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2
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3answers
68 views

“Small Latin and Less Greek”

About a third of the way through his poem "To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare and What He Hath Left Us," Ben Jonson writes: And though thou hadst small Latin and less ...
3
votes
2answers
267 views

Why does Hamlet not say, “ere he rots?”

How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot? The quoted line is Hamlet's. I wonder why the "rot" is not "rots".
2
votes
2answers
80 views

Is Shakespeare really the source of our modern meaning for odd?

In a recent article, the Guardian states that Shakespeare is also responsible for the modern meaning of "odd". What is the evidence for this? The textual evidence alone is thin and unconvincing. ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

“Upright he held it, lords, that held it last”, meaning?

In Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus when asked to become emperor Titus refuses answering that the sceptre to control the world (i.e., power) "upright he held it, lords, that held it last". What is the ...
0
votes
4answers
116 views

How to punctuate “To be, or not to be, that is the question”

What would be the correct way to punctuate this line from Hamlet? Should there simply be commas or should a colon be used? e.g.: To be, or not to be: that is the question.
5
votes
3answers
287 views

Middle English or Elizabethan English as a second language? [closed]

Are there books, web sites, or language courses designed for English speakers who want to learn Middle English or Elizabethan English in the same way that they would learn a foreign language? It would ...
0
votes
2answers
158 views

How/When did English transform to the modern version we use today? [closed]

I know that a language evolves with time and constantly keeps itself up to people's needs. But when I read a bible or a poem of Shakespeare, I can see English was very different by then with sentences ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

What does “playus nigh” mean in Cockney?

Quotation from A history of the cries of London ancient (p23). Refer to What does “him as writ plays” mean?
2
votes
2answers
217 views

What does “him as writ plays” (etc.) mean in old newspaper clipping?

Quotation from A history of the cries of London ancient (p23). ... famous theatre afterwards to be so widely known. The sunshiny time of our literature and life, making a red-letter period in ...
6
votes
1answer
359 views

What does the phrase “Lady-Macbethed” mean? [closed]

Colonel Hampton snorted contemptuously. Senile dementia! Well, he must have been senile and demented, to bring this pair of snakes into his home, because he felt an obligation to his dead ...
3
votes
1answer
193 views

Does Shakespeare use the word “whence” incorrectly? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “from whence” correct? Or should it be “whence”? From the Shakespeare's Sonnet XLVIII, ... From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part;  And ...
3
votes
2answers
784 views

Meaning of “I would there were…”?

What is the meaning of "I would there were", as in this quote from Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale"? I would there were no age between sixteen and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out ...
3
votes
2answers
297 views

Twelfth Night: Why does Olivia call Sir Toby “cousin”?

I’m reading Twelfth Night, where in Act 1, Scene 5, Olivia says to Sir Toby Belch: Olivia: Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy? How come she’s calling her uncle ...
9
votes
1answer
497 views

Searching for a literary term for “if this, then I’m a this” statements

I’m reading Shakespeare’s Henry IV (Part 1) right now and I’m noticing that Sir John Falstaff has a propensity of saying “If this, then I’m a this” sort of statements. A few examples to clarify: … ...
18
votes
2answers
422 views

Pronunciation of 'host' in Shakespeare's time

Listening to the recent film production of Macbeth with Patrick Stewart, I noticed that Duncan says: Give me your hand. Conduct me to mine host. Obviously, it's in the text (Act 1, Scene 6). ...
5
votes
1answer
565 views

What does “Would he had blotted a thousand!” mean?

I come across this passage in Bill Bryson's book, "Shakespeare": "His mind and hand went together,' they [John Hemings and Henry Condell] wrote in the introduction to the First Folio, 'and what he ...
1
vote
2answers
772 views

How to cite Shakespearean Blank Verse or Free Verse in an MLA Paper [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to quote multiple lines of verse inline If I am using a quote that is only one line, I would not need a / between lines. But, when do I use a / - for free verse or ...
-2
votes
1answer
309 views
2
votes
2answers
377 views

Is Shakespeare proper English? [closed]

"Divides one thing entire to many objects; Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon show nothing but confusion..." - William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Richard the Second I read plenty ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is this an example of litotes?

In Macbeth's Tomorrow speech To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What does this mean: To be thus is nothing; But to be safely thus

This is taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth, and I am having difficulty comprehending what this means. Can someone please put it into normal English, with all explanations?