The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0236 Friday, 10 May 2013
Date: May 10, 2013 9:13:03 AM EDT
Subject: Alonso Resigns a Dukedom?
Another one of those lines I’ve look past many times without stopping before to ask how it can be:
ALONSO: Thy pulse
Beats, as of flesh and blood; and, since I saw thee,
Th'affliction of my mind amends, with which,
I fear, a madness held me. This must crave
(An if this be at all) a most strange story.
Thy dukedom I resign and do entreat
Thou pardon me my wrongs. But how should Prospero
Be living and be here? [TEMPEST, 5.1.113-120]
The problem: How can Alonso resign a dukedom he doesn’t have? I’ve long known the discussion of Antonio’s near silence in Act 5, and I’ve double-checked a few online facsimiles of the scene in the folio, and there’s no mistaking the attribution of the line to Alonso.
So, I’m stumped. Suggestions?
(By the way, a thank-you for the responses to my previous enquiries about Kent in KING LEAR.)