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I have heard that Humpty Dumpy was supposed to be a mocking reference to King Charles I of England.
09-11-1999, 04:04 PM
I heard Humpty Dumpty was an allegory of Christianity.
First of all you have Humpty Dumpty (HD) being an egg. This symbolizes mankind. We're all born from eggs.
"HD sat on a wall/HD had a great fall"
This is of course the fall of mankind or original sin
"All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put HD together again."
This symbolize Christianity's salvations thru faith and not good works.
You see "all the kings horses" (aka animal sacrifices the Jews used to do) "And all the king's men" (aka good works done by man to promote salvation. "Couldn't put HD together again." You see the king's horses or the king's men can't restore the "egg" (aka mankind) to a whole. Only the king (aka GOD) can do that.
According to Pliny
09-12-1999, 01:37 PM
My deja vu is getting worse every day I read this board. Here's another link:
09-12-1999, 02:34 PM
Certainly it is hard to dismiss out of hand political origins for nursery rhymes. Everyone knows the examples of Jack and Jill, and Little Jack Horner. However, in almost all of those cases, the authorities on origins agree as to the original meanings. The lack of a reference on Humpty Dumpty to anyone in English history by a credible source would tend to indicate it was more likely a riddle rhyme. Given the fact that there was a drink called a humpty-dumpty, I tend to think the drink is referenced by the rhyme.
C K Dexter Haven
09-13-1999, 12:28 AM
From the Greek:
Hump = having sexual relations with
Ty = reference to King Charles I (played by Tyrone Power in the film "Cromwell")
Dump = to end a relationship, as in "She dumped me"
Ty = reference to Paul of Tarsus (played by Tyrone Power in the film "The Road to Tarsus")
Thus the true meaning of "Humpty Dumpty" is ceasing to following Christianity (dumping Paul) and having a sexual relationship with Charles. Glad to have cleared that up.
WARNING: I have a rare skin disease of the keyboard that occasionally causes sarcasm to creep into postings, all unwittingly on my part.
C K Dexter Haven
09-13-1999, 12:39 AM
The link to the column is: http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mhumpty.html and this is a Mailbag column, not written by Cecil, but written by the Straight Dope Science Advisory Staff. Jill will presumably move it to the other forum.
Since the nursery rhyme seems to date to late 1700s or early 1800s, there's no reason to think it was a reference to Charles I (early 1600s, if I recollect.)
I contend that any short bit of childhood rhyme like that can be made to fit almost any interpretation you want to impose on it. Hence, Markxxx, your interpretation is as good as any, I suppose. It seems to me if it was a Christian allegory, however, it would end with some indication that the King DOES put the egg back together; that's noticably absent.
I could make an equally strong arguement that it is an allegory about the Clinton Impeachment.
"Humpty Dumpty" certainly has a sexual connotation (hump)
"sat on wall" = tried to stonewall investigation, did nothing
"had a great fall" = was impeached
"all the king's horses" and "all the king's men" = all the power of the presidency was unable to stop the impeachment, and the reputation of Clinton was broken forever.
See? easy. Silly, of course, but that's my point -- interpreting allegory is always a tricksy business.
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