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41

Deliberately steering clear of academic criticism, since that's what you asked for (granted, not what you answered and therefore presumably not the intended meaning of the question. Badum tish.): the author has said that they didn't mean for their work to suggest that. There are various ways you could nevertheless be right: The author might be lying: ...


41

It's a nonce word and is used only in Finnegans Wake. Joyce intentionally made it long probably to catch readers' attention and persuade them to read his novel (Finnegans Wake). It's defined by Your Dictionary as: Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk: (nonce) A sound which represents the ...


35

It is a punning reference to the phrase ‘trip the light fantastic’, which means (per The Phrase Finder) To dance, especially in an imaginative or 'fantastic' manner. The phrase seems to arise from the works of Milton, in Comus he wrote, as you have already seen, Come, knit hands, and beat the ground, In a light fantastic round. And in L’Allegro Come, ...


34

In-universe the "light fantastic" is an actual, factual thing. There was no real need for the torches. The Octavo filled the room with a dull, sullen light, which wasn’t strictly light at all but the opposite of light; darkness isn’t the opposite of light, it is simply its absence, and what was radiating from the book was the light that lies on ...


24

(I previously posted this as an answer to this question, but Hamlet wanted to focus on actual textual analysis rather than discussing the intent issue, so I've separated this out into a new Q&A) It's easy, even for people familiar with literary analysis, to conflate asking "Did the author mean this?" with "Does the work mean this?". As you'd expect ...


24

First off, this appears in an 1879 essay about the writer William Thackeray by Anthony Trollope. What it means is perhaps clearer in its original context: I hold that gentleman to be the best dressed whose dress no one observes. I am not sure but that the same may be said of an author's written language. Only, where shall we find an example of such ...


22

Here’s a bit more context from chapter 6: He [Frodo] turned round and listened, and soon there could be no doubt: someone was singing a song; a deep glad voice was singing carelessly and happily, but it was singing nonsense: Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo! ...


19

It means that the horse and buggy was not yet obsolete. "Going the way of the horse and buggy" implies becoming outmoded and useless, because cars have replaced horse-drawn carriages. But in 1903, when I was but a wee lad, the horse and buggy was still the prevalent mode of transport. It had not yet been replaced by the "horseless carriage&...


17

All three phrases show up on page 40 of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in a single sentence. "He was waiting for a connect, working a letterbox maybe, or trailing his coat and looking for a pass from a mug like me." The entire paragraph is: Once more it was Smiley's turn to receive the heat of Tarr's charm: "So what's it all about, Mr. Smiley? See what I ...


17

It means "noose" - figuratively, hanging. @BeastlyGerbil's answer is correct, but for completeness I checked for other uses of the word "halter" in the Entire Gutenberg Twain Files (warning: slow to load!) The court informed him that a sheriff had been appointed to do the hanging, and— Capt. Ned's patience was at an end. His wrath was boundless. The ...


17

There appear to be multiple ways of reading this sentence, depending on how you interpret the context of "rest" and "silence". Hamlet has been experiencing a great deal of upset and distress during the course of the play. Enough to drive him to madness. So one possible reading of this sentence is that the "silence" of death will finally allow him to "rest". ...


17

The quote is a parody of the folklore motif known as the king in disguise. In Norse mythology Odin was said to wander in disguise among humans. Shakespeare used the king-in-disguise motif in Act 4, scene 1 of Henry V. Outside of fiction, a number of real kings and queens have been said to disguise themselves, e.g. King Charles XI of Sweden (1655 – 1697), who ...


16

In the book In To Kill a Mockingbird, Boo Radley (The one who killed Bob Ewell) and Tom Robinson are seen as "mockingbirds". Atticus said previously in the book that it is "wrong to kill a mockingbird as they do nothing for us other than sing their hearts out". Heck Tate realizes that Jem didn't kill Bob Ewell but it was in fact Boo Radley. Heck already ...


16

"It is not meet" basically means "it is not appropriate" or even "it is not right" (probably a better interpretation in this context). He's saying, more or less, that they shouldn't just leave Arthur in the state he's in, but someone should stay with him. Meet, as defined in Lexico: [archaic] Suitable; fit; proper. It doesn't ...


15

Commentators like William Giraldi, The Annotated Poe, point out that this refers to Jeremiah 8:22: Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? Wikipedia says that the Balm of Gilead, speaking figuratively, is a "universal cure," and Les Harding writes: To ask the question ...


15

Your surmise appears to be correct. Unfortunately, I only was able to find this quoted, not in English translations of Luther himself, however, where it is quoted, it is better understood, if the quote is extended to include previous sentence: "God creates out of nothing. Therefore, until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him." // Christianity ...


14

This is a sign of hostility. Times are hard between the Starks and Tyrion at this time, since Tyrion is suspected for trying to murder Bran earlier in the book. The scene that follows between Rob and Tyrion is filled with hostile comments, glares, and movements. This is hinted at in the unsheathed sword quote; the hospitality laws are very important in ...


14

This is a very subtle piece of wordplay, so it makes for an excellent question. The meaning, believe it or not, is God, and your answer "damn". This is analysed in An Ingenious Jest in Byron's "Don Juan", a paper by John I. Ades in Papers on Language and Literature 24(4) (1988), p. 446. The Hebrew sacred name for God is YHVH, usually vocalized as "Yahweh" ...


14

As it has been suggested that it would be useful to identify all of the Allusions in the quoted piece, I've edited this answer to include further information. And made some discoveries along the way. Regular, the romin - insulting the kottage injins The start of this extract begins with a reference to Marcus Atilius Regulus, the roman who defeated the ...


14

Mother Goose, in fact. Little Miss Muffet Sat on a tuffet, Eating her curds and whey; Along came a spider, Who sat down beside her, And frightened Miss Muffet away. It has the spider, the fright, and being Mother Goose, the pop-cultural awareness for the reader to recognize.


13

If you read the entire poem, the speaker is complaining to his friend that every Tom, Dick, and parson who can dip a quill thinks he or she is a poet, and then brings or sends the poem to him for his opinion. Is there a parson, much bemus'd in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a ...


13

It means his head. See definition 2.1 of "crown" at Oxford Dictionaries: The top part of a person's head or a hat: ‘his hair was swept straight back over his crown’ This is confirmed when you look at later verses of the same poem which have been included in some editions: Up Jack got, and home did trot As fast as he could caper; To old Dame Dob,...


13

Masti here is describing the characteristics of a new born baby. Going through the 3 things which he uses to describe: milk stains on one side of her face and This refers to the milk stains on the cheek caused due to either spilt milk on their cheeks while feeding or because the baby has pushed back the milk from their mouth causing it to spill over on ...


13

Pope is using the word ‘expletive’ in this sense: A word or phrase that fills out a sentence or metrical line without adding anything to the sense; a word or phrase serving as a grammatical place-filler. Oxford English Dictionary. ‘Expletive’, n. sense B.1.a. (This sense later evolved into the modern sense of the word, “an emphatic exclamation with which a ...


12

The most likely answer, courtesy of Merriam-Webster: : the highest part: such as a : the topmost part of the skull or head Other possible interpretations according to Albert Jack's Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meaning of Nursery Rhymes: One popular suggestion for its origin is that Louis XVI of France and his queen, the infamous Marie ...


12

TL;DR: FitzGerald made it up. Why? We don't know. As I expected, the translations of Rubaiyat are all over the place when it comes to sticking to the original text. First, I came across an analysis or FitzGerald's translation, which says the following: The sense here is presumably one of a disembodied Voice calling from the Great Unknown. But, this ...


12

I haven't (yet) read the novel in question, but I can explain the passage's simple meaning as a fluent English speaker. Let's take this apart, one piece at a time. By Jove! As one of the commenters mentioned, "by Jove!" is an exclamation, similar to "By God!". In fact, according to Wiktionary, the term comes from another name for the god Jupiter. he'd ...


12

The song has many verses, some of which varied in different performances. Even sticking to the "canonical" verses used in the Jeff Buckley version, however, there's demonstrably no one consistent "you" being referred to between verses. This can be shown by the fact that the "you" in the second verse seems to be a composite of Sampson and King David himself, ...


12

It is a pun on ‘Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner’, a song written as a morale booster during the Second World War by Hubert Gregg, but made famous by Flanagan and Allan as an expression of pride in London. The song can be heard on You Tube if the Apple Music version on the Songfacts link above isn’t accessible.


12

He emphatically will not visit the city again. I’m damned if informal Used to say that you will certainly not do something “I’m polite to his ex-wife when I meet her, but I’m damned if I’m going to invite her over for dinner” https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/i-m-damned-if He’s saying, “I swear that I will not visit the ...


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