The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0704. Tuesday, 24 June 1997.
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