Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Shakespeare II - are coral made?!
Dr Johnson criticised Shakespeare more for things like the dramatic unities (whatever they were) than for grammatical howlers, as he might have seen them. But he did find a lot of inelegancies and wished he'd blotted a thousand - a bit harsh? But what about something like the famous lines from the Tempest: "Full fathom five thy father lies, Of his bones are coral made."? Shurely shome mishtake, Ed? Actually spellcheck corrected that old Private Eye joke the first time - I had to retype the shurely bit. But Shakespeare anticipated Grammarcheck programs by hundreds of years. He could make his own mistakes and even, see previous blog, other people's too. Or are coral like sheep, the same singular and plural? Or is it for the melodious sound? What about "mistakes" with me and I and other pronouns (of the with my friends and I type)? Are they acceptable in Shakespeare because it is poetry, or characterisation?