The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0732 Monday, 11 March 2002
From: Dana Shilling <
Date: Friday, 8 Mar 2002 19:54:36 -0500
Subject: Almost Damn'd
I speculate that the line should be read as (almost) (damned in a fair
wife) rather than (almost damned) (in a fair wife). In other words, the
implication is that if Cassio were married to a beautiful woman he would
suffer the hellish torment of fear of cuckoldry. The "almost" means
either that he is betrothed but not yet married (I suspect the men in
garrison would treat his liaison with Bianca as "boys will be boys") or
that he broke off a match. Perhaps a future production will interpolate
"(S)he's actin' single, I'm drinkin' doubles" at this point.
If the latter, then if Angelo actually believes that Mariana's
"reputation was disvalued in levity" then perhaps this almost-damnation
is what he was afraid of.
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