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, 5.1.39: "confess thyself"

Act 5, Scene 1, line 39
First Clown probably means to say, "Confess thyself and be hanged," but the Second Clown interrupts by saying "Go to."

"Confess thyself and be hanged" was a common insult, which had its origin in the fact that before a person was hanged, they were supposed to make a confession of sins to save their souls. Thus a person who is hopeless, clueless, lame, stupid, oblivious, or otherwise worthless can be told that they should "confess thyself and be hanged," because there is absolutely nothing else for them to do.