Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 656. Friday, 15 October 1993.
Date: Thursday, 14 Oct 1993 17:09:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0650 Q: *Ado*
Comment: Re: SHK 4.0650 Q: *Ado*
I don't have an answer to Blair Kelly's first question, but I'll take a
quick stab at the second. There is no evidence in the text of *Ado* to
indicate that Beatrice *is* the daughter of Antonio, merely that she is
the niece of Leonato, perhaps the daughter of another sibling now dead,
since Leonato refers to himself as "her uncle and her guardian" (2.3.163).
It's doubtful that Leonato would be her guardian if her own father were
still living, and it's also doubtful that she would be able to speak so
freely about her own choice of a husband without arousing fatherly ire,
as Kate does. However, my own students also often make the assumption that
Leonato is referring to Beatrice when actually he is simply making his
niece up as part of his ruse to reincorporate Claudio into his family.
University of Scranton