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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Black Rosalind
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0776  Thursday, 5 April 2001

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 04 Apr 2001 13:12:20 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0769 Black Rosalind?

[2]     From:   John Pendergast <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 04 Apr 2001 11:47:30 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0769 Black Rosalind?

[3]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Apr 2001 20:55:16 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0769 Black Rosalind


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 04 Apr 2001 13:12:20 -0400
Subject: 12.0769 Black Rosalind?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0769 Black Rosalind?

David Schalkwyk asks:

>Has anyone ever suggested that Rosalind, in Love's labour's Lost, is
>racially black?

And the answer is: yes.  But I don't have the reference, unfortunately.

And what about Troilus's "brown favour" (Bevington Arden 1.2.90 ff.) --
which is emphasized by Cressida and admitted by Pandarus?  Bevington
suggests that Troilus is sunburnt.  But if Cleopatra and Rosalind are
black, why not Troilus?  Remember that one of the Medici brothers was
black (and Italian, not African).

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Pendergast <
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Date:           Wednesday, 04 Apr 2001 11:47:30 -0600
Subject: 12.0769 Black Rosalind?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0769 Black Rosalind?

To my knowledge there is not critical work done on the race of Rosalind,
other than numerous comparisons to the dark lady of the sonnets.
However, Miriam Gilbert, in her book on the play in production (the
exact title of which escapes me) does discuss at least one production
which cast Rosalind as black.   Fell free to contact me offlist at

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  for an exact bibliographical reference.

John Pendergast
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 4 Apr 2001 20:55:16 -0400
Subject: 12.0769 Black Rosalind?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0769 Black Rosalind?

David Schalkwyk said:

> Has anyone ever suggested that Rosalind, in Love's labour's Lost, is
> racially black?

Tough sell, since she's "a whitely wanton with two pitch-balls stuck in
her face for eyes." My question is what Berowne's evidence is for her
wantonness.

Dana Shilling
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