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Home :: Archive :: 2011 :: September ::
Atalanta's better part

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0218  Monday, 5 September 2011

 

[1]  From:         John W Kennedy < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

      Date:         September 2, 2011 7:00:18 PM EDT

      Subject:     Re: Qs Jaques 

 

[2] From:         Tue Sørensen < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         September 3, 2011 8:13:56 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: Qs Jaques 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:         John W Kennedy < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 2, 2011 7:00:18 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Qs Jaques

 

Donald Bloom < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > wrote,

 

>John W. Kennedy, speaking of the puzzling line – 

>“Atalanta's better part” -- from AYLI, suggests that 

>"[c]hastity seems the most obvious" virtue being referred 

>to. I find this quite plausible but is there any evidence 

>of her being a well-recognized emblem of chastity at 

>that time?

 

That I cannot say, but it /is/ plausible, and I do not see that, given that it is the smitten Orlando writing this, we need to search for anything more profound. Profundity, indeed, would be out of place here.

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Tue Sørensen < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         September 3, 2011 8:13:56 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: Qs Jaques

 

Donald Bloom says:

 

>John W. Kennedy, speaking of the puzzling line – 

>“Atalanta's better part” -- from AYLI, suggests that 

>"[c]hastity seems the most obvious" virtue being referred 

>to. I find this quite plausible but is there any evidence 

>of her being a well-recognized emblem of chastity at 

>that time?

 

I would venture that the better part of Atalanta, being famous for swiftness and hunting, is either courage or speed (maybe in terms of having a swift wit). Chastity does not make much sense when the next line is about modesty; the two are too related to be listed so close together. And, 140 lines later, Jacques says, "You have a nimble wit; I think 'twas made of Atalanta's heels." This makes is quite clear that Atalanta is being associated with swiftness.

 

Tue Sorensen

 

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