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MV Casket Choices
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0967  Tuesday, 31 October 2006

[1] 	From: 	Mario DiCesare <
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 	Date: 	Sunday, 29 Oct 2006 18:11:33 -0500
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

[2] 	From: 	Nora Kreimer <
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 	Date: 	Sunday, 29 Oct 2006 20:23:17 -0300
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

[3] 	From: 	Kristen McDermott <
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 	Date: 	Sunday, 29 Oct 2006 18:55:14 -0500
 	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

[4] 	From: 	Cary Dean Barney <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 30 Oct 2006 09:47:46 +0100
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

[5] 	From: 	John Drakakis <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 30 Oct 2006 09:46:34 -0000
 	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

[6] 	From: 	John Ramsay <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 30 Oct 2006 12:41:58 -0000
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Mario DiCesare <
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Date: 		Sunday, 29 Oct 2006 18:11:33 -0500
Subject: 17.0953 MV Casket Choices
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

>In "the Merchant of Venice", ... the poem in the silver casket
>states "marry who you will"........what's up with the discrepancy? Any
>suggestions ? I never noticed it before....
>
>Virginia Byrne

In II.ix, the "label" (referring to the picture of the blinking idiot) 
reads in part:

     Take what wife you will to bed,
     I will ever be your head.

Most editors slide right by this; John Russell Brown (Arden) notes that 
Dr. Johnson thought WS had obviously forgotten the condition never to "woo 
a maid."

Mario A. Di Cesare

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Nora Kreimer <
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Date: 		Sunday, 29 Oct 2006 20:23:17 -0300
Subject: 17.0953 MV Casket Choices
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

Sigmund Freud, "The Theme of the Three Caskets"

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Kristen McDermott <
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Date: 		Sunday, 29 Oct 2006 18:55:14 -0500
Subject: 17.0953 MV Casket Choices
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

Bravo to your student! Here's my purely subjective guess:

Perhaps this line is part of the overall curse/injunction to an 
unsuccessful chooser: he must agree never to marry, but should he attempt 
to renege, his marriage bed will be cursed with idiot progeny ("I will 
ever be your head"). Which makes me wonder whether there's a nod to 
Aragon's Juana the Mad, Philip II's great-aunt and Mary Tudor's aunt?

Kris McDermott
Central Michigan University

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Cary Dean Barney <
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Date: 		Monday, 30 Oct 2006 09:47:46 +0100
Subject: 17.0953 MV Casket Choices
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

I'm glad I'm not the only one whose students pick up on things their prof 
misses...

Could it be that the mastermind behind the casket plot (Portia's father, 
presumably) expects the losers to go back on their oath? After all they've 
shown their character by chosing the wrong caskets. Also, with similar 
logic, the implication may be that Arragon will take someone else's "wife 
to bed", perhaps the natural consequence of not being able to marry 
himself.

Love those loose ends.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Drakakis <
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Date: 		Monday, 30 Oct 2006 09:46:34 -0000
Subject: 17.0953 MV Casket Choices
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

Interesting point, but the injunction to which Arragon agrees is that he 
will "never in my life / To woo a maid in marriage" and that if he fails 
he will "Immediately [to] leave you and begone.  I take the emphasis on 
the act of 'wooing' to be crucial here. The same thing happens with 
Morocco earlier who is enjoined: "if you choose wrong, / Never to speak to 
lady afterward / In way of marriage;" (2.1.40-2). Is not the emphasis here 
upon 'romantic' courtship? Would this preclude a 'political' or arranged 
marriage in which the man takes no active part in the way of courtship? 
Elsewhere in Shakespeare there are more absolute embargoes on marriage for 
failure to obey an injunction. I wonder to what extent the suitors to 
Portia reflect the anxieties about marriage That involved Elizabeth 
herself (esp. foreign 'political' marriages?) Just a thought

Cheers,
John Drakakis

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Ramsay <
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Date: 		Monday, 30 Oct 2006 12:41:58 -0000
Subject: 17.0953 MV Casket Choices
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0953 MV Casket Choices

Actually Shakespeare wrote: ' Take what wife thou will to bed' .

Virginia must be working with a simplified or Bowdlerized version.

Either way, there is no discrepancy. Both expressions mean marry someone 
else because you're not marrying me.

In modern English it is common enough to say: 'You can do what you want.'

But the implication is clear that you can do what you want with someone 
else, not me.

John Ramsay

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