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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: October ::
Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2509  Wednesday, 31 October 2001

[1]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 12:55:16 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2494 Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN

[2]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 13:07:30 -0500
        Subj:   Sir Toby et al.

[3]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 18:36:37 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2494 Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN

[4]     From:   David Bishop <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 16:41:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2494 Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 12:55:16 -0500
Subject: 12.2494 Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2494 Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN

Steve Roth asks,
[
"T. Craik's mention in his Arden edition of Twelfth Night's appearance
in Shakespeare's likely source material. "Gl'Ingannati" contains in its
prologue the phrase "The story is new and taken from nowhere but their
own industrious pates whence also are taken your lots on Twelfth
Night"."

"Your lots" seems (?) to refer to a traditional Twelfth Night practice
with which I am unfamiliar. Does Craik explain it, or can any other list
member?

It sounds to me like Boy Bishop/Lord of Misrule skits, but "lots" may
have something to do with "drawing lots"--maybe something like a game of
Charades, where the actors get their pretext for the scene by choosing
random slips.

Dana Shilling

PS--the passage about Sebastian not being able to find Antonio at the
inn sounds a little like a Comedy of Errors hangover-- gold chains and
people not being at inns when they're supposed to be.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 13:07:30 -0500
Subject:        Sir Toby et al.

Michael Friedman has answered David Bishop so well that I have little to
add. . . . But I will point out that in Olivia's first encounter with
Sebastian, she says, "Be not offended, dear Cesario -- " (4.1.48).
Thus, Sebastian knows from the start that this is a case of mistaken
identity. By rights, I suppose he should clear matters up. Instead, he
decides NOT to do so and to see how this "dream" will turn out.

It seems fair to say that his decision is motivated by prudence and a
kind of benign opportunism. But surely it is not motivated by love!

--Ed Taft

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 18:36:37 +0000
Subject: 12.2494 Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2494 Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN

From: Gabriel Egan

[..]It seems to me very unlikely that the printers of the Folio would
have printed any of Shakespeare's plays without having conversations
with those who were directly involved in their production (Hemings and
Condell, for example) or at least with others who had had such
conversations[...]

Absolutely. The circumstantial evidence - even on location and proximity
of printers, theatre, inns, lodgings, etc., on practicality  and on
precedent - is overwhelming. I take it  that  "conversations" is being
employed as a portmanteau for a probable deeper interaction. The
exchange, borrowing and emendation of manuscripts (other than the
obvious ones) for copy, clarification by, say, Crane of his scripts,
points of refinement by, say, Field (as he looked in on his way to the
Mermaid before the cirrhosis done for him!), being reasonable conjecture
as examples. The venture was just too big for sustained intercourse not
to have taken place. Incidentally, the disbursal of the profits and the
terms of underwriting potential loss must have had a bearing on all of
this. I am attached to the belief that there was much meaningful
scurrying between the Globe and Jaggard's. However I accept that it will
undoubtedly remain "an interesting but unprovable theory", to
paraphrase  some criticism I have received when writing on the subject a
while back.

Best wishes,
Graham Hall

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Bishop <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 16:41:20 -0500
Subject: 12.2494 Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2494 Re: Sir Toby, Sebastian, et TN

That a reference to golden locks might suggest a desire for literal gold
doesn't convince me. Shakespeare found wealth, like gentility, a
valuable asset, if I may use that term, in a prospective spouse. But
whether the suitor should be seen as unpleasantly, and culpably,
money-grubbing if he mentions it is another question. Petruchio goes
into marriage, he says, just for money, and yet his exuberant interplay
with Kate, and the way he seems to come to love her, and she him,
releases him from our strictures. With Sebastian, for one thing, he's
rather too minor a character to support much speculation about complex
motives. He isn't, as far as I can tell, portrayed as a fortune hunter,
even if Olivia's fortune, like her beauty, strikes him as enhancing her
worth as a wife. We may be a bit more puritanical--and perhaps
hypocritical--about such material considerations than Shakespeare was.

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