Thursday, February 24, 2005

Well in Shakespeare

This is another takeoff from the posting below on the word well in David Crystals The Stories of English.

The Shakespeare section of the rhymezone site lets you find instances of well (and any other word) in his works. Here are a couple of interesting findings, in addition to the examples that David Crystal gives and to the one from Hamlet I quoted in the post on well in the blues.

The Tempest
SEBASTIAN: Thou dost snore distinctly;
There's meaning in thy snores.

ANTONIO: I am more serious than my custom: you
Must be so too, if heed me; which to do
Trebles thee o'er.

SEBASTIAN: Well, I am standing water.

ANTONIO: I'll teach you how to flow.

SEBASTIAN: Do so: to ebb
Hereditary sloth instructs me.

If you but knew how you the purpose cherish
Whiles thus you mock it! how, in stripping it,
You more invest it! Ebbing men, indeed,
Most often do so near the bottom run
By their own fear or sloth.

Troilus & Cressida
CRESSIDA: There is among the Greeks Achilles, a better man than Troilus.

PANDARUS: Achilles! a drayman, a porter, a very camel.

CRESSIDA: Well, well.

PANDARUS: 'Well, well!' why, have you any discretion? have
you any eyes? Do you know what a man is? Is not
birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood,
learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality,
and such like, the spice and salt that season a man?

CRESSIDA: Ay, a minced man: and then to be baked with no date
in the pie, for then the man's date's out.

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