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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2604  Thursday, 15 November 2001

From:           Bonnie Melchior <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Nov 2001 12:05:39 -0600
Subject: 12.2597 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2597 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night

Thomas Larque writes,

> In other words, do people think that Shakespeare's Company might have
> had access to real twin boy actors? (or more than one pair to satisfy
> the multiple twinnings in "Comedy of Errors").

I seem to recall that somewhere Ben Jonson mentions that the difficulty
of finding actors who looked enough alike to be mistaken for each other
precluded his using twins in his plots.  This comment is consistent with
criticisms in the prologue to *Every Man in His Humour* (of making a
child "now swadled shoot up past threescore yeeres" and presenting a
battle with some few "foot-and-halfe-foote words", etc.) Shakespeare
does not appear concerned with this kind of "realism" in drama.

Bonnie Melchior

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