Copper for a Kiss
Monday, April 28, 2008

So,someone brought this line that (River says to Jayne in 'Ariel') up on the main threads a while ago, and I can't stop thinking about it.

It *does* sound so authentic that I actually looked it up as a possible fragment on a Shakespeare search page. (
The only hits I got for copper seem to suggest something which is false, passing itself off, not "true" in quality, or loyalty, character, when it concerns people. Shakespeare was a great man (in the literary sense). Somebody should make a statue of the Bard out of English mud. And write a song.



FERDINAND: Away, away! no time shall be omitted
That will betime, and may by us be fitted.

BIRON: Allons! allons! Sow'd cockle reap'd no corn;
And justice always whirls in equal measure:
Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
If so, our copper buys no better treasure.


PRINCE HENRY: Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?

FALSTAFF: A thousand pound, Ha! a million: thy love is worth
a million: thou owest me thy love.

Hostess: Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said he would
cudgel you.

FALSTAFF: Did I, Bardolph?

BARDOLPH: Indeed, Sir John, you said so.

FALSTAFF: Yea, if he said my ring was copper.

PRINCE HENRY: I say 'tis copper: darest thou be as good as thy word now?


CRESSIDA: My lord, will you be true?

TROILUS: Who, I? alas, it is my vice, my fault:
Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion,
I with great truth catch mere simplicity;
Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns,
With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.
Fear not my truth: the moral of my wit
Is 'plain and true;' there's all the reach of it.

So, that's all for now. I think we've got the general meaning of this much-analyzed phrase, just wanted to see if the idea had any literary roots.
Yeah, all. Thanks for commenting.
As I've said elsewhere, most notably the original thread--(go look it up,there are some cool theories)---the Jesus reference is probably intended, but somewhat modified by the copper part. I was just checking possible other inspirations since it sounded so literary.
For a more outright reference in this (ore) vein, check the Movie where Mr. Universe is "paid" by the Operative. I think he said something like "Where's my 30 coin?".


Tuesday, April 29, 2008 2:06 PM


Thanks Blue for clearing that up...I have been wondering about that myself

gentle journey,

Monday, April 28, 2008 12:16 PM


Actually? It's a Bible reference from the New Testament (can't name the exact Book right now) about Judas Iscariot receiving payment of 12 pieces of silver that later become transmuted to copper in exchange for betraying Jesus to Pontius Pilate and the Romans.

Shakespeare also called on said imagery with the above quotes...but Joss definitely meant for the audience to think of Jayne being a Judas figure in his efforts to turn the Tams over to the Alliance.



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