Claudius: What’s in a name?

Welsh:  “Gwas-y-neidr”  (adder’s servant)”:

Dragon Canon UseFig. 1       Ferris © 2010                   Hamlet, Claudius, Fengtooth, JPEG          

   “Feng (toð)”:  the dragonfly was often associated with snakes, as in its Welsh name, “gwas-y-neidr”, meaning “adder’s servant”, arguably referring to the “sting” of the adder.  The Old English “ fengtoð” (“catching– or grasping–tooth) developed into “fang”, and connoted “prey, spoils, a seizing or a taking”.  The sense of “canine tooth” is from 1555.

   With regard to source material, the question has always been whether or not (and to what extent) Shakespeare manipulated historical sources for Hamlet.

  

III.XXIX.MMXIII      

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