Abbildungen der Seite

118. Sick ... to doomsday, as sick and ill as if the last day had come. A bold and subtle use of the preposition to.

119. Precurse, precursor, forerunner.

120. Harbingers. A harbinger was an officer of a royal household sent on in front to prepare harborage or lodging for the king.

123. Climature, country or region. The word comes from the Gr. klima, a slope - as the temperature depends on the slope of the sun's rays and the angle they make with the ground.

125. Cross it. It was an old belief that any one who crossed the path of a ghost was 'blasted' by it, – that is, made subject to its evil influences.

127. Speak to me. The importance of this adjuration demands a line for itself. The pause, which the emotion necessitates and the physical need of taking breath compels, fills up the full measure of the line, and represents the missing part.

132. Happily. Some commentators translate this as haply. Others think it = luckily. Foreknowing = foreknowledge.

134. Uphoarded, hoarded up.

138. Partisan, battle-ax (on long pole) or balbert. From Fr. pertuisane, said to be from 0. Fr. pertuiser, to bore through; N. Fr. percer, to pierce.

147. Fearful summons. Summons is from Fr. semonce; from Lat. submoneas — the first word of the law Lat. in which the paper is written.

148. The trumpet = the trumpeter.
149. Lofty, an adverb to sounding, just like thrill.

152. Extravagant, in the literal sense of the Latin words extra vagans, wandering beyond boundaries; wandering beyond (extra) the night boundaries.

153. Confine, place of confinement.

151. Probation (four syllables), proof. 156. 'Gainst. Very often used of time in older English.

160. Strike, have a malignant influence. We still have the epithet moonstruck.

161. Takes, infects or blasts.
162. Gracious, full of grace, goodness, and favor.

171. Loves. S. and other writers of his time frequently use an abstract noun in the plural number, when the noun relates to several persons.

SCENE 2 1. Coleridge says, 'In the king's speech, observe the set and pedantically antithetic form of the sentences when touching that which galled the heels of conscience – the strain of undignified rhetoric and yet in what follows concerning the public weal a certain appropriate majesty.'

2. That. S. and other writers of his time have though that, while that, lest that, when that, etc.; and when it was necessary to repeat the conjunction, they used the that merely as a representative. Here, accordingly, that stands for though.

4. Brow of woo = woeful brow. A very common use of of in S.

9. Jointress, joint possessor. The only instance of the word in S.

10. Defeated=disfeatured, disfigured.
11. Auspicious, cheerful.- Dropping tears.

13. In equal scale. Here the formality and antithesis verge closely on the ridiculous. - Dole, grief. There are two words with this spelling in English. Dole, a share, from deal, is a purely English word. Dole (doleful, condole, etc.) is from the 0. Fr. doel, Fr. deuil, from Lat. dolor, grief.

14. To wife. The Old English idiom. Barred, excluded.

18. Supposal, opinion. The only instance of the word in S.

21. Colleaguèd, allied. The only instance of the word.

22. He, a superfluous pronoun; but the distance of the proper nominative makes its use legitimate.

Pester, trouble, bother.

23. Importing, purporting, having for import.

24. With=in accordance with. Bonds. Bonds and bands are two forms of the same word, meaning obligation.

29. Bed-rid, “A. S. bed, a bed, and ridda, a knight, a rider." Earle suggests that it is the participle of bedrian, to bewitch.

31. Gait, going on with, or procedure in it. Gait is said to be a doublet or by-form of gate. The original meaning seems to be an opening. (The H. Ger. form is Gasse.) The word really comes from get, not from go.

In that inasmuch as.

33. Subject, here a collective noun, as in I. i. 70. 35. For bearers = as bearers.

39. Commend your duty, be the test which will prove that you have done your duty.

41. Nothing, used adverbially, = not at all. 43. Suit, request, petition.

45. Lose your voice ask in vain. Thou beg. Note the transition from you to thou. It marks the increase in the professions of the king towards Laertes.

S. often applies the word instruments to persons. Claudius was probably under great obligations to Polonius - perhaps for securing his election to the throne instead of Hamlet.

47. Native to, closely related to.
48. Instrumental to, fully subservient to.

50. Dread my lord, An inversion common with S. We should say “my dread lord.”

[ocr errors]

56. Pardon, permission to return.

'I begg'a His pardon for return (= leave to go back).

58. Slow leave slowly given leave. The freedom with which S. plays with adjectives is seen in many phrases. Dr. Schmidt says, ' As the English adjective has no inflection, it was formerly apt to form a looser connection with its substantive than in other languages; and instead of expressing a quality or degree pertaining to the latter, to be employed to limit the extent and sphere of it. Thus a bloody fire in Merry Wives, V. v., is not a fire that has the quality of being bloody, but, as it were, a blood-fire, a fire in the blood.'

60. Upon his will = induced by his desire. S. frequently uses upon in this way.

Hard consent. See note on line 58.

64. Cousin = relative. (The word is a concentrated form of the Lat. consobrinus consororinus, a mother's sister's son.) S. uses it in the sense of nephew; of niece; of uncle ; of brother-in-law; and of grandchild.

65. Kin ... kind. The latter word must have been pronounced kinned; otherwise the antithesis would have been lost. More than an ordinary kinsman for he is both stepson and nephew; but not feeling at all friendly. “More than kin to Hamlet in being uncle and father -- twice kin – but less than kind, because his incestuous marriage is unnatural, out of nature, or kind."

67. I' the sun. Another punning reference to his dislike of the too frequent use of the word son by his uncle. Some commentators think they see in this a reference to an old English proverb: “Out of God's blessing into the warm sunne,' which meant, “Thrust out of house and home into the open air, which is the common property of all men.'

73. Nature, the state of being born, or human life.

74. Ay, madam. Coleridge remarks, 'Here observe Hamlet's delicacy to his mother, and how the suppression prepares him for the overflow in the next speech, in which his character is more developed, by bringing forward his aversion to externals, and which betrays his habit of brooding over the world within him, coupled with a prodigality of beautiful words, which are the half-embodyings of thought, and are more than thought. Note also Hamlet's silence to the long speech of the king which follows, and his respectful, but general, answer to his mother.'

79. Suspiration, sighing. The only instance of the word in S. But he has suspire twice.

81. Havior the same as behavior. The word occurs seven times in S.

83. Denote ... truly, give a true and complete indication of what I feel.

90. Bound = was bound.

92. Obsequious, in the old and literal sense of belonging to obsequies, funereal.

93. Condolement, grief. Observe that the king, being in an artificial and self-conscious state of mind all through the play, employs Latin words, a pompous diction, and elaborate phrases. Feeling that he was the cause of all this sorrow, it was simply impossible that he should be able to use the simple and natural words that would be fit for the occasion.

95. Incorrect (a participle, not a mere adjective), in the literal Latin sense of uncorrected or unsubdued.

97. Simple, foolish, witless.

99. Any the most. S. has also the phrases: One the truest mannered ; one the wisest prince. - Vulgar, in its original Latin sense of common. So the Bible was translated into the 'vulgar tongue.'

101. Fault, offense. To against. 105. Till he = down to him.

« ZurückWeiter »