Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 1, No. 47. Tuesday, 4 Sep 1990.
Date:         Tue, 04 Sep 90 18:50:43 EDT
From:         Ken Steele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject:      Titus and "Remunerate"
      In my thesis research, I've been a little disappointed to find
*Titus Andronicus* rather boring -- textually, that is.  There are a
number of Q1/F1 variants, but most can be irrefutably ascribed to
compositorial error: changes in pronouns, plurality, or verb tense are
very common errors; passages of fabricated text have clearly been caused
by quarto pages torn in specific ways; and all the truly interesting F1
variants seem to be compositorial anticipations or recollections of nearby
      Of course, there is the matter of scene 3.2, which does not exist
at all in Q1.  Also, F1 corrects one interesting error in Q1, and adds
another still more interesting one of its own.  I'm going to explore
those later.  Right now I want to focus on *Titus* 1.1.398, the editorial
consensus about this line, and my objections.  I'd be interested in any
comments, suggestions, or parallels members can suggest.
      The line, "Yes, and will Nobly him remunerate," is the difficulty
here, and appears only in the F1 passage.  The only other real variant
is F1's "sudden" for Q1's "dririe" -- and as I suggested, this can quite
possibly be explained as anticipation (or eyeskip) to the "sodaine" two
lines later.  Here are the passages, which are both followed by very
similar stage directions:
      {Marcus}.  My Lord to step out of these dririe dumps,
      How comes it that the subtile Queene of {Gothes},
      Is of a sodaine thus aduaunc'd in Rome.
      {Titus}.  I know not {Marcus}, but I know it is.
      (Whether by deuise or no, the heauens can tell.)
      Is shee not then beholding to the man,
      That brought her for this high good turne so farre.
                                (Titus Andronicus(Q1) 1.1:399-405)
      {Mar}.  My Lord to step out of these sudden dumps,
      How comes it that the subtile Queene of Gothes,
      Is of a sodaine thus aduanc'd in Rome?
      {Ti}.  I know not {Marcus}: but I know it is,
      (Whether by deuise or no) the heauens can tell,
      Is she not then beholding to the man,
      That brought her for this high good turne so farre?
      Yes, and will Nobly him remunerate.
                                (Titus Andronicus(F1) 1.1:405-412)
      Stanley Wells (in the *Textual Companion*) and Eugene Waith (in
his Oxford edition) agree that "Yes, and will nobly him remunerate"
(1.1.398) is a "probably authentic complete line" (TC 209).  It seems to
me, though, that Titus' rhetorical question requires no response (least
of all from the same speaker), and that the line is quite awkward.  The
authority of F1 rests solely in the added scene 3.2; I don't see that
this line has much authority.
      Additional support for this argument (which, of course, requires
additional support) comes from the fact that Shakespeare nowhere else
uses "remunerate," the verb: Costard uses "remuneration" 11 times, and
"remuneration" also appears once in *Troilus & Cressida*.
Furthermore, the word "yes" does not occur otherwise in *Titus* Q or
F -- in fact, it is most frequent in the later and collaborative plays
(especially *Henry VIII* and *The Two Noble Kinsmen*).  This only
increases the likelihood that a later King's Men reviser was responsible
for this interpolated line.
      Obviously, one cannot argue that Shakespeare never used a
word simply because he used it only once -- after all, Shakespeare is
generally considered more likely to use nonce-words than his
compositors -- but can we really regard this line as authorial?  Is
anyone else troubled by its intrusion into the lines?  Does it strike
some as perfectly natural and poetically effective?  Has anyone
encountered similar phenomenon in other texts of Shakespeare or his
contemporaries?  Or in the field of authorship attribution?  I'm looking
forward to input on this or related examples.
                                             Ken Steele
                                             University of Toronto

Subscribe to Our Feeds


Make a Gift to SHAKSPER

Consider making a gift to support SHAKSPER.