Matt Thrower
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How can the "Won't I bleed 'em in the end" line from Les Mis's "Master of the House" be interpreted?
3 votes

A search of the lyrics reveals them to be rendered like this: Everybody loves a landlord Everybody's bosom friend I do whatever pleases Jesus! Won't I bleed 'em in the end! And it's noteworthy that ...

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Historical King Ina and Shakespeare's King Lear in the writings of Thomas Hardy
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7 votes

There is little doubt that Shakespeare's play is based on the British King Leir, as the OP states. However, a similar story is also attached to King Ina. Indeed, it may have started there, been ...

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What does "hard pushed in argument" mean in this context?
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4 votes

Your understanding of "hard pushed" is correct. "hard pushed in argument" means "facing great difficulty in putting his side of the argument". "fling the New Yorker ...

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In chapter I.5 of Finnegans Wake, how are the "paper wounds" ordered?
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2 votes

The clue to this question is in the text itself. By using the word "respectively", Joyce is telling the reader to take the marks in the order he has listed them. For example the Collins ...

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What does "in coarse gray" and "iron" mean here?
5 votes

Dickens is describing Pip's first encounter with a convict, Magwitch. in a coarse gray This is shorthand for "coarse gray cloth". It is uncommon, but not unfamiliar, in English to describe ...

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Why does Ray Bradbury use "flounder" for an action with a positive outcome?
14 votes

This is an interesting observation. Checking definitions of the word "flounder" reveals that they are, as the OP claims, mostly very negative. The key to the usage in this sentence is, I ...

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Melville's chain of thought in the "great democratic God" passage in "Moby-Dick"
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9 votes

TLDR: Starbuck is a great man because he has worked hard to elevate himself. Hard work is the ultimate democratic quality because anyone can do it, and it comes from God. If the author should spend a ...

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

While the narration claims this is a cryptic answer, it is more in the sense of being cryptic to the other animals than to the reader. Benjamin is the oldest animal and the reader can intuit from this ...

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"The Laburnum Top" by Ted Hughes - poem explanation
5 votes

Let's look at the poem verse by verse. For a Hughes poem, it is surprisingly literal. The Laburnum top is silent, quite still In the afternoon yellow September sunlight, A few leaves yellowing, all ...

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What is the radical feminist take on Harry Potter?
9 votes

Defining flavours of feminism is difficult, but let's go with the Wikipedia definition: Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male ...

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What fictional series has the longest release to completion?
2 votes

The Professor Branestawm books might stretch the definition of a series but were all written by the same author, Norman Hunter, and set in the same universe. They were published between 1933, when The ...

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How could Thorin and co. journey all the way to Erebor without discussing how to deal with Smaug?
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36 votes

Partly: it's explored in the first chapter then hand-waved away. This "plot hole" is in fact the driver of the entire plot of The Hobbit: the reason why a hobbit is involved at all. "...

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How did Shakespeare get away with staging witchcraft in his plays such as Othello, Macbeth, or The Tempest?
44 votes

The public saw the plays were fiction, perhaps even a warning against witchcraft, and the magic in them is divorced of religious overtones. It is noteworthy that the two Shakespeare plays which deal ...

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Does the Abrahamic God exist in the Cthulhu Mythos?
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8 votes

Not in the mythos as Lovecraft conceived it It is hard to prove a negative: there is no categorical statement in Lovecraft's oeuvre that definitively rejects the Abrahamic God. Even if there was, ...

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What are the "animal heads of the flowers" in Allen Ginsberg's Transcription of Organ Music?
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4 votes

It's a metaphor to emphasize the difference between the movable heads of flowers and their static leaves and stems. First, note how the poem is at pains to point out that the leaves stay still: ...

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What does the "Tell the neighbors I'm not sorry" line in "Girls Like Girls" mean?
5 votes

The song as a whole is written from the point of view of a woman who is having a relationship with another woman who, in turn, appears to be in an existing relationship with a man. I'm breaking ...

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How might Shakespeare have become familiar with Dante's work?
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18 votes

TLDR: Shakespeare was clearly familiar with a lot of Italian literature second-hand, and there is circumstantial evidence for first-hand. Shakespeare's Italian influence is a question that's aroused ...

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Dante's Inferno reference in Much Ado About Nothing
4 votes

There is no direct, obvious reference to Dante's Inferno in Much Ado About Nothing. However, there is a tangential link between the two works in their character and plot: both can be conceived as love ...

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Why is Christopher Marlowe considered an atheist?
12 votes

TLDR: 1 - Marlow was not an atheist in the modern sense. 2- Dr Faustus is not as clearly religious as it first appears Let's start by pointing out that "atheism" doesn't necessarily stop an ...

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What is the meaning of the word "incident" in "She brought colour and incident into my life"?
1 votes

The word "incident" is commonly used to mean "an incident". Google's built in dictionary has: n instance of something happening; an event or occurrence: "several amusing incidents" However, it ...

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Was Frankenstein's Monster really an illusion?
5 votes

The first relevant document I managed to discover on this is an undergraduate biology thesis titled The Real "Monster" in Frankenstein. Here is an extract from the abstract: I argue that that the ...

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What does "cold died beyond knowledge" mean in Ted Hughes' "Owl's Song"?
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2 votes

It's an example of emphasis by repetition. A major theme of the Crow cycle is how empirical methods of understanding the cosmos are doomed to failure in a spiritual sense. It doesn't matter how well ...

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Meaning of "cloudless at dawn" and connection with Shakespeare's head?
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2 votes

It's flowery description of Shakespeare's head. For those unfamiliar with his work, the most famous image of Shakespeare is of a bald man with facial hair. Since most men of his era cultivated ...

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What's the meaning of "give someone the lie" in Macbeth?
11 votes

To "give the lie" is an English expression meaning to expose a lie, or show a thing is not true. It is still in use today. to show that something is not at all true These figures give the lie to ...

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Origin of "give a watermelon a pure fit" in "Blood Meridian"
2 votes

I had always taken this to be questioning whether the ears had, in fact, come from live Apache warriors. As in: the "Apaches" in question were so feeble they would only frighten ("give .. a pure fit") ...

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What does Fingersmith say about the relationship between feminism and pornography
1 votes

The key to understanding this is to see that the character of Maud herself is a metaphor for the male presumption of entitlement over women. She is taken by her Uncle from an environment where she is ...

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Why is Lorca so angry at 'the urban faggots?'
2 votes

The genesis of this poem is in the fiercely Catholic and masculine culture of 1900's Spain, where Lorca grew up. This was not simply unfriendly to homosexuality, but actively hostile to it. As a young ...

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Why does Linus say "I think you finished it" to Sally in this Sunday strip?
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8 votes

I think this is a play on the word "finished". Relevant definitions of "finish" from Google are: bring (a task or activity) to an end; complete. "they were straining to ...

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The significance of Lucky's speech in 'Waiting for Godot'
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6 votes

Beckett himself, while directing the play, offered an explanation. He said of Lucky's speech that: "The threads and themes of the play are being gathered together" And that it's theme was: "...

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Children's book (maybe German) I read in about 1995, fox and badger need to dig a tunnel to escape from farmer guarding their burrow's exit
6 votes

This is almost certainly the English book Fantastic Mr Fox by famed children's author Roald Dahl. I don't have the text to hand, so I'm going to quote from the Wikipedia plot summary. The story was ...

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