One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A wall hanging made of a rich tapestry fabric, typically used to conceal an alcove.‘he pulled back the arras on the far wall and went into his secret chamber’
partition, divider, room divider, dividing wall, separator, curtain, blind, awning, shade, shutter, canopy, windbreakView synonyms
- ‘Polonius reports that he will spy on Hamlet's visit to Queen Gertrude by stowing himself behind an arras in her bedroom.’
- ‘Spying behind an arras, Polonius perceives Gertrude's danger and cries for help.’
- ‘Hamlet refrains from killing Claudius while he is at prayer, but stabs through the arras in his mother's bedroom, killing the old counsellor Polonius, before reprimanding his mother for her affection for Claudius.’
- ‘So when I, in my role as Polonius, was stabbed behind the arras, I collapsed to the floor and promptly fell asleep.’
- ‘Hamlet has just stabbed Polonius, but he hasn't lifted the arras yet; he still thinks it's the king who lies behind.’
- ‘Detecting the spy behind the curtain and mistaking him for King Claudius, Hamlet plunges his sword into the arras and slays Polonius.’
- ‘Frightened, Polonius, hiding behind the arras, cries out also.’
- ‘Polonius hides behind an arras and yelps when Hamlet's rage endangers the Queen.’
- ‘The moral is that good men always get stabbed behind the arras.’
- ‘When Hamlet knifes Polonius, the prince walks behind the arras to make sure he has finished the job, repeatedly stabbing the body.’
Late Middle English (originally denoting the fabric itself): named after the French town of Arras.
A town in north-eastern France; population 43,663 (2006). In medieval times it was a centre for the manufacture of tapestries.
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