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Home :: Archive :: 1992 :: October ::
Rs: Hero's Mother
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 280.  Thursday, 29 October 1992.
 
(1)	From: 	John Drakakis <
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	Date: 	Thursday, Oct. 29, 1992, 20:35:13 GMT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 3.0278 Re: Hero's Mother
 
(2)	From: 	Peter David Seary <
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	Date: 	Thursday, Oct. 29, 1992, 12:51:00 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 3.0278  Re: Hero's Mother
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
From: 		John Drakakis <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Date: 		Thursday, Oct. 29, 1992, 20:35:13 GMT
Subject: 3.0278 Re: Hero's Mother
Comment: 	Re: SHK 3.0278 Re: Hero's Mother
 
Tom Bishop's familiar suggestion that the figure of Leonato's wife
"Innogen" was excluded from performance because Shakespeare lacked "a
place for her in the developing plot" and that he needed to "exclude
senior female authorities (sic) from laughing or cursing at Leonato et al
as they so richly deserve", and that it was this "that kept Innogen on
the shelf, is of a piece with the Arden editor A. R. Humphreys's assertion
that Shakespeare regarded her as an "unrealized intention" (Arden ed.,
p.77).
 
The point is, surely, that a silent female character in this play --
and especially a silent WOMAN -- speaks volumes.  "Innogen appears in
two scenes where Hero (the female character who desires marriage) and
Beatrice (the female character who refuses marriage) both appear.
In II.i. Beatrice is described by Benedick as "My Lady Tongue", and
Claudio, when he realizes that Hero has not been unfaithful to him
says that "Silence is the perfectest herald of joy" (II.i.288).  One
of the issues which emerges both in these scenes and in the play as a
whole has to do with speaking and remaining silent.  Beatrice instructs
Hero to "Speak cousin, or if you cannot, stop his mouth with a kiss and let
him not speak neither" (II.i.292-3), almost the very words that Benedick
uses to SILENCE Beatrice at the end of the play (V.iv.97).  Marriage in
this play is (I think ironically) offered as a form of SILENCING females,
and what better way to show this on the stage than to have a silent
woman -- Leonato's wife.
 
We should, perhaps, concentrate a little less on irresolvable questions
of Shakespeare's intentions, whether realized or not, and ask ourselves
the question: what would Innogen's presence on stage (and in both Q and F)
signify?  I suggest that the meanings that her stage presence produce
do much to demystify the institution of marriage especially in those
areas where the question of who is entitled to speak for whom becomes
a very real issue, and where the answer to that question is gender inflected.
 
(2)---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
From: 		Peter David Seary <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Thursday, Oct. 29, 1992, 12:51:00 -0500
Subject: 3.0278  Re: Hero's Mother
Comment: 	Re: SHK 3.0278  Re: Hero's Mother
 
Theobald visited Styan Thirlby in Cambridge early in 1729; something of their
conversation can be surmised from Theobald's recognition, after Thirlby, that
certain lines in *Love's Labour's Lost* (V, ii, 817-22) represent Shakespeare's
first draft of matter that receives its final expression further on in the
scene (ll. 837-54).  In his edition, Theobald places the lines 'between
Crochets: Not that they were an Interpolation . . . but as the Author's first
Draught, which he afterwards rejected; and executed the same Thought a little
lower with much more Spirit and Elegance.' <NOTE: 1733, II, 179, n.>  Theobald
adds: 'Mr  Warburton conjectures, that Shakespeare is not to answer for the
present absurd Repetition, but his Actor-Editors. . . .' That Theobald agreed
with Thirlby is evident from the first part of his note and from his
correspondence.  <See Nichols, II, 226, 328.>  Theobald does not use the now
generally accepted term 'foul papers' in his discussion, but it is clear that
he believed the printed text of *Love's Labour's Lost* derived from a
manuscript of Shakespeare's that had not reached its final form in a fair copy.
 
Theobald possessed the 'good' quarto of *Much Ado about Nothing* (Q1, 1600),
and in his first note on the play he observes that
	Innogen, (the Mother of Hero) in the oldest Quarto that I have seen of
	this Play, printed in 1600, is mention'd to enter in two several Scenes
	[I, i; II, i]. The succeeding editions have all continued her Name in
	the Dramatis Personae. <NOTE: Rowe first compiled a list of characters
	for *Much Ado*, which was copied by Pope, and which included Innogen,
	whose name is found, as Theobald observes, in the opening stage
	directions for Act I, scene i, and Act II, scene i.  In Theobald's
	usage, Dramatis Personae is not always confined to a list of characters
	found at the beginning of a play, but may include (as here) opening
	stage directions which name the characters that are to appear in the
	following scene, or simply the characters in the play, whether or not
	they have been brought together in a list.>  But I have ventur'd to
	expunge it; there being no mention of her thro' the Play, no one Speech
	address'd to her, nor one Syllable spoken by her.  Neither is there any
	one Passage, from which we have any Reason to determine that Hero's
	Mother was living.  It seems, as if the Poet had in his first Plan
	design'd such a Character; which, on a Survey of it, he found would be
	superfluous; and therefore he left it out. <NOTE: 1733, I, [403], n.>
Again, Theobald assumes the quarto text to be derived from an authorial
manuscript that had not been finally tidied up (and that the quarto is the
copy from which the folios derive).
 

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