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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Camillo and Paulina
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1384  Wednesday, 6 June 2001

[1]     From:   Tim Perfect <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 08:12:40 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1365 Re: Camillo and Paulina

[2]     From:   Michael Friedman <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Jun 2001 11:46:00 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1321 Camillo and Paulina

[3]     From:   Fran Teague <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 13:04:57 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1365 Re: Camillo and Paulina


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tim Perfect <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 08:12:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.1365 Re: Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1365 Re: Camillo and Paulina

One certainly interesting angle would be that Leontes knew of a secret
"affair" between Camillo and Paulina, and he steps in at the end of the
play to allow them to be together now that Paulina's husband is dead...

I'm still looking for the answer to Leontes "..for I partly know his
mind.."  Could Leontes be inventing this supposed knowledge of Camillo's
interest in Paulina, or is/was there something going on in the past
between them that now can be realized with the death of Antigonus?

My acting instincts tell me that the stronger choice is to have some
sort of history between the two, which then validates the final scene.
However, I dont want to be adding something to the play that should not
be there in the first place.

Thanks for your continued response.  I have been sharing your replies
with the director and actress playing Paulina, and we have all found
your thoughts very intriguing.

Tim Perfect
Shakespeare & Company
http://www.shakespeare-company.org/

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Friedman <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Jun 2001 11:46:00 -0400
Subject: 12.1321 Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1321 Camillo and Paulina

Tim,

My own feeling is that when something in a Shakespeare play seems to
come "out of the blue," one certainly can try to use elements of
production to try to make it seem less startling, but you might want to
consider whether this lack of preparation is the whole point.  Here's an
edited version of a couple of paragraphs near the end of a forthcoming
publication of mine, in a chapter called "The Taming of the Shrews":

Paulina, who provided verbal censure on Hermione's behalf, now withdraws
from this role and announces her intention to spend the rest of her life
mourning her dead husband: "I, an old turtle, / Will wing me to some
withered bough and there / My mate, that's never to be found again, /
Lament till I am lost" (5.3.134-37).  Even though Paulina has always
assumed that Antigonus perished with the infant Perdita (5.1.42-44), no
proof of his death exists until the Clown's testimony confirms his
demise (5.2.60-67).  Now that her status as a widow is clear, she
imagines the rest of her life as a condition of perpetual verbal
activity, lamenting her lost mate like a turtledove forever singing a
mournful dirge.

Leontes, however, has other plans for his counselor.  Since Paulina is
now eligible to marry, the King exercises his prerogative as the
matchmaking Authority figure and, like his predecessors in the comedies
of forgiveness [Two Gents, Much Ado, All's Well, and Measure], impels
the Shrew toward marriage and its implied limitations on female speech:
"O, peace, Paulina! / Thou shouldst a husband take by my consent, / As I
by thine a wife . . / . . Come, Camillo, / And take her by the hand"
(5.3.137-39, 145-46).  Leontes negates Paulina's plans for a lonely but
verbally independent retirement from the institution of matrimony by
imposing upon her a husband to manage her tongue.  Like Beatrice before
her, quieted by the command "Peace!  I will stop your mouth," the former
wife of Antigonus hears "O, peace, Paulina!" and does not speak a word
in response to Leontes' subsequent proclamation of her match with
Camillo.  The fact that nothing in the text before this moment prepares
us for this pairing reveals the cultural imperative that the Shrew must
not be allowed to speak unbridled for the rest of her days.   Camillo
has already demonstrated a flair for manipulating difficult people,
which bodes well for his ability to govern Paulina in a way that
Antigonus was never able to accomplish.  Thus, in The Winter's Tale, the
Shrew diverges from the path followed by the talkative woman in the
comedies of forgiveness, but her final destination remains the same, the
verbal subordination of marriage.

Michael D. Friedman
University of Scranton

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[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 13:04:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12.1365 Re: Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1365 Re: Camillo and Paulina

Prof. Godshalk objects that the similar plot elements among Othello,
Much Ado, and Winter's Tale fail to account for the marriage of Pauline
to Camillo. He feels that "The question still remains," and it may very
well if one does not find such structural patterns compelling.

I have to say, however, that I do: I'd argue that in the play's
structure the slandered lady must have a loyal female friend who is
willing to risk everything to stand by the heroine. Moreover in the
earlier versions a friend's loyalty is often weighed against a lover's
loyalty: will someone cast off friends for marital love? Or will one
lose faith in the beloved because of a friend? It strikes me as fitting
the syntax of the plot that Paulina should end as a married friend to
Hermione--although it may make little sense in other ways.

In each of these plays one finds not only the basic plot of the
slandered lady, but also repeated linguistic and presentational image
patterns, as I tried to show in Shakespeare's Speaking Properties. What
also interests me is how much these plays have in common with the
Plautus plot line of the miles gloriosus. To me, what we have here is a
craftsman playing with the limits of genre by altering some elements of
a play while retaining others.

While I have heard some interesting quasi-biographical arguments about
why Shakespeare might have been so interested in these plots, I've
always found them unconvincing: I chalk that up to an education that
insisted on restricting biographical explanations as unprovable and
unuseful. Today I am less dismissive than I once was: clearly such
explanations satisfy others even if I find them unsatisfying. I suspect
that my interest in the parallel plot structure will also satisfy some
folks, while striking others as untenable.

Fran Teague <http://www.arches.uga.edu/~fteague>

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