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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: August ::
Re: Silenced Fiancees
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1520  Monday, 30 August 1999.

[1]     From:   Tom Bishop <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Aug 1999 09:50:13 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1515 Re: Twelfth Night

[2]     From:   Kate Brookfield <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Aug 1999 01:00:35 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1515 Silenced Fiancees

[3]     From:   John Savage <
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        Date:   Monday, 30 Aug 1999 08:03:26 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 10.1515 Re: Twelfth Night


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Aug 1999 09:50:13 -0500
Subject: 10.1515 Re: Twelfth Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1515 Re: Twelfth Night

>Kate Brookfield writes:
>
>>Miranda's final scene with her fiance shows the happy couple playing
>>chess together.  Her final exclamation of joy with "the brave new world"
>>and all the beautiful people she is meeting is one of the most positive
>>declarations of hope in the future by a new fiancee.
>
>David Lindley replies:
>
>Not sure I'd accept this - her 'sweet lord' plays her false, and the
>collection of lords to whom she addresses her comments on the brave new
>world are scarcely a distinguished company - surely we respond to
>Prospero's undercutting of her enthusiasm?

See here the two postures of modern Shakespeare criticism-Prospero and
Miranda still talking to one another!  But are not these two imaginative
attitudes both available, even dialectically so?  Ferdinand denies he is
playing Miranda false-perhaps he is not. Miranda sees Gonzalo as well as
Antonio.  Blake knew just what was going on: "The Blossom" and "The Sick
Rose".
Tom Bishop, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of English
Director,  Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities
Case Western Reserve University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kate Brookfield <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Aug 1999 01:00:35 -0400
Subject: 10.1515 Silenced Fiancees
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1515 Silenced Fiancees

> >Miranda's final scene with her fiance shows the happy couple playing
> >chess together.  Her final exclamation of joy with "the brave new world"
> >and all the beautiful people she is meeting is one of the most positive
> >declarations of hope in the future by a new fiancee.
>
> Not sure I'd accept this - her 'sweet lord' plays her false, and the
collection of lords to whom she addresses her comments on the brave new
> world are scarcely a distinguished company - surely we respond to
> Prospero's undercutting of her enthusiasm?

Of course!  We know her joy is unreal idealism and she will have her
loss of innocence.  Nevertheless, we must assume that her words are
sincere and she expresses a joy she feels about  human potential.  We've
seen enough of the frailty of human nature throughout the play.

Do we not respond at all to her exclamation of innocent joy at the
beauty of humanity through the eyes of a naive witness? Haven't we all
at some time long to recapture that feeling of excitement and joy we
felt before we became "wise and learned"?   Don't we enjoy the joy and
pleasure children find in things we know are not real or will not last?
Or do we feel sad, because in our wisdom we know they will meet with
disillusion?

Nevertheless,  Miranda, the new fiancee, is silenced.  These are her
last words.  We are not told how she reacts to Prospero's response.   In
performance, his words can be spoken quietly as an aside, so that
Miranda is left believing there is some goodness in human nature.

The only light in a dark ending, perhaps?

Kate Brookfield

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Savage <
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Date:           Monday, 30 Aug 1999 08:03:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Twelfth Night
Comment:        SHK 10.1515 Re: Twelfth Night

David Lindley writes:

>Not sure I'd accept this - her 'sweet lord' plays her false... <<

Surely Miranda is jesting.  Two young lovers joshing each other?  A
fairly common practice, after all.
 

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