Friday, August 27, 2010

Going To The Well Too Often

I wish I could think of these conversation starters during the day when everybody’s awake and not at 11pm on a Friday night when everybody’s gone for the weekend.

Give your best example of Shakespeare using the same “bit” in multiple plays.  A “bit” is any sequence lengthy enough to be more than coincidence (“Ah me” or “by my troth”, for instance, don’t count).

For instance, having heard it again in Much Ado that makes 3 different times I know Shakespeare used this joke:

“Is that your daughter?” /  “Her mother told me she was.”

Taming of the Shrew. The Tempest (where Prospero says it to his own daughter), and now Much Ado. Possibly more that I just haven’t spotted.

This isn’t just “when does Shakespeare repeat a sequence,” but how often can you find where he does it? Can anybody find something that he repeats more than 3 times?

1 comment:

Bob P. said...

The Latin phrase "Cucullus non facit monachum" (translation: the cowl does not make the monk) appears in both Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure, and an English version of the same phrase appears in Henry VIII.