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G

Gall see Bile, Wormwood

Garden The two most influential gardens in western literature are both biblical: the

garden of Eden and the ‘‘garden enclosed’’ of the Song of Solomon (4.12).

‘‘And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden’’ (Gen. 2.8) -- ‘‘Eden’’

by tradition means ‘‘delight’’ or ‘‘luxury’’ -- with a river and pleasant trees

bearing edible fruit (9--10). When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge

they were expelled from the garden, and human history began. Nothing is

said about regaining the garden until Isaiah writes, ‘‘For the Lord shall

comfort Zion . . . and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like

the garden of the Lord’’ (51.3), whereafter it looms large in messianic hopes.

Nowhere in the Hebrew Bible is this garden called Paradise. ‘‘Paradise’’

comes from Greek paradeisos, which the writers of the Septuagint (Greek Old

Testament) used to translate ‘‘garden’’ in Genesis; the Greek word comes from

Old Persian pairi-daeza, ‘‘around-wall,’’ ‘‘enclosure,’’ and then ‘‘park’’ or

‘‘garden.’’ Late Hebrew pardes, borrowed from Persian, is used three times in

the Old Testament for various other gardens or orchards, including the one in

the Song of Solomon (4.13). In the New Testament ‘‘paradise’’ is the heavenly

kingdom. Jesus tells one of those crucified with him, ‘‘Today shalt thou be

with me in paradise’’ (Luke 23.43). John of Patmos is told by Christ to say, ‘‘To

him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst

of the paradise of God’’ (Rev. 2.7).

The garden of the Song is metaphorical and erotic: ‘‘A garden enclosed is

my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed’’ (4.12); ‘‘I am come

into my garden, my sister, my spouse’’ (5.1); ‘‘My beloved is gone down into his

garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies’’ (6.2).

Perhaps as far back as Sumerian literature the word for ‘‘garden’’ has stood for

the body of a woman; Greek kepos and Latin hortus were occasionally used to

refer to a womans sexual parts. The frank eroticism of the Song, however, was

a difficulty for both Jewish and Christian theologians. Though it was thought

to be a wedding song of Solomon and a Shulamite woman, it was taken

allegorically as the wedding of God with Israel or of Christ with the soul, the

church, or the Virgin Mary. ‘‘Thou, O Virgin, art a garden enclosed,’’ St.

Ambrose wrote, ‘‘preserve thy fruits.’’ Some Protestant theologians were so

embarrassed by the Song as to argue that it had only an allegorical meaning,

like a code or rebus. The sensual language of the song, in any case, entered

into Christian liturgy and then into literature. A poem attributed to Donne,

for example, addressed to the Virgin, begins ‘‘O Frutefull garden, and yet

never tilde.’’

But the garden continued its literary life as both setting for and symbol of

love encounters. Shakespeare makes the ancient equation explicit when he

urges his friend to have children: ‘‘many maiden gardens, yet unset

[unplanted], / With virtuous wish would bear your living flowers’’ (Sonnets 16);

and more elaborately his Venus invites Adonis: ‘‘Ill be a park, and thou shalt

be my deer: / Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale; / Graze on my

lips; and if those hills be dry, / Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie’’

(Venus and Adonis 231--34). Many other literary gardens stand for the erotic or

sensual life without such explicit mappings, such as the Garden of Pleasure in

The Romance of the Rose, the Bower of Bliss in Spensers Faerie Queene (2.12), or,

less explicitly, the garden where Julien seduces Mme de Re nal in Stendhals

The Red and the Black. As Guyon violently eradicates the Bower of Bliss, the boy

Wordsworth violates the ‘‘dear nook’’ where hazels grow, a ‘‘virgin scene’’

(‘‘Nutting’’ 16--21). A larger context for this symbolism, of course, is the

ancient tradition of a ‘‘married land’’ (Hebrew beulah), or ‘‘virgin land’’ to be

conquered and ‘‘planted.’’ (See Nature.)

The significance of gardens also overlaps with that of bowers, groves,

orchards, and other pleasant places. In a tradition beginning with the

garden of Alcinous in Homers Odyssey 8, the locus amoenus, Latin for ‘‘pleasant

place’’ or ‘‘pleasance,’’ is given increasingly elaborate descriptions. Some of the

conventions (shady trees, a spring or brook, flowers, birds) entered Christian

accounts of the garden of Eden.

Isaiahs prophecy that Zion will become the garden of the Lord seems

ultimately to lie behind the scene in Shakespeares Richard II where the

Gardener uses terms from statecraft to describe his duties, after which his

assistant asks why they should keep the garden orderly ‘‘When our sea-walled

garden, the whole land, / Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers chocked up, / Her

fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined, / Her knots [flower beds]

disordered, and her wholesome herbs / Swarming with caterpillars?’’

(3.4.43--47). To Hamlet this world (and Denmark in particular) is ‘‘an unweeded

garden / That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature / Possess it

merely [entirely]’’ (1.2.135--37).

The ‘‘plot’’ of the Bible -- from the loss of the earthly Eden in the third

chapter of Genesis to the promise of the heavenly Jerusalem in the final

chaper of Revelation -- is also the plot, much more succinct, of Miltons

Paradise Lost. ‘‘Of mans first disobedience,’’ it begins, ‘‘and the fruit / Of that

forbidden tree whose mortal taste / Brought death into the world, and all our

woe, / With loss of Eden, till one greater Man / Restore us, and regain the

blissful seat’’ (1.1--5); it ends, after Michael tells Adam, ‘‘[thou] shalt possess / A

Paradise within thee, happier far,’’ as Adam and Eve ‘‘Through Eden took their

solitary way’’ (12.586--87, 649). This pattern, with the interiorization of the lost

Eden, governs the plots of many works of modern literature. Wordsworths

autobiographical epic The Prelude begins with an Edenic moment -- ‘‘O there is

blessing in this gentle breeze / That blows from the green fields’’ (1.1--2) -- and

soon describes his Edenic childhood in gardenly terms: ‘‘Fair seed-time had my

soul, and I grew up / Fostered alike by beauty and by fear, / Much favoured in

my birthplace, and no less / In that beloved vale to which erelong / I was

transplanted’’ (1.305--09). He passes through the wilderness of political commitments

and disaffections, loses and regains his imagination (book 11), and

ends by vowing that he and Coleridge will teach others ‘‘how the mind of

man becomes / A thousand times more beautiful than the earth / On which

he dwells’’ (13.446--48; all 1805 version). Coleridges ‘‘Kubla Khan’’ draws heavily

on Miltons Eden (book 4) for the description of Xanadu, the emperors walled

pleasure garden, which is lost (it seems) through warfare, but which might be

regained in music by a poet who has ‘‘drunk the milk of Paradise.’’ Keatss

many bowers for escaping the fever and fret of the world include poetry itself,

‘‘All lovely tales,’’ things of beauty that ‘‘still will keep / A bower quiet for us’’

(Endymion 1.1--24). Burnetts The Secret Garden is not alone among childrens

books that center on a secret paradise. T. S. Eliots Four Quartets begins with an

evocation of a rose-garden, ‘‘our first world,’’ where ‘‘the leaves were full of

children,’’ (‘‘Burnt Norton’’ sec. 1) and concludes with the hope that we may

hear again ‘‘the children in the apple tree’’ and ‘‘arrive where we started / And

know the place for the first time’’ (‘‘Little Gidding’’ sec. 5).

A contributor to this pattern is the classical tradition of retirement from

the tumult of civic affairs to the quiet solitude of farm or garden. Virgils

description of an ideal garden and a worthy old gardener who feels as wealthy

as kings (Georgics 4.116--48) has had a large influence. Probably the greatest

meditation on gardens in English is Marvells ‘‘The Garden,’’ where the speaker

turns his back on the ‘‘uncessant Labours’’ of public endeavor, embraces

repose, solitude, and the ‘‘wondrous Life’’ of lovely green and luscious fruits

that drop about his head, and feels like Adam in ‘‘that happy Garden-state’’

before the Fall. In the famous ending of Voltaires Candide this tradition

culminates: abandoning the world about which he had philosophized in vain,

Candide insists, Il faut cultiver notre jardin, ‘‘We must dig in our garden.’’

Candide labors, whereas Marvells speaker just picks up fallen fruit: this

contrast in effect repeats the debate between nature and art (artifice) that

often took place in and about gardens. A brief but charming example is the

exchange between Perdita and Polixenes in Shakespeares Winter’s Tale

(4.4.79--103). How to lay out a real garden was much debated as well, from the

Renaissance through the Romantic era, and a good deal of cultural history is

refracted in the development from the more ‘‘artificial’’ and geometrical style

of the Italian and (especially) the French gardens to the more ‘‘natural,’’ less

‘‘planned’’ look of the English garden.

A book of poems, finally, might be called a ‘‘garden,’’ as the individual

poems are ‘‘flowers’’. (See Flower.) Examples range from one of Goethes Roman

Elegies, which introduces the set -- ‘‘Here my garden is planted, here I tend the

flowers of Love’’ -- to Stevensons A Child’s Garden of Verses.

See Seed, Serpent

Ghost see Bat

Glass see Mirror

Glory see Fame or glory

Goat The pastoral economies of the ancient Mediterranean depended on goats as

well as sheep, especially for milk. It was a goat, or goat-nymph, Amaltheia,

that nursed the infant Zeus, and one of Zeuss epithets in Homer, aigioxos,

usually translated ‘‘aegis-bearing,’’ may instead be derived directly from aix,

‘‘goat’’ (Pope translates it ‘‘goat-nursd’’ at Odyssey 9.330 = 9.275 in the Greek).

Goats milk is still a common food in Greece and elsewhere in the region.

Aside from nourishing Zeus, goats have another claim on literary history,

for the word ‘‘tragedy,’’ Greek tragoidia, seems to mean ‘‘goat-song,’’ or

‘‘performance by a goat-singer.’’ Just how goats came into it remains a

mystery: perhaps men in goat dress sang and danced, or a goat was sacrificed

to Dionysus the patron of tragedy, or a goat was given as a prize for the best

performance (the opinion of Horace in Ars Poetica 220).

In classical as well as Hebrew culture goats were offered as sacrifices. The

most symbolically interesting of these was the scapegoat. As it is explained in

Leviticus, the priest is to take two goats and decide by lot to sacrifice one as a

sin offering but let the other live and ‘‘let him go for a scapegoat into the

wilderness’’; before it is let free ‘‘Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the

head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of

Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the

head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the

wilderness’’ (16.10, 21). There is reason to believe that some of the abuse of

Christ during the Passion is derived from scapegoat rituals in use at the time.

‘‘Scapegoat’’ is used by literary critics to refer to characters such as Malvolio in

Shakespeares Twelfth Night or Shylock in Merchant of Venice who are banished

from society, or at least excluded from the comic reconciliation, at the

end.

Goats are proverbially lecherous. Horace calls one libidinosus (Epodes 10.23).

Spenser depicts Lechery riding on a bearded goat (FQ 1.4.24). A ‘‘lecherous’’

‘‘whoremaster,’’ according to Shakespeares Edmund, has a ‘‘goatish

disposition’’ (Lear 1.2.124--28); Iago links goats with monkeys and wolves as

exemplars of lust (Othello 3.3.403--04; see also 4.1.263).

Pan, the Greek goat-god, was notably randy, and he seems to have lent some

of his physical and moral traits to Christian depictions of the devil, such as

his beard, the ‘‘goatee.’’

‘‘To separate the sheep from the goats’’ means to ‘‘distinguish the good

from the evil.’’ The phrase comes from Matthew 25.31--46, which describes the

Last Judgment; the goats are the sinners, and are damned. (See Left and right,

Sheep.)

‘‘Goat,’’ now the generic term, once meant the female, with ‘‘buck’’ reserved

for the male; in the fourteenth century ‘‘he-goat’’ and ‘‘she-goat’’ came into

use, then ‘‘billy-goat’’ and ‘‘nanny-goat’’; a young goat is a kid.

Gold Gold is the first of metals. ‘‘Gold, like fire blazing / in the night, shines

preeminent amid lordly wealth,’’ says Pindar (Olymp. 1.1--2). Its beauty and

purity gave it divine status in biblical as well as classical culture; untarnishable

and thus immortal, it belongs to the gods -- ‘‘gold is the child of

Zeus’’ (Pindar, frag. 222). Hera, Artemis, and Eos (Dawn) have golden thrones,

Hera a golden chariot, Zeus and Apollo golden whips, Iris golden wings, Zeus

golden scales, Artemis and Ares golden reins, Calypso and Circe golden

‘‘zones’’ (girdles), and Aphrodite herself is golden, all in Homer. The gods sit in

council on a golden floor, drinking out of golden cups (Iliad 4.2--3), Aphrodite

leaves her fathers golden house (Sappho, ‘‘Ode’’ 8), ‘‘Ye golden gods’’ is an

interjection in Aristophanes (Frogs 483). The tabernacle of the Israelites is to

have ‘‘a mercy seat of pure gold’’ and ‘‘two cherubims of gold’’ (Exod. 25.17--18),

while the New Jerusalem is ‘‘pure gold,’’ and ‘‘the street of the city was pure

gold’’ (Rev. 21.18, 21).

‘‘Golden’’ is applied to whatever is best or most excellent, such as the

golden rule, the golden verses of Pythagoras, or the golden mean. The last of

these is found first in Horace, who recommends neither daring the deep nor

hugging the shore but cultivating the auream . . . mediocritatem (2.10.5). There

was a golden race, who ‘‘lived like gods, with carefree heart, remote from toil

and misery,’’ according to Hesiod (Works and Days 112--13); in Ovid the time this

race lived becomes the golden age. (See Metal.)

The sun is golden -- Pindar again has ‘‘the golden strength of the sun’’ (Pyth.

4.144), while Shakespeare has the suns ‘‘gold complexion’’ (Sonnets 18) --

whereas the moon is silver. ‘‘Sol gold is, and Luna silver we threpe [assert],’’

says Chaucers Canon Yeoman (826). Yeats ends his ‘‘Song of Wandering

Aengus’’ with ‘‘The silver apples of the moon, / The golden apples of the sun.’’

It was an ancient belief that gold was begotten by the fire of the sun and that

veins of gold in the earth slowly burned what they touched. Blake demands,

‘‘Bring me my Bow of burning gold’’ (Milton 1.9).

Gold burns in another sense, for it is a spiritual danger, a cause of

wickedness. The faithless Israelites built a golden calf, idolators made idols of

gold. Propertius observes that ‘‘Religion is vanquished, all men worship gold’’

(3.13.47). Aeneas cries, ‘‘To what, accursed lust for gold, do you / not drive the

hearts of men?’’ (Virgil, Aeneid 3.56--57). Horace notes that gold has broken

through city gates where force failed (3.16.9--18). Shakespeares Romeo calls it

‘‘saint-seducing gold’’ (1.1.214) and ‘‘worse poison to mens souls’’ than the

drug he has just bought from the apothecary (5.1.80). In King Lears view,

‘‘Plate sin with gold, / And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks’’

 (4.6.165--66). ‘‘Judges and Senates have been bought for gold,’’ says Pope (Essay

on Man 4.187). Byron observes that the Age of Gold was the age ‘‘When gold

was yet unknown’’ (Don Juan 6.436).

A medieval Latin saying, ‘‘All that shines is not gold,’’ is repeated by

Chaucers Canon Yeoman: ‘‘But al thyng which that shineth as the gold / Nis

nat gold’’ (962--63); Cervantes Sancho Panza (Don Quixote 2.33); the scroll in the

golden casket of Shakespeares Merchant of Venice (2.7.65); and many others.

Goose Wild migrating geese are mentioned casually twice by Homer, and once he

likens a warrior among enemies to a vulture among geese (Iliad 17.460).

Domestic barnyard geese, however, play a significant symbolic part in the

Odyssey. While visiting Menelaus and Helen, Telemachus sees a mountain eagle

carrying a white goose from a yard; Helen interprets the omen to mean that

Odysseus will return home and take revenge on the suitors (15.160--78). The

same meanings are elaborated in Penelopes dream, in which twenty tame

geese are killed by a mountain eagle, who then speaks, telling her he is her

husband and the geese her suitors (19.535--53). The suitors have been fattening

themselves idly in Odysseus house; they will be no match for the eagle.

Geese may seem foolish, hapless, or helpless. ‘‘Goose’’ means ‘‘fool’’ or ‘‘silly

one’’ in several modern languages, and Chaucer uses the adjective ‘‘goosish’’ of

people who dream things that never were (Troilus 3.583). But the Romans were

grateful to the geese of the Capitol, whose honking warned the citizens of a

surreptitious attack by the Gauls in 390 bc. The event is alluded to in Virgils

Aeneid 8.655; Ovid mentions it in Metamorphoses 2.539 and Fasti 1.453. Ovid also

refers to geese as good guards: they are ‘‘more sagacious than dogs’’ (Met.

11.599; see also 8.684). In his catalogue of birds Chaucer lists ‘‘The waker goos’’

(Parliament of Fowls 358); and Sidney may suggest this virtue when he names

‘‘the Gooses good intent’’ as characteristic (First Eclogues 10.80).

Since at least the seventeenth century the phrase ‘‘all his geese are swans’’

has meant ‘‘he sees his things or deeds as greater than they are.’’ It lies

behind Byrons quip about the poet Landor, who ‘‘has taken for a swan rogue

Southeys gander’’ (Don Juan 11.472), and perhaps behind Stevens’ ‘‘Invective

against Swans,’’ which begins, ‘‘The soul, O ganders, flies beyond the parks.’’

(See Swan.)

The source of nursery rhymes called ‘‘Mother Goose’’ can be traced to

seventeenth-century France (‘‘Mere Oye’’) and perhaps farther back to a

German ‘‘Fru Gosen.’’

When Joyces Stephen Dedalus muses on his time in France he recalls a

young Irishman who was a ‘‘Son of a wild goose’’ (Ulysses, ‘‘Proteus’’). The wild

geese were Irishmen who emigrated to France or Spain after defeats by the

English, especially the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Grain see Bread

Grape see Wine

Grasshopper see Cicada

Green The Greek word translated as ‘‘green’’ or ‘‘yellow-green,’’ chloros (whence

English ‘‘chlorophyll’’), had a broader range of meanings than the color, just

as our ‘‘green’’ can mean ‘‘unripe’’ or ‘‘naıve’’ without a color reference.

Though it is cognate with English ‘‘yellow’’ and ‘‘gold,’’ the primary sense of

Greek chloros may have been ‘‘sappy’’ or ‘‘having sap,’’ and hence ‘‘vital’’ or

‘‘vigorous.’’ The Greeks associated life and youth with moisture (water, blood,

juice, sap, semen, and so on) and old age and death with dryness. Homer calls

freshly cut or unseasoned wood chloros as we call it green (e.g., Odyssey 9.379).

Euripides speaks of ‘‘green flowers’’ (Iphigenia at Aulis 1297), and in other Greek

poets we find dew, tears, honey, wine, and even blood all modified by chloros.

The Latin word for ‘‘green,’’ viridis (whence English ‘‘verdant’’), could also

mean ‘‘youthful’’ or ‘‘vigorous’’ as well as ‘‘naıve,’’ but it does not seem to have

had the wide range of chloros. On the other hand its likely kinship to other

Latin words suggests an older sense like ‘‘sappy’’ or ‘‘juicy’’: vir, ‘‘man’’ or

‘‘male’’ (whence English ‘‘virile’’ and ‘‘virtue’’) as source of semen; ver, ‘‘spring’’

(whence English ‘‘vernal’’) as the season of sap or moist life; virga, ‘‘green

twig,’’ whence virgo, ‘‘virgin.’’ Virgil speaks of ‘‘green youth’’ (viridique iuventa)

in Aeneid 5.295, and Catullus worries about a ‘‘girl in her greenest flower’’

(viridissimo . . . flore puella) who might go astray (17.14).

English ‘‘green’’ itself is related to ‘‘grow’’ and ‘‘grass.’’

The primary association of the color green, of course, is the herbage and

foliage of nature, especially in spring and summer. In April, Chaucer says, the

mead is clothed ‘‘With newe grene’’ (TC 1.157). Thomson cries, ‘‘gay Green! /

Thou smiling Natures universal Robe!’’ (Spring 83--84). Gardens are green, as

Marvells ‘‘The Garden’’ memorably reports: ‘‘No white nor red was ever seen /

So amrous as this lovely green’’; withdrawn into the garden, the poets meditating

mind reduces everything ‘‘To a green thought in a green shade’’ (17--18,

48). (Virgil also has a ‘‘green shade’’ in Eclogues 9.20.) ‘‘ ‘Tis the green wind of

May time / That suddenly wakes,’’ according to Clare (‘‘Spring Wind’’). Dylan

Thomass famous opening lines, ‘‘The force that through the green fuse drives

the flower / Drives my green age,’’ begin an account of a more violent kinship

with nature. Midsummer, according to Wallace Stevens, ‘‘is the natural tower

of all the world, / The point of survey, greens green apogee’’ (‘‘Credences of

Summer’’); in several poems Stevens plays the green of nature against the blue

of art or imagination. (See Blue.) The prominence of green in the medieval

poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight may derive from a popular belief in a

‘‘green man’’ representing the cycle of the seasons.

Spenser says that ‘‘greene is for maydens meete’’ (SC ‘‘August’’ 68), as a sign

of their youth and unripeness. From here it is a step to the meaning of

‘‘green’’ as ‘‘naıve,’’ ‘‘gullible,’’ or ‘‘foolish,’’ as we found in the Catullus passage

above. Shakespeares Polonius tells his daughter Ophelia, ‘‘Pooh, you speak like

a green girl’’ (Hamlet 1.3.101); Cleopatra recalls ‘‘My salad days, / When I was

green in judgment’’ (AC 1.5.73--74); Iago connects ‘‘folly and green minds’’

(Othello 2.1.244). Shelley writes of a disease that pierced ‘‘Into the core of my

green heart’’ (Epipsychidion 263).

A disease called ‘‘green sickness’’ (chlorosis) in the sixteenth century afflicted

young people, usually girls, at puberty; unhealthy desires were attributed to

it, and hence frustration. It seems to have been a kind of anemia, and the pale

green was perhaps mainly due to the absence of a healthy reddish color.

When Juliet resists her fathers plan to marry her to Paris, he shouts ‘‘Out, you

green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage!’’ (RJ 3.5.156), and shouts more truly

than he knows. Falstaff thinks failure to drink strong wine produces ‘‘a kind

of male green-sickness’’ (2H4, 4.3.93). Viola tells the Duke that Olivia ‘‘never

told her love . . . : she pind in thought, / And with a green and yellow

melancholy / She sat like Patience on a monument, / Smiling at grief’’ (12N

2.4.111--16). Perhaps this is why Armado says ‘‘Green indeed is the color of

lovers’’ (LLL 1.2.86).

Consonant with this sense is the connection of green with envy and

jealousy. Romeo thinks of the ‘‘envious moon’’ as a pale maid, ‘‘sick and

green’’ before Juliets sun (RJ 2.2.4--8). Portia speaks of ‘‘green-eyed jealousy’’

(MV 3.2.110), while Iago brings it about by warning Othello: ‘‘O, beware my

Lord of jealousy; / It is the green-eyd monster, which doth mock / The meat it

feeds on’’ (Othello 3.3.165--67). Blakes nurse in Songs of Experience (‘‘Nurses

Song’’) listens to the children at play and ‘‘The days of my youth rise fresh in

my mind, / My face turns green and pale.’’ Envy and jealousy, according to the

humor theory, are a function of yellow bile or gall, Greek chole (related to

chloros), but the origin of this use of ‘‘green’’ may be Homers use of chloros as a

frequent epithet of deos, ‘‘fear’’ -- ‘‘Green fear took hold of them’’ (Iliad 7.479).

As with the green sickness, green seemed the right color for a man when the

blood drained from his face.

Because it is the color of young vegetation and springtime, green is

sometimes also the color of hope, especially the Christian hope of salvation

(though more often hope is blue). Green is found in Dantes Purgatorio, the

realm of hope (as opposed to hell, where hope is abandoned, and heaven,

where hope is unnecessary). Even in this life, Dante says, no one is so lost that

eternal love cannot return, ‘‘as long as hope has a green flower’’ (3.135). Two

angels appear in garments ‘‘as green as newborn leaves’’ and with green wings

to guard the valley of the rulers (8.28--29), and when Beatrice appears at the

top of the mountain she wears a green cape (30.32). Sor Juana de la Cruz

dismisses worldly hope as delusory, but it is also green, and those who are in

its grip look through ‘‘green spectacles’’ (‘‘A la esperanza’’).

Green is often the color of the sea. Shakespeares Macbeth despairs that the

sea will not wash off Duncans blood but rather the blood will make ‘‘the

green one red’’ (2.2.62). Antony vaunts that he has sent ships to found cities

‘‘oer green Neptunes back’’ (AC 4.14.58). Neptune is ‘‘green-eyd’’ in Miltons

early Vacation Exercise (43); in Paradise Lost fish ‘‘Glide under the green Wave’’

(7.402).

Perhaps because it is the color of vegetation, which changes with the

season, green is sometimes the color of inconstancy, as we find in Chaucers

‘‘Against Women Unconstant,’’ and in the Squire’s Tale (646--47), in both places

contrasting with the blue of faithfulness. Spensers Lechery wears ‘‘a greene

gowne’’ (FQ 1.4.25).

Grotto see Cave

Gull A gullible person is a gull; he can be gulled or duped or tricked. The relation

of this set of words with the name of the seabird is unclear. ‘‘Gull’’ sometimes

meant a young unfledged bird of any sort (Shakespeare uses it in this

sense occasionally), hence perhaps a naive person, easily fooled. The verb

‘‘gull’’ could also mean ‘‘cram’’ or ‘‘gorge’’ (into someones gullet), hence

perhaps to feed falsehoods to a dupe, to make a dupe swallow something.

Shakespeares Malvolio is called a gull by those who ‘‘practice’’ on him (12N

3.2.66) and by himself: he was ‘‘made the most notorious geck [fool] and gull /

That eer invention playd on’’ (5.1.342--43). Emilia screams at Othello ‘‘O gull,

O dolt,’’ after he has strangled Desdemona (Othello 5.2.164). A character in

Dickens is described as ‘‘the blundering cheat -- gull that he was, for all his

cunning’’ (Martin Chuzzlewit, chap. 28).

The Italian verb for ‘‘gull’’ is uccellare, from uccello, ‘‘bird.’’ Machiavelli uses it

in Mandragola 1.3, where Callimaco plots to ‘‘bird’’ Nicia so he can bed his

wife.

Joyce implicitly evokes the verb as he has Leopold Bloom throw a crumpled

paper ball among the gulls looking for a meal. But they dont go for it. ‘‘Not

such damn fools,’’ Bloom thinks. The ball was made of a leaflet advertising a

religious revivalist. Neither Bloom nor the gulls are so easily gulled (Ulysses

8.152 Random House).