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PLAY: Titus Andronicus
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Marcus Andronicus
CONTEXT:
TITUS ANDRONICUS
Fear her not, Lucius: somewhat doth she mean:
See, Lucius, see how much she makes of thee:
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Read to her sons than she hath read to thee
Sweet poetry and Tully’s Orator.
MARCUS ANDRONICUS
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
YOUNG LUCIUS
My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her:
For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
Extremity of griefs would make men mad;
And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad through sorrow: that made me to fear;
Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt
Loves me as dear as e’er my mother did,
And would not, but in fury, fright my youth:
Which made me down to throw my books, and fly—
Causeless, perhaps. But pardon me, sweet aunt:
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
I will most willingly attend your ladyship.

DUTCH:
Kunt gij niet gissen, wat zij van u wil?

MORE:
Cornelia=Mother of the Gracchi brothers (Roman tribunes in the late 2nd century BC), famous for her devotion to her children’s education.
Tully’s Orator=Cicero’s De Oratore
Hecuba=Queen of Troy during the Trojan War whose grief at the death of her children is the basis for Euripides’s tragedy “Hecuba”
Plies=Importunes
Fury=Madness
Extremities=Highest degrees
Compleat:
To ply=Wakker op iets aanvallen
He plies me too hard=Hy valt my al te hard; hy wil al te veel werks van my hebben
Fury=Verwoedheyd, raazerny, woede, uytzinnigheyd, doldriftigheyd
Extremity=Het uyterste, ‘t uyterste eynd, de uyterste nood, uytendigheyd

Burgersdijk notes:
Cornelia las niet vlijtiger. Cornelia, de moeder der Gracchen, die als voortreffelijke opvoedster harer
zonen bekend staat (zie Cicero in zijn Brutus, 58. 211). Verder wordt hier Cicero’s boek over de welsprekendheid, De oratore, bedoeld.
Dat Hecuba van Troje van kommer dol werd. Zoo wordt Hecuba ook in den Hamlet door den tooneelspeler voorgesteld; zie ook Cymbeline, IV. 2.
Ben ik geheel en gaarne tot uw dienst. Om zijn vroeger wegloopen weer goed te maken, is de knaap
vleiend beleefd jegens Lavinia. In ‘t Engelsch: I will most willingly attend your ladyship.

Topics: learning/education, madness, work“>communication

PLAY: Titus Andronicus
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Titus Andronicus
CONTEXT:
TITUS ANDRONICUS
How now! has sorrow made thee dote already?
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
What violent hands can she lay on her life?
Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands;
To bid AEneas tell the tale twice o’er,
How Troy was burnt and he made miserable?
O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands,
Lest we remember still that we have none.
Fie, fie, how franticly I square my talk,
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands!
Come, let’s fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this:
Here is no drink! Hark, Marcus, what she says;
I can interpret all her martyred signs;
She says she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brewed with her sorrow, meshed upon her cheeks:
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect
As begging hermits in their holy prayers:
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
But I of these will wrest an alphabet
And by still practise learn to know thy meaning.

DUTCH:
Gij stomme klaagster, ‘k wil uw taal verstaan.
Mij zullen uw gebaren zoo vertrouwd
Als bedelkluiz’naars hun gebeden zijn.

MORE:
Dote=Become irrational
Square=Judge, adjust
Signs=Gestures
Mashed or meshed=Brewed
Perfect=Expert, complete
Wrest=Force
Still=Continued
Compleat:
To dote=Suffen, dutten, mymeren
To mash=Mengel, een mengsel maaken, vergruizen
Perfect=Volmaakt, volkomen, voltoid, voleind
To wrest=Verdraaijen, wringen
Still=Altijd

Topics: madness, regret, sorrow, understanding, work“>communication

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