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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: March ::
Much Ado Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0593  Wednesday, 3 March 2004

[1]     From:   John Ramsay <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 10:48:56 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0574 Much Ado Questions

[2]     From:   Jennifer Soldanels <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 11:31:13 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0574 Much Ado Questions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Ramsay <
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Date:           Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 10:48:56 -0500
Subject: 15.0574 Much Ado Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0574 Much Ado Questions

 >Act 1, scene 1, lines 173-174 (Pelican edition) read:
 >
 >CLAUDIO  Can the world buy such a jewel?
 >BENEDICK  Yea, and a case to put it into.
 >
 >The annotation reads: case (1) jewel case, (2) clothing, (3) vagina
 >("it" would then mean "penis")
 >
 >Does the third sense of "case" make sense? Jewel goes into jewel case, a
 >woman goes into clothing, but then the parallel falls apart.

Yes it makes sense. It's extended punning.

The woman is the jewel. She could be put in a case. Or a penis could be
inserted into her case.

It also suggests the woman could be bought.

Ancient Latin 'vagina' means sheath, scabbard, vagina.

Similarly, in modern day English usage Brits use the term 'sheath knife'
while Yanks use the term 'case knife' for a knife that comes with a
scabbard to cover the blade as opposed to a folding knife.

John Ramsay

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jennifer Soldanels <
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Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 11:31:13 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.0574 Much Ado Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0574 Much Ado Questions

I find this relatively simple.  Benedick puts no stock into love or
women, which we see throughout the first half of the play.  His response
shows that he thinks it's easy to get a woman's love/virginity and thus
the woman herself.  As Benedick sees it, all women are up for the
marital sale.

As far as your second question, there is a misunderstanding created by
Don John and possible due to the strange wooing circumstances.  It is
too soon in the plot to create the tremendous dramatic moment we get in
the scene at the altar.  Rather that scene gives the audience a lot of
info on the characters, particularly Claudio.  Claudio is shown to be
rash and easily persuaded which obviously plays out later.

J. Soldanels

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