The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0261  Friday, 30 January 2004

From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 2004 14:24:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 15.0244 Questions Related to Love's Labor's Lost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0244 Questions Related to Love's Labor's Lost

I've received various replies on various threads, all for which I am

Back when I was researching Thomas Middleton, I had noticed various
parallels between his play A Mad World, My Masters and Shakespeare's
Venus and Adonis. On my latest reading of Love's Labor's Lost, I have
found that Shakespeare again puns on the deer/dear hunt in the deer park
(as he had done in V&A).

Then I found these passages to parallel. From LLL,

[Berowne:] What? I love, I sue, I seek a wife!
A woman that is like a German clock,
Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
And never going aright, being a watch,
But being watched that it may still go right! (4.1.186-190)

 From A Mad World, My Masters, during the speech of Penitent's repentance:

[Penitent:] What is she [woman], took asunder from her clothes?
Being ready, she consists of hundred pieces,
Much like your German clock, and near allied:
Both are so nice they cannot go for pride,
Beside a greater fault, but too well known,
They'll strike to ten when they should stop at one. (4.1.19-24)

Middleton's subplot involving Penitent and Mistress Harebrain may be an
inversion of LLL; Mistress Harebrain is kept close in by her husband to
keep her from making him a cuckold. Only one man is admitted to see her,
the outwardly pious Penitent Brothel, who is supposed to instruct her in
the ways of piety. The result, of course, is Harebrain's cuckolding.

As my access to the MLAIB is limited, I'd be grateful to know if there
is any research considering further any connections between LLL and
Middleton's drama.

Jack Heller
Huntington College

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