2002

Stop Your Mouth

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1477  Thursday, 30 May 2002

From:           Phyllis Gorfain <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 May 2002 13:05:18 -0700
Subject:        Stop Your Mouth

I have a query relevant to work I am doing on *Much Ado About Nothing.*
I am curious about the uses and meanings of the proverbial phrase "to
stop X mouth," where X can be a pronoun or even a person's name.

In *Much Ado* 5.4.97, the Quarto and Folio assign Leonato, rather than
Benedick (as in most editions of the play) the line: "Peace!  I will
stop your mouth."  As in most editions of the play, most productions
give the line to Benedick, who issues it as a kind of romantic threat
and immediately kisses Beatrice, thus ending their performed reluctance
to admit publicly they love each other. After this line, Beatrice does
not speak again for the final 28 lines of the script. Michael Friedman
has written her silence during these last lines in his article, "Hus'd
on Purpose to Grace Harmony': Wives and Silence in *Much Ado About
Nothing*" THEATRE JOURNAL: WOMEN AND/IN DRAMA 42.3 (October, 1990):
350-63.

Earlier in the play, 2.1.297, Beatrice herself introduced a variation on
this line to urge Hero to "stop his [Claudio's] mouth with a kiss," so
it is clear that one "meaning" of this proverbial phrase is to silence
someone by kissing her/him. Beatrice's advice to Hero to silence
Claudio's speaking, or reply to it, with a kiss is, incidentally, an
alternative she offers Hero, if Hero cannot herself find words.

In other instances in Shakespeare's plays (in *Henry VI, 2*  II.ii.396
Suffolk urges Margaret "with thy lips to stop my mouth"; in *Troilus and
Cressida* III.ii.132, Cressida asks Troilus to stop her mouth, and he
does so with a kiss) the line is associated with kissing.  In still
other instances in Shakespeare's plays and in other works of the period
(nothing else I have found in a phrase search of Classical Books online
seems to have the figurative sense of kissing), the phrase is used more
literally to mean to silence someone by covering the mouth, stuffing the
mouth with cloth, or bridling or muzzling the speaker -- to end slander,
unwanted speech, or noise.

So, while it is likely that the line works, in *Much Ado*, as a kind of
stage direction for Benedick to give a kiss, even if it is uttered by
Leonato, the phrase could carry less affectionate connotations. If
Leonato speaks the line, he could use it initiate (gesturally, or with a
gentle shove) a kiss between the skittish lovers, and replicate his
earlier intervention in their romance while also repeating the play's
habit of using proxy-speakers and agents.  All the same, the phrase, in
other contexts than Shakespeare's plays, seldom has such romantic
impulses. So when Leonato -- as governor of Messina, uncle of Beatrice,
repeated critic of her sharp tongue -- hushes Beatrice (and, to some
extent, Benedick) we could also hear here his patriarchal voice
resonating with larger histories of the phrase.  What might be the
discursive sense of this phrase?

I have seen an instance of the phrase, which is also not so benign,
apparently used to refer to Queen Elizabeth I, averring that although
she would "stop their mouths with bread," she could not quell criticism
of her policies or rule from her subjects (but I am now having trouble
locating my source for this!).  Does anyone know who is to have said
that and where?

I would greatly appreciate learning about other instances of this phrase
in literary or other documents of the period. Specific citations could
be sent directly to me offline <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> Thanks
greatly for assistance.

The listserv might enjoy discussing the larger significance of assigning
this line to Leonato, however.  I have quite a bit to say about it, but
I would be most interested in others' views of restoring this speech
prefix and its consequences onstage. A brief article argues well for the
plausibility of Leonato speaking the line; see Ian House, "*Much Ado
About Nothing*: A Line Restored to Its Speaker," NOTES AND QUERIES
41.239 (Dec.  1994): 487.

Phyllis Gorfain
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Re: 'Incidental' Music

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1476  Thursday, 30 May 2002

From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 May 2002 11:37:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1473 'Incidental' Music
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1473 'Incidental' Music

Check Gary Taylor's study of intervals in "Shakespeare Reshaped". He
discusses music and act divisions in mid to late Shakespeare
performances.

Brian Willis

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Re: Aristotle's Poetics Read By Shakespeare?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1474  Thursday, 30 May 2002

[1]     From:   Bruce Young <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 May 2002 09:46:12 -0600
        Subj:   Re: Aristotle's Poetics Read By Shakespeare?

[2]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 May 2002 18:43:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Aristotle's Poetics Read By Shakespeare?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Young <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 May 2002 09:46:12 -0600
Subject: 13.1461 Re: Aristotle's Poetics Read By Shakespeare?
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1461 Re: Aristotle's Poetics Read By Shakespeare?

Andy White raises the question of whether, like Machiavelli, Shakespeare
ever "explicitly teases his audience for expecting the unities."  I can
think of at least one instance where Shakespeare does just that.  At any
rate that's how I read the following lines from The Winter's Tale:

     Impute it not a crime
To me, or my swift passage, that I slide
O'er sixteen years and leave the growth untried
Of that wide gap, since it is in my pow'r
To o'erthrow law, and in one self-born hour
To plant and o'erwhelm custom.

This is of course "Time" speaking, or rather an actor (or Shakespeare)
speaking "in the name of Time."  What the character is saying is that--
since he is "Time" or is speaking with Time's authority--he has the
power to establish and change law and custom, including the law or
custom that prohibits "slid[ing] / O'er sixteen years" in a theatrical
presentation.  Sounds like the "unity of time" to me.

The point--not explicitly stated, but pretty clear, I think--is that, if
anybody has a right to violate the unity of time, it's "Time" himself.
The point is ingenious, but pseudo-logical (since it's really
Shakespeare, not "Time," who is breaking the rule)--a bit like the witty
pseudo-logic in some of Donne's poetry.

It appears then that Shakespeare was aware of the "unities" and of his
own failure (usually) to follow them.  It also appears he didn't worry
about them much and was comfortable with his own mode of dramatic
writing.

Bruce Young

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 May 2002 18:43:45 -0500
Subject: 13.1461 Re: Aristotle's Poetics Read By Shakespeare?
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1461 Re: Aristotle's Poetics Read By Shakespeare?

> Had he been one (pace,
> Jonson), he probably would have bored us to tears.
>
> Andy White

Hear hear. The preponderance of Elizabethan drama, for all its
contemporaneous brilliance, is hardly endurable today. I don't suggest
that a universal classicism is the cause, but spotty attempts at
classicism are among the many causes.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell
<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

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Addendum to EMLS Announcement

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1475  Thursday, 30 May 2002

From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 May 2002 09:48:17 -0700
Subject:        Addendum to EMLS Announcement

To whom it may concern,

Our recent announcement of our most current number neglected to mention
the following review:

In the section Interactive EMLS, Professor Ann Thompson, general editor
of the Arden Shakespeare, reviews the Oxford English Dictionary Version
2.0 for Windows on CD-ROM.

The following links directly to Professor Thompson's review:
http://www.shu.ac.uk/emls/iemls/reviews/thompsonOED.htm

Yours apologetically,
Se


Re: Hamlet Texts

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1475  Friday, 31 May 2002

From:           Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 May 2002 07:02:04 -0700
Subject: 13.1426 Re: Hamlet Texts
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1426 Re: Hamlet Texts

Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

>The arguments against the Arden 3 approach to *Ham* strike me as
>misguided and simplistic.

David Wilson-Okamura <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

>What should Arden have done? Reissued Jenkins with a new introduction,
>text and notes revised where nice or necessary.


My objection to the Arden approach is that it's just going to be darned
unwieldy for the people who are most likely to buy and use it.

I say "use" because I don't think it will be bought as a first- or
second-reading text, rather as a reference text for students and
scholars who have read and still use conflated editions. Who would want
to read Hamlet the first time without F1's "ayrie of Children, little
Yases" or Q2's "How all occasions"? Those first readers want the most
beautiful/interesting/complete/comprehensible play an editor can put
together (with good and convenient annotations to help them along and
some text notes to show them key variations). It doesn't much matter
whose hands made it "beautiful."

People ask me fairly often, "how many times have you read Hamlet?" It's
like asking how many times you've read the Bible. After the first couple
or few times, you don't read Hamlet or other plays beginning to end,
you're just into them from various angles, checking out particular
passages, jumping around seeing connections, trying to understand
specific themes, etc.

People who want to do that have a lot of options, and the question for
me is, which editorial setup/apparatus makes that easiest? And which
printed texts best allow for effective editorial apparatuses?
(Apparati?) If you want to explore the sullied/sallied/solid question
(and Polonius's "sallies" to Reynaldo), which editions make it easiest?
It's a usability/user interface issue, with editorial implications.

First off, bracketed text doesn't help much. There are too many types of
varations. Multiple types of brackets designating different things get
too confusing and cluttered.

The Furness/Jenkins approach works awfully well, a conflated text with
textual notes on variations, and lengthy annotations citing critical
sources, all on the same page. This approach interferes some with the
edition as a reading text, especially in Furness because there are so
few lines on many pages. But it's not a big impediment to just reading.

Riverside's end-of-play textual notes are far less convenient--you have
to keep a finger or bookmark at the notes and flip all the time. And
they're selective (if judicious); they don't show all the variations.
The same-page annotations, while brief, are excellent. (They just need
to signal in the text which lines *have* annotations, so you're not
constantly playing battleship guessing whether the line you're reading
has a note down under.)

Oxford Complete, putting textual notes in a (big) separate book, is just
ridiculously inconvenient. The Oxford and Arden complete works have no
notes of any kind. Why would *anyone* buy them? Riverside is far
superior in this way and several others.

The online Qs and F (courtesy Michael Best) are searchable and
downloadable (and free). I just have the text files I can search in
Word. Very handy for specific research, but unwieldy for side-by-side
comparisons. And not edited or annotated yet.

Enfolded Hamlet, especially the online edition, is very convenient for
checking out variations in specific passages. No Q1, though.

Three-Text Hamlet is by far the most convenient for side-by-side
comparisons, but you can't buy the damn thing. Out of print. I've had a
standing search for a used copy on Abebooks.com for over a year. Not one
has come up.

Exploring sullied/sallied/solid in Arden 3 will be a pain. You'll have
two books lying open on your already cluttered desk (and if they're
typical paperbacks, other books lying on top to keep them open). Jump to
another passage? Pick of each book in turn and find the passage (thereby
dislodging cascades of ungraded student papers across the floor and out
under the door into the hallway). Textual notes and annotations (the
things we're really hungry for in this new edition) broken out/divided
between the two, somehow.

I'm with David Wilson-Okamura: update and reissue Jenkins--what
Kliman/Clary/Rasmussen/Aasand are doing for Furness in the MLA edition.

And, reissue Three-Text with Anne Thompson's (or someone's) text notes
and annotations. One big book that stays flat on your desk. Everything
about a passage on a single spread. Even perhaps add long notes in the
back a la Jenkins.

Or wait for the MLA Variorum and see how they lay it out. They're
putting in *everything,* though--all of Furness's stuff (back-checked
for accuracy) and most everything since. It will be the invaluable,
definitive source, but a more selective approach to annotation and
citation is more useful for most of our work.

Thanks,
Steve
http://princehamlet.com

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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