Quick Guide: Timon of Athens

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Major motifs in the Shakespearean play include dogs, breath, gold (from Act IV on), and "use" in reference to usury (so called because it takes payment for the "use" of money). One of the most common emendations of the play is the Poet's line "Our Poesie Is as a Gowne, which uses From whence 'tis nourisht," to "our poesy is as a gum, which oozes from whence 'tis nourished" (originated by Pope and Johnson). Soellner says that such emendations erode the importance of this motif, and suggests a better emendation would be "from" to "form," creating a mixed metaphor "revelatory of the poet's inanity."
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July 18, 2012
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