I say, madam, then the gods send me a woman's hate.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by DeeDol, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. DeeDol Senior Member

    Hi, this is from Endymion, or The Man in the Moon by John Lyly.

    Cynthia: A strange effect of love, to work such an extreme hate. How say you, Endymion? All this was for love.
    Endymion: I say, madam, then the gods send me a woman's hate.

    Context: This is the end of the play. Tellus (f) was in love with Endymion (m) but he fell for Cynthia (f, godess). Tellus had Endymion cursed and he slept until Cynthia kissed him. In the end, Tellus confesses to her evil deed, saying that she did it out of love. This is the reaction. What does the bold part mean? Why is it in the present tense ("send")?
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  2. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    Endymion is saying that if such a terrible thing could be done in the name of a woman's love, he'd rather have a woman's hate. In other words, the result of this "love" was so unwelcome that he claims to prefer hatred.
  3. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member


    This is highly literary English. In the sentence...

    "...send..." is not an indicative but a subjunctive, meaning "may the gods send me...". Endymion means "If that [the damaging effects of the curse] is what a woman's [Tellus'] love can do, then I'd rather be on the receiving end of her hatred". It is highly ironic, and in the context, rhetorically sarcastic.

    It's comparable with the idiomatic proverb, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?".


    Cross-posted with Just Kate.
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    Endymion is saying that if that is what a woman's love is like, he would rather have a woman's hate!

    the gods send me ----> let the gods send me / may the gods send me

    In modern English

    If that is what it is like to be loved by a woman, I would prefer the gods to send me a woman that hates me.

    (Cross-posted - It seems we all agree!)
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014

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