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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: June ::
Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0704.  Tuesday, 24 June 1997.

From:           Gareth Euridge <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Jun 1997 13:54:01 -0400
Subject:        Final Scene of *The Changeling*

In the absence of the listserv "Middleto" . . . please forgive.

I'm writing on _The Changeling_, using the Regents Ren Dr. series,
edited by George Walton Williams (1966) and am interested in how B-J
dies.  It seems a critical commonplace that D-F stabs her during that
bizarre "ooh, oooh, oooooh, 'tis coming to you" closet scene (and yes,
the sex thing too), but I don't see how we know this.  In my copy, the
stage direction (5.4.175) for D-F "[stabs himself]" is an editorial
edition and not included by Middleton.  And, if this is the case and
Middleton didn't provide SD's for such things, at least in this play, is
it possible that B-J also stabs herself in this scene at line 180?
Could the "token" that D-F gives B-J (176) be the knife he uses on
himself?  Or could the "token" be his willingness to commit suicide?
And does she then follow suit?

Am I am advocating a kinder, gentler, more gushy reading of this scene .
.  . a tragic statement of doomed love in this, our cruel universe?
Well, sort of, perhaps.

Gareth M. Euridge
 

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