Questions tagged [seventeenth-century-english]

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1answer
135 views

Was it common in Shakespeare's time for adverbial phrases and objects to precede the verb in spoken English?

I'm trying to come up with a list of differences between Shakespeare's manner of writing and modern English, and one of the big differences I've noticed is that Shakespeare often seems to put ...
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54 views

“An” in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew

In Act 1, Scene 1, Katherine says to Bianca "A pretty peat! It is best / Put finger in the eye, an she knew why". I understand "Put finger in the eye" means she is fake crying for ...
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54 views

Defining lapidarical

In this study of The Great Chain of Being, Diamonds among other various gems are classified as a lapidarical primate. The Oxford Dictionary does not include lapidarical or even it's root word, lapid. ...
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49 views

Shakespeare's dubious rhymes [duplicate]

Background I'm reading A Midsummer Night's Dream, and a lot of the dialogues and monologues are rhymes. But some times, these rhymes aren't rhymes at all. For instance So should the murder'd look, ...
5
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1answer
147 views

Meaning of “Friday face” in 1592

I was reading a pamphlet from the year 1592, published in London, and came across a rather obsolete and bewitching phrase: "The Foxe on a time came to visit the Gray, partly for kindered cheefly ...
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1answer
92 views

What is the most vulgar word one could use when describing “LIFE” and a phrase for an “ALL-HATING GOD”

I am writing a play and have reached the conclusion where the main character utters a soliloquy of just how "despicably stupid" the concept of "living" and reaching the heights of &...
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0answers
112 views

'MURDER“ or ”MURTHER" ? — Question on when distinct (archaic) spellings for words were used and when not

Salutations, I am currently writing a play that is being regulated to the very distinct notions of authentically replicating the English language and its archaic spellings during its usage in London, ...
2
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3answers
112 views

Why are some of the words capitalized even though they do not refer to God or something Godly?

I am fairly new to poetry and I understand from the Bible that something related to God/God is usually capitalized. Why is it that in the Milton's poem, When I consider how my light is spent, the ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Why is ‘Earth’ often spelt with a lowercase e, even when referring to the planet?

The word earth has several meanings; the most central one is ‘soil, dirt’, that thing we walk on when we’re outside. It’s also used as a name for the planet we live on. The Lexico definition for this ...
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1answer
344 views

Why do some early modern English writers use an apostrophe in art (ar't)?

For example, in Verses upon the duke of Buckinghams returne from the Ile of Rees (https://www.english.cam.ac.uk/ceres/ehoc/lessons/lesson1/index.html) the poet spells "art" as "ar't" in the phrase "...
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2answers
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What is an “asse” in Elizabethan English?

In the "New Yer's Guiftes giuen to The Quene's Maiestie" we find two handkerchives of Hollande, wroughte with blacke worke, and edged with a smale bone lace of golde and siluer; and an asse of ...
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1answer
630 views

Meaning of “In an ill hour”

To all these words which Don Quixote said, a certain Biscaine squire, that accompanied the coach, gave ear; who, seeing that Don Quixote suffered not the coach to pass onward, but said that it must ...
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3answers
138 views

The meaning of the dance title “All In a Garden Green”

There is a 17th century English dance/tune named "All in a Garden Green" (first published in John Playford's The English Dancing Master in 1651). What is the most probable exact meaning of the title? ...
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80 views

How do you parse 'by this which is said'? (1654 UK)

Preface: I first encountered the following on p 83, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof Sharon Kaye (MA PhD in Philosophy, U. Toronto). I already tried, but do not see a modern ...
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3answers
384 views

What does 'measuring cast' mean? (1660, UK)

Source: 'Things Necessary to be Continually had in Remembrance', by Sir Matthew Hale (1609-1676) If in criminals it be a measuring cast, to incline to mercy and acquittal. How do you decide ...
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1answer
2k views

“For who so firm that cannot be seduced?” Where is the verb in this Shakespeare quotation?

He says: ... Therefore it is meet That noble minds keep ever with their likes, For who so firm that cannot be seduced? (Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2) Roughly means that you shouldn't pal ...
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1answer
74 views

'agree a number … to one mischief' (1655 UK) [closed]

Source: Paragraph 2, Chapter XX, De Corpore Politico, 1655, by Thomas Hobbes For multitude, though in their persons they run together, yet they concur not always in their designs. For even at that ...
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1answer
78 views

Does 'whose workmanship they are' violate parallelism? (1690 UK)

Source: Sec 6, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690, by John Locke ...for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, ...
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5answers
178 views

No direct object in 'give thee faithfully to follow' ? (1670 UK, Isaac Penington)

Source: Para 5, Isaac Penington to Widow Hemmings (1670), by Isaac Penington If the Lord would show thee but this one thing, -- that to use "thee" and "thou" to a particular person is proper ...
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2answers
62 views

What's the subject of 'mind not so much to know' ? (1670 UK, Isaac Penington) [duplicate]

Source: Para 5, Isaac Penington to Widow Hemmings (1670), by Isaac Penington The Lord so guide thee, manifest himself to thee, help thee, and lead thee by his Holy Spirit and power, as that thou ...
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1answer
5k views

What is a 17th-century affectionate term for “Mother”?

I'm writing a ghost story, and (in an admittedly well-worn trope) a child ghost is looking for its mother; however, how would a 17th-century child affectionately refer to its mother? In short, what ...
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1k views

Are English language books translated to contemporary English? [closed]

Were Shakespeare books translated to contemporary English? Which version is more common? Is there a rule to choose which books will have its language updated? Are poems updated too? From which year I ...
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6answers
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What were the rules for capitalising nouns in the 17th and 18th centuries?

It seems to have been common practice in the 17th and 18th centuries in English-language sources to capitalise the first letters of nouns, as in At which Time he prov'd himself the Noah's Dove, that ...