A-Z of Shakespeare – U
April 21, 2016 Leave a comment
Today’s Shakespearean word of the day is… urchin
Warning! Don’t read in the meaning of ‘a poorly dressed boy’.
An urchin is a spirit in the form of a hedgehog! In The Tempest, Prospero threatens Caliban: ‘Urchins / Shall, for that vast of night that they may work, / All exercise on thee’ (The Tempest, 2.2.5).
As you might expect, a spirit apparition in the form of a hedgehog is called an urchin-show.
This definition is taken from the Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary, a unique dictionary to unlock the mysteries of Shakespeare’s world, words and language, compiled by renowned English language expert David Crystal and Shakespearean actor and producer Ben Crystal.