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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
There's Magic in the Web
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0497  Thursday, 17 March 2005

[1]     From:   Susan St. John <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Mar 2005 10:03:14 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0489 There's Magic in the Web

[2]     From:   Stefan Andreas Sture <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Mar 2005 20:52:28 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0489 There's Magic in the Web

[3]     From:   Bradshaw Graham <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 13:53:02 +0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0489 There's Magic in the Web


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Mar 2005 10:03:14 -0700
Subject: 16.0489 There's Magic in the Web
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0489 There's Magic in the Web

The sexual innuendo of the handkerchief aside, are we expected to
believe Othello when he tells Desdemona that it was given to his mother
by an Egyptian charmer, and the whole charm/curse that it holds?

If we are supposed to believe this, then the strawberries would
represent whatever the Egyptian charmer meant them to mean (or the Sibyl
who sew'd it), and not some sexual inference of Othello's.  Do
strawberries hold any significance toward fidelity?  If Shakespeare
thought of strawberries as a sex organ (male or female) it seems that
this would be the WRONG image to represent constancy in a relationship.
  So, did Othello have the handkerchief made to put sexual ideas into
Des's head, and then make-up the story of the charm?

I have always thought Othello made up that story to make her worry more
about having lost it (or given it away, as he thinks).  If it is not a
made-up story for him to use in that moment, why didn't he tell her the
significance of the hanky when he first gave it to her???

Susan St. John

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stefan Andreas Sture <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Mar 2005 20:52:28 +0100
Subject: 16.0489 There's Magic in the Web
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0489 There's Magic in the Web

Yes, well. Female parts, anyway. But I feel that this is getting way off
topic - Shakespeare that is. And strawberries are in no way in season in
my part of the world (Norway). Here is snow and cold, and I long for
strawberries. Cut 'em lengthwise, sure. I'll go get me some string
beans. Be sure to check out my blog on your way:
http://parergon.blogspot.com/  The link "Stefan om Hamlet" will get you
to some English words if you miss out on the Norwegian subtleties.

Love and Strawberries to you all,
Stefan A. Sture (freezing)

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradshaw Graham <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 13:53:02 +0900
Subject: 16.0489 There's Magic in the Web
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0489 There's Magic in the Web

Perhaps the strawberry spots on white linen mattered more, in an age
when bridal sheets were sometimes displayed, the morning after. Though
that makes another question more pressing: why does Desdemona want the
bridal sheets laid again, on the next day? And, do we suppose that the
Christian convert really believes in this "magic", or is he trying to
frighten Desdemona?

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