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Poniard apparently interchangeable with dagger

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apparently interchangeable with dagger, as suggested in Spanish Tragedy where Hieronimo contemplating suicide enters “with a poniard in on hand, and a rope in the other” and subsequently “flings away the dagger and halter” (3.12.0,19); elsewhere the poniard is associated with suicide when a jailer brings Antiochus a “poniard and halter” (Believe as You List, 1915; see also Duchess of Malfi, 3.2.71); figures a directed to draw (Guardian, 3.6.40; Example, D2v), show (Fair Maid of the Inn, 208; Traitor, 3.3.76), stab with poniards (Traitor, 4.2.111; Albovine, 86, 102); Love’s Sacrifice provides “draws his poniard and stabs her” (2544-5); for figures who enter with a poniard see Friar Bacon, 945; Noble Spanish Soldier, 4.1.0; Match Me In London, 4.5.0; Broken Heart, 3.2.118; Piero enters “unbraced, his arms bare, smeared in blood, a poniard in one hand, bloody, and a torch in the other” (Antonio’s Revenge, 1.1.0, also 3.2.86); two plays specify a naked poniard (Messalina, 951; Cruel Brother, 122); variations include: “Offers to stab, lets the poniard fall” (Herod and Antipater, B4v; See also Julia Agrippina, 5.522-3), “Pretending a violent stab he flings away the Poniard” (Messalina, 1181-2), “discovers the duke’s picture, a poniard sticking in it” (Traitor, 5.2.22).

Alan C. Dessen and Leslie Thomson, A Dictionary of Stage Directions in English Drama 1580-1642 (Cambridge: CUP, 1999), p. 168

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