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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Re: Don John
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1256  Monday, 7 December 1998.

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Sunday, 6 Dec 1998 21:52:10 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1252 Re: Don John

[2]     From:   Kenneth Meaney <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Dec 1998 15:16:07 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1252  Re: Don John


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Sunday, 6 Dec 1998 21:52:10 -0000
Subject: 9.1252 Re: Don John
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1252 Re: Don John

>>> Laurence R. Baker writes
>> We are told in Much Ado that Don John "has of late stood out against"
>> Don Pedro.  In a summary of the scene, the New Folger Library Edition
>> suggests that Don John was "defeated" by Don Pedro in the "just-ended
>> war."  I can't see any reason for supposing this.  Does anyone have a
>> suggestion as to the nature of their past quarrel?

OED stand v. 99 'stand out' c. "To resist, persist in opposition or
resistance, refuse to yield or comply, hold out."

While not the play in question, the first of the OED citations for
'stand out' is drawn from a dramatic text which has both a bastard who
otherwise would be the heir to considerable power, and a character named
John: 1595 SHAKS. _John_V.ii.71  His spirit is come in, That so stood
out against the holy Church.

Shakespeare obviously expected the audience of Much Ado to be relatively
familiar with the ending of a play of his written not that long before,
when they came to interpret another John's standing out against
something or someone-would that the editors of the New Folger Library
Edition had fulfilled this expectation.

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth Meaney <
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Date:           Monday, 07 Dec 1998 15:16:07 +0200
Subject: 9.1252  Re: Don John
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1252  Re: Don John

 Laurence R. Baker writes
> We are told in Much Ado that Don John "has of late stood out against"
> Don Pedro.  In a summary of the scene, the New Folger Library Edition
> suggests that Don John was "defeated" by Don Pedro in the "just-ended
> war."  I can't see any reason for supposing this.  Does anyone have a
> suggestion as to the nature of their past quarrel?

It depends, surely, on what is meant by "stood out against". OED gives
two meanings which seem to be relevant here:
(a) to resist "his spirit is come  in, That so stood out against the
holy church" - King John, V, ii, 71
(b) to refuse to take part in (a joint enterprise of some kind)

"It might have since been answered in repaying What we took from them,
which for traffic's sake Most of our city did. Only myself stood out" -
Twelfth Night, III, iii, 33-35 It seems to me that (b) makes the better
sense: we are meant to understand that Don John had refused to join his
brother in the recent hostilities In any case, as Judy Lewis pointed
out, the exact cause of this recent quarrel is not that important.

Ken Meaney
 

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