Sunday, May 1, 2011

Promus - 3 - melancholy - crochets

Parallels between Shake-Speare and Bacon's Promus

(b) a second explanatory parallel

from Shake-Speare's The Merry Wives of Windsor 2.1.146-8

Ford:           I melancholy? I am not melancholy. Get you home, go.
Mrs. Ford:  Faith, thou hast some crochets in thy head now.

now from Bacon's Promus, (entry 1644):

"Il a beaucoup de grillons in la teste"   (a French proverb)

Comments: The Arden editor translates "crochets" as simply: "absurb ideas. The phrase is proverbial (Tilley C.843)".  But M.P. Tilley's A Dictionary of Proverbs gives examples of the English proverb from 1577-1670, none of which mention the element of melancholy.  However, the French proverb from Bacon's Promus, as translated by Cotgrave's Dictionary means: "He is in his dumps; his head is much troubled, full of crochets or of Proclamations".  So it looks as though Shake-Speare may have had in mind the French proverb and its accepted interpretation.

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