S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 18 Number 1/2 (1982)
Hamlet의 ‘Solid/Sullied Flesh’
Hamlet’s ‘Solid/Sullied Flesh'
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.18 No.1, pp. 121-137
- This paper attempts (1) to analyze some of the important arguments on one of the most controversial Shakespearian textual cruxes, i.e. ‘sold vs sullied' and (2) to show by way of conclusion which view should be subscribed to.
Being bibliographers, both Dover Wilson and Fredson Bowers tried to solve the question bibliographically and textually and came to the same conclusion that ‘sullied’is what Shakespeare really wrote but with different evidence. Wilson argued that ‘sallied’(Q2 reading) is the result of the compositor’s misreading of the MS reading ‘sullied’whereas Bowers holds that ‘sallied’was, in Shakespeare’s time, a legitimate form of ‘sullied’ his evidence being that ‘sallied’(Q2, 1.2. 129) and ‘sallies’(Q2, 2. 1. 39) were the work of not one and the same compositor and press but of two different compositors and presses.
Bowers’argument, however, was refuted by one notable philologist and linguist Professor Helge Kökeritz and by one equally notable bibliographer Alice Walker. According to Kökeritz, that ‘sallied’is a legitimate form of ‘sullied’is out of the question. Walker finds it difficult to accept Bowers’argument that two compositors would not have made the same blunder and that therefore ‘sally’equals ‘sully’when she considers a close parallel that can be found in both texts of Troilus and
On the other hand, lìterary crìtìcs lìke G.M. Young, G.L. Kittredge, Samuel A. Weiss and Richard Flatter argued for F reading ‘solid’, their common evidence being certain cluster ìmage to be found in Henry lV, Part II (3. 1. 45ff) and other plays. That is to-say, ‘Shakespeare’s unconscious habit of repeating image clusters' and ‘the contextual demands of the passage' enable them to settle the crux in favour of ‘solid flesh’ ‘Flatter ignored the legìtimacy of ‘sullied’and went as far as to say that ‘sullied’is nothing but an emendation.
On the whole, scholars argued for ‘sullied’and critics for ‘solid’ But it is interesting
to note that Kökeritz and Walker made a notable and, indeed, important exception to this by saying that there would be no knowing which of the two variants Shakespeare really wrote and that it would be up to individual editors to choose between the two.
This particular position should be subscribed to 50 long a5 any decisive evidence should turn up to dismiss one of the two as not Shakespearian.