Fetch me a stoup of liquor.

Ah yes – and here’s where knowing other plays comes in a bit handy. Because Sir Toby Belch calls for a stoup of wine – and this makes me see the clown/gravedigger in relationship to Sir Toby. Perhaps they might have been played by the same actor.

Stoup isn’t used much in the plays – it is here, with a “drunken lout” in 12th Night and two villains in the plays, Iago and, later in this play, Claudius.

I wonder if there’s some association to be made between these characters who share a common word usage. Certainly Hamlet sees Claudius as a bit of a drunken relative when he observes the drinking revel ritual early in the play.

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