in some respects makes a beast a man, in 'some other', [singular or plural]

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&ee

Member
English - British
  • “O powerful love, that in some respects makes a beast a man, in some other, a man a beast.” - Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor.
This is a source of dispute between my Spanish linguist girlfriend and myself! It may seem like a strange question, but how many respects does some other refer to?

a) one only;
b) more than one;
c) either of the above (i.e. one or more.)

Put simply, singular or plural? Also, if you know, might the interpretation have been different in Shakespeare's time?

Thanks in advance.
 
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  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hello &ee - welcome to the forums!

    I would say that the only way you could "expand" the quote would be as follows:
    • “O powerful love, that in some respects makes a beast a man, in some other respects, a man a beast.”
    In other words, "some other" is plural - more than one:).
     

    &ee

    Member
    English - British
    Hello &ee - welcome to the forums!

    I would say that the only way you could "expand" the quote would be as follows:
    • “O powerful love, that in some respects makes a beast a man, in some other respects, a man a beast.”
    In other words, "some other" is plural - more than one:).
    In that case, wouldn't the shorter version be some others (or simply others) rather than some other ?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Yes, in a sense: if I were writing the sentence today, I'd almost certainly use "some others" (or just "others"):).
     

    &ee

    Member
    English - British
    Yes, in a sense: if I were writing the sentence today, I'd almost certainly use "some others" (or just "others"):).
    My thinking goes like this:
    "Some idiot left the door open" - singular.
    "Some things are difficult to understand" - plural.

    So here we have some other, which I understand to be one thing - one of the aspects of love, and specifically the one aspect which makes a man a beast as opposed to one of the several aspects which do the reverse. We should perhaps modernise it and say person rather than man, but I don't want to get into that :)
     
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