Sunday, July 13, 2014

228 Quiz Answer


Shakespeare wrote:
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes…
A fathom is six feet.  Five times six equals 30 feet.
(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "A" is for "Accident")

 
It was a tough way to travel, to sail from Europe to America four or five hundred years ago.

 
Not only did hurricanes spring up from the Caribbean with winds that could tear a sailing ship apart, but the trip was fraught with perilous islands along the way that were every bit as dangerous.

One of the islands that you had to get past to get to the American mainland was called by the sailors of the day “The Isle of Devils” because it was surrounded by menacing rocks.

It was in July, 1609, that a vessel named the Sea Venture was sailing to bring supplies to Jamestown, Virginia, and had a famous nocturnal accident: in the middle of the night it was caught up in a storm that battered the ship and caused it to run on the rocks of the Isle of Devils.


What the survivors were to learn was that the place wasn’t devilish at all.  In fact, the island they had smacked into we know today was Bermuda, and as many vacationers in later centuries discovered, it was an honorable and pleasant place to spend the winter - if you could afford it.

At any rate, when the news of the accident and the storm got back to England, Will Shakespeare sat down and wrote a play titled “The Tempest.”

It’s a very interesting work: the experts didn’t know what to call it – comedy, drama, history, tragicomedy.  They seem to have settled upon “romance” as its specific genre.  The reason for the confusion is that there a number of sub-plots in the play, peopled by actors who range from ordinary folks to fantastic characters of heavy-duty weirdness.

However, to get around to our weekly quiz, there’s a sequence where a man’s father has drowned and his body has begun to decompose as it lies in the water.

Shakespeare handles this rather ghoulish topic as you might expect – it’s ghoulish enough for anyone, but he can’t help but write of it in poetic style.

“Of his bones are coral made,

Those are pearls that were his eyes.

Nothing of him that can fade

But has suffered a sea change

Into something rich and strange.”

Now here’s the question.  The poor drowned guy is lying in how many feet of water?  (Do the math.)

(The answer will be posted Friday.)  

 
 

33 comments:

Eddie Bluelights said...

30 feet

Reminds me of the Mozart joke:
Q. What did Mozart start doing as soon as he died?

A. De-composing!

Sorry ~ Eddie

Berowne said...

Eddie Bluelights has turned on all his blue lights and given us the right answer.

Gail said...

Congratulations to Eddie. I haven't a clue.

I enjoyed this trip into ancient history.

Arushi Ahuja said...

300 ft or more i think!!

Berowne said...

To Arushi: You're on the right track. Try again.

Eddie Bluelights said...

They cannot seem to 'fathom' it out - lol

Altonian said...

"Full fathom five he lies..."
Poor Dad, but nevermind - eh!
Good one Berowne.

Gail said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. Your comment was much appreciated. I cannot reply to your email which is how I usually handle comments.

Have a delightful day.

Kathe W. said...

I cannot fathom how deep the water is- I'm with Gail- I haven't a clue.

Berowne said...

Kathe W wrote: I'm with Gail - I haven't a clue.

Berowne said...

Altonian has the right answer - except that we're dealing with feet. :-)

Theresa Milstein said...

That is a poetic way to describe a drowned person. I didn't know these connections to The Tempest. Thanks for enlightening me!

sreeja harikrishnan said...

enjoyed reading....waiting for the answer...:-)

Karen S. said...

Oh dear! Possibly, 30 feet?

Altonian said...

Ah! Blame the mental tardiness of an aged brain. I now see the point of the 'math' element of the quiz - in which case the answer is 30 feet!

Berowne said...

Another "winner" - Karen S has the correct answer.

Kutamun said...

Davey Jones always retrieved his victims from 33 feet of heroic water .....

Kathe W. said...

ok I am going to guess 6 feet.

Roger Owen Green said...

I can't fathom this. OK, 30 feet?

Berowne said...

Roger Owen Green has the correct answer.

Leslie: said...

I had to go back to my notes but found it immediately - 5 fathoms, Ariel sings.

Leslie
abcw team

Lmkazmierczak said...

Lousy at nautical math...sure enjoyed my visit♪

Berowne said...

To Leslie: Sorry, but the correct answer is in feet.

Joy said...

I once saw a promenade production of the Tempest and the weather joined in with its own contribution.

kaykuala said...

200 feet it is, Berowne!

Hank

mrsnesbitt said...

As ever I come here and discover something new!
Denise ABC Team

oldegg said...

Five fathoms or 30 feet. I wonder whether the US will ever go metric like the rest of the world?

Berowne said...

Another "winner" - oldegg has the right answer.

ChrisJ said...

Not absolutely sure about the connection, but I'm going with"Full fathom five my father lies." which would make it 5 x 6 = 30feet.

Berowne said...

ChrisJ has just checked in with the correct answer.

rallentanda said...

I have no idea but I would like a
"sea change". I had no idea that was another gem of Will's . Gosh he was a genius.!

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Missed the quiz, but thanks, Roger, for mentioning a place I was once proud to call home: Bermuda. I didn't know that the Princess Hotel, where I was artist-in-residence, was the site of major letter intercepting and decoding between the States and Europe. Apparently, it all took place in their cavernous basement, as the locals wined and dined the pilots until they simply HAD to stay overnight! Amy

Kathe W. said...

oh duh- reading the answer I realized I should have figured it out. !!!

 
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