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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: July ::
Re: "wood"/"woo'd"; Query *MV*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0585.  Friday, 1 July 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Douglas M Lanier <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Jun 1994 18:35:03 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Woo'd
 
(2)     From:   Fran Teague <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Jun 94 10:25:29 EDT
        Subj:   MND & MV
 
(3)     From:   Louis Scheeder <SCHEEDRL@NYUACF.BITNET>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Jun 1994 11:08:10 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Wood/woo'd
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas M Lanier <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Jun 1994 18:35:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Woo'd
 
Not to prolong this thread unduly, but I'm not at all certain that Demetrius'
line "Because I cannot meet my Hermia" precludes the possibility of a pun on
"woo'd."  One of the reasons (of course, not the only) Demetrius is desperate
to find Hermia is because he assumes that once the two are together, Helena
will leave him alone.  (If he delivers the line opening line of this passage
with an emphasis on "thee"--"I love *thee* not;  therefore pursue me not"--this
reading becomes a bit more audible.)  Certainly the entire scenelet stresses
Demetrius' irritation at Helena, and allows for him tossing the barb that once
he's found Hermia, he'll have done with Helena for good.  To paraphrase, "And
here am I, and woo'd [by you, Helena] within this wood / Because I cannot meet
my Hermia [and get rid of you]."  Of course, such a reading tends to stress the
Demetrius-as-jerk reading at the expense of the Demetrius-as-lovesick-
Petrarchan reading, but the former seems to be what Oberon reacts to at the end
of the scene.  I would support the possibility of the pun because it makes
audible, and very succinctly, both sides of Demetrius at once.
 
Cheers,
Douglas Lanier
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Jun 94 10:25:29 EDT
Subject:        MND & MV
 
On the subject of wood/wode/woo'd:  an actor whom I directed was most unhappy
with this line because, as he rightly pointed out, the audience was not going
to understand it and he didn't either.  We talked about it for a good while and
finally agreed that he would read it as "woed (i.e., woeful) in this wood." It
helped him, though I doubt anyone in the audience perceived the fine
distinction that he did.
 
On a separate subject:  for a symposium that the Georgia Shakespeare Festival
is doing on MV, I want to refer to Hermann Sinsheimer's book and the story
behind its publication.  Can anyone tell me what happened to Sinsheimer after
he escaped Nazi Germany and reached London?  I know he re-published his History
of Shylock in 1940, but don't know what happened after that.  Many thanks.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Scheeder <SCHEEDRL@NYUACF.BITNET>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Jun 1994 11:08:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Wood/woo'd
 
I'd like to suggest that "wood"  could refer to the state of Demetrius's sexual
arousal in the "wood" as his sexual desires/appetites are intsneified/
transformed as are the actions/desires of others in the wood.
 
In performance, this intention  not only produces a good laugh, but also serves
to drive the scene forward as Helena can respond to his sexual readiness.
 
Louis Scheeder

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