1997

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0788.  Saturday, 26 July 1997.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Jul 1997 10:02:42 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0783  Re: Othello's Age

[2]     From:   James Marino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Jul 1997 14:37:05 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0758  Re: Othello's Age

[3]     From:   Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Jul 1997 19:17:33 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0783 Re: Othello's Age

[4]     From:   David Levine <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Jul 1997 00:03:00 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0783 Re: Stewart


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 22 Jul 1997 10:02:42 -0700
Subject: 8.0783  Re: Othello's Age
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0783  Re: Othello's Age

Syd Kasten writes:

>We have no prior scene or
>statement to hint that consummation has ever taken place.

Maybe not in the usual texts, but 1.3.261-265 could be interpreted
either way.  Othello asks (in most texts) for Desdemona to accompany
him, not "to comply with heat (the young affects / In me defunct) and
proper satisfaction".  However, in the F1 and Q1 texts, the 'me' is
written 'my'.  If we take this literally, then we could read Othello's
statement as saying that he's already consummated the relationship with
Desdemona, and therefore no longer needst 'comply with heat'.  I recall
my third-year Shakespeare prof making the full argument when I was an
undergrad, though I don't have either my notes or an OED handy.  Suffice
to say that there's a quibble on the definition of 'defunct', and that
'young' can either mean 'appropriate to a young man' or just indicate
that the 'affects' of heat should be placed in the past.  In fact, they
only exist when young, since after consummation desire evaporates.  The
defunct of these passions are 'mine' since Othello has 'defuncted'
'heat' by consummation.

I hope that makes sense.  I would say, moreover, that there are a number
of indications of both consummation and non-consummation in the play.
Iago's dirty joke about an old black ram, as well as his comment to
Cassio that Othello has not yet 'made wanton' with Desdemona both come
to mind.  The discrepancy, like that between actual time available for
Desdmona's supposed infidelities and their description, may be a product
of Kittredge's 'double time.'

Cheers,
Sean.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Marino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 22 Jul 1997 14:37:05 -0600
Subject: 8.0758  Re: Othello's Age
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0758  Re: Othello's Age

Joyce Youings in Sixteenth Century England, part of the Penguin Social
History of Britain, gives the age of marital consent as 14 for boys and
12 for girls. I agree that Desdemona's youth and naivet 

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