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 The Tempest, 1.1.48, "unstanched wench"

The Tempest,
Act 1, Scene 1, line 48.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary "unstanched" means "Not made staunch or watertight," and "staunch," as a verb, means "To stop the flow of (blood or other issue from the body); to stop the flow of blood from (a wound)," so it may be that an "unstanched wench" is a young woman who is not using a sanitary napkin to staunch her menstrual flow. It seems like an odd metaphor to use in a moment of crisis, but perhaps Gonzalo thinks it is humorous, as his way of calming everyone down is to make, and repeat, his joke about the Boatswain being destined for the gallows, and therefore safe against drowning.