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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: April ::
Much Ado "Picture"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0177  Wednesday, 22 April 2009

[1]  From:   Alberto Cacicedo <
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      Date:   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 13:48:08 -0400
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

[2]  From:   Ron Severdia <
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      Date:   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 11:20:58 -0700
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

[3]  From:   Godshalk, William <
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      Date:   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 14:25:25 -0400
      Subj:   RE: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

[4]  From:   Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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      Date:   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 15:01:33 -0400
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

[5]  From:   Frank Whigham <
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      Date:   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 14:05:47 -0500
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

[6]  From:   Duncan Salkeld <
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      Date:   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 20:20:32 +0000 (GMT)
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

[7]  From:   David Evett <
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      Date:   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 16:45:50 -0400
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

[8]  From:   Dudley Knight <
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      Date:   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 17:11:26 -0400
      Subj:   RE: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

[9]  From:   Joseph Egert <
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      Date:   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 17:19:03 -0700 (PDT)
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

[10] From:   Conrad Cook <
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      Date:   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 01:02:20 -0400
      Subj:   Much Ado "Picture"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Alberto Cacicedo <
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Date:       Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 13:48:08 -0400
Subject: 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

Miniatures are a possibility. Lots of examples of those in the period. 
-- Al Cacicedo

 >I'm looking for help with Benedick's last line in Act 2 of
 >Much Ado. It's the end of the gulling scenes, he is convinced
 >Beatrice is in  love with him, and he leaves saying, "I will go
 >get her picture." I  can find the line glossed nowhere. Schmidt's
 >glossary lists the use  of "picture" in this line as literal, that
 >Benedick is going to get  an image or likeness of her. Now,
 >of course, we can arm him with a  mobile, and it all makes
 >sense. But then?
 >
 >Thanks for any ideas you might have.
 >
 >Cheers,
 >Skip Nicholson
 >South Pasadena, California
 >
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[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Ron Severdia <
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Date:       Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 11:20:58 -0700
Subject: 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

There's a double meaning in that...

The idea is that he's going to get a picture of Beatrice to gaze upon it 
as typical young lovers do -- so it's literal. However, the actor might 
play the juxtaposition of building the speech up to that point, as if he 
was going to profess his love for her, but chicken out and go for the 
picture instead. Since he has railed against love so much, this is the 
best first step in coming to terms with his new feelings -- and getting 
up the gumption to face his friends.

Cheers,
Ron Severdia
PlayShakespeare.com

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Godshalk, William <
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Date:       Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 14:25:25 -0400
Subject: 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    RE: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

I'd suggest a painted miniature of the loved one that could be worn 
about the neck by a chain. See Hamlet (ed. Jenkins) 3.4.53 who discusses 
"this picture." Jenkins cites A. C. Sprague's Shakespeare and the 
Actors, pp. 166-168, where the case for miniatures is "well put."

W. L. Godshalk

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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Date:       Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 15:01:33 -0400
Subject: 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

I've always viewed that line as meaning he is going to go sketch her.

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Frank Whigham <
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Date:       Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 14:05:47 -0500
Subject: 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

What about having a miniature of her painted, as people frequently did 
with the royals? There was a busy market for this kind of thing. See the 
note in Zitner's Oxford edition.

~Frank Whigham

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Duncan Salkeld <
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Date:       Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 20:20:32 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

As the recent Cobbe portrait controversy would seem to bear out, 
Shakespeare's awareness of a growing interest in portraiture is marked 
by occasional allusion to, or use of, paintings as properties in his 
plays (more commonly termed 'pictures'). In Two Gents, Proteus begs 
Silvia for '[t]he picture that is hanging in your chamber', that he may 
speak and sigh at least to her 'shadow' (4.2.114-5). Silvia later hands 
it to the disguised Julia (4.4.111). The lord, in the induction to The 
Taming of the Shrew, gives order for his walls to be hung round with 
'all my wanton pictures' (Ind. 1.43), and Benedick, newly convinced of 
Beatrice's adoration, determines that he will 'go get her picture' 
(2.3.232). In Merchant, Portia is won by selection of her portrait, 
hidden in one of three caskets: 'The one of them contains my picture, 
Prince' (2.7.11).  Hamlet compels Gertrude to 'look here upon this 
picture', to see in it 'the front of Jove himself' (3.4.52, 55), and so 
too her own guilt. Later in his career, Timon berates a painter and a 
poet, impress are paraded in Pericles, and Emilia enters 'with two 
pictures' (Two Noble Kinsmen, 4.2.0). There is quite a bit to be said 
about Shakespeare's uses of visual images, some of it in an article of 
mine forthcoming (I trust). It's worth remembering that Burbage was a 
painter and that Shakespeare collaborated with him on a design for the 
sixth Earl of Rutland in 1613: Item, 31 Martii to Mr Shakespeare in gold 
about my Lorde's impreso, xliiijs; to Richard Burbage for paynting and 
making yt, in gold xliiijs.  --  iiijli. Viijs.

Duncan Salkeld
Department of English
The University of Chichester

[7]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       David Evett <
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Date:       Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 16:45:50 -0400
Subject: 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:     Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

When Benedick announces his intention to "go get" Beatrice's picture, 
the likeliest explanation is that he means to track down a portrait 
miniature, of the kind familiar to us from reproductions of work by 
Nicholas Hilliard and others. The proposal is perhaps more interesting 
than it might seem, for where he might find such a thing is not obvious 
on the face of it. In the course of an established relationship one 
party might make a present of such a thing to the other; thus the 
speaker of Sonnet 47 refers to a picture of the beloved in his 
possession, and Hamlet has one of his father. In Ado,  there has not yet 
been time enough to have one made for the purpose, however, and in any 
case Beatrice would have to be very cooperative, and while he now 
believes that she loves him she has not yet confessed it to him. Hero 
might have one, or perhaps Leontes, but to borrow from either would be 
to expose his new or revitalized love publicly. It occurs to me that he 
might possibly have acquired one during the earlier phase of their 
relationship, a notion that would indicate that that earlier 
relationship was as serious as Beatrice's comments on it seem to 
suggest, while indicating Benedick's own continuing interest in her.

David Evett

[8]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Dudley Knight <
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Date:       Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 17:11:26 -0400
Subject: 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    RE: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

Well, the "naughty" interpretation is that there's a double entendre on 
the meanings of "obtain" and "beget", both of which, according to the 
OED, date at least from the early 14th century. And it's the 
interpretation that I prefer, given that Benedick (I pass over his name 
without comment) is -- at this moment in the play -- both overly 
credulous about Beatrice's behavior and in some degree of denial about 
his own desires, a state that a double entendre fits perfectly.

Dudley Knight
Professor Emeritus
Claire Trevor School of the Arts
University of California, Irvine

[9]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Joseph Egert <
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Date:       Tuesday, 21 Apr 2009 17:19:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0171 Much Ado "Picture"

Skip Nicholson asks:

 >I'm looking for help with Benedick's last line in Act 2 of Much Ado.
 >It's the end of the gulling scenes, he is convinced Beatrice is in 
love with
 >him, and he leaves saying, "I will go get her picture." I can find the
 >line glossed nowhere. Schmidt's glossary lists the use of
 >"picture" in this line as literal, that Benedick is going to get an
 >image or likeness of her. Now, of course, we can arm him with a 
mobile, and it
 >all makes sense. But then?
 >
 >"Thanks for any ideas you might have."

Start out with:

   http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/muchado/section4.rhtml

Then go to:

http://books.google.com/books?id=f9hWTPV0BtEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:literature+intitle:workbook+inauthor:calvo&lr=&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES#PPA11,M1

Finally, for greater detail pick up Roy Strong's THE ENGLISH RENAISSANCE 
MINIATURE (1983).

Hope the links work.
Joe Egert

[10]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Conrad Cook <
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Date:       Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 01:02:20 -0400
Subject:    Much Ado "Picture"

 >I'm looking for help with Benedick's last line in Act 2 of Much Ado.
 >It's the end of the gulling scenes, he is convinced Beatrice is in love
 >with him, and he leaves saying, "I will go get her picture." I can find
 >the line glossed nowhere. Schmidt's glossary lists the use of "picture"
 >in this line as literal, that Benedick is going to get an image or
 >likeness of her. Now, of course, we can arm him with a mobile, and it
 >all makes sense. But then?

It reminds me of Hamlet, to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern:

H>It is not very strange; for mine uncle is king of
H>Denmark, and those that would make mouths at him while
H>my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, a
H>hundred ducats a-piece for his picture in little.

The idea here seems to be that painters would create snapshot-sized 
portraits folks could carry around with them. I infer that Benedick will 
commission such a portrait. (Or possibly buy one ready-made, since she 
is a lady of the court.)

In the case of Hamlet about court brown-nosers, it seems that carrying 
around a picture of an important person implied a kind of allegiance. 
Such an implication works in Much Ado, since after the repudiation at 
the altar, Benedick stays with Beatrice rather than going out with his 
friends. The actor might've had a prop that he'd use to better moon over 
her.

That's all a guess.

Conrad.

PS: I like the idea of Benedick with a cell phone, though.

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