Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Note to Hamlet, 5.1.110: "pair of indentures"

Act 5, Scene 1, line 110
"Pair of indentures" refers to two copies of a contract, originally written on a single sheet of paper, which was then cut or torn along a serrated line, like a line made by a pair teeth (thus indentures), so that it could be later shown that the resulting "pair of indentures" belonged together.

The sheet of paper used in making such a contracts was often quite large, large enough to wrap a skull in, so perhaps that is the source of Hamlet's comment about "the length and breadth of a pair of indentures."

In the image below, each text of the contract is written from so that it extends downward from the serrated line tear-line. This is so that when the two copies of the contract are compared they look exactly alike.