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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: July ::
Re: Martius or Marcius
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1204  Thursday, 1 July 1999.

[1]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jun 1999 21:18:11 -0400
        Subj:   Heinous Behavior

[2]     From:   David Kathman <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jun 1999 20:07:58 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1098 Re: Martius or Marcius

[3]     From:   Douglas McQueen-Thomson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 01 Jul 1999 23:09:10 +1000
        Subj:   Martius or Marcius


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jun 1999 21:18:11 -0400
Subject:        Heinous Behavior

In response to recent queries (I'll do ANYTHING other than work when I'm
on deadline), I dug out my audiocassette of the Caedmon Audio
"Coriolanus" with Richard Burton (1962). The cast list has "Caius
Martius", not "Marcius," but it's pronounced "Marshus," as in Brady
Bunch. Cay'-us Mar'-shus is two iambs, or 40% of a line right there, so
that would be my suggestion for the main pronunciation. Shakespeare of
course had no hesitation about altering the pronunciation of a
character's name where metrically necessary-i.e., the hero of All's Well
is either named Helen or Helena, and Claudio's cohabitant is either
Juliet or Julietta.

BTW, couldn't Bullough be pronounced Bullock, as in fatted calf?

Dana (Shilling)

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jun 1999 20:07:58 -0600
Subject: 10.1098 Re: Martius or Marcius
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1098 Re: Martius or Marcius

Douglas McQueen-Thomson wrote:

>Jack Heller writes:
>
>>Is there a reason for preferring either Caius Marcius or Caius Martius
>>as the original name for Coriolanus?
>
>I have been wondering about that very question myself. Harry Levin's
>Pelican edition uses 'Caius Marcius'. R.B. Parker's Oxford edition uses
>'Caius Martius'. This latter edition includes the following explanation:
>'Instead of correcting Plutarch's Marcius, Shakespeare retains North's
>misspelling (also found in Holland's translation of Livy)'. (p. 168)
>
>So, it seems that Plutarch used the spelling 'Martius', and North's
>translation used 'Marcius'.

No, you've got it backwards.  Plutarch used "Marcius" (or so I gather,
not having immediate access to a copy of Plutarch in the original).  As
I noted in my contribution to this thread, North used the spelling
"Martius", and it is this (mis)spelling that Shakespeare retained-at
least if we can take the spelling in the First Folio, the earliest
surviving text, to be Shakespeare's.

>I have not consulted a Folio facsimile,
>though it sounds as though Shakespeare (or the compositors of
>Coriolanus) used 'Marcius'.

Nope.  "Martius".  I'm looking at the Applause facsimile right now.

>If this is so, I wonder if there is a sufficient additional reason for
>changing the name back from 'Marcius' to 'Martius'. The latter has a
>more obvious military association, however this sounds like heavy-handed
>editorial intervention to me.

Theobald's 18th-century emendation (changing "Martius" to "Marcius") was
meant to "correct" the spelling used by Shakespeare and North, back into
the spelling used by Plutarch in the original.  The tendency in most
recent editions to retain Shakespeare's "Martius" spelling is, I
believe, part of the editorial tendency to leave Shakespeare's text
alone as much as possible, rather than changing it into what the editor
thinks it "should" be.

Dave Kathman

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[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas McQueen-Thomson <
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Date:           Thursday, 01 Jul 1999 23:09:10 +1000
Subject:        Martius or Marcius

Apologies, especially to R.B. Parker, for my misreading of a footnote in
the Oxford Shakespeare edition of Coriolanus. The Folio does indeed use
Martius, as this footnote explained. I misquoted a sentence, which
should have read:

'Instead of correcting to Plutarch's Marcius, Shakespeare retains
North's misspelling (also found in Holland's translation of Livy) ...'.
(p. 168) Thanks also to David Kathman for his accuracy.

Humbly,
Douglas McQueen-Thomson
 

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