New answers tagged

1

Below is the text as given in the First Folio: The prayfull Princesse pearst and prickt a prettie pleasing Pricket, Some say a Sore, but not a sore, till now made sore with shooting. The Dogges did yell, put ell to Sore, then Sorell iumps from thicket: Or Pricket-sore, or else Sorell, the people fall a hooting. If Sore be sore, then ell to Sore, makes ...


8

Shakespeare's play differs very substantially from actual events (the historical Macbeth reigned for about 17 years). However, according to Wikipedia the historical Lady Macbeth had a son Lulach from her first marriage to Gille Coemgáin. I don't know whether Shakespeare was aware of this history, but presumably some of his contemporaries were. I ...


7

The earliest use of the phrase in this sense that I can find is from 1873, in a school textbook by William Smith and Theophilus Hall: Shakspearian Sonnet.—In its less proper form the Sonnet is simply a poem of fourteen Heroic† lines, rhymed alternately and ending with a Couplet. The Sonnets of Shakspeare belong to this class. William Smith and Theophilus D. ...


4

As the comments to your question have noted, the most reliable way to figure out whether a given line is iambic pentameter is to sound it out. But if you're not confident of your ear, there are certain techniques you can use to help you identify how a line scans. First, it's necessary to understand how stress works in English. When any sequence of English ...


2

As already discussed elsewhere on this site, Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542) and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1516-1547) introduced the sonnet into English literature. While doing so, they also introduced a few changes, which are probably due to the lower number of rhyming words in English, a tendency towards pointed arguments, as exemplified earlier in ...


2

TL;DR: Shakespeare must have got the name “Setebos” for Caliban’s god from Antonio Pigafetta via Richard Willes’ The History of Travel in the West and East Indies (1577), but Bergreen’s claim that the character of Caliban is “inspired in part” by Pigafetta’s description of a captive Patagonian is speculation. Bergreen’s case Bergreen has overstated the case ...


2

The answer by ktm5124 and some of the comments on both the question and ktm5124's answer assume the following definition of honest, which is still in use today (quoted from Wiktionary): Scrupulous with regard to telling the truth; not given to swindling, lying, or fraud; upright. However, Shakespeare often uses other meanings of "honest", which ...


1

The Tempest is one of a small number of Shakespeare plays for which there is no obvious source for the plot. (The others are A Midsummer Night's Dream and Love's Labour's Lost.) When discussing sources of inspiration, critics mainly list Montaigne's essay "Of cannibals" (for Gonzalo's speech in Act 2, scene 1), travel writing, especially the "...


1

In present-day English, the term ambition is often used with a positive connotation; see the third meaning listed in Wiktionary: A personal quality similar to motivation, not necessarily tied to a single goal. Shakespeare used an older meaning of the term that corresponds with the first meaning listed in Wiktionary: Eager or inordinate desire for some ...


-4

No, of course it isn't banal. Just as, "It is a tale told by an idiot, Full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing" isn't banal. The banality lies more in saying that it is banal.


4

Coriolanus describing the people as many-headed brings together a number of interesting aspects. First, the play contains many animal metaphors, especially because political opponents are described as beasts. For example, Menenius talks of "Rome and her rats" in Act I, scene 1 and calls the plebeians "beastly" in Act 2, scene 1. Other ...


Top 50 recent answers are included