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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Almost Damn'd
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0859  Thursday, 28 March 2002

[1]     From:   Adrian Kiernander <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Mar 2002 10:58:57 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0848 Re: Almost Damn'd

[2]     From:   Larry Barkley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Mar 2002 19:31:56 -0800
        Subj:   Almost Damn'd / False Starts


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Adrian Kiernander <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Mar 2002 10:58:57 +1100
Subject: 13.0848 Re: Almost Damn'd
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0848 Re: Almost Damn'd

If Emilia, for example, were given a line saying that Othello was
'bless'd in a fair wife', I suspect we would all think we understood
what was meant by this. So when Iago's line inverts the phrase so as to
describe Cassio as 'almost damn'd in a fair wife', why is it so
difficult to read this as an interestingly cynical twisting (which I
would argue is consistent with other features of that character
throughout the script) of the more conventional sentiment? Other
contributions to Shaksper demonstrate that this isn't the only reading,
but it is surely one of the possibilities.

Adrian Kiernander

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Barkley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Mar 2002 19:31:56 -0800
Subject:        Almost Damn'd / False Starts

Dear SHAKSPEReans:

As the one who sought to create a tangent on the thread
"Inconsistencies" by asking about seeming false starts in WS's plays and
using as an example as a possible false start Iago's statement re Cassio
as "almost damn'd in a fair wife," I have been interested in reading the
responses.  But is it not possible that WS set out in OTHELLO to
create/develop three couples, Othello and Desdemona; Iago and Emilia;
Cassio and his fair wife, as a way of examining love and/or
relationships (through the use of couples as foils), changed his mind,
and didn't go back and revise?  WS uses couples as foils in other plays
(e.g. 1HIV Hotspur/Kate and Mortimer/Welsh wife; AYLI Orlando/Rosalind
and Oliver/Celia and Touchstone/Audry and Silvius/Phoebe; MV
Bassanio/Portia and Gratiano/Nerissa and Lorenzo/Jessica) as a means of
exploring love and/or relationships, so why not in OTHELLO?  I do not
wish to imply that the suggestions of those who have taken up the thread
are baseless; the responses offer some interesting possibilities.  Yet
considering the range of answers, I am curious as to why we are
seemingly so ready to reject or to ignore the possibility that WS did
not revise his works?

Larry

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