« ZurückWeiter »
Again in the specimen which Nick Bottom selects for the purpose of showing how well he can spout and rant :
The raging rocks
The foolish fates.—Mid. N. D., i. 2. Shakespeare himself occasionally uses alliteration for a special purpose of effect. As where Biron is railing at love :
This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy; . .
Dread prince of plackets.—Love's L.L., iii. 1. And where Biondello is heaping up contumelious description on the steed which brings Petruchio to the wedding :
Sped with spavins ., ; stark spoiled with the staggers, begnawn with the bots, swaved in the back, and shoulder-shotten ; two letters for her name fairly set down in studs, and here and there pieced with packthread.—Tam. of S., iii. 2.
Also, where Mercutio is jeeringly citing some of the noted beauties of antiquity, as compared with Romeo's charmer, Rosaline :
Laura to his lady was a kitchen-wench; ... Dido, a dowdy; ... Helen and Hero, hildings and harlots.-R. & Ful., ii. 4.
Likewise, where the insolent Iago is coarsely goading Brabantio into alarm at his daughter's elopement with the Moor :
You 'll have your nephews neigh to you; you 'll have coursers for cousins, and gennets for germans.-Oth., i. 1.
And, again, where he is rollickingly describing the powers of the English in drinking, as an incitement to Cassio to get drunk :
I learned it in England, where, indeed, they are most potent in potting.-Ibid., ii. 3.
Shakespeare, among the many varied resources of expressive style, has availed himself of antithesis in several forms. He sometimes introduces words, antithetical to each other, in the same sentence :
I forget :
* The Folio prints “ lest" for “least" in this passage; and many substitutions have been made for this word by various commentators. But we think that the other instances here cited by us of passages similarly constructed, serve to prove that the antithesis of " most and “least was intended by Shakespeare in the present instance.
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy.-As You L., iv. 3.
Then poor Cordelia !
But to win time, to lose so bad employment.—Ibid., iii. 4. Sometimes he uses an epithet that is antithetical with the noun to which it is appended. [See LOVE-EXAGGERATIONS] :
This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid.-Love's L. L., iii. 1.
O most delicate fiend !
Ignorance itself knows is so abundant scarce.-Tr. & Cr., ii. 3.
To laughter and contempt.-Lear, i. 4.
The king's a beggar, now the play is done :
But that your royalty
'Tis sweating labour
The borders maritime
* "Main" here used for the mainland.
several instances of Shakespeare using the words “ general” and “particular" antithetically ; in the same way that he uses “ beast” and “man” See BEAST AND MAN):
My brother general, the commonwealth,
Where's our general ?
For the success,
You hear what he hath said,
Though in general part we were oppos'd,
Nor doth the general care
Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature.-Oth., i. 3. Shakespeare has some passages where there is an effect given of an intended antithesis, but where there is no real antithesis existing :
If you be not mad, be gone; if you have reason, be brief.-Tw. N., i. 5.
But let him swear so, and he shall not stay.-W. T., i. 2.
Then say at once if I maintained the truth ;
That's lesser than a little.-Coriol., i. 4.
If thou hadst not been born the worst of men,
Thou hadst been a knave and flatterer.-Ibid., iv. 3. If I bring you no sufficient testimony that I have enjoyed the dearest bodily part of
• " Or else” is here used to express or, in other words."
your mistress, my ten thousand ducats are yours; so is your diamond too; if I come 011, and leave her in such honour as you have trust in, she your jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are yours.-Cym., i. 5.
If you can penetrate her with your fingering, so ; we'll try with tongue too: if none will do, let her remain ; but I'll never give o'er.-Ibid., ii. 3.
If you will swear you have not done 't, you lie ;
And I will kill thee, if thou dost deny.-Ibid., ii. 4. In the following passage there is the real antithesis between “ inn (which originally meant an abode, or dwelling; and here implies a stately dwelling) and “alehouse” (as meaning a lowly house of entertainment): while, at the same time, there is the effect of antithesis between “inn " (in its more usual and exclusive acceptation) and "alehouse," as being both houses of wayside entertainment, though superior in grade the one to the other :
Thou map of honour, thou King Richard's tomb,
APPRECIATION OF FRIENDSHIP: INTIMACY. The intensity of strength wherewith Shakespeare appreciated the sentiment of friendship, the passionate fervour with which he depicts its attachment and glorifies its object, as evidenced in various passages in his plays, serve not only to denote his own warmth of nature and might of heart, but also serve to illustrate many of the ardent expressions that abound in his sonnets,—those veiled yet glowingly demonstrative outpourings of his own affection. The diction of his time permitted much more lavish utterance of feeling, the habits of his time allowed much more marked and open token of preference, between man and man, than the diction and habits of modern times permit; and when we read the following eloquently effusive passages, we cannot but rejoice that William Shakespeare lived and wrote in an age that gave scope to unrestricted words and behaviour from one man. friend towards another. Thus passionately does he make Antonio, the noble-hearted and romantic-spirited sea-captain, express himself towards the youth for whom he has conceived a devoted personal attachment after saving him from perishing at sea :
If you will not murder me for my love, let me be your servant. The gentleness of all the gods go with thee! ... I do adore thee so.—Tw. N., ii. 2.
I could not stay behind you : my desire,
Hold, sir, here's my purse. •
Is 't possible that my deserts to you
A witchcraft drew me hither ;
Drew to defend him when he was beset.-Ibid., v. I. In reference to William Shakespeare himself might aptly be quoted his own words,—“ You have a noble and a true conceit of godlike amity.” Thus earnestly, with the simple yet firm manliness of truth in an esteeming as well as loving attachment, does Hamlet speak to his bosom friend Horatio :
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
As I do thee.-Hamlet, iii. 2.
Sweet Valentine, adieu !
Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.—Two G. of V., i. 1. One of his young court friends says to Bertram :
O my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us !-All's W., ii. 1. And Parolles says to Bertram :
What is the matter, sweet-heart? ... What, what, sweet-heart?-Ibid., ii. 3. And Poins says to Prince Hal :
Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us.—1 H. IV., i. 2.