Difference Creating Meaning

Author: Rylie Edwards

In the beginning of the lines Rosaline and Katherine discuss Berowne and Dumain. They share their opinions on the two men and their feelings towards them. Meanwhile the Princess is hesitant about her feelings towards the King and does not want to give him the letter from her father. The King tries to charm her and the ladies when entering. Boyet then proclaims to the princess that the King wants the women to camp in the field. In the Verse text he describes it as “To let you enter his unpeeled house” (line 451). The word unpeeled means “stripped of” or “closed off.” Boyet describes how the King wants them to go to the field almost as if it’s a battle. The diction is harsh as if the King has alternative intentions. When using “unpeeled” one can interpret that the land the King asks them to go to is stripped of authenticity. It also means closed off to everyone. The palace cannot be entered by anyone because of the contract.
In a modern version of Love’s Labor’s Lost, it states “his unpeopled house.” The difference of spelling between unpeeled and unpeopled creates similar, but different meanings. As stated previously the original text’s meaning is “stripped of.” The definition of unpeopled would be “without devoid or lacking retinue.” The modern text gives a clearer explanation of why the women must go to the land. The King will not break his oath for the women. He is making them meet in the land outside of the court, where it is “unpeopled” or without servants. The modern text allows the audience to observe the King’s loyalty to the oath. However, the modern translation is incorrect by saying “unpeopled.” This is because Shakespeare did not mean that the land is vacant, it is that nobody is allowed in there.
In the Oxford Scholarly Edition, the original and modern texts are the same spellings as in the previous text. The only prominent differences between the modern and original text are different spellings. This, however, can stray the audience away from the author’s initial meaning of the words. Both meanings create different interpretations of the text. The unpeeled and unpeopled example helps emphasize the King’s true personality. His controversial disobedience to the contract and his strange request of the meeting in the field shows his character. One must focus on the original text’s meaning because the modern text is incorrect with it’s translation of the word, “unpeeled.”