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Monday, May 22, 2006

Blue-eyed hag

There's very little entertaining about grading final exams for a Shakespeare course. Unless, of course, one of your bonus questions (sadly enough, this counts as hard enough to be bonusworthy) is "What is the name of Caliban's mother?" In that case, you get to compile a list of all the wrong answers you receive. These come from my 1/3 share of the 120 exams.

Sypholax
Sycothax
Gertrude
Syrocux
Syncorax
Syrocrax
Orithica (!)
Scycorax
Syronax
Sophiliax
Stycorax

Syrocux is my personal favorite. If I ever edit The Tempest, I am going to make up a long story about compositor errors and emend Sycorax to Syrocux. Actually, with the transposed r's and c's and a's and u's, I might just get away with it.

  • At 5/22/2006 09:32:00 AM, Blogger Ancarett wrote…

    One could muse about the effect of Harry Potter's "Horcrux" upon the mind of those who made the Syrocux guess. But my favourite on that list is Gertrude.

     

  • At 5/22/2006 10:34:00 AM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    Sypholax is pretty good too. I mean, if Sycorax did in fact contract a nasty case of sypholax, that would probably explain some of Caliban's deformities.

    And how are you grading these, Prof. Wit? Full credit if close enough? Partial credit? I personally would probably give all of them credit, except for Gertrude and Orithica, but that's me. Then again, I tend to be a stickler with my own extra credit questions, e.g., the date of the publication of the Shakespeare first folio was 1623, not 1622 or 1624. Just curious.

     

  • At 5/22/2006 11:08:00 AM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    What's the genealogy of Orithica? What a strange thing to blurt out on an exam?

     

  • At 5/22/2006 11:09:00 AM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    I also like Sophiliax. I picture that student saying, "I don't know, it was some olde-timey name with an x on the end... Sophilia, that's the kind of name a Shakespeare character would have. Put an x on that one."

     

  • At 5/22/2006 01:58:00 PM, Blogger bdh wrote…

    They all sound like topical creams to me... except 'Orithica' ... I wouldn't feel comfortable putting that on my skin...

     

  • At 5/22/2006 04:46:00 PM, Blogger Truewit wrote…

    Honestly, I couldn't wait to get to the end of each exam to discover what crazy thing they decided to write. As far as credit goes, I gave a half point to things like Scycorax and Syrocrax, nothing for Orithica. If Beaumont and Fletcher haven't already taken this name, I'm going to write my own tragicomedy featuring a woman in love with a prince who she thinks is her brother but is actually a disguised shepherd hiding from his angry sister who is about to poison all of them, until she turns out to be the first woman's nursemaid so they can all get married. Title: Oritihica and Syrocux.

     

  • At 5/22/2006 06:14:00 PM, Blogger muse wrote…

    I like Sypholax best. Sounds like a combination drug for constipation and syphillis.

     

  • At 5/23/2006 07:30:00 AM, Blogger bdh wrote…

    Am I the only one upset that Truewit hasn't actually written this tragicomedy?

     


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