19.092 Quotation from Othello? NO! Hamlet

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 09:41:24 +0100

                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 92.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 09:35:53 +0100
         From: "Donald Weinshank" <weinshan_at_CSE.MSU.EDU>
         Subject: Quotation from Othello? NO! Hamlet

Many thanks to Humanists who replied to my earlier posting both on- and

Othello? Nope!
Emilia: "I shall speak though Hell itself should gape and bid me hold my

Iago: " ... for there's no right nor wrong but thinking makes it so."

My friend and colleague, Dr. Rochelle Elstein of the Northwestern University
Library immediately identified both quotes.

Hamlet, act I, scene 2.

Hor. I warr'nt it will.
244> Ham. If it assume my noble father's person,
245> I'll speak to it though hell itself should gape <=
246> And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all, <=
247> If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,
248> Let it be tenable in your silence still,
249> And whatsomever else shall hap to-night,
250> Give it an understanding but no tongue.
251> I will requite your loves. So fare you well.
252> Upon the platform 'twixt aleven and twelf
253> I'll visit you.

Hamlet, act 2, scene 2:

245> Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many confines,
246> wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o' th'
247> worst.
248> Ros. We think not so, my lord.
249> Ham. Why then 'tis none to you; for there is
250> nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. <=
251> To me it is a prison.
252> Ros. Why then your ambition makes it one. 'Tis
253> too narrow for your mind.
254> Ham. O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and

(Source: the online version of the Riverside Shakespeare. I just did a word
"near" word search.)


Thanks to Brian Bremen and Jan Rybicki. The latter commented:

          "Looks like Robeson and Hagan made a bet
          to introduce two lines from Hamlet into Othello
          and see if anyone will notice. Well, you have."

Now THAT is an intriguing hypothesis. Of course, the parsimonious
explanation is that, in my memory, I reshaped my recollection of having
studied Othello. You may recall this snippet from the lecture in E.M.
Forster's, "The Machine Stops."

"There will come a generation ...which will see the French Revolution not as
it happened, nor as they would like it to have happened, but as it would
have happened, had it taken place in the days of the Machine."

Offsetting this tendency, fortunately, we have the accurate, available
sources from computer files. In either case, I shall now have to track down
the original recording.

Dr. Don Weinshank Professor Emeritus Comp. Sci. & Eng.
1520 Sherwood Ave., East Lansing MI 48823-1885
Ph. 517.337.1545 FAX 517.337.1665
Received on Sat Jun 11 2005 - 04:58:49 EDT

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