Questions tagged [meaning]

Questions regarding the meaning of certain terms of phrases used in a work of literature. If your question concerns the symbolic significance of something whose surface meaning is clear, use the [symbolism] tag instead.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
0answers
10 views

What does ‘Kung mapatay di madeadball ’ mean?

In Nick Joaquin's story "Cándido's Apocalypse", the 17-year-old Bobby starts behaving rather strangely. After going "stowaway" and being brought back home, he wakes up the next ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

What does 'por bida man guid' mean?

In Nick Joaquin's story "The Order of Melchizedek", Sid and Mrs. Borja are trying to retrieve a card that Sid had pushed down an edge of the upholstery in a taxi. The girl who has washed the ...
7
votes
1answer
749 views

What does “It is not meet” mean in “Idylls of the King”?

From Idylls of the King: The Passing of Arthur by Alfred Tennyson: To him replied the bold Sir Bedivere: 'It is not meet, Sir King, to leave thee thus, Aidless, alone, and smitten through the helm— A ...
2
votes
1answer
21 views

What could “lavender-bag ancestors” mean in Ted Hughes' “Crow Improvises”?

In "Crow Improvises" (text version), the protagonist conjoins a list of disparate objects, where each pair of objects ignites a spark. Putting aside the symbolic meaning of each object, it ...
7
votes
2answers
834 views

Meaning of “Chaos” spoken by Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III)?

In Shakespeare's King Henry 6 part 3, we are truly introduced to that devilishly delightful Richard for the first time by means of his first and longest soliloquy wherein he introduces to the audience ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

What's meant by “melancholy point work” in “The Just Men of Cordova”?

In chapter 6 of The Just Men of Cordova by Edgar Wallace, the author was describing a young boxer constable and his work under his bad superior. Frank Fellowe was agitating a punch-ball in one of the ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

What are “deadly voids and unbidden infidelities” in “Moby-Dick”?

From chapter 7 ("The Chapel") of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville: Oh! ye whose dead lie buried beneath the green grass; who standing among flowers can say—here, here lies my beloved; ye know ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

What is “the Segregation of the Queen” in “His Last Bow”?

I’d like to ask about a sentence in "His Last Bow" by Arthur Conan Doyle. Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen. I’d like to make sure ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

What is “the waste” and why is it “no whit lesser than thy land” in “Richard II”?‎

What do these lines mean, in Shakespeare's Richard II (act II, scene 1)? A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown, Whose compass is no bigger than thy head; And yet, incaged in so small a verge, ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What is Watson's “old service” in “His Last Bow”?

I’d like to ask about a sentence in "His Last Bow" by Arthur Conan Doyle. As to you, Watson, you are joining us with your old service, as I understand, so London won’t be out of your way. ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Implication of “your four-in-hand takes the prize” in “His Last Bow”

I’d like to ask about a sentence in "His Last Bow" by Arthur Conan Doyle. You yacht against them, you hunt with them, you play polo, you match them in every game, your four-in-hand takes ...
1
vote
2answers
21 views

What does “half-primitive vigor” mean?

In the short story The Planet of the Dead by Clark Ashton Smith, I would like to understand the meaning of "half-primitive vigor": He had lived as an intellectual sybarite; and by virtue of ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

What is the meaning and significance of “urubutinga” in Mário de Andrade's “O lundu do escritor difícil”

The title is suggestive enough to elicit an understanding that Andrade probably purposefully made this poem difficult to read for people who are not familiar with Tupi culture. A conscious effort of ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

What are “rubber notations” in “The Just Men of Cordova”?

In chapter 2 of The Just Men of Cordova by Edgar Wallace, the author was describing a business man in London: His was a name to conjure with in certain circles. In others it was never mentioned. The ...
2
votes
0answers
15 views

What does “raised waves in my mind” mean in Tagore's “At the End of the Day”?

In Rabindranath Tagore's "At the End of the Day", there's one stanza that goes like this: To you I only pray – Before I go let me know Looking at the sky Why mother earth so green Gave me a ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What does Edgar Allan Poe mean by “supererogation is not presumable of any Divine Act”?

I am reading Edgar Allan Poe's Eureka: A Prose Poem, "an essay on the material and spiritual universe". I have come across a sentence where I can't get what the author is trying to say. It ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Why was the narrator left alone on the shore in Tagore's “Sonar Tari”?

Rabindranath Tagore's poem 'Sonar Tari', written in Bengali, was translated into English as 'The Golden Boat'. The last stanza reads: ঠাঁই নাই, ঠাঁই নাই! ছােট সে তরী আমারি সােনার ধানে গিয়েছে ভরি’। ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

What is a Pehliva?

The word "Pehliva" is used several times in the third part of the Shahnameh (Helen Zimmern translation), particularly to refer to Sam/Saum, apparently a ruler in Seistan (which I thought ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

What is the meaning of the Benjamin the donkey's cryptic answer?

George Orwell's Animal Farm contains the following passage in chapter 3: When asked whether he was not happier now that Jones was gone, he would say only “Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

What does “heavily-leaded” mean in “The Funeral Pyre”?

In "The Funeral Pyre" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Gervis and Thorndyke were at the station where they found the bookstall keeper in the act of sticking up a placard of ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

What is “the seventh sphere”?

In the second part (Helen Zimmern's translation) of the Shahnameh, the youngest son Irij is killed by his brothers, who send his head back to their father Feridoun: Now when they were come to the ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Is “calendula paddle” used in the literal sense in “The Liar's Key”?

In The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence, a banker is informing Jalan about the stock exchange process: ‘Stakes are purchased using the calendula paddle to attract the seller’s attention,’ Marco continued ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

What are the “garment thin” and the “prize” in the song “The Ballad of the Shape of Things to Come”?

From the song "The Ballad of the Shape of Things to Come" (lyrics link): Triangular is the piece of pie I eat to ease my sorrow Triangular is the hatchet blade I plan to hide tomorrow ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Meaning of lines about the lamb in the Enigma song Rivers of Belief

A sentence in the Enigma song Rivers of Belief goes as follows: And when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, Silence covered the sky. There is a Biblical reference here. But I would like to know, what ...
6
votes
1answer
398 views

What does this gesture mean?

In Scott Turow's legal mystery The Last Trial, the point of view character is an old man. Pinky is his grand-daughter. The following passage occurs near the end of the book: Pinky says nothing to him ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Meaning of “profitably watch the expression on the face of a ship's figure” in “Stolen Ingots”?

In "Stolen Ingots" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman,the chief officer and the inspector were insisting on that they have captured the stolen ingots, but Thorndyke was a bit ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

What is meant here by “Did you…”?

From When the Emperor Was Divine, by Julie Otsuka: He put down his suitcase and looked at her. "Did you..." she [the mother] said "Every day," he [the father] replied. Then he ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

What's meant by “her sails over the land!” in “Stolen Ingots”?

In "Stolen Ingots" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, there was a boat that chases a barge in a tidal river and amongst muddy banks: Meanwhile the fugitive barge, having got ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What does “on the top of the spring tide” mean in “Stolen Ingots”?

In "Stolen Ingots" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Mr. Badger was standing on a bridge watching a barge and brawley “Yes. There’s a little ramshackle bawley from Leigh—...
-3
votes
1answer
123 views

Why is a mongoose a “special needs goose”? [closed]

I just watched a comedy bit by Sean Lock. I was at the zoo the other day and I got told off. I said, "Look! There's a mongoose!" Can't say that any more. "Special needs goose". ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Meaning of Lorca's “Romance sonámbulo”?

What does Lorca mean in his poem "Romance sonámbulo" when he says: Tiny tin-leaf lanterns were trembling on the tiles. A thousand crystal tambourines were wounding dawn's dark sky. (...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What did Dante mean by “Papè Satan, papè Satan aleppe” in the Inferno?

So, I was recently re-reading the Inferno, and I have come across this quote which I can't make sense of. "Daddy Satan, daddy Satan aleppe," (VII.1) It seemed rather weird that it wouldn't ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

What does “walk for a wager” mean in “A Fisher of Men”?

In "A Fisher of Men" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Dr. Jervis was digging the earth with his friend, while they saw a stranger man coming along the path, then that man ...
4
votes
4answers
750 views

Why the word “sootikin” in a children's poem “Choosing Their Names”?

In a poem entitled Choosing Their Names by Thomas Hood a stanza is: One is black, with a frill of white, And her feet are all white fur, too; If you stroke her she carries her tail upright And ...
2
votes
1answer
258 views

What does “Fills now my cup” mean?

In Rilke's poem "Pietà", there is this sentence: Fills now my cup, and past thought is my fulness thereof. I harden as a stone sets hard at its heart. What does "Fills now my cup"...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

The motif of Tom O' Bedlam

The 17th-century motif of Tom O' Bedlam has always been one that I hold much affection and wonder for (as can be assumed by the choice of username on my part.) The motif most famously makes an ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Who is “Dao” in this quote from Laozi's Tao Te Ching?

I found the following quote here: The Dao hides in wordlessness. Only the Dao is well begun and well completed. -- Laozi, Dàodé Jīng / Tao Te Ching What is the exact meaning and context of this ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What does this quote in Don Juan by Lord Byron mean? “Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet The unexpected death of some old lady”

Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet The unexpected death of some old lady I saw this quote in C. S. Lewis's The Inner Ring and I'm having trouble figuring out what it means. What does this quote in ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Meaning of this verse from “Someday”

So I was rereading through some of the songs from the Disney animated/live musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and there's a verse in "Someday" which goes, "Till then, on days when ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

What does “unlikely neighbourhood” mean in “A Fisher of Men”?

In "A Fisher of Men" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Thorndyke was talking about a man who went to visit another one who wants to buy his expensive necklace, saying: &...
14
votes
2answers
183 views

Meaning of “bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-nuk!”

From Finnegans Wake, What is the meaning of this word? In context: The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur- nuk!) of a once ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

I am having trouble understanding a passage from “Pride And Prejudice”

Elizabeth could safely say that it was a great happiness where that was the case, and with equal sincerity could add, that she firmly believed and rejoiced in his domestic comforts. She was not sorry, ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

What does “her face was innocent of makeup” mean?

I am reading Agatha Christie's Peril at End House. Can anyone help me understand what "her face was innocent of make" means in the following paragraph? It was, I think, her appearance of ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Understanding the first dialogue of Archbishop Thomas Becket involving antitheses

In Murder in Cathedral by T.S. Eliot, when Archbishop Thomas Becket returns from France, and sees the second priest scolding the women of Chorus, he says Peace. And let them be, in their exaltation. ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

What does “even so did I” mean?

I am reading Oscar Wilde's poem "The House of Judgment" and it uses the phrase. I have seen it in other older texts. What does it mean? Here is a copy of the passage. The phrase is bolded. ...
4
votes
1answer
34 views

What does Edith Wharton mean by “democratic principles” in The Age of Innocence

I'm only two paragraphs in with The Age of Innocence and already I'm having trouble, specifically with this sentence: To come to the opera in a Brown coupé was almost as honourable a way of arriving ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

What are “half-tips to the heels” in “The Touchstone”?

In "The Touchstone" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Thorndyke and his friend, Gervis, found a print of a boot with an iron toe-tip on loam soil, then they found another ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Does “trampling” mean “violence” or “attack” in “The Touchstone”?

In "The Touchstone" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Thorndyke went to an old disused chalk-pit, where a dead man found after he fall from above path, the edges of which ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

What does “Hoo's fully resolved t' sew up meawth an' eend” mean in “Mary Barton”?

I would like to know what "Hoo's fully resolved t' sew up meawth an' eend" means in the following stanza: Eawr Marget declares had hoo cloo'as to put on, Hoo'd goo up to Lunnon an' talk to ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

Why is the Lady “a suffering soul in some page of Dostoyevsky”?

In An Enigmatic Nature, Anton Chekhov writes: "I am a suffering soul in some page of Dostoevsky. Reveal my soul to the world, Voldemar." and "Happiness comes tapping at my window, I ...

1
2 3 4 5
13