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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: July ::
Re: Duke as Count
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1575  Wednesday, 3 July 2002

[1]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Jul 2002 09:59:51 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1562 Re: Duke as Count

[2]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Jul 2002 15:53:53 -0400
        Subj:   Fw: SHK 13.1562 Re: Duke as Count


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Tuesday, 2 Jul 2002 09:59:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1562 Re: Duke as Count
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1562 Re: Duke as Count

> The purpose of the C-U-T lines, I think, is to keep
> playing on the
> interactions between folly and wisdom, keeping us
> clear of the
> sentimental conclusion that fools are really the
> wise ones, etc.

So where do you think Feste fits into all of this? He is mentioned in
2.3. as being part of the letter plot by Maria - "and let the fool make
a third" - but he fails to appear in this scene. This has often been
diligently explained away as compositor's or fair copy speech prefix
mistakes, or as revision, but let's assume that it actually is the
failure of Feste to appear for this scene. What does this say for Feste
and his absence's effect upon the actions onstage?

Do you mean to say that that fool is not wise?  Actually, I prefer to
think of Feste as the wise man who is considered a fool because he
presents reason in an illogical world.

Brian Willis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Jul 2002 15:53:53 -0400
Subject: 13.1562 Re: Duke as Count
Comment:        Fw: SHK 13.1562 Re: Duke as Count

Jillian Tremblay comments:

>Concerning any element of "lewdness" Shakespeare may or may not have
>intended, I urge you to consult Partridge's "Shakespeare's Bawdy." I
>think you will find that his jokes, although peppering a larger context
>of satire and wit, are not always as high-brow as some high school
>teachers would have them be.

Quite right about the humor, but please make no assumptions about high
school teachers. We're not what our ancestors were. When I teach
_Twelfth Night_ to my Acting II class, we spend a good bit of time
discussion this particular joke, and I pull no punches. One of the
reasons the students like working on Shakespeare is his 'worldliness'.
The real question regarding this scene is why such a joke comes from the
Puritan, Malvolio. Suffice it to say, we have some lively discussions.

Paul E. Doniger

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