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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: September ::
Winter's Tale Queries
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1846  Wednesday, 24 September 2003

[1]     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 08:26:12 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1842  Winter's Tale Queries

[2]     From:   Brian Schuth <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 08:53:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

[3]     From:   Tom Bishop <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 09:22:58 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

[4]     From:   David Crosby <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 12:18:39 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

[5]     From:   Roger Gross <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 13:34:32 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

[6]     From:   David Wallace <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 12:03:04 -0700
        Subj:   Re: Winter's Tale Queries

[7]     From:   Al Magary <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 14:11:36 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

[8]     From:   Susanne Collier-Lakeman <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 15:47:47 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

[9]     From:   Peter Groves <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 2003 13:58:56 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

[10]     From:  John Marwick <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 2003 19:31:47 +1200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 08:26:12 EDT
Subject: 14.1842  Winter's Tale Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1842  Winter's Tale Queries

Camillo's telling Leontes that he's being too hard on himself.  He has
laid his sorrow on too thick; most sorrows wear themselves out long
before sixteen years.  Get over it.  Please.

Dale Lyles

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Schuth <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 08:53:37 -0400
Subject: 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

Perdita = PERditA, not perDEEta. If you say 'perDEEta', the iambic
pentameter in many lines threatens to turn into a shower of dactyls, and
who wants a shower of dactyls?

Paulina = PaulEEna, just as you expect.

As far as Camillo's speech, he is sympathizing with Leontes by
acknowledging the great depth of his sorrow.  Leontes has just rebuked
himself for being "more stone than it" and says it "has [his] evils
conjured to remembrance", and so we can assume he is quite upset.
Camillo's comfort is not of the "there, there, it will be all right"
variety; it is just an acknowledgement that great hurts may not fade
with time.  He commiserates, rather than comforts.

Brian Schuth

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Eastport, Maine

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 09:22:58 -0500
Subject: 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

Some thoughts on these queries.

>I'm working on the final scene of WT with my high school actors, and I
>have a couple of questions:
>
>First - I would like to know the list's opinion on the pronunciation of
>Paulina and Perdita.  I have heard, and tend to prefer [paw-lee'-nuh]
>and [per-dee'-duh] (not exactly IPA notation, but I hope it will
>suffice).  AND, every time "Paulina" is spoken in Act 5, scene 3, it
>looks like it should scan as two syllables...what's up with that??

One can pronounce Paulina either "-ee-na" or "-eye-na" indifferently.
Most likely the Elizabethans said "eye-na", as in "the Pauline
epistles", reflecting the vowel deformations of the 15th century.
Perdita however MUST be pronounced "PER-di-tuh", not "Per-DEE-tuh" or
the scansion of lines like "Our Perdita is found" becomes a mess.
Paulina scans as three syllables always. I can't see any instance where
it should scan as two. Often, however, it occurs at the end of a line,
where an eleventh syllable is quite normal (but see the first line).

>And second - What is Camillo trying to say in lines 58-62?
>
>      My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,
>      Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
>      So many summers dry.  Scarce any joy
>      Did ever so long live; no sorrow
>      But killed itself much sooner.

This can be papraphrased as:

"My lord you overdid your grief like a too-thickly-plastered make-up-job
[cf. Hermione's new paint], since all the changes of sixteen years
haven't sufficed to bring it to an end. Not even joy would normally last
such a long time; sorrow so extreme usually causes the death of the
griever much sooner."

>I think he's trying to comfort Leontes...but he seems to be saying
>"you've already been sad for so long; yet a lifetime wouldn't be long
>enough; people are hardly ever happy for this long, let alone wallowing
>in sorrow."
>
>How is this supposed to be a comfort??

It's a way of saying, gently, infinitely gently, since he knows Leontes
is in some sort wedded to his sorrow: "Surely you have done penance, and
penance, and more than penance. We are all amazed you haven't killed
yourself with remorse. Isn't it time to let some other life in? Come
back from death now, at last, and cease to kill all joy."  It's
important that Leontes REFUSES this, as it were, temptation to let
himself off the hook and insists on keeping his sins before his mind.
Had Paulina, as she offers to do, drawn the curtain to spare him, would
Hermione never have appeared?

Hope this helps,

Tom

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Crosby <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 12:18:39 -0500
Subject: 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

Concerning the scansion of Paulina's name as two or three syllables, I
see no particular problem.

Shakespeare seems clearly to indicate three syllables as in III.iii.
35-37:

......................... Thou ne'er shalt see
Thy wife Paulina more: and so with shrieks
She melted into air.

Line 36 is 10 syllables counting Paulina as three, and the stress falls
naturally on 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th syllables.

Likewise, in V.i. 69-71

Leontes: I'll have no wife, Paulina.
Paulina:                               Will you swear
              Never to marry, but by my free leave?
Leontes: Never, Paulina, so be blessed my spirit.

In line 69, Paulina must be three syllables for it to scan. Line 70
begins with a metrical echo of the line before it. Never is an inverted
iamb (or trochee) in both cases. Line 70 has 11 syllables (provided we
count "blessed" as a single syllable), but this is easily accounted for
since "spirit" gives the line a conventional feminine ending (one with a
final extra-metrical unstressed syllable). Paulina's name is used at
least four times to provide feminine endings to lines: e.g. V.iii. 8,
70, 75, and 135.  C. Hugh Holman, in his _Handbook to Literature_ notes
that the feminine ending is frequently used in blank verse, and
suggests, "This variation gives a sense of movement and an irregularity
to the meter which make for grace and lightness" (p. 183).

That leaves a couple of problem lines. At the beginning of V.iii,
Leontes says:

O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
That I have had of thee....

The first line also has a feminine ending, but the ear probably rebels
at stressing the article "the" as the 8th syllable; but I can certainly
imagine shifting the stress to "great," thus bumping two stressed
syllables together to give more weight to "great," since we naturally
create a slight pause between two stressed syllables that fall next to
each other.

Finally, in V.iii.126-7 we find this line from Hermione:

Knowing by Paulina that the oracle
Gave hope thou wast in being...

Here the first line has 11 syllables, but not a feminine ending, unless
the second syllable of "oracle" is stressed, a pronunciation for which I
can find no evidence. My best guess is that there is elision of "Knowing
by" into two syllables forming a trochee. The first syllable of
"knowing" must be stressed, so the word forms a trochee. Hastening over
the by (I don't think most actors would want to stress it), we get back
into regular iambic rhythm with "Paulina." However it is scanned, it is
not a particularly euphonious line.

My conclusion is that there is no evidence to suggest that Paulina was
not always pronounced as three syllables.

David Crosby

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Gross <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 13:34:32 -0500
Subject: 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

There is no certain answer to the central vowel sound of "Paulina" but
the name is most often heard as paw-LY-nuh ir  puh-LY-nuh.

Perdita is definitely  PURR-dih-tuh.  The scansion requirement is very
clear.

I believe that Camillo is telling him that he has been grieving too
long, too intensely.  It is time to let it go.  Even great joy doesn't
last so long.

Roger Gross
U. of Arkansas

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[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Wallace <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 12:03:04 -0700
Subject:        Re: Winter's Tale Queries

Susan St. John asks why the name "Paulina" seems to scan as two
syllables in WT 5.3.  From a quick scan of the scene one can observe
that "Paulina" is positioned, most often, at the terminus of the line of
verse. The 11th unstressed syllable of a line of verse is usually
considered extra-metrical -  the so-called "weak" or "feminine" ending.
(I think the term "extra-metrical" avoids the implicit sexism of the
other terms.) An extra-metrical syllable may also occur in a medial
position of the line of verse - most often preceding a syntactic break
(comma, period, onset of a prepositional phrase etc.) I am not a
linguist, but it may be that the final "a" in Paulina is schwa (as in
sofa). If this is the case, the "a", in certain instances, may not be
counted in the scansion regardless of its position in the line.

Cheers!
David Wallace

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[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 14:11:36 -0700
Subject: 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

>First - I would like to know the list's opinion on the
>pronunciation of Paulina and Perdita.  I have heard,
>and tend to prefer [paw-lee'-nuh] and [per-dee'-duh]
>(not exactly IPA notation, but I hope it will suffice).

The poet HD (Hilda Doolittle) had a daughter, by Cecil Gray, named
Frances Perdita--later known as Perdita Macpherson Schaffner
(1919-2001).  She was named from a friend and from WT, and the family
pronounced it PURR-dit-tuh.

Al Magary

[8]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susanne Collier-Lakeman <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 15:47:47 -0700
Subject: 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

Actually, English actors seem always to avoid the "ee" sound.  Thus it
is Paul EYE na and PER di ta. Just as for some reason it is Mar EYE a in
12 N. I've never known why perhaps someone else does?

Pip pip,
Susanne

[9]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <
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Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 2003 13:58:56 +1000
Subject: 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

Susan St. John asks:

>I would like to know the list's opinion on the pronunciation of
>Paulina and Perdita.  I have heard, and tend to prefer [paw-lee'-nuh]
>and [per-dee'-duh] (not exactly IPA notation, but I hope it will
>suffice).  AND, every time "Paulina" is spoken in Act 5, scene 3, it
>looks like it should scan as two syllables...what's up with that??

Where metre is concerned, personal preference is usually not
particularly relevant.  The metre establishes paroxytonic [paw-lee'-nuh]
in almost all cases (and nowhere is a disyllabic scansion required: at
the end of the line it simply produces what used to be called a
'feminine ending'):

Thy wife Paulina more. And so, with shrieks
I'll have no wife, Paulina. / Will you swear
Never, Paulina; so be blest my spirit!
To see her in your arms. / My true Paulina,
O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort
Knowing by Paulina that the oracle   (<knowing> counts as one syllable)
My life may last to answer. / O Paulina,
As infancy and grace. But yet, Paulina,
He'll think anon it lives. / O sweet Paulina,
I could afflict you farther. / Do, Paulina;
Lament till I am lost. / O, peace, Paulina!
Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina,

One example suggests proparoxytonic [paw'-lee-nuh], but Occam's razor
suggests that <Paulina> remain paroxytonic and that the line be read
with catalexis (missing offbeat) in the position indicated by the caret
(catalexes are particularly common in WT):

Was like to be the best./ ^ Good Paulina

Paroxytonic [per-dee'-duh], on the other hand, will destroy the metre of
every line it occurs in (whoever you heard it from couldn't scan).  It
must be proparoxytonic [per'-di-tuh] (or [per'-di-duh] for North
Americans).

Peter Groves

[10]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Marwick <
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Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 2003 19:31:47 +1200
Subject: 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1842 Winter's Tale Queries

I think the use of 'Paulina' is always at the end of the line and the
third syllable is an extra eleventh syllable in the line - called a
'feminine ending' I understand according to John Barton's excellent book
'Playing Shakespeare."  He says "This extra syllable is always a light
stress and not a strong one and is simply a piece of licence given to
anyone writing in blank verse." He says actors don't have to do anything
about it except be careful not to lay stress on such an ending.
Feminine endings are very common - and especially I think in the later
plays.

As for Camillo's speech is comforting - isn't he saying "Your grieving
is too much if sixteen winters and summers can't blow it away - even joy
doesn't last that that long never mind sorrow."

John Marwick

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