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

I 7a suggests that it derives from the ancient

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I 7a) suggests that it derives from the ancient practice of 'engrafting the spurs of a castrated cock on the root of the excised comb, where they grew and became horns'. Brewer (1142) cites the stag's battle for herd dominance; when a stag is 'horned', he loses his herd until he can return the favour to another stag. The Ovidian mvth of Actaeon {Met., 3.138-249), ' in which the hunter views the chaste and divine huntress Diana bathing, and is consequently turned by her into a stag and slain by his own hounds, also provides an association of horn- wearing with female power over men; however, Diana, goddess of the moon, sported the emblem of crescent horns (sign of the moon as well as of its mutability), which most closely resemble the bovine horns (rather than antlers) conferred upon most cuckolds. See pp. 43-50. 246 vilely painted i.e. have his portrait painted in a crude or degrading style 166
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Much Ado About Nothing 1.1.261 in such great letters as they write 'Here is good horse to hire', let them signify under my sign, 'Here you may see Benedick, the married man.' CLAUDIO If this should ever happen, thou wouldst be 250 horn-mad. DON PEDRO Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly. BENEDICK I look for an earthquake too, then. DON PEDRO Well, you will temporize with the hours. 255 In the meantime, good Signor Benedick, repair to Leonato's, commend me to him and tell him I will not fail him at supper, for indeed he hath made great preparation. BENEDICK I have almost matter enough in me for such 260 an embassage. And so, I commit you 251 horn-mad (1) stark raving mad; (2) mad with jealousy; (3) angry as an enraged bull: pun on the cuckold's horns intended. Cf. MW "3.5.140-2: 'If I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go with me: I'll be horn-mad'; CE 2.1.58-60: 'Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad / . . . I mean not cuckold-mad, / But sure he is stark mad'; Dent, H628. 252 quiver i.e. of arrows (with sexual suggestion of spending phallic power) 253 Venice renowned for its courtesans and prostitutes. The traveller Thomas Coryat, in his Crudities (1605), writes that 'The name of a Courtezan of Venice is famoused over all Christendom' (Coryat, 1.401). quake According to Ferrand, symptoms of love-melancholy included 'loss of appetite, weeping, sobbing and sighing, frequent sighings, continuall complaints, languishing countenance, feebleness of the knees' (Ferrand, sig. E2 r ). 254 earthquake a rare event, thought to herald momentous changes. Benedick continues Don Pedro's pun on quiver. 255 temporize . . . hours become more temperate, or realistic in and with time (Latin tempus — time, so the phrase could mean 'delay the event'; hours could also pun on whores, with whom Venice was reputedly replete). Cf. Cor 4.6.16-17: 'All's well, and might have been much better if / He could have temporiz'd.' 256 repair go 257 commend me send my regards 258 fail him fail to be present 260 I . . . me i.e. I believe I possess adequate sense; cf. 2.1.303-4: 'I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.' 251 horn-madj (liorn madde^, Pope 256 meantime] fmeane time,) 261 you - ] Theobald; you. 49 167
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1.1.262 Much Ado About Nothing CLAUDIO 'To the tuition of God. From my house' - if I
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