Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dogs, Wives and Walnuts ...

The woman, spaniel, the walnut tree,
The more you beat them, the better they be.

Stanley Wells digs this one up in his Shakespeare and Co (to be reviewed, not too soon). It's origins are 'folk wisdom' its particular form here, care of John Taylor, ferry-boat man - who was a published author.

It's the spaniel that gets me ... hyper-linking in Elizabethan England.

This particular case is after 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' but I think it illustrates nicely both an attitude (one assumable as common, if not provocative, even in Elizabethan England) and a process - the interlinking of images and ideas across the 'hyper-space' of the Elizabethan mindset.

nux, asinus, mulier verbere opus habent

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