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Home :: Archive :: 2011 :: December ::
Twelfth Night Query

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0343  Tuesday, 13 December 2011

 

[1] From:         Jim Ryan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         December 12, 2011 11:16:18 AM EST

     Subject:      Re: TN Query 

 

[2] From:         Pervez Rizvi < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         December 12, 2011 6:08:52 PM EST

     Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: SHK 22.0334 TN Query 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Jim Ryan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 12, 2011 11:16:18 AM EST

Subject:      Re: TN Query

 

On the switching of scenes in TN Steve Sohmer might be interested in my essay, “Twelfth Night: A Scene Break at 3.4.263?” (Shakespeare Newsletter 50:1, Spring 2000). It suggests a rationale for both scene sequence and scene division in the play. I'd be glad to provide a copy to anyone interested.

 

Jim Ryan

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Pervez Rizvi < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 12, 2011 6:08:52 PM EST

Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: SHK 22.0334 TN Query

 

John Briggs writes:

 

> I would argue that this is a mistake, and that it is just because the 

>order is arbitrary (i.e. there was nothing forcing Shakespeare to use 

>this particular order) that it represents a conscious authorial decision, 

>which should be respected.

 

If arbitrary, then the scene order in the received text may just be incidental rather than intentional, and therefore nothing turns on the order in which we perform the scenes. But I agree with you because I think the order is not arbitrary. If we perform 1.2 first then 1.1 does nothing to advance the plot; this is because 1.2 has already told us what 1.1 tells us, that Orsino is in unrequited love with Olivia, who is mourning for her dead brother. But if we perform 1.1 first, then, although 1.2 repeats what we already know, it also introduces a new plot line, about Viola's lost twin brother, tells us how Shakespeare will bring the two plot lines together (by having Viola serve at Orsino's court) and therefore increases our appetite for what's to come. Shakespeare understood better than his modern interpreters.

 

 

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