The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1355 Monday, 20 May 2002
Date: Saturday, 18 May 2002 09:42:10 -0700
Subject: 13.1344 Re: Desdemona
Comment: Re: SHK 13.1344 Re: Desdemona
Don Bloom suggests that
>To put it most simply, if a man rides your horse without permission, you
>might charge him with theft, but you don't shoot the horse. You may love
>the horse, but you don't marry it, and you thus don't have your ego
>invested in its "honor" (chastity, fidelity). You don't assume that your
>horse willingly shamed you by going off with another man -- not unless
>you're a real nut case.
Strangely, Richard II does assume this:
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand,
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down,
Since pride must have a fall, and break the neck
Of that proud man that did usurp his back? (5.5.85-89)
Nevertheless, even in his high-strung emotional state, he seems to
recognize his error in the next few lines, and we may dismiss the whole
passage as a brief and temporary instance of anthropomorphism. Your
point, in other words, still holds.