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Can't see the wood for the trees.

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943530.  Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:25 pm Reply with quote

Yeah, the horse is worth a kingdom, or the kingdom is worth a horse, but I've never heard of anyone interpreting it as disbelief at losing a kingdom, that's a new one on me.

943579.  Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:18 am Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
I was taught that it was more disbelief than a desperate offer:
"A horse? A horse? I lose my kingdom for want of a horse?!"

I understood it more this way, that it was his disbelief that he lost the battle (and hence the kingdom) for the trivial reason that he'd lost his horse and couldn't find one at the critical point.

943585.  Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:39 am Reply with quote

Yep, that's my understanding. He's not offering his kingdom in exchange for a horse or anything of that sort. He's not looking for a horse in order to flee, or he would take the one offered to him by Catesby in the next line. Instead he says "I have set my life upon a cast and I will stand the hazard of the die!"

943599.  Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:48 am Reply with quote

Remains the question why Shakespeare didn't put question marks in stead of the exclamation ones - if he wanted this to be understood, different punctuation would have helped.

943602.  Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:51 am Reply with quote

Hmm, no, I don't read it as a question at all. Although I agree with your interpretation that it boils down to "I lost my kingdom for want of a horse".

943605.  Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:59 am Reply with quote

I always thought "cant see the wood for the trees" referred to not getting bogged down in small details and instead you should be looking at the bigger picture?

Bogged. Trees. Coat.


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