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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Much Ado... Queries
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0400  Monday, 11 February 2002

[1]     From:   Janet OKeefe <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Feb 2002 10:35:24 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0389 Much Ado... Queries! Need Help!

[2]     From:   Markus Marti <
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        Date:   Saturday, 09 Feb 2002 12:32:34 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0389 Much Ado... Queries! Need Help!

[3]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Saturday, 9 Feb 2002 09:15:11 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0389 Much Ado... Queries! Need Help!


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janet OKeefe <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Feb 2002 10:35:24 -0800
Subject: 13.0389 Much Ado... Queries! Need Help!
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0389 Much Ado... Queries! Need Help!

I can't help with most of them, but I can tackle this one.

> Act II Sc I
>
> Hero: When I like your favour, for God defend the lute should be like
> the case!
> D. Pedro: My visor is Philemon's roof; Within the house is Jove.
>
> Hero: Why then your visor should be thatch'd (lines: 85 - 90)
>
>  What do the lines mean?

Janet T. O'Keefe

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Markus Marti <
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 >
Date:           Saturday, 09 Feb 2002 12:32:34 +0100
Subject: 13.0389 Much Ado... Queries! Need Help!
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0389 Much Ado... Queries! Need Help!

     Act I Sc I
     Bene: It is not so, nor't was so nor'twas not so: but indeed, God
     forbid it should be so!' (line:200)

"An old tale" refers to an old fairy tale (a Bluebeard story), "Mr.
Fox", in which Lady Mary, the young bride, detects the bloody deeds of
her future husband and tells her story as a dream to her brothers on the
day of the wedding. The end of the story:

"'It is not so, nor it was not so. And God forbid it should be so,' said
Mr Fox, and was going to say something else as he rose from his seat,
when Lady Mary cried out: 'But it is so, and it was so. Here's hand and
ring I have to show,' and pulled out the lady's hand from her dress, and
pointed it straight at Mr Fox. At once her brothers and her friends drew
their swords and cut Mr Fox into a thousand pieces."

[http://www.belinus.co.uk/fairytales/Files4/JJFMrFox.htm]

     Don Pedro: The sixth of July. Your loving friend, Benedick.
     (line: 264)

The sixth of July: Midsummer Day, in the old calendar the day of the
summer solstice, associated with "midsummer madness".  Pedro insinuates
that Ben.  is mad.

     Act II Sc I. Hero: When I like your favour, for God defend the
     lute should be like the case!

"If I like your face. Your mask is ugly."

     D. Pedro: My visor is Philemon's roof; Within the house is Jove.
     Hero: Why then your visor should be thatch'd (lines: 85 - 90)

An allusion to Ovid's Metamorphoses, book 8. Jupiter and Mercury visit
Philemon and Baucis in their hut with a thatched roof. Hero's "thatched"
could allude to Pedro's wanting hair or beard.

     Act II Sc I
     Bene: (lines 190 - 195) Alas, poor....I may.

Alas, poor hurt fowl:  "I, Benedick, am like a fowl/fool, shot by a
hunter's / Amor's arrow.

that Lady B. should know me and not know me: "maybe she recognize me in
my mask, but she does not know how I really am (I am not only "the
King's jester, a very dull fool" as she said in II.1.123.)"

Yea, so I am apt to do myself wrong: "It might have been a mistake to
show myself (outwardly) merry, people might call me a fool because of
this. Such a behaviour damages my reputation."

I am not so reputed: "But this is not true, people know I am no fool, it
is only Beatrice who does so."

It is the base (though) bitter disposition of B. ... = "Beatrice thinks
she is the whole world, but she is in fact the only one who thinks I am
a fool.  This is base of her, but it is bitter for me. But I will take
revenge one day."

     Act II Sc III
     Bene: [Aside] Now, divine air!.... when all's done. (line: 57 - 60)
     Can anyone explain what's the meaning of this aside?

"Love music sounds heavenly for fools. But it's not worth it. I prefer
military marches."

Or: "Soft music makes men succumb to love. But they will end as
cuckolds."

"sheep's guts" = strings, string instruments are associated with love.

"horn" = military instrument, but maybe also an allusion to penis or to
cuckoldry.

cf. N. Greiner (ed.), Shakespeare, MuchAdo About Nothing / Viel L

 

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