The title of a chapter in Herman Melville's Moby Dick is named:

Enter Ahab; to him, Stubb

What is meant by this title? (I can't tell by the chapter's contents, it simply tells of the interaction between two people, Captain Ahab and Stubb) Can this use of "to him" be used the same way in a sentence, or is it just a result of "shortening" often done in titles?


It's an old style of stage direction: when the curtain rises (or, in the old wing-and-shutter staging, the shutters open) Ahab is 'discovered', alone on stage. Stubb enters and joins him.

  • 1
    It's kind of the literary version of "Exit, stage right!" in Snagglepuss. "Heavens to Murgatroyd!"
    – Fattie
    Mar 27 '14 at 7:30

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