The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.025 Monday, 6 January 2003
Date: Friday, 3 Jan 2003 12:19:29 -0500
Subject: Lovely Garnish
What purpose is served (either within the play or within the theater
company) of Jessica dressing as a boy to run off with Lorenzo? The
traditional rope-ladder elopement would presumably work just as well,
although perhaps the "lovely garnish of a boy" would have pockets for
carrying more of Shylock's gold. And it would look pretty funny if
Lorenzo brought a "boy" to the nearest friar for while-u-wait conversion
and marriage. Most commentators expect the marriage to be unhappy
anyway--if Jessica is going to have to spend the rest of her life
apologizing for being female they're in real trouble.
Did the actor playing Jessica have to rush offstage to double as another
male, maybe as a super in the trial?
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