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12:09 AM
A: Were English poets of the sixteenth century aware of the Great Vowel Shift?

Gareth ReesTL;DR: As late as the beginning of the 17th century, the editor Thomas Speght claimed that it was possible for a skillful reader to scan Chaucer. But he modernized Chaucer’s spelling, making it hard for anyone after him to do the same! It seems that in the mid-16th century, some people still knew...

^ Looks like another well researched answer by Gareth.
@verbose Story-id questions can be general interests, especially when they're about a book of which you can't find a summary anywhere on the internet. People can find them by searching keywords later.
At least that's my impression from Sci Fi.
And the part where many posters ask a question and never return happens on all forums of course, with other kinds of questions than story-id too.
I've always had a hard time understanding that. If I make an account, then that's a commitment by me to be active and contribute (at least until I'm no longer able to).
@verbose I think SE has a button to make it send them an e-mail if there's an answer though.
@bobble No, I don't have to be committed to anything just to make an account. An account is useful so I can edit my posts, or to easily notice replies to multiple posts, or even to just show my name next to a post. I refuse the argument that it has to mean commitment.
And I think that's the idea of SE too: "https://literature.stackexchange.com/help/why-register" says “Registering is easy”.
12:26 AM
I know that most people don't see an account as a commitment, but I personally do, and it's difficult for me to contemplate making one just for convivence.
Nor do I want to signal to new users that their account require commitment, because it's much harder to get new users that way.
Again, I understand that in a theoretical sense.
2 hours later…
2:37 AM
@Tsundoku No, I more primary source materials on literary theory than secondary/explanatory texts, by a lot. I'm pretty sure I have Culler's Structuralist Poetics lying around somewhere, but I didn't have a copy of this book.
@EddieKal Everything? That's ... a bit broad, innit?
2:52 AM
@Tsundoku I'm not sure I can see the other close votes. One was mine. I promise you, @EddieKal, it wasn't because I don't want people to call out misogyny, or limit who gets to decide what constitutes it. 🙂 I think it's opinion-based in the sense that one production of the play could easily show Hamlet to be an outright misogynist, and another could present him differently.
Say, showing him as being horrified at how his mother, whom he loves (all too dearly if you wanna believe Ernest Jones), has betrayed him. He admired her and she committed the heinous act of colluding in regicide and mariticide, all because she finds herself sexually attracted to Claudius.
So he finds women's sexuality scary and turns against the woman he's sexually attracted to, Ophelia, as well. That would be a more sympathetic portrayal.
It's not like Hamlet exists outside of the interpretation one puts on him in performance (or in reading). And the question originally said, "Would you say Hamlet is/isn't a misogynist?" It's gone through various revisions since then to try to make it less opinion-based, but still, that's just our doing the work the OP should have done.
@verbose Sure was. I think it was intended to be slightly phatic and incrementally performative
Also, the question is the kind one would expect to be asked in a high school English class. I bet it was the OP's homework and they were just hoping to crib from us without putting in any effort.
Put forward your opinion and defend it is basically what the question said to me. Of course I'm not generally interested in that much anyway, coz I think it's a category error to treat characters in a literary work as though they were real people, but that's a discussion for another day.
@verbose I agree with all this. I was talking about things in general. But general things trickle down to palpable everydayness. I was saying, "There is a likelihood that one of the reasons could be so and so" And the performative part comes in when I push it a bit further and shed the spotlight on that one reason. Of course there are multiple other reasons that question could've been flawed and in need of improvement. But I still think it was one of those "need a nudge and will make it" qs
@verbose 100% agreed
3:08 AM
@EddieKal Oh I got what you mean. I guess I just think that at this point, you, Gallifreyan, and Tsundoku have put in more effort than the OP did. Actually, even by having this discussion I've put in more effort, haha. The q as originally asked was def opinion-based; the rescue attempts have made it answerable; whether it's worth answering is not up to me to decide, except for myself.
Like, I'd make the same kind of arguments I did in the Julius Caesar question: "you're asking the wrong thing."
I suppose at some point I could just take all the above and turn it into an answer, and probably will. But I'm not rescinding my close vote 😁 what am I, the Wayne County Republican canvassers?
@verbose Lol
@verbose I share this distaste for homework questions. One of the first questions I asked in this room was how we should deal with potential homework questions.
But I do think since some other homeworky questions have been allowed, well received, and furnished with very detailed, research-intensive answers, this question shouldn't be treated any differently
3:28 AM
So, I just scanned this book for any relevant analysis
There is an interesting passage talking about Hamlet's use of the word "whore", which of course has been discussed by a lot of people
@verbose If different performances can show her differently, why would that mean that the question should be closed?
@b_jonas basically the question is "pick your interpretation and defend it", when the text is polysemous. How do you interpret X? is opinion-based.
You can provide evidence from the text, but it's going to be non-definitive. A question that wouldn't be opinion-based is something like: "How has feminist criticism addressed the issue of how women are represented in Hamlet?" Or "How do directorial choices affect whether Hamlet comes across as a misogynist?"
Asking whether Hamlet is a misogynist, as though he's a real person, seems entirely beside the point to me. Like, many years ago, someone asked a question on a different forum: "Did Hamlet and Ophelia have sex?" And the best response (not mine, alas) was: "There is every evidence that they had textual relations."
3:46 AM
should I ask one of those questions? :P
@bobble Please do, I've been planning on asking "How Many Children Had Lady Macbeth?" for years
and seeing well-formulated qs would reduce the temptation
I'll see if I can pull together a respectable "How has feminist criticism addressed the issue of how women are represented in Hamlet" question
I'm also working on questions from Watership Down and the Grisha Trilogy at the moment
soo... some variety there
@bobble It's the kind of thing @GarethRees would do exhaustive, conclusive research on and write a lengthy, well-constructed answer about, all in the space of five minutes or so
No, that would take at least 10 minutes. Five to research, five to write it up.
Oh I thought his hands typed while his eyes read and his brain processed
3:55 AM
Okay, then 5 minutes to read/write and 5 minutes to proofread.
@bobble It always takes more time than you think.
@b_jonas I should needlepoint that on my cushion covers
@verbose Also after literature.stackexchange.com/a/16498/139 I finally understood why your nick is "verbose".
Not that I'm any more concise.
4:31 AM
@b_jonas heh
4:44 AM
There was very little about Kewlian Sio on the web that I could find; he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. But that story is quite well known, at least in India. So I thought it was worthwhile to put in a bunch of tangentially relevant info
5:17 AM
@verbose How does this strike your ear: "Is there evidence in Hamlet that points to misogyny in Elizabethan England?"
That's... a totally different question, though.
3 hours later…
8:06 AM
@EddieKal I agree with @Mithical, it's not the same question. And in some ways it's even more problematic. Why is a play set in medieval Denmark a source-text for Elizabethan misogyny? I mean, it of course could be but there are so many more immediately pertinent sources.
Finding source-texts for misogyny in Elizabethan England isn't hard, They had a female on the throne, ffs, and that led to a whole lot of people having conniptions. To seek to mine Hamlet for examples of historical misogyny (or do I mean historical examples of misogyny?) doesn't strike me as particularly illuminating
8:59 AM
@EddieKal Wouldn't misogyny in Elizabethan England be more of a History.SE question?
@verbose Funny thing, every time you mention that question I get deja vu, I'm sure I've seen it asked before. But I searched all the mentions of "Lady Macbeth" on this site and it hasn't been asked here (unless it was somehow deleted, I suppose).
@verbose Arguably a lot of questions on this site boil down to "pick your interpretation and defend it". Perhaps discussing literature isn't the best-suited topic for the SE framework, but we've made it work well enough - different answers can present different interpretations, and votes can be based on how well they're supported, or one answer can present a whole bunch of different interpretations (Gareth and Matt have done the latter a few times).
Like, check out user111's questions, or nearly anything in the tag.
9:23 AM
@Randal'Thor It's the title of a famous essay by L C Knights, published in 1947. The main idea is that treating Shakespeare's characters as though they were real people is not a very fruitful way to go.
The title of the essay is a tongue-in-cheek example of the kind of question he thinks are irrelevant to actually understanding Shakespeare's art
@Randal'Thor Oh I've presented and defended interpretations too, most recently on this answer. But there's a difference between starting with the element you want to interpret ("what does X mean here") and starting with a conclusion and asking for interpretations that support or don't support it ("Is Hamlet a misogynist").
The latter sorts of questions, I find opinion-based. They're not based on anything directly in the text, and they ask us to read the text in order to support some opinion ("Hamlet is misogynist" or "Hamlet is not misogynist")
1 hour later…
10:43 AM
Q: How many children had Lady Macbeth?

verboseIn Macbeth, when the eponymous hero is hesitating to kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth urges him forward to the murder. She memorably says:      I have given suck, and know How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless ...

@Randal'Thor I lied, it wasn't 1947. It was 1933. It was printed in a 1947 collection of his essays.
@Bookworm I couldn't resist. Tongue firmly in cheek. Feel free to delete, although I'm very proud of "her personality does not seem like a good fit for the job of wet nurse, and I imagine she would have had difficulty getting hired".
@Randal'Thor Don't say I've never done anything just for you
11:09 AM
@verbose Great question! Upvoted.
@verbose I'd forgotten it was you who answered that Julius Caesar question. Can't remember what I thought of your answer back in '17, but I learned a hell of a lot since then about the concept of authorial intent in the study of literature; I wouldn't have asked the question in that way if I was posting it today. Have a three-years-late upvote.
11:30 AM
@Randal'Thor thanks! And also for the upvote on the Lady Macbeth q, though I’m def trolling there. I looked for a tag but we don’t seem to have one
1 hour later…
12:35 PM
@verbose Hey, don't talk yourself down. Even if your intent is humourous, it's a perfectly valid question for the site.
12:57 PM
@Randal'Thor It is because the very topic has been touched already numerous times on this site and various others, without there ever being a direct question about it, though.
@NapoleonWilson Various others?
Oh, did M&TV get a similar question about some film adaptation of Macbeth?
1:13 PM
Q: Where does Arrietty Clock's name come from?

Rand al'ThorIn Mary Norton's Borrowers series, the Borrowers are tiny people who live secretly among humans. There are or were several families of Borrowers living in one large house, with family surnames according to where in the house they lived (Clock, Overmantel, Harpsichord, etc.) Their first names are ...

@bobble Looking forward to more Watership Down questions! I loved that book.
Ooh, I bet there are some good questions to be asked from there. The rabbits are almost all named after plants, but there's probably some symbolism to be found in which plants are chosen for which characters.
@NapoleonWilson Oh, I'd already upvoted that Q&A. That explains my deja vu then.
1:37 PM
Q: Which real birds are most strongly associated with fire?

spraffBirds generally are symbols of high power, e.g. the sun. Excluding mythical birds, which real species are most strongly associated with power, magic, and specifically fire in particular?

2:11 PM
@Bookworm This doesn't seem to be about literature ... I wonder if Mythology & Folklore would take it.
2 hours later…
3:48 PM
Q: with reference to topic challenges -LITERATURE going on every two months overlapping one month

user37920I want to add my API key-19198-V2.0 CLIENT ID-19198 OAUTH 2.0 FLOW WON'T this be useful for all concerned. This is with reference to the topic of the challenge program-LITERATURE.

4:06 PM
@Randal'Thor oooh, more questions to ask. My planned one was about who/what the warren of snares is meant to represent, since I feel as if there's supposed to be a parallel there that I just can't figure out. But I'll think up some questions now...
I actually got the book because my English teacher (same teacher who made me write propaganda essays) liked me and gave it to me for free. Not my usual genre but it's surprisingly good all the same.
@Randal'Thor I've been trying to figure out what this is referring to for days and haven't succeeded yet. Care to jog my memory?
4:22 PM
@Randal'Thor It doesn't look to me like defending your interpretation is not well suited for SE. See scifi.stackexchange.com/q/55128/4918 where the three of us defend different interpretations.
@bobble I was referring to this comment of yours. I think I pinged you shortly after you commented, but then you were offline in chat for a long time after that.
I mean what in Puzzling you were referring to
@b_jonas Right, it certainly can work on SE. But things like answer acceptance, for example, aren't so well suited to such questions. See Is the accepted answer feature good for this site? and How can an accepted answer be chosen from two equally accurate literary analysis answers?
@Randal'Thor Yes, that part is true.
The acceptance is more or less meaningless for those questions.
@bobble Oh, nothing in particular. Just lots of things in Puzzling are discussed in chat, and sometimes people have to remind each other that actual enforceable policies are made in meta not chat, so a tSL conversation can't be used to close questions or whatever.
4:41 PM
Could someone with tag-editing privileges figure out how to fix the excerpt so that the bit shown on the tags page makes some sort of sense? I would try except it seems to be the kind of thing requiring some trial and error.
5:23 PM
@verbose Homework doesn't make such questions off topic. And we usually don't answer homework questions quickly enough to be of use to lazy students.
5:56 PM
@Randal'Thor it’s basically Poe’s Law meets the intentional fallacy. (Well, I guess Poe’s Law is just a special case of the IF.) I’m actually bemused that the question’s getting upvotes and even has a sincere answer. I expected a flurry of downvotes. (It’s gotten one already.)
@Tsundoku yes, but StackOverflow (for example) has a policy that if you’re asking for help, including with homework, you need to show what you’ve done to try to solve the problem yourself first, before asking. We don’t.
6:13 PM
Q: In Ko Un's short poem "In the very middle of the road", why does the narrator take a different path?

MithicalThere's a short poem by Ko Un that, when translated, goes like this: In the very middle of the road two dogs are coupling I take another route (source; translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé) Why does the narrator take a different path? Are they repulsed by the sight, don't want to interrupt, o...

6:32 PM
@bobble done
6:48 PM
@verbose Votes can be baffling.
1 hour later…
8:00 PM
Q: Why were my questions about two books by Cornelius Ryan on war not answered?

user37920I posted questions about two books that are written by Cornelius Ryan, but they were not answered or commented upon. The questions appear as "recently deleted questions", because now they have been deleted. Are the questions not worthy enough to expect an answer? The books are The Longest Day and...

8:39 PM
Yay!!!! I have finally usurped Benjamin to 6th all-time editor. I'm coming for you, Gareth
I think it's funny that each difference up to Gallifreyan are roughly a 40 edit count difference, and then more or less is tripled when getting to Tsundoku
@Tsundoku How many more review tasks left for suggested edits? :P
@PrinceNorthLæraðr For the Steward badge? 673 more reviews.
Let's get cracking people!
Hm, I could write 45 tag wikis, and get the research assistant tag (and also surpass Gareth). But that's a lot of work. And time
Well, yes, but it isn't urgent, I believe.
8:47 PM
Also true
@Mithical stop enabling Donald Trump, dammit
@verbose This is 2020, not 2016, isn't it?
@verbose >.<
US, please sort yourself out. Thank you. Sincerely, the rest of the world
9:15 PM
I love our voting system. It's so great. I love how we have to wait all the way until JANUARY to actually inaugurate a president smh
Like votes get finalized sometime in December
Everything after the vote finalization and stuff is just such a waste of time because of "tradition". Like why do we need people to vote for the state after it's voted? It's already illegal in some states to vote against the candidate that state wanted anyways and it's just dumb
Hm I need to make 7 more edits in order to follow my non-existent 20 edits per day quota that I never keep anyways
Well if I do follow my 20 edit per day goal, I can reach Copy-Editor in 8 days
What is "image that needs description"?
(sorry, easier to just link to something I wrote previously than to type up an explanation from scratch)
Hm, okay. Will have to look into doing that after tag editting
Okay I'm at 340/500 after the two remaining edits get approved. I'll probably stop there for today unless I want to do more later
@Mithical So the alt-text could, in theory, be sufficient enough to replace the photo. Is it like a caption of a sort, or...?
I guess I need an example
9:31 PM
Ah. So I can link the photo to an external link (like Wikipedia)
That's unrelated
What do you mean "unrelated"? Like doesn't take you directly to the link to the photo, but rather to a link with stuff about the photo?
I mean... where the image is hosted has no bearing on the alt text
Like if someone posted a picture of Rick Riordan, I can link it to a Wikipedia page about Rick Riordan (not the Wikimedia link) or his website?
I'm not explaining this very well, it's kinda late here
@PrinceNorthLæraðr it depends what the purpose of the picture is
9:33 PM
confused I'll figure it out later
If the point is to demonstrate he has graying hair, then alt text would be "Rick with graying hair"
I'm not entirely sure what part you didn't get in first place, also
So it's basically an image caption
...sorta, sure
> Alt text, or an image description, is what shows up in place of an image when that image fails to load. It's also what a screen reader will read out when someone is using a screen reader to browse the site, as well as what search engines and feeds display.
Right, I read the Codidact page
9:56 PM
@verbose And now it's gone HNQ. I do hope it gets a more detailed (and more text-based) answer than mikado's, before HNQ voting sends that answer skyrocketing to the stars.
I mean I know the historical reasons why
I just don't see why it's relevant now in the days of virtually instantaneous messaging and news and whatnot
Q: Did Camus have a known source of inspiration for Meursault's behaviour during and after his mother's funeral?

TsundokuCamus's novel The Stranger begins with the news of the death and the funeral of Meursault's mother. Meursault smokes cigarettes during the wake, doesn't weep before, during or after the funeral, and on the next day goes swimming, meets a young woman and goes to the cinema with her. This behaviour...

10:17 PM
@PrinceNorthLæraðr Here is our site's guidance on text alternatives.
@PrinceNorthLæraðr A caption merely identifies an image (usually); a text alternative needs to convey the same information as the image.
@PrinceNorthLæraðr I suppose the handover/transition also requires some time.
True. Still

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