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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: June ::
Re: Isabella's Chastity
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1266  Thursday, 22 June 2000.

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 21 Jun 2000 13:24:55 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 11.1258 Re: Isabella's Chastity

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 21 Jun 2000 14:04:23 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Isabella's Chastity

[3]     From:   Pat Dolan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 21 Jun 2000 15:45:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1258 Re: Isabella's Chastity


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 21 Jun 2000 13:24:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Isabella's Chastity
Comment:        SHK 11.1258 Re: Isabella's Chastity

Ed Taft writes, 'Characters do think, feel, have motivations, and act --
all of this goes on in the mind of the artist . . .'  Oh dear.  It all
goes on in the mind of the artist, Ed, precisely BECAUSE it can't go on
in the mind of the character.  Characters don't have minds, Ed. Ed?

Yvonne Bruce refers me to 'Frank Kermode's latest on the various thought
processes revealed by Shakespeare's language.'  But Kermode is very
careful NOT to say that Shakespeare's language 'reveals' thought
processes. He points out that the language's power lies in its use of
rhetorical devices to 'simulate' the movement of thinking. In fact, he
writes very precisely about the language's 'representation' of certain
modes of thought (pp. 16-17). In short, Shakespeare makes it SEEM AS IF
his characters think. That's called art. But they don't think. They
don't feel. That's what WE do, perhaps by means of them. Failure to
grasp this distinction sells art ludicrously short. There ought to be a
law.

T. Hawkes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Wednesday, 21 Jun 2000 14:04:23 -0400
Subject:        Re: Isabella's Chastity

Some members have pointed out that the prior betrothal of Mariana and
Angelo somehow legitimatizes any child conceived as a result of the bed
trick, but I think they do not precisely grasp the reason why.

What we now call "common-law" marriage is actually a creature of
ecclesiastical law, which created a valid and binding marriage without
either banns or ceremony of matrimony.  There were two forms:  (1) per
verba de presentae (that is, by words expressing an immediate intention
of both parties to be married to each other) and (2) per verba de futuro
cum copulo (words expressing an intention to be married in the future --
a betrothal -- followed later by an act of copulation, which
automatically consummated the marriage).  Vincentio creates a situation
in which Angelo unwittingly completes his marriage to Mariana.  (It
would have been a nice question as to whether Vincentio seems addicted
to compelling people to marry against their will.  Angelo and Lucio are
two instances; I wonder if Isabella is a third.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Dolan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 21 Jun 2000 15:45:59 -0500
Subject: 11.1258 Re: Isabella's Chastity
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1258 Re: Isabella's Chastity

>Perhaps Professor Hawkes' tetchiness is hairsplitting over Professor
>Taft's choice of words.

Hey, if what we're doing isn't "hair-splitting" over word choices what
is it?

Smilingly,
Patrick
 

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