Monday, November 26, 2012

A Guy Named Claude

As I sit here ruminating and pecking away at a paper on Hamlet, eating popcorn and wishing the kitchen weren't so far away that I have to get up to get a drink of orange juice, a typo strikes my eye and sparks a thought.

What, oh what did a guy named Claude ever do to Shakespeare?  Here's Hamlet, fast becoming my favorite tragedy, with this Danish fellow trying to kill some Claudius, and all of us cheering him on; and here's Much Ado About Nothing, probably my favorite comedy (though that may be a three-way tie), where everyone's favorite line is the one that goes "Kill Claudio!" and again, a lot of us are probably cheering her on.

There may be something in this.  Was Claudio the name of the rival poet?  A really bad actor who hammed Shakespeare's lines?  Or just some butcher who sold Mrs. Shakespeare a badly trimmed chop back home in Stratford-on-Avon?

Then again, Austen used the name Jane for everybody; and I'd laugh my head off at anyone who thought she was the least bit like either Miss Bennet or Miss Fairfax.

There must be a moral in there somewhere.  Probably having to do with Orange Juice.  If it be not now, then it is to come ...

1 comment:

  1. That is indeed a nifty little rhyme.

    It has been suggested that in Shakespeare's polyphony, the name of Claudius the userper is meant to echo with Ptolemy, the astronomer whose tables were only superseded in predictive precision by one J. Kepler after he got his hands on the late Tycho's observatory logs. Of course there are sure to be other strands running about, too.