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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Camillo and Paulina
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1437  Monday, 11 June 2001

[1]     From:   Lawrence Manley <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 10:50:29 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina

[2]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Friday, 08 Jun 2001 12:16:48 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Camillo and Paulina

[3]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 16:01:28 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lawrence Manley <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 10:50:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina

I came into this thread late, so forgive me if this has already been
mentioned: doesn't the possible doubling of Camillo with Antigonous add
something rather nice to the ending?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Friday, 08 Jun 2001 12:16:48 -0400
Subject:        Re: Camillo and Paulina

Mike Jensen writes:

"That done, [Leontes] now has an opportunity to make restitution for
depriving Paulina of her husband, and does so."

Yes, of course. And he shuts her up, too: "Peace"! But if he took the
time to know Camillo's mind, why not take the time to learn Paulina's?

He thinks he knows Paulina's mind and how it works. Gee, it seems to me
that he made a similar assumption about another woman at the start of
the play. Moreover, he wouldn't listen to the woman herself -- or to
anyone else's views, either. He shut them all up, except Paulina, who
refused to be silenced.

Now, he has silenced her, too.

This king hasn't learned much, Mike. He has to face the evidence that he
as wrong in the past, but he has not changed because of it.

I'll agree with you on one point: all this is designed to go right over
James's head. But it doesn't have to go over ours.

--Ed

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 16:01:28 +0100
Subject: 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina

> At the risk of seeming frivolous next to HIS ideas, I suggest also that
> Shakespeare is still trying to balance elements of tragedy and comedy in
> the final scene. The stretched language of Act 5 evokes almost a
> desperation to pull off this most challenging form of tragicomedy, and
> what better way to end it than with another marriage?
>
> Richard Regan
> Fairfield University

While appreciating the views of the ending of WT put forward which see
it as all-is-redeemed (if I may be allowed a gross over-simplification
of part of this thread), I'd respectfully beg to differ.  I entirely
agree with Richard Regan that it's a tragicomedy:  Acts I-III give us
Othello-in-brief; Act IV gives us an entire Shakespearean comedy (boy
meets girl, boy loses girl, boy [will] get{s} girl), with, within it,
Polixines behaving in the comic realm in a way all-too-analogous to that
in which Leontes behaves in the tragic realm.  Act V gives us something
outside the normal boundaries of comedy and tragedy.

When Leontes is confronted with the statue of Hermione, he says:

Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she
In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
As infancy and grace.  But yet, Paulina,
Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
So aged as this seems.

Time is +not+ redeemed.  The sixteen years aren't simply abolished.
This is, and is not, Hermione.  At the very moment that Perdita is
restored to her father, we're reminded of the (irretrievably) dead
Mamillius.  Antigonous has been devoured by a bear, and won't be back.

I can't think of any other play by Shakespeare that ends in quite this
fashion, facing us with such a demanding complexity.

Robin Hamilton

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