My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.

Until just this moment, I’d thought that Polonius’ news being fruit meant that it was going to grow up out of the feast, like the fruit of labors or something becoming fruit but it just occurred to me that it’s much more logical for it to be the order of dishes served at a feast. At some formal dinners I’ve been to, the fruit course finishes the meal. In some cultures, it’s not just for formal meals, but a tradition for most dinners. Knife, fork and fruit signals the end of the meal. Polonius’ news is likely that pear, that knife, that plate. Which makes me wonder about the norms for meals in Shakespeare’s England or Hamlet’s Denmark. Did Shakespeare have fruit after his meals? Or did he just know some Danes who always pulled out the berries after a formal dinner?

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