All 33 entries tagged Definition

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October 31, 2006

Be with thee to bring

According to Philip Edwards, it is a phrase ‘common enough’ and ‘capable of various meanings, some bawdy’, conveying ‘forcible retaliation and conquest’, in this case ‘I’ll get the upper hand of you’ or ‘I’ll be even with you’ (Edwards, fn l.22, p. 79). Referring to Troilus and Cressida (I. 2:305), Boas reads the line as meaning ‘I’ll chastise you, bring you to reason’ (Boas, fn l.22, p. 406), while Eisaman reads it as: ‘you’ll have to reckon with me’ (Eisaman, fn l.22, p. 343).


thou need’st not take thy breath

‘And then you need draw the breath of life no longer’ (Bevington, fn l.15, p.91).


halter

rope with a noose for hanging (www.oed.com)


kill

stab


straight

right away


leads

shows the way


fire–brand

torch


purple

blood-red


trudge

move

Intransitive verb: ‘to walk laboriously, wearily, or without spirit, but steadily and persistently; ‘to jog on; to march heavily on’ (J.). Sometimes merely an undignified equivalent of ‘walk’, ‘go on foot’, but also ‘to go away, be off, depart’.(www.oed.com) When quoting The Comedy of Errors: ‘’Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack and be gone’ (III.ii.158) and Alphonsus of Aragon: ‘I saw you trudging in such posting haste’ (II), Edwards points out that the verb ‘does not imply slowness’ (Edwards, fn l.6, p.79); various editions negotiate various speeds of movement: from ‘get moving (not slowly) (Mulryne, fn l.6, p.81), ‘move on’ (Eisaman, fn l.6, p. 343), ‘move off, get going’ (Bevington, fn l.6, p. 90) to ‘be gone’ (Cairncross, fn l.6, p. 130).


toys

trifles. ‘Trivial excuses (by which Lorenzo keeps him from the King)’ (McIlwraith, fn l.4, p.192); ‘trivial business’ (Mulryne, fn l.4, p. 81) or ‘vain trifling. Hieronimo’s pleading is drowned out by maliciously intended court drivel.’ (Bevington, fn l.4, p. 90)


seld–seen

seldom-seen. Also ‘unusual, curious’ (cf. Boas, fn l.3, p. 405)


poniard

dagger


October 30, 2006

And here, ay here, there goes the hare away

‘And here, ay here, there goes the hare away.’ – uttered from the position of commentator rather than active participant, Hieronimo’s words betray fear that he might miss the chance of talking to the King. They also betray dissatisfaction that the King comes accompanied by Ambassador, Castile and most importantly, by Lorenzo – thus referring back to the court drivel and the ‘standers-by’ who try to ‘strike’ Hieronimo ‘mute’ (l. 4).

The phrase, with multiple meanings, constitutes one of the editorial disputes. Edwards points out that often the phrase refers ‘to losing something one has tried to achieve or hold’ (Edwards, fn l.24, p. 80) and that here it emphasises Hieronimo’s fear of losing his opportunity with the King (Bevington, fn l.24, p. 91), who passes by ‘preoccupied by business’ (Mulryne, fn l.24, p. 82). Boas, however, reads the proverb to mean ‘here the matter ends’ (Boas, fn l.24, p. 406) but points out that Schick, quoting Gosson’s Schole of Abuse, p. 70: ‘His labor, hoc opus est, there goeth the hare away,’ interprets the phrase as ‘there is the game I want to hunt; that’s where the game lies.’ (cf. Boas, p. 406). Cairncross reads it as ‘the quarry escapes’ (Cairncross, fn l.24, p. 131), while Eisaman reads it as ‘The hunt is underway’ (fn l.24, p. 343).


Nay, stay

‘nay, stay,’ – the words suggest Hieronimo’s frustration with the fact that the King walks on occupied with other business and a company unpropitious to the plea he has to make.


Here's the King

‘Here’s the King’ – functioning both as an aside (expressing Hieronimo’s surprise) and as stage directions, the words inform the audience that the King is about to enter.


Here I'll have a fling at him that's flat

‘Here I’ll have a fling at him that’s flat’: ‘here I’ll have a go at petitioning the King, that’s for certain’ (Bevington, fn l.21, p. 91). Hieronimo has already made up him mind: to see the king, whom he can hear/see coming, and plead for justice. As the soliloquy discloses in the following two lines, he has also decided to get even with the two murderers of his son – Balthazar and Lorenzo – at a later stage.


He takes them up again

He takes them up again.’ – having finished his debating, Hieronimo takes up the rope and the poniard, the two props that were instrumental in his decision-making: they occasioned flashbacks to both Horatio’s death and flashforwards to potential courses of action for Hieronimo.


He flings away the dagger and halter

He flings away the dagger and halter’ – having dismissed the thought of killing himself, Hieronimo dismisses the two instruments.


Let's know

‘let’s know’ – invites further consideration of his choices – ‘let us stop and ponder’ (cf. Bevington, fn l.17, p. 91). It exposes the flaw in his demonstration: if he commits suicide, the murder of his son would remain unavenged; on the other hand, it marks the final shift in Hieronimo’s pursuit of justice: having found social and divine unsatisfactory/unattainable, he decides in favour of personal justice.


Soft and fair, not so

‘Soft and fair, not so!’ – the instruction ‘slow down, easy now’ (Eisaman, fn l.16, p. 343), ‘gently, wait a moment’ (Bevington, fn l.16, p. 91) pleads for reason over emotion.


This way or that way

‘This way or that way?’ – prompted by the two props he brandishes, Hieronimo voices his indecision: if he is to commit suicide, should he stab himself with the poniard or hang himself with the noose?


Turn down this path or this

‘Turn down this path or this’ – Hieronimo contrasts the two choices: to die by the poniard or by the rope.


Away, Hieronimo, to him be gone

‘Away, Hieronimo, to him be gone’ – the same prompting to action ends Hieronimo’s exploration of the second form of justice – divine justice.


Go to

‘An expression of impatience’ according to Bevington (fn l.5, p.90), this instruction marks the shift in Hieronimo’s soliloquy. Anticipating the obstacles others will put in his way, he moves from seeking social justice from the King to pleading with a higher ‘judge’ – Pluto – for divine justice.


Now sir

Now sir, – Whether Hieronimo ‘reasons distractedly with some imaginary interlocutor or with himself’ throughout the soliloquy, his ‘now, sir’ elicits the audience’s interest and demands its full attention (cf. Bevington, fn. l. 1, p.90).


Enter Hieronimo

Enter Hieronimo, with a poniard in one hand, and a rope in the other.

Hieronimo carries ‘the stock “properties” of a would-be suicide’ in Elizabethan drama (Boas, fn 1 SD, p. 405). Hieronimo’s entrance is comparable to that of the repentant usurer in Greene and Lodge’s Looking Glass for London and England, who enters ‘with a halter in one hand, a dagger in the other’ (Edwards, fn III.12.0.1, p. 78). As Boas points out, in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (I, 9: 29), Despair offers Sir Trevisan ‘a rope’ and Sir Teruin ‘a rusty knife’ when persuading them to die, while in ‘Skelton’s Magnyfycence (l. 2312 ff.), Despair offers Magnyfycence a knife and a rope’ (Boas, fn 1, p. 405). Kyd’s stage directions also anticipate Shakespeare’s Hamlet, where the Prince talks of suffering men who might their ‘quietus make | With a bare bodkin?’ (III, 1: 75-6). Ironically they are also the two instruments that brought the death of his son, Horatio – stabbed and hanged in the garden.


The lake

Kyd probably refers to the river Acheron.


Judge

Kyd refers to the judge of the underworld, the Roman God Pluto/Plutus and Greek God Hades .


Lorenzo

Duke of Castile’s son. Lorenzo is nephew to the King of Spain’s and brother to Bel-Imperia.


Balthazar

Prince, Viceroy of Portugal’s son.


Horatio

Hieronimo’s son. Horatio was Andrea’s friend and later in the play became Bel-Imperia’s lover.


The King

King of Spain (‘Spanish King’), brother to the Duke of Castile and uncle to Lorenzo


Hieronimo

Knight Marshal of Spain, Horatio’s father and Isabella’s husband.


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