Set me the stoups of wine upon that table.

It’s funny to see something that I associated with Sir Toby Belch in the mouth of King Claudius. Weirdly, I feel like I was equally exposed to these two plays – as they were the ones I performed in rep at my first job out of college. But if I had to match a phrase to a character, a stoup of wine would go direct to Toby Belch and miss Claudius entirely. It’s not necessarily a sign of character, this “stoup” business. It’s pretty much just a cup. Well, it’s a big cup. It’s a tankard. Which does feel like a Toby Belch thing. Though, if Hamlet’s perspective is accurate – Claudius does have a bit of Toby in him. He does seem to have brought back some intense drinking rituals to Elsinore – so his calling for stoups, as opposed to a glass or a cup or a dram, may indeed be a sign of character.

Are there any characters who refer to stoups of wine that aren’t big drinkers?


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