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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: May ::
Re: MUCH ADO explication
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0348.  Wednesday, 8 May 1996.

(1)     From:   Margaret Brockland-Nease <
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        Date:   Monday, 6 May 96 12:51:53 EST
        Subj:   MUCH ADO

(2)     From:   Peter L. Groves <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 7 May 1996 08:57:18 GMT+1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0344  Re: MUCH ADO about explication


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Margaret Brockland-Nease <
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Date:           Monday, 6 May 96 12:51:53 EST
Subject:        MUCH ADO

Dear Chris Stroffolino,

I think that language *is* the culprit in  "There is not chastity enough in
language Without offense to utter them."  I rephrase the sentence "Language
without offense [i.e., chaste language] would NOT be chaste [would not be true
to itself] if these crimes were spoken of."  The crimes are not the truth about
Hero; thus any language that spoke of them would not BE without offense, and
would not be chaste not only because it dealt with the subject of promiscuity
but also because it would not be above reproach.  It would damage the
REPUTATION of language as a whole, making it something not to be trusted,
something other than truth.  In the same scene, lines 67 ("Sir, they are
spoken, and these things are true"), 75 ("bid her answer truly"), and 79 ("To
make you answer truly to your name") suggest the importance of the question of
truth in language, and in the passage of lines 80-87, the possibility that
language does not have to do what it is often assumed to do (i.e., convey
truth) is raised when "Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue," and when Hero
is called "no maiden" because she cannot answer what a "maid" must, according
to Claudio in line 85.  The play shows that Hero IS a hero, chaste and
truthful; the language spoken by her accusers is NOT "language without
offense," and there is certainly "not chastity enough" in it, for there is no
chastity at all in it.

Margaret Brockland-Nease
Department of Humanities
Brunswick College

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter L. Groves <
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Date:           Tuesday, 7 May 1996 08:57:18 GMT+1000
Subject: 7.0344  Re: MUCH ADO about explication
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0344  Re: MUCH ADO about explication

Florence Amit <
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 > writes:
>
> Concerning  that  troublesome word  "utter".  When Friar Francis in his purity
> of mind uses it during the wedding ceremony, saying, "charge you, on your
> souls, / to utter it." , utter can have these Hebrew meanings:  aut , 'sign'
> and tur, 'explore' , 'on your souls explore this sign, this significance' He
> also can be saying  'hamper' itar  (alef, tof, resh) and 'remove' ator, (aiyn,
>  tet, vov, resh) " impediments".
>
Surely April 1 was weeks ago?

Dr Peter Groves
Department of English
Monash University
 

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