Notes on Act III, scene v

Banish'd Ancona?: Banish'd from Ancona?

lightens: fires like gunfire (or lightning); or lights (falls) upon

train: following of servants, most of whom have abandoned her

poor men: the few loyal ones who have stayed behind

buntings: young birds

fledg'd: have learned to fly

give o'er: once the doctor has his money, he gives the patient over to death.

right: quite, exactly

carol: sing

o'erta'en: overtaken

blanch: whitewash

politic equivocation: scheming double talk

strew'd: covered (in order to hide)

circumvent: surround as in to trap

league: alliance

amity: friendship

politic: scheming

brothers: boldly Antonio calls them his brothers, whereas they do not consider his marriage to their sister legitimate.

proclaims: demonstrates your lowly birth

adamant: magnet

bottom: in one boat (don't put all your eggs in one basket)

 in sunder: apart

out of frame: out of order

eternal church: heaven

cassia: bark that when crushed produces cinnamon

scourge: spin it by beating it with a stick

sound: measure the depths (as on a ship)

laurel: a laurel wreath was usually a symbol of victory

vizards: visors covering their faces

over-charg'd: fortune's wheel turns when over weighted with great men

counterfeits: only God should be able to break up a holy marriage (although she did not bother to seek the sanction of the church at the time)

whether is that note worse ... nets: which is worse? the sound which frightens the birds to flee danger, or the one that tempts them to come too close and be caught? Bosola suggests that the duchess pursued temptation rather than her brothers' warning, and so now pays the price.

o'er-charg'd: packed with too much gunpowder, causing it to explode

Charon: in Greek mythology, the boatman who ferries the dead across the river Styx to Hades.

prattle: talk

counterfeit face: referring to the visor over his face, but also to his hypocrisy

dog-ship: as in "our lordship"


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