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LizzieAnn
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Questions ?

I have a question on something that I've always wondered about. I've often noticed in Shakespeare's plays that occasionally there are lines that are printed at some space from the character's name. For example,

2.2.247-8

Puck. Ay, there it is.
Oberon.                I pray thee, give it to me.

And

3.2.247-8

Helena. O excellent!
Hermia.                  Sweet, do not scorn her so.

And

3.2.320-1

Hermia. What, with Lysander?
Helena.                 With Demetrius.



I've often seen this and wonder if there's any specific reasoning, and if so, what?
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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stratford
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Re: Questions ?



LizzieAnn wrote:
I have a question on something that I've always wondered about. I've often noticed in Shakespeare's plays that occasionally there are lines that are printed at some space from the character's name. For example,

2.2.247-8

Puck. Ay, there it is.
Oberon.                I pray thee, give it to me.

And

3.2.247-8

Helena. O excellent!
Hermia.                  Sweet, do not scorn her so.

And

3.2.320-1

Hermia. What, with Lysander?
Helena.                 With Demetrius.



I've often seen this and wonder if there's any specific reasoning, and if so, what?




I think it has to do with the fact that Shakespeare wrote a lot in iambic pentameter. I got the following from a Google search:

Shakespeare’s sonnets are written predominantly in a meter called iambic pentameter, a rhyme scheme in which each sonnet line consists of ten syllables. The syllables are divided into five pairs called iambs or iambic feet. An iamb is a metrical unit made up of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. An example of an iamb would be good BYE. A line of iambic pentameter flows like this:
baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM.
Here are some examples from the sonnets:
When I / do COUNT / the CLOCK / that TELLS / the TIME (Sonnet 12)
When IN / dis GRACE / with FOR / tune AND / men’s EYES
I ALL / a LONE / be WEEP / my OUT/ cast STATE (Sonnet 29)
Shall I / com PARE/ thee TO / a SUM / mer’s DAY?
Thou ART / more LOVE / ly AND / more TEM / per ATE (Sonnet 18)
Shakespeare’s plays are also written primarily in iambic pentameter, but the lines are unrhymed and not grouped into stanzas.

I think the answer to your question has to do with certain lines that do not have a complete ten syllables. The next line down, spaced away from the character's name, I believe is intended to be a continuation of the shorter line above, thereby completing the ten syllable effect.
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LizzieAnn
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Questions ?

[ Edited ]
Really? I'm going to pay closer attention to this as I read on and see if it's always due to a 10-count. Thanks!

I quickly scanned through the first 3 acts and found that it works, at times. However, not always. For example - 3.1.164 - the lines add up to 12:

Ready
       And I
          And I
             And I
                Where shall we go



Is it correct to say that while Shakespeare used iambic pentameter a lot, that the entire play isn't necessarily written in it? Does he uses iambic pentamenter in all his plays?



stratford wrote:

I think it has to do with the fact that Shakespeare wrote a lot in iambic pentameter. I got the following from a Google search:

Shakespeare’s sonnets are written predominantly in a meter called iambic pentameter, a rhyme scheme in which each sonnet line consists of ten syllables. The syllables are divided into five pairs called iambs or iambic feet. An iamb is a metrical unit made up of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. An example of an iamb would be good BYE. A line of iambic pentameter flows like this:
baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM / baBOOM.
Here are some examples from the sonnets:
When I / do COUNT / the CLOCK / that TELLS / the TIME (Sonnet 12)
When IN / dis GRACE / with FOR / tune AND / men’s EYES
I ALL / a LONE / be WEEP / my OUT/ cast STATE (Sonnet 29)
Shall I / com PARE/ thee TO / a SUM / mer’s DAY?
Thou ART / more LOVE / ly AND / more TEM / per ATE (Sonnet 18)
Shakespeare’s plays are also written primarily in iambic pentameter, but the lines are unrhymed and not grouped into stanzas.

I think the answer to your question has to do with certain lines that do not have a complete ten syllables. The next line down, spaced away from the character's name, I believe is intended to be a continuation of the shorter line above, thereby completing the ten syllable effect.


Message Edited by LizzieAnn on 02-19-200709:55 PM

Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Re: Questions ?

The two lines are intended to represent one line of iambic pentameter blank verse. If you listen to a good production or recording, you will hear the actors work the lines together so that they preserve the core rhythm of the blank verse.



LizzieAnn wrote:
I have a question on something that I've always wondered about. I've often noticed in Shakespeare's plays that occasionally there are lines that are printed at some space from the character's name. For example,

2.2.247-8

Puck. Ay, there it is.
Oberon. I pray thee, give it to me.

And

3.2.247-8

Helena. O excellent!
Hermia. Sweet, do not scorn her so.

And

3.2.320-1

Hermia. What, with Lysander?
Helena. With Demetrius.



I've often seen this and wonder if there's any specific reasoning, and if so, what?


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Re: Questions ?


LizzieAnn wrote:Is it correct to say that while Shakespeare used iambic pentameter a lot, that the entire play isn't necessarily written in it?


Yes, that's true.

Sometimes he writes in prose.

And occasionally he slips in or leaves out a beat or two. But when it happens, we don't know whether this was in his original script, or was a mis transcription, or a change by a director or later editor. For example, the section you quote,

Ready
-And I
--And I
---And I
----Where shall we go

It's possible that he wanted the Ready to be a line of its own, with a pause as the fairies gathered, and the rest of it be spoken as a single line. Or, it would work perfectly if there were only two instances of And I. Did S only have two of the fairies answer, and did a director or actor slip in the extra fairy line? Or were two of the fairies expected to say their lines in unison? It would be cute if Cobweb and Mote answered together and Mustardseed slipped his And I in a beat later, always being a bit behind. Or vice versa, Cobweb alone answers And I and the other two echo her together as one sound.

Since we don't have his original manuscripts, we really don't know exactly what S wrote or intended. But let's not assume automatically that he wrote it this way an intended it to be a non-iambic line.

Also, sometimes you have to take into account that the way words are pronounced has changed over the centuries, so what was a smooth iambic line then isn't today. And sometimes S requires that the stresses be put in non-normal places so that the lines will scan correctly.
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Moth or mote?

An aside: I had always thought that the fairies were Peaseblossom, Cobweb, and Moth. But on looking up the passage Liz quoted I found that Bevington called the third fairy Mote. So I looked it up in the Oxford Companion to S, and found that the original spelling was Moth, but it was pronounced Mote and meant a small speck, the meaning of mote today. Onions tends to agree, but says "perhaps," but doesn't suggest that the fairy is intended to be the insect moth.

Turns out that you learn something new every day. So my learning for the day is done, and I can go back to bed! [g]
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stratford
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Re: Moth or mote?



Everyman wrote:
An aside: I had always thought that the fairies were Peaseblossom, Cobweb, and Moth.

Don't forget poor little Mustardseed. He/she/it might get a little cantankerous over your unintended slight and decide to work some "fairy magic" on you.

But on looking up the passage Liz quoted I found that Bevington called the third fairy Mote. So I looked it up in the Oxford Companion to S, and found that the original spelling was Moth, but it was pronounced Mote and meant a small speck, the meaning of mote today. Onions tends to agree, but says "perhaps," but doesn't suggest that the fairy is intended to be the insect moth.

Turns out that you learn something new every day. So my learning for the day is done, and I can go back to bed! [g]




My Signet Classic seems to be in agreement with your Oxford Companion & Onions. The footnote for III.i.161 says "Moth: pronounced "mote," and probably a speck rather than an insect is denoted.
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LizzieAnn
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Question - DVD or Audio?

Reading A Midsummer Night's Dream has made we want to hear Shakespeare's words spoken aloud.

What would be better - the DVD or an audio-book of the play?
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Choisya
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Re: Moth or mote?

Both my editions say Moth Everyman and it makes a lot more sense that the fourth fairy is Moth because of the medicinal uses that moths had, and the other fairies Cobweb, Mustardseed and Peaseblossom are 'medicinal' too (I've posted about this under language). Bottom makes reference to the medicinal properties of Cobwebs and Mustardseed. 'Mote', as in speck in your eye (Biblical I think?) just doesn't fit in with the other three names IMO.




stratford wrote:


Everyman wrote:
An aside: I had always thought that the fairies were Peaseblossom, Cobweb, and Moth.

Don't forget poor little Mustardseed. He/she/it might get a little cantankerous over your unintended slight and decide to work some "fairy magic" on you.

But on looking up the passage Liz quoted I found that Bevington called the third fairy Mote. So I looked it up in the Oxford Companion to S, and found that the original spelling was Moth, but it was pronounced Mote and meant a small speck, the meaning of mote today. Onions tends to agree, but says "perhaps," but doesn't suggest that the fairy is intended to be the insect moth.

Turns out that you learn something new every day. So my learning for the day is done, and I can go back to bed! [g]




My Signet Classic seems to be in agreement with your Oxford Companion & Onions. The footnote for III.i.161 says "Moth: pronounced "mote," and probably a speck rather than an insect is denoted.


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Laurel
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Re: Moth or mote?



Everyman wrote:
An aside: I had always thought that the fairies were Peaseblossom, Cobweb, and Moth. But on looking up the passage Liz quoted I found that Bevington called the third fairy Mote. So I looked it up in the Oxford Companion to S, and found that the original spelling was Moth, but it was pronounced Mote and meant a small speck, the meaning of mote today. Onions tends to agree, but says "perhaps," but doesn't suggest that the fairy is intended to be the insect moth.

Turns out that you learn something new every day. So my learning for the day is done, and I can go back to bed! [g]




Which goes along with the eyes theme:

(Mat 7:3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: Question - DVD or Audio?

[ Edited ]

LizzieAnn wrote:
Reading A Midsummer Night's Dream has made we want to hear Shakespeare's words spoken aloud.

What would be better - the DVD or an audio-book of the play?




I've been listening to the Arkangel CD over and over, Liz (I have the whole set), and I think it's wonderful. With this play I think I would chose audio first, because it alows for the imaginitive touches. I've watched several good videos, though. My favorite is the Glydebourne production of Benjamin Britten's opera.

Here's the Arkangel:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=SHAKESPEARE&EAN=97819...

Message Edited by Laurel on 02-20-200707:03 PM

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: Question - DVD or Audio?



LizzieAnn wrote:
Reading A Midsummer Night's Dream has made we want to hear Shakespeare's words spoken aloud.

What would be better - the DVD or an audio-book of the play?



If what you care about is the spoken word, the simplest way is the superb set of recordings of all the plays in the canon done by Arkangel.

I could only find the individual plays on B&M
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781932219241&itm=2
but they also sell the whole set as a series. Considering that there are either two or three disks for each play, the actual cost per disk is quite reasonable for quality recordings.

But maybe even better, many libraries have purchased the set, so you can listen for fee.

FOr listening to the language, these are perhaps even better than video, because you aren't distracted by the action. OTOH, sometimes the action can add meaning to the words. So choose which you prefer.
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Re: Question - DVD or Audio?

[ Edited ]

Laurel wrote:

LizzieAnn wrote:
Reading A Midsummer Night's Dream has made we want to hear Shakespeare's words spoken aloud.

What would be better - the DVD or an audio-book of the play?




I've been listening to the Arkangel CD over and over, Liz (I have the whole set), and I think it's wonderful. With this play I think I would chose audio first, because it alows for the imaginitive touches. I've watched several good videos, though. My favorite is the Glydebourne production of Benjamin Britten's opera.

Here's the Arkangel:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=SHAKESPEARE&EAN=97819...

Message Edited by Laurel on 02-20-200707:03 PM





Bingo!

Edit: Oops; this Bingo was supposed to be a response to Laurel's post about the mote and eyes. I don't know quite how things got so mixed up.

Message Edited by Everyman on 02-20-200710:11 PM

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Choisya
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Re: Moth or mote?

I still find it very incongruous to group 'Mote' as 'a speck' with Cobweb, Peaseblossom and Mustardseed, the 'medicinal' fairies. Productions I have seen have always portray this fairy as a moth. According to sources on the internet there has always been a lot of confusion about the rendering of this word as mote = a speck by Onions, Oxford and others and some academics have put it down to 'scribal error' Moth may well have been pronounced Mote but to then translate that as a 'speck' just does not make sense in the context of these four fairies. My jury is therefore out on this one:smileyhappy: To reiterate from my Notes:-

Cobwebs were placed on wounds to staunch blood.
Mustardseed was used in a poultice to relieve stiff muscles.
Peaseblossom was used as an ointment against the pain of lost love.
Boiled Moths were an ingredient of various plasters and potions.

From a long scholarly exchange at a conference on Shakespeare:-

'Are we dealing here with a simple identification of a moth in a
catalogue of natural things that might be associated (moth, peascod,
cobweb) in which a mote might be out of place? And might it not be
scholarly misinformation or rumor passed from generation to generation
that is causing the change from Moth to Mote in the Oxford edition and
elsewhere? What are the real differences in pronunciation, in 1595,
among the words moat, mote (or mought, past of must), moth, and mote
(small particle)? And how can we be sure that the Moth and Mote might
really have been confused, a mote being inanimate and un-self-propelled
and a moth being an insect under its own motive power?'

This is the link: http://www.shaksper.net/archives/1999/0093.html

There is another reference to 'mote' in Act V Scene I where Demetrius says 'a mote will turn the balance...' and Lysander goes on to say 'She hath spied him already with these sweet eyes'. Thisbe then refers to eyes. This is certainly a reference to the eye theme but there is no association here with the fairy Moth or Mote.




Laurel wrote:


Everyman wrote:
An aside: I had always thought that the fairies were Peaseblossom, Cobweb, and Moth. But on looking up the passage Liz quoted I found that Bevington called the third fairy Mote. So I looked it up in the Oxford Companion to S, and found that the original spelling was Moth, but it was pronounced Mote and meant a small speck, the meaning of mote today. Onions tends to agree, but says "perhaps," but doesn't suggest that the fairy is intended to be the insect moth.

Turns out that you learn something new every day. So my learning for the day is done, and I can go back to bed! [g]




Which goes along with the eyes theme:

(Mat 7:3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?


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DVD or Audio? Thanks

Thanks for the recommendation. You both make a good point about the audio. As much as I would also enjoy watching it, it's probably been changed anyway. To hear the music of the words, I'm going to pick up the audio version and listen to it. I've been enjoying the play so much that I would like to hear it aloud. Probably, eventually, I will watch it. There's something about seeing Shakespeare enacted. 1968's Romeo & Juliet is still one of my favorite movies.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Choisya
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Re: DVD or Audio? Thanks

I recently watched the 1981 TV version with Helen Mirren as Titania. It was very faithful to the dialogue of the play and suitably magical.




LizzieAnn wrote:
Thanks for the recommendation. You both make a good point about the audio. As much as I would also enjoy watching it, it's probably been changed anyway. To hear the music of the words, I'm going to pick up the audio version and listen to it. I've been enjoying the play so much that I would like to hear it aloud. Probably, eventually, I will watch it. There's something about seeing Shakespeare enacted. 1968's Romeo & Juliet is still one of my favorite movies.


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Re: DVD or Audio? Thanks

Choisya wrote:
I recently watched the 1981 TV version with Helen Mirren as Titania. It was very faithful to the dialogue of the play and suitably magical.






I think that is a wonderful production.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Comment on schedule for Cheryl

There isn't a general schedule thread, and I don't like starting new threads, so I'll stick this here.

It may be premature, Cheryl, but looking ahead you might want to consider whether you really want to schedule each part of the Henry tetralogies at one full month each. We certainly need more than one month do do all three of, say, the Henry VI plays, since I expect that Choisya and I and others interested will have some vigorous discussions on the historical accuracy (or otherwise) of the plays, but to spend three months, a quarter of the year, on those three plays seems a bit extreme. So maybe you should think about scheduling, say, two months for each set of those plays?
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A Suggestion

There are already a few topics that have titles that make it unclear which play they belong to, and as things progress and we get into our 20th play on this same board that will become increasingly a problem. So I suggest that whenever a new topic is started, the title of the play, or some other clear identifier (like MND for Midsummer Night's Dream, Rich2 for Richard the Second, MacB, etc.) be used as the first part of each topic title. That way, it will be instantly clear what play the topic refers to, making it much easier down the road to navigate the discussions..
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Re: A Suggestion

Sounds like a good idea.



Everyman wrote:
There are already a few topics that have titles that make it unclear which play they belong to, and as things progress and we get into our 20th play on this same board that will become increasingly a problem. So I suggest that whenever a new topic is started, the title of the play, or some other clear identifier (like MND for Midsummer Night's Dream, Rich2 for Richard the Second, MacB, etc.) be used as the first part of each topic title. That way, it will be instantly clear what play the topic refers to, making it much easier down the road to navigate the discussions..


Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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