Last night I ditched book two and left Andie propped against her crutches, again frozen in time. Instead I had a small gathering of friends. We had a few beers, a lot of really great food stuffs, and some awesome laughs.
The later it got the weirder the conversation became. We discussed Hamlet and his telling Ophelia to go to a nunnery. Is he saying go to a convent or go to a brothel? I need to re-read the scene to make my clearest choice, but I am pretty sure he is telling her to go to a brothel. He just accused her of sleeping around. Is it just me, or does anyone else see how this would not pass over well in a convent?
For some strange reason this then brought us around to STI's and whether or not they were around during the time the play was written.
I said yes.
Hamlet, written around 1601 (1599, according to some sources), came after the 1547 death of King Henry VIII. There has been much speculation as to whether or not this King had syphilis (see On the Tudor Trail for details). That could explain the remarkable change in his demeanor and the rate at which his various wives lost pregnancies.
From there we discussed what the cause of syphilis was. I won't go into much detail here. Let's just say that someone said bestiality with sheep and someone else said general uncleanliness. Well... Didn't that launch us into an even weirder conversation about the Irish Ritual of Enthronement. (I first read about it in a Diana Gabaldon book.)
Naturally, last night (after more than a single beer but less than a half dozen), I couldn't find any information to back up my claim. One of my guests laughed in disbelief and decided that I was full of something that was not beer.
I hate when that happens.
The Irish Ritual of Enthronement has been a tough thing to find actual sources for, but I didn't make it up! (Take THAT, Puck!)
As the myth goes a king would mate with a white mare which would then be turned into a communal dinner.
To find out the why, check out these links:
Law Library (page 11)
How did you spend your Friday night?