The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1645 Tuesday, 19 August 2003
Date: Tuesday, 19 Aug 2003 01:51:37 -0400
Subject: 14.1624 Re: Denouements of Forgiveness and Gender
Comment: Re: SHK 14.1624 Re: Denouements of Forgiveness and Gender
>Who is it Olivia must forgive, besides herself? What must
>Viola forgive beyond Orsino's nearsightedness?
Interesting as this discussion is, I have only a brief comment before I
head off to Dance New England's annual Camp, where such matters will
In my youth I played Olivia in two different productions, and I must say
that although Orsino's death threats pass lightly among the cascade of
revelations in Act 5 , they seem real and terrifying when one is on
stage and facing them. Orsino is a dangerous man who believes that a
sin against him is a capital offense, and that he is entitled to be both
judge and jury. He can't revenge himself upon Olivia, whom he claims
to love; so he proposes to take out his wrath on his powerless servant
Cesario. "Leave her (or him) to heaven" is the only loving response to
a failure of love. Were I Viola's brother, I would certainly try to
talk my sister out of marrying Orsino.
Geralyn Horton, playwright
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