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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: "Chastely"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0580  Tuesday, 27 February 2002

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 13:41:49 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"

[2]     From:   Simon Morris <
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        Date:   Wed, 27 Feb 2002 10:23:20 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 13:41:49 -0500
Subject: 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"

> With
> the emendation you suggest, you have the stresses in chastely
> (CHASTE-i-LY) in perfect position but absent would need to be pronounced
> ab-SENT in order to scan. (Elsewhere it always scans AB-sent.)

Actually, when the word is used as a verb, the stress is on the second
syllable, as in "absent thee from felicity awhile."  It seems awkward,
but the word might be a verb here:  A direction to the widow to make
sure her daughter is not present.  Of course, that merely postpones the
shift from iamb to troche until the next word; but as David Wallace
notes,

> In the
> scansion you suggest, "after" (AF-ter) would be acceptable since
> Shakespeare often inverts the stress in two syllable words that follow a
> syntactic break (such as a period, comma, conjunction etc.)

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Simon Morris <
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Date:           Wed, 27 Feb 2002 10:23:20 +0000
Subject: 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"

>I think it more likely that the missing half-foot is either an oversight
>(S's or the typesetter's) or deliberately offered to indicate a slight
>pause - which seems acceptable given the dramatic context.

More than acceptable, perhaps. Helena is describing her plan step by
step, and the vacant half-foot describes her non-description of the
central step.  The time is filled, with a space, just as Helena
describes herself filling Bertram's time.

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