Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 804. Tuesday, 16 November 1993.
Date: Monday, 15 Nov 93 12:39:06 EST
Subject: 4.0786 Q: Isabella
Comment: Re: SHK 4.0786 Q: Isabella
I have just finished teaching "M for M" myself, and am equally fence-sitting on
Isabella's "character." I sway between thinking her the very soul of
masochistic innocence, and a conniving manipulator. The line that puzzles me,
and also Lucio for that matter, is (Riverside) 2.2.132: "Art avis'd of that?"
Lucio expresses surprise that Isabella is wordly enough to understand the
social distinctions between a captain's and soldier's blasphemy. Where did she
learn this "street" knowledge, and on what other streets has she been walking?
And one other small question, that I might as well ask here--for the net. I
recently watched the Bard Production's "Othello" and was sent rushing to the
text when I heard Iago claim to be "six times seven years" - my memory proved
correct, and Iago, it would seem, is only 28. Perhaps the explanation of the
change is purely pragmatic (the actor had already signed the contract and they
thought the change would go unnoticed), but I wonder more specifically if there
is something very unsettling seeing a mere slip of a lad, sort of, playing
Iago. I am right in assuming that many of us think of Iago in his forties?
And why is that?