As the scene opens, Ophelia and Laertes sit in their father's apartment; she examines the photograph while Laertes speaks: "Perhaps he loves you now, / and now no soil nor cautel
doth besmirch / the virtue of his will" (1.3.14-6).
the persona of the cautel pretends a conservative viewpoint and here imparts advice regarding the preservation of communion hosts, suggesting storing them in closed boxes inside the chimney to keep them dry; breathing gently, not roughly, at the time of consecration; only consecrating hosts on a fair, clear day (if possible), and laying them out on a cloth on the church roof to dry in the sun.
The most notable response to this inundation of controversial literature was the royal proclamation Silencing Disputes on the Eucharist of 27 December 1547, which strove to restrain public debate on the sacrament of the altar, but which, at the same time, urged the people to affirm `that holy bread to be Christ's body, and that cup to be the cup of His holy blood'.(1) A topical illustration of the kind of scurrilous tract which the authorities were endeavouring to silence is Luke Shepherd's anti-Catholic prose work Cauteles preseruatory.
is Researcher, Research Center, Philippe Pinel Institute of Montreal.
More parodie is Shepherd's brief tract, Cautels
preservatory concerning the preservation of the gods which are kept in the pyx, thought to be printed in 1548.
While acknowledging that "[s]ource studies are not in vogue today," and that there are "obvious hermeneutic limits to an analysis of an artist's sources" (168)--caveats that may, by this point in the study, seem to come a bit late--Erne discusses the relationship between Kyd's play and the tale from Henry Wotton's Courtlie Controversie of Cupids Cautels
(1578) upon which it is based.
Myers, which claims to have solved the puzzle.(3) The argument put forward by Myers is that it is the account of Ponifre - the ambitious steward in Henry Wotton's A courtlie controuersie of Cupids cautels
(1578) who seduces Fleuria, the daughter of a rich Almanian merchant - that lies behind Ophelia's exclamation.