Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: October ::
If at home, sir
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1980  Friday, 10 October 2003

[1]     From:   Peter Schmuckal <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Oct 2003 09:14:52 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1970 If at home, sir

[2]     From:   Alex Went <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Oct 2003 23:00:35 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1970 If at home, sir


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Schmuckal <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 9 Oct 2003 09:14:52 -0700
Subject: 14.1970 If at home, sir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1970 If at home, sir

>I would appreciate any help on the matter of the first line of
>Polixenes' response to Leontes' question about how he feels about his
>son ("If at home, sir"), as follows:
>
>LEONTES
>                 . . . . My brother,
>         Are you so fond of your young prince as we
>         Do seem to be of ours?
>POLIXENES
>         If at home, sir,
...

As an actor who has played this part a couple of times, I try to use "If
at home, sir," as a gentle jibe back at Leontes since most of the play
up to this point is Leontes & Hermione badgering Polixenes not to return
home as he desires.  i.e. "If you'd ever let me get home so I can
actually see my son, kind sir..."

Peter Schmuckal

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alex Went <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 9 Oct 2003 23:00:35 +0100
Subject: 14.1970 If at home, sir
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1970 If at home, sir

Given that the speech in I.ii takes place sixteen years before the
shearing (both of sheep and family relations), I find it difficult to
interpret 'If at home' as implying a disobedient Florizel. Besides,
Camillo at IV.i. suggests that Florizel's change of behaviour in
affecting a sheephook is a recent phenomenon: '...is less frequent to
his princely exercises than formerly he hath appeared'

Much more satisfactory to read this as 'When I am at home'. The presence
or absence of Pol. from his unburdened throne provides the meat to the
domestic dispute between Leontes and Hermione. The absence of Polixenes
from his home is mentioned also at I.ii.1-3, I.ii.24, and it is clearly
important to the dramatic dynamic of I.ii. as a whole.

Alex Went

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail 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.
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.