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Monday, January 9, 2012
A Bare Bodkin? What's That?
What is a "bare Bodkin?"
In William Shakespreare's "Hamlet" during Hamlet's famous "To be or not to be" speech, Hamlet says:
"When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin?"
We know, from Mrs. Scott's 10 grade English class that Hamlet is talking about killing himself. So, "his quietus make" means to kill himself but with what? A bare bodkin? Really?
So What's the Answer:
Most people agree that a bodkin is a small knife or dagger similar to a poniard. We at the Organisation for the Investigation of Life's Most Important and Obscure Questions (OILMIOQ) wish to point out that a Bodkin is also a long hat pin or blunt needle used for threading ribbon. It would come as no surprise to us to learn that what Shakespreare was pointing out was pointing out that people are really very easy to kill. Who doesn't have an old aunt who died in an unfortunate hat pin accident? What a great Christmas story that is!
So, a bare bodkin is a pointy thing, possibly a dagger or sewing implement, that Hamlet could have used on himself in the first hour of the play thus saving us all a great deal of torment in Mrs. Scott's English class.
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