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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
ducdame
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1639  Tuesday, 27 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Thomas Bishop <
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	Date: 	Monday, 26 Sep 2005 14:09:31 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1621 ducdame

[2] 	From: 	Markus Marti <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 27 Sep 2005 08:48:14 +0200
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1621 ducdame


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Thomas Bishop <
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 >
Date: 		Monday, 26 Sep 2005 14:09:31 -0400
Subject: 16.1621 ducdame
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1621 ducdame

 >Memory refreshed - the locale is Vienna, but many of
 >the character's names more likely
 >Italian(ish), e.g. "Vincentio."  None German.  Why?

Shakespeare doesn't always pay strict attention to matching locale and 
name, especially in Germanic states, but not only there.  Venice, for 
instance, has a Jew called Shylock, an English name, and a native 
solider called Iago, a Spanish name. Elsinore in Denmark has a king 
called Claudius, a councillor called Polonius, both Latin, a sometime 
visitor called Horatio, apparently Italian, and a young man called, 
Greekly, Laertes (no doubt his father's classicizing fantasy), as well 
as a more properly Gemanic Queen Gertrude and courtier Osric. Two guards 
are called Marcellus and Barnardo, for heaven's sake! Hamlet's Vienna 
also has Italian inhabitants in Gonzago and Baptista "extant and written 
in very choice Italian", though why we're never told. People in Illyria 
seem to be Italian rather than Croatian, though perhaps Shakespeare knew 
nothing of the latter and merely liked the punning place-name. Both Gary 
Taylor and Fritz Levy have argued, independently, that Measure for 
Measure, on the strength of its odd namings, was originally meant to be 
set in Italy (Levy argues for Venice), with only minor adjustments (such 
as the early ref in 1.2 to the King of Hungary). If Shakespeare were 
more consistent elsewhere, there might be more to be said about this, 
but as he isn't, it's hard to make out a really strong case, as it seems 
to me.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Markus Marti <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Tuesday, 27 Sep 2005 08:48:14 +0200
Subject: 16.1621 ducdame
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1621 ducdame

 >- the locale is Vienna, but many of the character's names
 >more likely Italian(ish), e.g. "Vincentio."  None German.  Why?

If the English name for the city were Wheen, we might have got some 
Hansels and Sepperls and Wolferls, Hayderls and Schickelgruberls; Thomas 
and Peter could be German or English; but there is also a Vienne at the 
Isere (Sj

 

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