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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: May ::
Re: Incest; Succession; Iago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0460  Tuesday, 12 May 1998.

[1]     From:   Pat Dolan <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 May 1998 14:52:13 -0500
        Subj:   Incest

[2]     From:   Richard J. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 May 1998 13:08:31 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0450  Re: Succession

[3]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 May 1998 23:59:01 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0450  Re: Succession

[4]     From:   Paul Smith <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 May 1998 23:30:03 -070
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0450  Re: Succession; Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Dolan <
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Date:           Monday, 11 May 1998 14:52:13 -0500
Subject:        Incest

We should bear in mind that Henry's ostensible reason for separating
from Catharine of Aragon was his contention that the marriage was
incestuous because she had been married to his brother. This in spite of
a dispensation. One of her humiliations during the process was the
contention that she had consummated the prior marriage-which she denied.

Of course, Catharine's divorce helped render Elizabeth legitimate, so
the incest thread hooks up with the succession thread. I don't have a
sense of whether or not this is a large part of how I or anyone else
ought to think about Hamlet, but it's there.

Oat

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J. Kennedy <
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Date:           Monday, 11 May 1998 13:08:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 9.0450  Re: Succession
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0450  Re: Succession

In my opinion, and which was the popular opinion up to the middle 1700s,
the first 17 sonnets are addressed to Elizabeth the Queen, urging her to
get married and have a child, in which way the succession problem would
be solved, and which was a very great problem that the general public
knew of and even Parliament addressed, urging the Queen to get married.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Monday, 11 May 1998 23:59:01 -0400
Subject: 9.0450  Re: Succession
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0450  Re: Succession

For Iago, my impression of his lengthy explanations was out-loud
rehearsals of what he planned to say if caught. I always believed his
silence at the end was because Othello gave the excuse he had planned to
use himself: "For nought did I in hate, but all in honor."

For James, he may have disavowed his mama, but as soon as he got his
hands on the throne he had her reinterred opposite Elizabeth in a tomb
of the same size and splendor. Not to mention a few matters back in
Scotland which may have caused nervous tremors and excessive outhouse
use in England: the further ennobling, instead of beheading, of a
Catholic plotter (Earl then Marquess of Huntly), and the so suspicious
unfortunate demise of two members of a Protestant family (the Gowrie
conspiracy) he detested because of their nasty tendency to kidnap him.
If Paris was worth a mass, London was sure worth a prayer service.

Is it not possible that the "temple-haunting martlet" of MacBeth (Will's
suckup to James) referred to the arms of the Catholic Arundels, ardent
supporters of Mary Stuart? In that case, the subtext under the subtext
would be that Duncan, despite appearances, was entering the house of
traitors.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Smith <
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Date:           Monday, 11 May 1998 23:30:03 -070
Subject: 9.0450  Re: Succession; Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0450  Re: Succession; Iago

I'm convinced that Iago's motivation can be found in Act 5 Scene 1 when
he tells Roderigo, in regards to Cassio, "He hath a daily beauty in his
life that makes me ugly."  He thinks himself inferior, and hates
everyone else for it.  This hatred, stemming from his self-loathing, is
the motivation for his actions.

Paul Smith

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