Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 309. Sunday, 8 November 1992.
Date: Sunday, Nov. 8, 1992. 09:23:04 PST
Subject: 3.0307 Re: Rs to Doubling Issues
Comment: Re: SHK 3.0307 Re: Rs to Doubling Issues
I think dramatic convention allows one easily to ignore doubled parts, just as
it allows one to ignore the fact that Viola and Sebastion in Twelfth Night do
not look alike as supposed twins. The fact that men play women's parts can
enter into significance it it is played in ways that emphasize it, so that the
gender of the actor probably is called into focus in the early comedies that
use transvestism. I doubt the fact that Volumnia is played by a man has any
significance for Coriolanus. The significance of the verbal texture may not be
prominent, but it is unvarying. That Shakespeare had concerns that went beyond
what could be immediately perceived by a live audience is testified to by Romeo
and Juliet's sonnet. I doubt his original audience would be any more aware of
it at first listening than a present day audience. But the sonnet is there, and
it could not have got there by accident.