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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
Question on Measure for Measure
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1908  Tuesday, 19 October 2004

From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Monday, 18 Oct 2004 14:10:46 +0100
Subject: 15.1900 Question on Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1900 Question on Measure for Measure

Larry Weiss wrote:

 >Tom Krause wrote:
 >
 >>the fact that "Mariana" appeared in a bed-trick in another
 >>play means nothing without supporting data that Mr. Larque failed to
 >>provide, such as just how common a name was "Mariana" in plays of
 >>that period, and how many such plays involve bed-tricks.
 >
 >There are only about 400 extant English plays for the period
 >antedating M/M.  It would be the work of an hour or two online to
 >answer this question, and Mr. Krause can do it as well as Mr. Larque.
 >My guess is that precisely two plays have Marianas involved in bed
 >tricks.  But if there were more, if it were as common as mistaken
 >identity in modern crime drama, that would cut against Krause's
 >theory, as the use of Mariana in a bed trick would merely be a common
 >device not likely to allude to Juan de Mariana.

There is, of course, a bed-trick and also a Mariana in "All's Well That
Ends Well", the play generally agreed to be closest in date to "Measure
for Measure".  There is no agreement as to which came first, but it has
been pointed out that the bed-trick in "All's Well" is integral to the
plot, whereas that in MM is tacked on.  Even if "All's Well" was written
second, it could indicate an audience demand for bed-trick plays with
characters called Mariana - or a widespead interest in currency
debasement, of course...

John Briggs

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