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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: December ::
Footnotes in Bevington Othello?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.2070  Thursday, 9 December 2004

From:           Philip Weller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 08 Dec 2004 17:13:23 -0800
Subject:        Footnotes in Bevington Othello?

Teaching Othello again, I was once again struck by what I consider to be
the wrong-headedness of a pair of footnotes in Bevington's edition.
Othello says,

My story being done
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs.
She wished that she had not heard it, yet she wished
That heaven had made her such a man.  She thanked me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her.  Upon this hint I spake.

Bevington's note on "made her" is "created her to be," despite the fact
that in Hardin Craig's edition, from which Bevington's is descended, the
note for "made her" is "made for her."

Bevington's note on "hint" is "opportunity (Othello does not mean that
she was dropping hints),"  yet in the OED the very first citation for
"hint" as "a slight indication intended to be caught by the intelligent"
is "Upon this hint I spake."

Taken together, Bevington's notes seem to indicate that he is determined
to adopt the opinion of Brabantio: Desdemona, a nice white girl, would
never come on to black Othello.

What do you think?

-- Sincerely, Philip Weller Shakespeare Navigators
http://www.clicknotes.com

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