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Questions tagged [early-modern-english]

Questions related to the stage of the English language between the late 15th century and the mid- or late 17th century.

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If this capital letter F is acceptable or not [closed]

Is the F in the picture an acceptable capital letter? As the length of the lower horizontal line equals to the upper horizontal line. This is not a font question. That’s a very basic question or a ...
monique Yeung's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
201 views

How would you interpret the meaning of "dreadful" in "dreadful secrecy" here?

In Hamlet, Act 1, scene 2 I read the following line (emphasis added): This to me in dreadful secrecy impart they did. For making it easily comprehensible, let me tell you that "impart" ...
kelvin's user avatar
  • 823
1 vote
2 answers
100 views

"harden ignorance in contempt" and "distinguish desert"

In his Preface to the Dictionary, Samuel Johnson wrote the following. I'd like to know what "harden ignorance in contempt" and "distinguish desert" mean. ... a few wild blunders, and risible ...
Apollyon's user avatar
  • 6,006
3 votes
3 answers
801 views

What does "subtle wisdom" mean?

I've always understood subtle to mean the opposite of obvious, as in subtle difference, until I came across this line from The Duchess of Malfi Oh, sir, the opinion of wisdom is a foul tetter that ...
Sara's user avatar
  • 3,866
0 votes
1 answer
77 views

Are these two words,'rampallian' and 'fustilarian',common to English native speakers?

I came across these two words in a video on youtube.(How NOT to swear in English 10:45 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02hOrOrjjYw) It's said both of them come from Shakespear's works.And i haven't ...
dubina's user avatar
  • 479
1 vote
2 answers
5k views

What does William Shakespeare mean by "murder, though it have no tongue, will speak."?

I read a book titled 'An Isolated Incident' written by Susan R. Sloan. In chapter one of the book, she quotes Murder, though it have no tongue, will speak. How can this be interpreted in simple ...
Nyavoken Chris's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
40 views

Where should I use "told" and "said"?

Please let me know weather the following sentences are correct : Jessica never told me she having a sister . They told me to stop playing video game. She said you guys making a trip to Canada.
Rathish's user avatar
  • 13
3 votes
3 answers
299 views

What does "thou art come unto a feast of death" mean?

I came upon this sentence while reading the narrow road to the deep north. I knew it's from Shakespeare but can't understand. Thou art come unto a feast of death
vela's user avatar
  • 47
2 votes
2 answers
845 views

Meaning of "Unlooked for joy in that I honor most" in a sonnet by Shakespeare

Shakespeare (sonnet 25): Let those who are in favor with their stars Of public honor and proud titles boast, Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars, Unlooked for joy in that I honor ...
CowperKettle's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
725 views

Why -th and -eth are followed after verbs?

What does called that form added -th or -eth after verbs.I found that in an article and don't know why it was used ? Is it specialized verbs ? In which condition ,should I use that! And he that ...
David Jaw Hpan's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
358 views

Help parsing excerpt from Shakespeare's comedy "Love's Labour's Lost"

I have begun trying to read Shakespeare. My problem is I can't understand the writing at all. Why is Shakespeare so hard to understand? I hope that I am not the only one that finds it hard to read. ...
Trevor Clarke's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
225 views

Need clarification on this sentence

I came across this sentence: You have done that you should be sorry for. Is this grammatically correct?
MnZ's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
2 answers
3k views

Grammar of Othello, Lines 442-450, Act 3, Scene 3, Othello

442 O, that the slave had forty thousand lives! 443 One is too poor, too weak for my revenge. 444 Now do I see 'tis true. Look here, Iago; 445 All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven. (...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Grammar of Polonius, Act 2, Scene 2, Hamlet

15% down the page: LORD POLONIUS [says:] This business is well ended. My liege, and madam, to expostulate What majesty should be, what duty is, Why day is day, night night, and time is time, ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
134 views

“There need none. . .” in modern usage

There need none to be blamed. Source: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Act 5, Scene 1) Is this still possible in modern English? For example: “There dared none to protest against him.” Is this a version ...
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
4k views

What does this quote mean?

There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark But he's an arrant knave. Hamlet, Act I Scene V My book says it means "No villain is worse than Claudius." But this but is the same as in "It ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does the phrase “An anchor's cheer...” mean?

I found this line in Hamlet by William Shakespeare. An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope, What does “anchor’s cheer” mean? How can an anchor be cheerful? Is “cheer” some part of an anchor? And ...
Capacitor's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
981 views

What does 'scape mean in this quote by Shakespeare?

I found this line in Hamlet by William Shakespeare. And 'scape detecting, I will pay the theft. What does "'scape" mean? Google says this. A long, leafless flower stalk coming directly from ...
Capacitor's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
10k views

What does "do't" mean?

I found this line in Hamlet by William Shakespeare. I'll do't. Dost thou come here to whine? What does "do't" mean? Google returneth only "don't". Is "do't" an alternative spelling of "don't"? ...
Capacitor's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why do some sentences have "thy" instead of "the"?

I saw many times thy used instead of the, so why is that? When should I use it? What is the pronunciation of thy? From the Bible (Christianity.SE) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy ...
Pierre's user avatar
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