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Line 3368-69 - Commentary Note (CN) More Information

Notes for lines 2951-end ed. Hardin A. Aasand
For explanation of sigla, such as jen, see the editions bib.
3368-9 Renish on my head once; this same skull | sir, <this same Scull sir,> was {sir} Yoricks skull, the 
3369 Kings Iester5.1.181
1656 Blount
3368 Renish] Blount (1656; rpt. 1969, Rhenish Wine): “Rhenish Wine, so called from the River Rheine in Germany, upon whose banks grow those Grapes which make the Rheinish Wine. See Baccharach.
3368 Renish] Blount (1656; rpt. 1969, Bacharach) :”Bacharach] A City standing on the banks of the river Rhyne in Germany, so called quasi Bacchiara; in ancient time there was an Altar erected to the honor of Bacchus, in regard of the richness of the wines which are made there, and therefore called Bachrag or Bacharach; vulgarly, Rhenish wines.”
1676 Cole
Cole: ≈ Blount w/o attribution
3368 Renish] Cole (1676, Rhenish): “belonging to the Rhene, Rhine, a German river.”
1784 Davies
3367-9 Clow. A . . . Iester] Davies (1784, pp. 131-3): <p.131>“The moral and pathetic reflections, on the skull of Yorick, are, in my opinion, a compensation for all the oddities, or, if the critics please, the absurdities, of this ex-</p. 131><p. 132>traordinary scene. Should it be possible, some twenty years hence, for an acquaintance to discover the skull of an eminent wit, who had, like Yorick, ‘set the table in a roar;’—a Foote, perhaps;—would not some such sentiments, as those uttered by Hamlet on the king’s jester, find their way from the mind of the observer? How would he moralise, and compare present deformity with past gaiety!”
“It is very probable, that the Yorick here described was one of the court-fools hired to divert the leisure-hours of Queen Elizabeth. And it is most likely that our author celebrates the famous Clod, who died some time before the accession of K. James.
“Clod was a clown of uncommon wit and ready observation. Fuller records a jest of his, which, it ws said, proved fatal to Dean Perne, who, in the space of twelve years, had changed his religion four times. Queen Elizabeth, in company with Archbishop Whitfigt, Dean Perne, and her jester, Clod, was desirous to go abroad on </p. 132> <p. 133>a wet day. Clod used the following argument to prevent her majesty from going out: ‘Heaven,’ says he, ‘madam, dissuades you, for it is cold and wet; and earth dissuades you, for it is moist and dirty. Heaven dissuades you, too, by this heavenly man, Archbishop Whitgift; and earth dissuades you,—your fool, Clod, such a lump of clay as myself. And, if neither will prevail with you, here is one that is neither heaven nor earth, but hangs between both,—Dr. Perne; and he also dissuades you.’”</p. 133>
1807 Douce
3369 Yoricks ] Douce (1807, rpt. 1839, p. 477): <p. 477>“The frequency of such names as Eric and Roric in the Danish history, might have suggested that of the jester in question, but in a manner that may not very easily be discovered. Roric was the name of the king of Denmark contemporary with Hamlet, according to Saxo Grammaticus.” Later in his Illustrations , Douce delineates the various kinds of “clowns” and “fools” available throughout history, classifying them by type. Yorick would seem to fit into his category of “real domestic fool” (p.501), kept in households throughout history: “With respect to the antiquity of this custom in our own country, there is reason to suppose that it existed even during the period of our Saxon history; but we are quite certain of the fact in the reign of Williamthe Conqueror. An almost contemporary historian, Maitre Wace, has left us a curious account of the / preservation of William’s life when he was only duke of Normandy by his fool Goles [Roman des ducs de Normandie, MS. Reg. 4, C.xi) . Mention is made in Domesday of Berdic joculator regis ; and although this term was unquestionably applied in numerous instances to denote a minstrel, much evidence might be adduced to show that on this occasion it signified a buffoon. Latin terms were used by the middle-age writers so licentiously and with such extreme carelessness, that in many cases it is difficult to obtain a precise idea of their meaning. Thus the jesters and minstrels were indefinitely expressed by the words joculator , scurra , mimus, ministrallus, &c., a practice that may admit of justification when we consider that in early times the minstrel and buffoon characters were sometimes united in one person. It must be allowed, however, that in an etymological point of view the term joculator is much better adapted to the jester than the minstrel. “(pp. 501-02).
1843 col1
3369 this same skull sir] Collier (ed. 1843) : “it [the Folio] characteristically repeats ‘this same scull, sir.’”
1854 del2
3368 Rhenish]Delius (ed. 1854) : “Rhenish scil. wine kam schon [614] vor.” [“Rhenish , this is the wine which appeared in [614].”
1857 dyce1
dyce1 : col1
3369 this same skull sir] Dyce (ed. 1857): “So the quartos, 1604, &c.—The folio has ‘This same Scull Sir, this same Scull sir, was Yoricks Scull,’ &c., which is given by Mr. Collier and Mr. Knight. (Mr. Collier observes that the folio ‘ characteristically repeats’ the words;—which is very true, it being a marked characteristic of the folio to blunder in that way.)
1857 elze1
elze1: Douce
3369 Yoricks ] Elze (ed. 1857): "Douce II, 264 bermerkt, dass Shakspeare vermuthlich durch die in Saxo Gr. Oft wiederkehrenden dänischen Namen Rörik, Erik u.a. auf den ((später durch Sterne so berühmt gewordenen)) Namen Yorick gebraucht worden sei." ["Douce Ii, 264 [see n. above] remarks that Shakespeare may have used through the frequently consulted Danish name Rorik, Erick, etc. in Saxo Gr[ammaticus] for the name Yorick ((later becoming so famous through Sterne))."]
3369 the Kings Iester] Elze (ed. 1857): "Über die ursprünglichen ’Gestours’ vgl. Warton H.E.p. II, 369. Nach Brand Pop. Ant. I, 263 war der ’Jester’ identisch mit dem ’Fool’.—Wegen des Nominative ’Jester’ s. Wagner Engl. Sprachl. §.314." ["Regarding the original ’Gestours’, compare Warton H.E.P. II, 369. According to Brand Pop. Ant. I, 263 the ’jester’ was identical with the ’fool.’—Because of the nominative ’jester,’ see Wager Engl. Sprachl. 314."]
1858 col3
col3= col1
3369 this same skull sir]
1861 wh1
3369 this same skull sir] White (ed. 1861) : “The 4tos. do not repeat these words. If their repetition were accidental in the folio, the chance must be reckoned among gli inganni felici .”
1866a dyce2
dyce2 : dyce1 ; stau ; wh1 + magenta underlined
3369 this same skull sir] Dyce (ed. 1866) : “So the quartos, 1604, &c.(except that they have ‘sir Yoricks’)—The folio has ‘This same Scull Sir, this same Scull sir, was Yoricks Scull,’ &c., which is given by Mr. Collier and Mr. Knight. (Mr. Collier observes that the folio ‘ characteristically repeats’ the words;—which is very true, it being a marked characteristic of the folio to blunder in that way.) Here both Mr. Staunton and Mr. Grant White give the reading of the folio; Mr. Grant White observing, that ‘if the repetiton of the words were accidental, the chance must be reckoned among gli inganni felici.’ I wish he had told us what force is added to the dialogue by the repetition.”
1869 tsch
tsch : dyce2
3368-9 this . . . was] Tschischwitz (ed. 1869): “Die Wiederholung der Worte: this same scull, Sir,in der F. ist offenbar nur Zufall, und wird mit Recht von Dyce verworfen.” [“The repetitin of the words, this same scull, Sir, in the Folio is clearly only an accident, with was rejected correctly by Dyce.”]
1872 del4
del4≈ del2
3368 Rhenish]Delius (ed. 1872) : “Rhenish scil. wine kam schon 1.4.14 [614] vor.” [“Rhenish , this is the wine which appeared in [614].”
3369 this same skull sir] Delius (ed. 1872) : “Die Qs. setzen this same scull nur einmal, nicht in emphatischer Wiederholung zweimal, wie die Fol.” [“The Qs. place this same scull only once, not twice in emphatic repetition, as the Folio.”]
1872 Latham
3368-9 sir Yoricks skull] LATHAM (1872, p. 145-6), in comparing Hamlet with the German play der Bestrafte Brudermord, notes: <p. 145>“As there is no burial of Ophelia there is no churchyard, no Gravediggers, no Yoric. The name for the ‘Yorick’ of of Shakespear seems to be the ‘Eric’ of the present play. If so, the King is his own Jester. Be it so. A Chronicon Erici Regis actually exists. A Gesta Erici Regis may have existed. Hence, by a confusion of which we only get a general notion, out of ‘Gesta Erici Retgis’ may have come ‘Yorick the King’s Jester.’ In Argentile and Curan Epic, as here, is the name of the wicked uncle. This manifestly points to some source </p.145><p.146> or sources for the story of Hamlet beyond the four corners of Saxo’s narrative.” </p. 146>
1872 cln1
3368 Renish] Clark & Wright (ed. 1872): “See [1.4.10 (614)].
3369 Yoricks] Clark & Wright (ed. 1872): “Mr. Magnússon suggests to us that this name may be a corruption of Rorick, Saxo’s Roricus, Hamlet’s grandfather on the mother’s side. Mr. Ainger conjectures that it was connected with the Danish form of the name George.”
1874 Corson
3368-9 this same skull sir] Corson (1874, p. 32): <p. 32>“ this same skull sir, this same Scull sir]] The C.[CAM1], after the Quartos, gives the expression but once. The repetition in the F., serves to exhibit the grave-digger’s sense of his official importance as he turns the skull over in his hands.” </p. 32>
1877 v1877
v1877 = wh1 ; dyce2 (only I wish he [WHITE] had told us what force is added to the dialogue by the repetition.”) ; Corson (summarized) + magenta underlined
3368-9 sir Yoricks skull] Furness (ed. 1877): “Corson partially answers Dyce’s question by saying that the repetition serves to exhibit the Clown’s ‘sense of his official importance as he turns the skull over in his hands;’ [there also lurks in it a tone of hesitation, as though deliberating carefully the position of the skull in the earth whence it was exhumed before deciding on the ownership.”]
v1877 : SAN ; ≈cln1 (minus “Mr. Ainger . . . name George”) ; ≈ Latham (p. 93, p. 145 only If so, the King is his own Jester . . . may have come ‘Yorick the King’s Jester.’) + magenta underlined
3369 Yoricks] J. San (apud Furness, ed. 1877): “This is the German and Danish Georg, Jörg, our George; the English y represents the foreign j, which has the same sound.”
3369 Yoricks] Clark & Wright (apud Furness, ed. 1877): “Mr. Magnússon suggests to us that this name may be a corruption of Rorick, Saxo’s Roricus, Hamlet’s grandfather on the mother’s side.”
3369 Yoricks] Furness (ed. 1877): “‘Jerick’ is the name of a ‘Dutch Bowr’ in Chapman’s Alphonsus.”
1877 neil
neil ≈ Davies (only “It is very probably . . . accession of K. James”)
3369 Yoricks]
1881 hud3
3369 this . . . Iester] Hudson (ed. 1881): “So the quartos, except that they have ‘sir Yorick’s,’ sir being doubtless repeated by mistake. The folio reads ‘This same Scull Sir, this same Scull sir, was Yorick’s Scull.’ What should be the use or sense of this repetition, does not appear.”
1882 elze2
3368 flagon of Renish] Elze (ed. 1882): “a whole flagon of Rhenish]] a reading which may well contend for the palm with [Q2] and [F1].”
Elze ≈ v1877 (San ; Furness)
3369 Yoricks] Elze (ed. 1882): “was one Yorickes scull—a very remarkable reading again.—Yorick is indeed equivalent to the German Jörg (i.e. George), as pointed out by Mr. J. San (apud Furness, who very appropriately cites the name of the ‘Dutch Bowr’ Jerick from Chapman’s Alphonsus).”
1890 irv2
irv2 ≈ v1877 (San & Furness’s notes)
3369 Yoricks]
1899 ard1
ard1 ≈ cln1 with attribution (Ainger note ; Magnússon note ; Furness note on Jerick)
3369 Yoricks]
1931 crg1
3369 Yoricks] Craig (ed. 1951): “Nicholson regarded the reference as a compliment to Kemp’s great predecessor, the clown Will Tarlton.”
1934 Wilson
3368-69 this same skull sir] Wilson (1934, 2:256) cites the F1 duplication of this phrase as also found in ROWE and DELIUS; “most” follow Q2.
1934 cam3
cam3 : standard
3369 Renish] Wilson (ed. 1934, Glossary)
cam3 : standard
3369 Yoricks skull] Wilson (ed. 1934): “Many have taken it as referring to Tarlton: but he died in 1588, which makes ‘three-and-twenty years’ impossible; his name was Richard; and he was a stage-clown not a court jester.”
1939 kit2
3369 Yoricks skull] Kittredge (ed. 1939): “Futile attempts have been made to explain this name as Danish; but, until it can be shown that Polonius, Claudius, Ophelia, Marcellus, and Bernardo are also Danish names, we need not trouble about the matter. So far as its form goes, Yorick looks like a corruption of York, but Jerick is a German peasant in the old play of Alponsus (wrongly ascribed to Chapman) and Joris is the Duke of Brunswick’s fool in Rowlands, A fooles Bolt, 1614, pp. 22ff.”
1951 crg2
3369 Yoricks]
1957 pel1
pel1 : standard
3368 Renish]
1970 pel2
3368 Renish]
1980 pen2
pen2cln1 w/o attribution
3369 Renish]
pen2 ≈ standard (Eric or Jörg)
3369 Yoricks]
1982 ard2
ard2pen2 w/o attribution
3369 Renish]
ard2 : v1877 w/o attribution ; cam3 w/o attribution (Rorik, Eric, Danish George; Jerick in Alphonsus) +
3369 Yoricks] Jenkins (ed. 1982): “And see [n. 3372].”
3370 Takes the skull] Jenkins (ed. 1982): “The demonstratives make clear that the skull changes hands and at this point. Hence at [[3372] F Let me see is an intrusion ((SB, XIII, 36)).”
1984 chal
chal : CLN1
3369 Renish]
1985 cam4
cam4 ≈ standard
3369 Renish]
3369 this . . . Iester] Edwards (ed. 1985): “This is an eclectic reading put together from Q2 and F, both of which seem to have their own mistakes.”
cam4 ≈ standard (Jörg)
3369 Yoricks]
1993 dent
3369 Renish]
3370 Andrews (ed. 1989): “As Hamlet speaks this line, he probably takes the skull from the Gravedigger’s hand. In the next line the Clown shifts from This ((line 191)) to that in reference to Yorick’s head. The Folio adds the clause ‘Let me seee,’ at the beginning of line 195; that would appear to be an interpolation rendered unnecessary by the fact that the skull has already changed hands, so in this as in most modern editions Hamlet’s speech begins with ‘Alas, poor Yorick,’ as in the Second Quarto.”
3368 3369