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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Re: Innogen
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1968  Friday, 12 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Alan Dessen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 10:48:15 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1946 Re: Innogen

[2]     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 16:18:35 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.1946 Re: Innogen

[3]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 21:57:30 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1946 Re: Innogen


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan Dessen <
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Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 10:48:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.1946 Re: Innogen
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1946 Re: Innogen

Any speculations about the continuing presence of Innogen (or Mrs.
Leonato) in Much Ado after 2.1 (where for the second time she is
included in the initial s.d.) should take into account the fact that
Margaret and Ursula (who are not included in that initial 2.1 s.d.)
suddenly appear as speakers in 2.1 and are regularly cited thereafter
whereas Innogen ceases to exist on the page.  Michael Friedman's reading
is very attractive, but an alternative hypothesis would be that
Shakespeare started with a notion of a mother for Hero, decided when
writing 2.1 that two other women would be appropriate, and (in the MS
that stands behind the Quarto) did not take the trouble to cancel out
his first thought.  The issue of how many boy actors were available to
play such roles may also be relevant.

Alan Dessen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 16:18:35 -0000
Subject: 10.1946 Re: Innogen
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.1946 Re: Innogen

I take Tom Bishop's point, and the matter of Innogen needs to be treated
with some care.  But, it she is to appear at the beginning of the play
in the "public" scenes with Leonato, it would be reasonable to suppose
that she might appear in the final scene of the play which is also
public.

I imagine a performance in which she appears in Act 5 sc. 4  and remains
mute. I can understand the editorial logic of giving the line: "Peace I
will stop your mouth." to Benedick, since it would replicate a line
spoken by Beatrice to Hero earlier at 2.1: "stop his mouth with a kiss",
BUT it seems to me that if the line were given, as ascribed in Q to
Leonato, and IF Innogen were present as the silent wife, then some
additional stage business would be called for: such as the joining of
Benedick and Beatrice's hands in a gesture of betrothal (which, of
course, would be the beginning of the institutionalised silencing of
Beatrice). Part of the difficulty with some interpretations of the play
is that Benedick and Beatrice are often viewed as versions of Kate and
Petruccio from The Taming of The Shrew.  Surely the point at the end of
this play is that marriage represents a formal silencing of the woman,
whose generic "noisiness" is aligned throughout with the negative
influence of the bastard Don John. The only way to silence "nothing" in
this play, to give female chastity a voice that replicates the
patriarchal register of Messina, is to appropriate it, to re-articulate
it, according to the demands of marriage.

Of course, as in a number of Shakespearean texts, the process of
incorporation demystifies (whether intentionally or otherwise is
immaterial) the very institution that the play's dominant aesthetics aim
to sustain.

Cheers,
John Drakakis

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 21:57:30 -0500
Subject: 10.1946 Re: Innogen
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1946 Re: Innogen

Tom Bishop notes "Margaret's failure to come forth, which students often
question."  Me too. In a recent production at Cincinnati's
Playhouse-in-the-Park, Margaret looked as if she were going to speak,
but Don John silently threatened her, and then took her by force
offstage when he exited.  That's one way to account for her silence.
But I'm not totally satisfied.

Bill Godshalk
 

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