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It , indeed , has the characteristics of a young author , who had already acquired
a ready and familiar mastery of poetic diction and varied versification , and who
had studied nature with a poet's eye ; for the play abounds in brief passages of ...
... Arcadia , " and elsewhere , still there is nothing to show that the young
dramatist had employed any prior story as the groundwork of his plot ; and the
incidents he used were such as form part of the common stock of romantic
And writers say , as the most forward bud Is eaten by the canker ere it blow , Even
so by love the young and tender wit is turn'd to folly ; blasting in the bud , Losing
his verdure even in the prime , And all the fair effects of future hopes .
Your own present folly , and her passing lost his A B C ; to weep , like a young
wench that deformity ; for he , being in love , could not see to had buried her
grandam ; to fast , like one that takes garter his hose ; and you , being in love ,
How does your lady , and how thrives your His years are young , but his
experience old ; love ? His head unmellow'd , but his judgment ripe ; Pro . My
tales of love were wont to weary you : And , in a word , ( for far behind his worth I
know , you ...
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"like a wood woman" might indeed have meant "frantic" or "wild" (with grief) which Launce mentions referring to the "shoe" which he adopts for the sake of illustration. However, Shakespeare, even at his earliest writings, was vastly entertained by double entendres and his love of puns is so well documented. In that time in Italy, women wore platform shoes which were raised to elevate the shoes from the mud and other unpleasant "stuff". These were called "chopines" and the platforms were constructed of wood. The higher the platform, the higher the pretentiousness of the lady. Her height could have put her above many others. Since Launce has his father and mother represented as shoes, this second meaning is certainly not outside of the possibility for Shakespeare's intention. Naturally, it would have had the effect of a rather "localized" and "temporary" idea, but the fact of its having been very popular in that day makes it a candidate for the Bard's delight.