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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: September ::
Re: Her C's . . .
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1922  Thursday, 19 September 2002

[1]     From:   Cliff Ronan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Sep 2002 10:05:36 -0500
        Subj:   Her C's . . .

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Sep 2002 17:04:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1916 Re: Her C's . . .


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cliff Ronan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Sep 2002 10:05:36 -0500
Subject:        Her C's . . .

Michael Shurgot is certainly right to see the gentle and romantic
*Twelfth Night* as a "highly satirical play."

This entire thread commenced with an investigation of the title
confusion regarding Orsino and descended to the punning on "c-(n)t."
Early on, I suggested that Shakespeare may be iterating the "c" word
vulgarly (as it is used in French) to denigrate a male's intelligence
and masculinity. This word and its synonyms are, surely, also common in
misogynistic American street talk. There, a person annoyingly persistent
can be "a real cunt"; and, diversely, one who lacks backbone is
sometimes dismissed as "just a "pussy."  Would Malvolio's thinking of
himself as a "Count" suggest this string of personality defects to
Shakespeare's audience as well as to Toby and rest?

I wish someone would comment on this notion. Specifically, is there any
proof that references to "cut"/"count" would carry a negativity
appropriate to satire on Malvolio? In this regard, is it relevant that
Elizabethan males make ceaseless resort to the word "inCONstancy"
whenever discussing what is supposedly wrong with women?

Best regards,
Cliff Ronan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Sep 2002 17:04:37 -0400
Subject: 13.1916 Re: Her C's . . .
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1916 Re: Her C's . . .

Michael Shurgot writes that Olivia's

>seven year plan seems like one of the many excesses ripe for picking in
>this highly satirical play.

He is succinct and right on target. Illyria seems to be a place of
ungrounded excesses, and Olivia fits right in.

Yours,
Bill Godshalk

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