The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0477 Tuesday, 15 March 2005
Date: Monday, 14 Mar 2005 14:35:37 -0800 (PST)
I'm wondering if anyone knows of a good Shakespeare dictionary. I am
curious about the actually meaning of the many words at the time
Shakespeare wrote them. For example, in Hamlet when he says, "How
absolute the knave is", I can look the word knave up in a modern
dictionary, and get the following definitions:
a. a man of humble birth
b. a male servant
c. an unprincipled, crafty man
Now which is the correct definition for what Hamlet really means? Is he
calling him a male servant? a man of humble birth? a crafty man? or is
it none of the above? How does one know exactly? I was thinking an
Elizabethan or Shakespeare dictionary would be more accurate.
This is but one example of probably hundreds and hundreds. Any insight
on this problem would be greatly appreciated.
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