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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: June ::
Re: Shakespeare's *Metamorphoses*; Rutland in *3H6*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0491.  Friday, 16 June 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Melissa Aaron <
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        Date:   Thursday, 15 Jun 1995 15:15:35 +0200
        Subj:   Re: *Metamorphoses*
 
(2)     From:   Carmine Di Biase <FCD2@JSUMUS>
        Date:   Thursday, 15 Jun 95 22:46:54 CDT
        Subj:   Shakespeare's Ovid
 
(3)     From:   David R. Maier <
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        Date:   Thursday, 15 Jun 1995 12:21:06 -0700
        Subj:   Rutland in HVI Part3
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa Aaron <
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Date:           Thursday, 15 Jun 1995 15:15:35 +0200
Subject:        Re: *Metamorphoses*
 
In reply to Jimmy Jung's query, the 1567 translation by Arthur Golding would be
an appropriate one to look at.
 
Melissa  Aaron
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carmine Di Biase <FCD2@JSUMUS>
Date:           Thursday, 15 Jun 95 22:46:54 CDT
Subject:        Shakespeare's Ovid
 
To Jimmy Jung:
 
The English Metamorphoses that Shakespeare read was Golding's, which should be
in print still, probably in a Norton paperback.  You might also read Jonathan
Bate's new book (Oxford, 1994), Shakespeare and Ovid, which is a lucid,
accessible, acutely sensitive study of influence and allusion.  If you have any
interest in Cymbeline and Ovid's Cephalus and Procris, you might read my
article on the subject in Cahiers Elisabethains (October, 1994). I think that
story is at the bottom of the play's layers of Ovidian allusion.
 
Carmine Di Biase
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David R. Maier <
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Date:           Thursday, 15 Jun 1995 12:21:06 -0700
Subject:        Rutland in HVI Part3
 
In its 1995-96 season Tygres Heart Shakespeare Company (Portland, Oregon) will
be presenting an original adaptation of the three Henry VI's, condensing them
down to one 2-1/2 hour performance.  This adaptation will be the work of
artistic director Jan Powell and company member Doug Miller.
 
In researching the plays and in making initial scene/casting decisions, an
interesting disparity has come to light.  From the references in the text, it
would seem that the Duke of York's son, Edmond, Earl of Rutland, was a young
boy:
 
I. iii.:  Rut.: Ah! gentle Clifford, hear me speak before I die:
                I am too mean a subject for thy wrath;
                Be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live.
 
          Clif.:In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
                Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter.
 
          Rut.: Then let my father's blood open it again:
                He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
 
I. iv.:   Mar.: Look, York: I stain'd this napkin with the blood
                That valiant Clifford with his rapier's point
                Made issue from the bosom of the boy.
 
                ***
 
          York: O tygres heart wrapp'd in a woman's hide!
                How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
                To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
                And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
 
                ***
 
                These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies,
                And every drop cries vengence for his death...
 
When Margaret literally rubs York's nose in Rutland's death she characterizes
each of York's sons, furthering the impression that Rutland is a young thing:
 
                "Where are your mess of sons to back you now?
                The wonton Edward, and the lusty George?
                And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy,
                Dicky your boy, that with his grumbling voice
                Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
                Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?"
 
In productions we have seen Rutland has been typically played by a young boy,
furthering the impression that he was one of York's youngest children.
 
However, in geneology charts, Rutland turns out to be York's next oldest child,
some four years older than Richard (the future Richard III), who was in fact
York's youngest male child.  In my copy of The Yale Shakespeare the editor
notes, with resepct to Rutland's statement that the death of Clifford's father
occurred before Rutland was born:
 
"The author has altered the relative ages of the Duke of York's sons. Edmund,
Earl of Rutland, was next to Edward the heir.  He was twelve years old at the
time of his death and seven when the elder Clifford was killed at St.  Albans.
Richard of Gloucester, on the other hand, who is represented in the play as a
mature warrior, was not born till 1452, and was but eight years old at the
battle of Wakefield."
 
We would appreciate any comments or information which might shed light on this
disparity.  Why the disparity between the text and lineage?  Or are we reading
too much into the text when we cast Rutland as a young boy?  Is there more to
this than just literary license?
 
Any insights would be appreciated.
 
--
David Maier

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