Category Archives: Curculio: English

Marring Marlowe: A Low Pun in Edward II?

    Contemporary humanists often seem to operate on the principle that any possible pun in Shakespeare and his contemporaries is real or intended (loaded word!) or somehow present to the alert reader, inevitably adding to the meaning of the passage. It … Continue reading

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“I’ll put her to her pension”: A Mad World, My Masters I.ii.66

One of the more difficult passages in Middleton’s play is the soliloquy of Harebrain (aka Shortrod) as the “pure virgin” (actually a courtesan) fetches his wife (I.ii.62-69): This is the course I take; I’ll teach the married man A new … Continue reading

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Curculio 5: Worst. Endearment. Ever.

Peter Davidson’s Poetry and Revolution: An Anthology of British and Irish Verse 1625-1660 (Oxford, 1998) includes a rather dull love-poem (number 36) by “T.C.”, most likely Thomas Cary, “Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles I” (516). The untitled poetic dialogue … Continue reading

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Curculio 4: A Sly Joke in The Alchemist?

Kastril or Kestrel, the ‘angry boy’ of Ben Jonson’s Alchemist, calls his sister his ‘suster’ and says ‘kuss’ for ‘kiss’.1 It is not clear whether this is meant to represent a particular regional dialect, a generalized country accent, or his … Continue reading

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Curculio 2: ‘Pervert the Present Wrath’: a Conjecture on Cymbeline

I am experimenting with publishing original scholarly notes on this site. My first attempt, a week ago, was a single page on the structure of Silius Italicus’ Punica. I have just uploaded a PDF file of my second paper, two … Continue reading

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