SEAM AND GREASE (COMMENT). I think that Professor Liberman’s association of “unseaming” with “guts” remains valid. My OED gives the usage of “seam” for “fat” or “grease” going back to 1200, with examples from 1483, 1513 and 1541. I think that for an Elizabethan audience, “unseaming” would evoke visions of a butcher at work. I also think that this meaning of “seam” would be evoked by the passage from Troilus and Cressida (II, iii, 183-189) and that this association would be reinforced by the later lines in the speech (lines 194-195):

By going to Achilles.
That were to enlard his fat-already pride….

In both cases, I think the metaphors operate in two different ways at once. I like this conclusion because, as I posted here, I read William Empson’s SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY when I was young and love it.

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