Diana Manister wrote:
> Can't wait to check out your links. Meanwhile, recall Eliot's interest in
> Jacobean drama, which is famous for its grotesque corpses and body parts.
> In Webster's Duchess of Malfi, for instance, Ferdinand shakes hands with
> the Duchess in a dark room, using a severed hand of her lover! The line
> from The White Devil that Eliot paraphrased about the dog that digs up a
> corpse is in that uncanny vein. Things exposed that should be covered, the
> dead entering the realm of the living.
I see your point but *I* can't put the wolf line in the same category
as that handshake. I like this line of yours though: "Things exposed
that should be covered, the dead entering the realm of the living."
I'm not sure whether to borrow it or steal it outright.
Here is part of a commentary I have on my TWL website regarding the wolf:
[In act 5, scene 4 of "The White Devil"]
Cornelia is preparing Marcello's body for burial.
She, like Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet, hands out flowers.
She offers to sing a song that her grandmother used to sing. It is a
song lamenting those who have died and remain unburied. It requests
that robins (who proverbally buried bodies with pieces of vegetation)
and other animals bury the body and that wolves stay far from the
grave. The irony of the song for Cornelia is that Marcello's body is
not allowed to be buried in the churchyard because he died in a quarrel
(he is figuratively unburied) and that if a wolf dug up a grave it was
believed that the occupant was murdered (as Marcello was.)
More links! The webpages below were intended to be viewed in a framed
presentation. If you select any of the links on them it may cause your
browser to open new windows.
The commentary and a part of act 5, scene 4 of "The White Devil" is at
For the full scene (act 5, scene 4) of "The White Devil" see
P.S. In the movie "Shakespeare in Love" there was a rather ghoulish
kid at the Globe. Later Shakespeare asks his name. "John Webster."
I had to laugh. The audience had to think I was nuts.