Sunday, May 1, 2011

Promus - 20 Romeo and Juliet - Court howres

Part 2 - Parallels between Bacon's Promus and Romeo and Juliet
(with special emphasis on Promus Folio 112)

Part 2N

R&J  Act 2.4.91-3

(Mercutio teases Romeo):

Mer:  For this drivelling love is like a great natural [fool] that
      runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.

Bacon's Promus entry 1618 (Folio 132):

"It en est plus assotte qu'un fol sa marotte" ["He dotes on it more than a fool does on his bauble"]
[Note: see also Titus Andronicus 5.1.79: "An idiot holds his bauble for a God".]


R&J  Act 2.4.132-7

(While Mercutio and Benvolio are still talking to Romeo, the Nurse appears. Mercutio teases her with a bawdy ditty):

"An old hare hoar,
and an old hare hoar,
Is very good meat in Lent.
But a hare that is hoar
Is too much for a score
When it hoars ere it be spent".

Promus entry 1212 (Folio 112):

"Cowrt howres"   [modern spelling "Court hours"]

Comment:  "Hoar" (= "mouldy") is a pun on "whore". And Bacon's "Court hours" is probably a pun on "Court whores". The spellings of "whore" included "houre" and "howr(e)" and the two words were apparently pronounced much the same. In the present passage Shake-Speare puns on "hoar" and "whore". But he puns on "hour" and "whore" in As You Like It 2.7.26-8 and in The Comedy Of Errors 4.2.54-6.

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