Thursday, February 1, 2018

Shakespeare Frog

For this month's post, I considered many heavy Shakespearean topics, most of which arose in my mind in the wake of my last post, on sexual coercion in Shakespeare, and the discussions it engendered. "Creepy Dads in Shakespeare" was one topic I entertained. Another was "Do You Have to Be Egyptian or a Goddess To Have Unmarried Sex in Shakespeare and Not Have Everyone Call You a Whore?" But I abandoned both these topics. There is plenty to say about the first, but who really wants to read about creepy dads, much less write about them? And the second poses a question whose answer -- "Yes" -- is shorter than the title. So, in the end, I decided to write on a theme which is not ghastly, not creepy (though it hops), and not too troubling except, perhaps, to amphibian enthusiasts. The topic is Shakespearean frogs.

Where are the Shakespearean amphibians? And what are they? Well, this post would be much longer than I intend to make it if I discussed all the animals Shakespeare and his fellow Elizabethans thought were amphibians but weren't (otters, for example, and dolphins), and the symbolic uses they made of them. For