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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: October ::
Troilus & Cressida
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1705  Thursday, 6 October 2005

[1] 	From: 	Michael Luskin <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 4 Oct 2005 11:41:51 EDT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida

[2] 	From: 	John W. Kennedy <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 04 Oct 2005 12:06:08 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida

[3] 	From: 	Norman Hinton <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 04 Oct 2005 11:22:21 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida

[4] 	From: 	Bill Arnold <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 4 Oct 2005 13:15:18 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida [cousinships]

[5] 	From: 	David Basch <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 05 Oct 2005 21:26:34 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Michael Luskin <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 4 Oct 2005 11:41:51 EDT
Subject: 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida

In many plays, cousin is used as a term of respect between people, not 
necessarily relatives.  For instance in Measure for Measure, the Duke 
calls someone cousin.  And in Henry V as well.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John W. Kennedy <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 04 Oct 2005 12:06:08 -0400
Subject: 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida

Ben Alexander <
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 >

 >I would be grateful if someone can explain why Pandarus
 >(at Norton 3.2.185) calls either Troilus or Cressida his
 >"cousin". Cressida was clearly his niece and Troilus was
 >the King's son, and no apparent relation.

"Cousin" had not always the specific sense it bears today, being rather 
closer to "relation"/"relative".

 >Also was this action considered to be a civil marriage,

No such concept yet existed.

 >and is there any significance that Troilus was in his 23rd year -
 >the play was registered in 1603 which could allude to someone
 >born in 1580?

The play does not say as much. Pandarus says (and it may be no more than 
rhetoric) that Troilus is younger than 23. In any case, registration can 
provide no more than a /terminus/ /ad/ /quem/ for composition, and T&C 
was probably written in 1602.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Norman Hinton <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 04 Oct 2005 11:22:21 -0500
Subject: 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida

The fifth definition of "cousin" from the OED (and there are references 
enough from the Renaissance --  Middle English has the same usage):

5. As a term of intimacy, friendship, or familiarity

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bill Arnold <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 4 Oct 2005 13:15:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida [cousinships]
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida [cousinships]

Ben Alexander, "I would be grateful if someone can explain why Pandarus 
(at Norton 3.2.185) calls either Troilus or Cressida his 'cousin'. 
Cressida was clearly his niece and Troilus was the King's son, and no 
apparent relation."

Well, I will let you figure it out.  But let me help you with this much 
about cousinships.  My second cousin Tom and I have grandmothers who 
were sisters.  This is a fact and he is a professional genealogist, and 
he and I share a pair of the same great-grandparents.  It would look 
like this:

                  Great-Grandparents
             |                                    |
Grandmother A              Grandmother B   sisters
             |                                    |
       Parent A                       Parent B         first cousins
             |                                    |
           Him                               Me            second cousins

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Basch <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 05 Oct 2005 21:26:34 -0400
Subject: 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1687 Troilus & Cressida

Ben Alexander asks if the relationship between Troilus and Cressida was 
considered a "civil marriage." I would judge that it was not a marriage 
at all since a marriage would require some kind of official recognition 
if it is not publicly announced.

That is the ticklish situation Troilus placed Cressida in, making her 
his "serious girl" but giving her nothing official or tangible to denote 
her status as his wife, not even a public engagement.

David Basch

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