Thursday, January 12, 2012
There are innumerable dogs in literature but not many come to mind immediately. There's 'Bulls-Eye' in Dickens, 'White Fang' in Jack London, the 'Hound of the Baskervilles' in Conan Doyle, and 'Tinky-Woo' (?) in James Herriott, to name a few.
Shakespeare has a lot to say about dogs - there are 156 references to dogs in his plays. However most of them are derogatory.
'Out dog!' 'Out cur!' 'Thou damned execrable dog!' 'Let gallows gape for this dog!'
'You bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!'
'Thou drivest me beyond the bounds of patience!'
'Un-mannered dog!' 'Unpeacable dog!' 'Thou issue of a mangy dog!'
And so on. Could it be said he didn't like dogs?
In 'The Search for Gabriella' there is a scene where Shakespeare is trying to write his play 'Antony and Cleopatra' (Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!) and is constantly interrupted by a dog. And the dog is not immune to insults, alas.