Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lucia A new (old) word from Shakespeare

The other night I came across a word that I had never seen before.

I was reading a little of A Midsummer Night's dream to my 11 year old son to give him an idea of what the play was actually like. We have just started going through Beautiful Stories From Shakespeare, which tells each play as a story, however, the book misses out the poetry of the play itself and quite a bit of story as well, as the it's really only a summary for children.

So, I found A Midsummer Night's Dream on the Kindle (I have the Complete Works of Shakepeare on the Kindle) and  and started reading from the beginning of Act 3, Scene 1, where a troup of players are organising their parts and practising their lines. One of them, Bottom, becomes enchanted by the fairy king with an asses head, and the fairy queen, falls in love with him after having her eyes smeared by the fairy king while she was asleep with the juice from an enchanted flower.

I think by the time we got to where the queen, Titania wakes up and falls in love with Bottom, my 11 year old's attention was waning, but there I found the new word.
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note;
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me
On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.

Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason
for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason
and love keep little company together now-a-days;
the more the pity that some honest neighbours will
not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon
I'd never heard of "gleek" before. The dictionary on the Kindle was no help, my husband has no idea (he's a bit of a wordsmith), and neither did our rather large dictionary that we have in our bookcase. I needed the Internet to help me find the word, and after ignoring all the references to doing something with saliva, which I'm sure Shakespeare wouldn't have meant, I found the actual meaning: link


1 [gleek] 
verb (used without object) Archaic .
to make a joke; jest.

This is cool, too: Notable Quotations from A Midsummer Night's Dream

2 comment(s):

Isumbras said...

I really should read more Shakespeare but I'm too much of a cunctator

Lucia Maria said...

LOL! I had look up cunctator as well!

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