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.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: