Saturday, March 12, 2011

Parallels - Troilus and Cressida 1 of 4

A special set of Shake-Speare and Bacon parallels

Troilus and Cressida (a subgroup of four parallels from this play)

(1 of 4)

"As knots, by the conflux of meeting sap,
Infects the sound pine and diverts his grain
Tortive and errant from his course of growth." 
   Troilus and Cressida 1.3.7-10

"There be divers herbs, but no trees, that may be said to have some kind of order in the putting forth of their leaves; for they have joints  or knuckles, as it were, stops in their germination. The cause whereof is for that the sap ascendeth unequally, and doth as it were tire and stop by the way. And it seemeth they have some closeness and hardness in their stalk which hindereth the sap from going up, until it hath gathered into a knot."
  A Natural History

Comment: Thus both authors attribute knots to a conflux of sap. Bacon is speaking of herbs, not trees, in so far as order in the putting forth of leaves is concerned. But he would presumably have given the same explanation for knots in trees since their hardness is even more likely to hinder the sap from going up. Does any other Elizabethan dramatist show the slightest interest in the cause of knots in trees or plants? Chronologically Bacon could have borrowed from the published play (1609).

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