SEAMS AND SEWING (COMMENT). I posted here on Professor Biberman’s observation that in the phrase â€œhe unseamed him from the nave to thâ€™ chopsâ€, Shakespeare’s audience would be familiar with the use of “seam” to refer to “guts.” Trent commented that the sewing analogy is logical when applied to both the phrase from Macbeth and to another passage from Shakespeare. The passage is from Troilus and Cressida, and I am retyping it here because the quotation in the comments was garbled by the software. In the passage (II, iii, 183-189)), Ulysses is speaking about Achilles and his pride:
Shall the proud lord
That bastes his arrogance with his own seam,
And never suffers matter of the world
Enter his thoughts, save such as doth revolve
And ruminate himself, shall he be worshipp’d
Of that we hod an idol more than he?
I like to think of Shakespeare as a glovemaker’s son, so I am happy to have these sewing metaphors. (Note that the idea of unseaming by ripping out stitches and the idea of basting or preliminary sewing fit with the process of making gloves).