The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0403  Thursday, 22 August 2013


From:        Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 17, 2013 3:37:38 PM EDT

Subject:     Query: Verges




I am reviewing Much Ado about Nothing (a play I often go back to). In the Arden edition, this is the annotation on Verges’s name:


i.e. verjuice, the acid juice of unripe fruit, formerly used in cookery and medicine. The name occurs in a satirical rhyme, ‘Uppon old Father Varges, a misserable usurer’—‘Here lies father Varges/Who died to save charges’ (MS. Ashmolean 38) Verges seems by no means as acidulous as the name suggests.


My question: Because the case against Borachio and Conrade ends up before a sexton in 4.2, why not consider Verges as associated with “verger,” a minor church official often associated with a sexton?


Jack Heller


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