Shakespeare, W - Much Ado About Nothing (Arden, 2006).pdf

233 4 lose love the sighs of love were thought to

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233-4 lose . . . love The sighs of love were thought to draw blood danger- ously away from the heart and towards the extremities; cf. MND 3.2.97: 'With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear'. 234 get . . . drinking a reference to the restorative effects of wine, which red- dens the complexion (hence rendering it more sanguine); proverbial: 'Good wine makes good blood' (Dent, W461) 235 ballad-maker's pen the writing implement dedicated to love songs and loved ones; cf. AYL 2.7.148-9: 'a woeful ballad / Made to his mistress' eyebrow'. 236 sign . . . Cupid Like taverns, houses of prostitution had signs denoting their trade and name. Benedick implies that the gruesome image of his blinded self (because Cupid is blind, and perhaps because venereal disease causes blind- ness) would be an appropriate advert- isement for such an establishment. 238 notable argument notorious sub- ject for discussion 165
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1.1.239 Much Ado About Nothing BENEDICK If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat and shoot at me, and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the 240 shoulder and called Adam. DON PEDRO Well, as time shall try. 'In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.' BENEDICK The savage bull may, but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns and set 245 them in my forehead; and let me be vilely painted, and 239 hang ... cat referring to the apparent custom of suspending a cat (dead? alive?) in a wicker basket (cf. Oth 2.3.141, 'twiggen bottle') as a target for a shooting contest. Steevens-Reed 2 cites as corroboration a pamphlet Wars, or the Peace is Broken: 'arrowes flew faster than they did at a catte in a basket, when Prince Arthur, or the Duke of Shoreditch, strucke up the drumme in the field'. Benedick's image sustains the theme of gruesome punishments visited upon heretics and apostates, as well as the links between archery and love. 240-1 clapped . . . Adam congratulated as the best archer. As Theobald surmised, Adam is probably a reference to the renowned northern outlaw archer Adam Bell, who together with Clym of the Clough and William of Cloudesley comprised a legendary trio of archers; see English and Scottish Ballads (Child, 5.124). 242 try reveal, test; proverbial: 'Time tries all things' (Dent, T336) 242-3 In . . . yoke proverbial (Dent, T303). Shakespeare could have also heard or read the phrase in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy (1592), 2.1.3: 'In time the sauage Bull sustaines the yoke'; or in Thomas Watson's Ecatompathia (1582), sonnet 47: 'In time the Bull is brought to weare the yoake.' There are Italian 246 forehead;] forehead, Q_ vilely] (xM\x) and classical antecedents for both, e.g. Ovid, Tristia, 4.6.1, and Ars Amatona, 1.471. A bull compelled to the yoke was more than likely to be rendered an ox (i.e. castrated) in the process (the ox, along with the camel and the snail, was an emblem of endurance). 245 horns The association of horns with cuckoldry is ancient and cross-cultural, but of obscure origin; the OED (sb.
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