2006

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0809  Tuesday, 19 September 2006

From: 		David Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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 
with honesty.

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 
spinster--and unsoldierly.

Best wishes,
David Bishop

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