The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0809 Tuesday, 19 September 2006
From: David Bishop <
Date: Monday, 18 Sep 2006 15:22:27 -0400
Subject: 17.0802 Who's this critic?
Comment: Re: SHK 17.0802 Who's this critic?
I wonder if it's possible that "almost damn'd in a fair wife" combines
two ideas. One is that a fair woman is more subject to temptation, and a
cause of temptation, that may lead to damnation. So female fairness is
associated with the path to hell, as, in Hamlet, beauty is incompatible
The second idea is that Cassio looks like a pretty woman. His sort of
pretty, if not prettified, Florentine good looks would make him almost
damned if he were a woman, as he appears to be. This seems to go with
the thrust of Iago's remarks, that Cassio is unmanly--compared also to a
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