not to
refudiate . . .," Politics Digest, July 20]. She's absolutely right about
Shakespeare's linguistic creativity, and I suspect that the playwright would
have delighted in "refudiate." That's not because it enriches our language with
a new word that communicates something that can be conveyed in no other way, but
because it's the sort of naive malapropism he puts into the mouths of some of
his characters, among them such inspired and irrepressible bumpkins as Bottom
the Weaver in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Dogberry the Master Constable in
"Much Ado About Nothing."
To borrow a line from the title character in "King Lear," then, I say "let
copulation thrive." Fusing "refute" with "repudiate" may result in bastard
currency, but as a means to certify a failed governor for the kind of position
that would make her appear less "o'er-parted" (to quote Costard from "Love's
Labor's Lost"), it's what Shakespeare's most endearing Keystone Kop would call
"the eftest way."
John F. Andrews, Santa Fe, N.M.
The writer is president of the Shakespeare Guild.
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