Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hoist on My Own Petard and William Shakespeare

A friend of mine and I have been exchanging emails about the Psalms.  The Sunday School class that I am privileged to teach embarked on a study of the Psalms at the beginning of the summer.  We consider a new Psalm each week and started with Psalm 1.  We are proceeding according to the Psalm number in the Psalter.  (This coming Sunday is Psalm 11.) The friend, who is from out of town and a Christian, came to one of our class meetings while visiting Miami, and we have been exchanging emails about the "Psalm of the week" since then.   (My friend and I often disagree on important ideas.  Sometimes I think the disagreement arises from the word choices I use, but sometimes not.)  The other day I cited some scripture during an email to my friend, and I realized that it supported an important point she had been trying to get me to see.  At the end of the email, I confessed, "Hoist on my own petard."

All of which is to say that the use of that saying has pointed me back to Shakespeare, and now I am heading back to his plays after nearly 50 years.  (That's how long since my sophomore year at Duke, when "I took the course," as if that completed anything.)  Not that I was aware that the source of "Hoist on my own petard" was Macbeth.  In responding to my email, my friend ended her response with thanks for my pointing her to Shakespeare.  I thought, "what?!"  Did I ever know that?

So, naturally, I am undertaking a Shakespeare journey.  Here is what I have equipped myself with: (a) The Oxford Shakespeare: the Complete Works 2nd Edition; (b) Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary and Language Companion; and (c)  Marjorie Garber's Shakespeare After All.  In addition, Professor Garber has lectures on YouTube, and I so far I have watched this introductory one.  She is simply wonderful.

(Despite my links to Amazon, I bought what I could in used books, when the economics make sense.  I use,, and, increasingly, Amazon's own used book offerings.)

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