Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: September ::
Re: MV Characters
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0728.  Monday, 12 September 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Thomas Clayton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 11 Sep 94 10:27:46 CST
        Subj:   How Many Salads/Sallies in MV?
 
(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 11 Sep 1994 21:25:01 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   MV Characters
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Clayton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 11 Sep 94 10:27:46 CST
Subject:        How Many Salads/Sallies in MV?
 
Re.: MV Characters in SEC Vol. 5, No. 724. Saturday, 10 September 1994.
 
How many Salads (or Dover Wilson's "Sallies") Had/Has/Should Have _The Merchant
of Venice_? According to M. M. Mahood in her Textual Analysis in the New
Cambridge edition (1987), "all sub- sequent editors" followed Dover Wilson in
reducing three to two, Solanio remaining as was, Salerio being conflated as
"himself" and also "Salarino, who has not put in an appearance for the past
sixty years" (179); see pp. 56 and 179-83, including a table of occurrences of
the names in Q1, Q2, and F.
 
In his individual Oxford edition (1993), Jay Halio configures the three
slightly differently, in The Persons of the Play, as three "Venetian Gentlemen,
Antonio's Friends" (101), where Mahood has Solanio and Salarino, together with
Gratiano and Lorenzo, as "gentlemen of Venice and companions with Bassanio,"
Salerio listed separately as "a messenger from Venice" (56); but all three are
still all there--because "the arguments against three Sallies are far from
conclusive," among other reasons, and his "edition, therefore, follows Mahood
in retaining Salarino" (87).
 
This tripartite Venetian settlement may not be definitive, but it has scholarly
currency in two of the three major editions, with the third, the new, new
Arden, yet to be.
 
Cheers, Tom
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 11 Sep 1994 21:25:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        MV Characters
 
David Collins's comments on Solanio and Salerio sent me right back to David
Bevington's text (4th edition), and I re-read the Solanio/Salerio portions of
the play. And having done my homework, I still do not find that much difference
between the two. If Solanio kids Antonio about being "in love" (1.1.46 [with
Bassanio?]). Salerio twits him with his injudicious investment of all his
capital in high risk ventures (1.1.8-14, 22-40), and Solanio joins him without
breaking the rhythm of the line (1.1.22ff). They speak as one interlocutor. And
when they leave the first scene, they leave together (68), but it is Salerio
who comments, "I would have stayed till I had made you merry,/If worthier
friends had not prevented me" (60-61), revealing his bitchiness. In fact, as
Richard Levin (the younger) has pointed out, Solanio and Salerio are two
rather bitchy characters.
 
In 2.4, they join Lorenzo and Gratiano, and here, indeed, Solanio sounds a bit
bitchier than Salerio (6-7), but not much. In 2.6, Salerio appears without
Solanio, and he is the ironic commentator. In 2.8, they appear to report
off-stage action: Shylock's reaction to Jessica's elopement -- surely not a
reliable narrative! They appear again in 3.1. to question Shylock. They then
split up -- Salerio heading for Belmont to deliver a message to Bassanio (3.2),
and Solanio to be Antonio's interlocutor (3.3). Salerio has a brief comment in
4.1.15.
 
Admittedly this is not a subtle analysis of the two dramatic figures, but it
gives us a little overview of their function or functions in the play. I don't
find the two very different, and I think of them as I think of Guildencrantz
and Rosenstern, or knife and fork, or bottle and cork, or New York.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.