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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2621  Monday, 19 November 2001

[1]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Friday, 16 Nov 2001 20:34:34 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2617 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night

[2]     From:   M. Yawney <
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        Date:   Saturday, 17 Nov 2001 08:06:47 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2617 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Nov 2001 20:34:34 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 12.2617 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2617 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night

If we (the hypothetical Globe audience) are meant to believe that a boy
is a girl simply because of a dress and a wig, then what need we one
pair of twins if they wear identical clothing and wigs? Reason not the
need.

If it would have been difficult to find one pair of twins, how could
they find two for Comedy of Errors?  The answer has to be the same as it
is for many of Shakespeare's plays: costuming. Julia (Two Gents), Viola,
Rosalind and Celia, as well as Imogen are a few examples of telegraphing
to the audience that costume changes will signify deception to the
play's characters regarding the subject's gender or identity.  The humor
in Comedy of Errors derives from the fact that we are not made aware of
the deception and fall into the trap of the device. Twins may have been
used, but were certainly not necessary.

Brian Willis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           M. Yawney <
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Date:           Saturday, 17 Nov 2001 08:06:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 12.2617 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2617 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night

Jonson's writing is so far out of step with the mainstream of his time
that it should not be surprising his opinions are too, regarding twins
and much else.

For the joke of a twin play to work, it is important that the twins do
NOT look too much alike. The audience must be able to tell them apart.
If they look too much alike, the audience will share the other
character's confusion, rather than standing outside it and finding it
funny.

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