Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0491.  Friday, 28 June 1996.

From:           Jesus Cora <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 28 Jun 1996 14:58:49 UTC+0100
Subject:        MERIDA FESTIVAL

Dear listmembers,

In case some of you have decided to spend your holidays in sunny Spain, this is
a suggestion for you to enjoy our cultural heritage. The Merida Annual Theatre
Festival is under way. The venue is impressive. A realRoman theatre which is
part of Merida Roman past (formerly known as Emerita Au- gusta). Needless to
say, this is an ideal place to offer Shakespeare's Roman Plays. Two of them are
included in the program which I list below:

JUNE 28, 29

Extractos de Kyr.
Por Vos Muero.
Director: Nacho Duato.



William Shakespeare
Compania del C.A.T.
Vestuario (Costumes): Franca Squarciapino.
Director: Daniel Suarez.


Sofocles (Sophocles)
With Juan Luis Galiardo and Blanca Apilanez.
Director: Francisco Suarez

16 & 17

Esquilo (Aesquilus)
Attis Theatre Company
Director: Theodoros Terzopoulos

19 & 20

Edipo Rey (Oedipus, King) *Opening in Europe*
Don Quijote (Don Quixote) *Based on Mario Petipa's original choreography*
Director: Alicia Alonso


Soplo Heroico
Venue: Canal de Remo (on Guadiana River), the Arab wall (Muralla de la
Alcazaba and the Roman Bridge).
Director: Joan Font (Els Comediants).



ANFITRION (Amphitruo)
Plauto (Plautus)
With Rafael Alvarez *El Brujo*
Adapt. and director: J. L. Alonso de Santos.


ANTONIO Y CLEOPATRA (Antony and Cleopatra)
William Shakespeare
With Magui Mira, Chema Mu

Re: Michael Kahn's Comment

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0490.  Friday, 28 June 1996.

From:           Milla Riggio <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 28 Jun 1996 08:28:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Michael Kahn's Comment

Having set this little mini-storm off, I have stayed away from the Michael Kahn
exchange, and even now I have only a couple of minor and incidental comments to
make.  Remember what Ed Pechter says; you have only my paraphrase, not
Michael's words.  But even that paraphrase comes nowhere close to Rick Jones'
subsequent paraphrase of my paraphrase.  Michael said nothing whatsoever that
would fuel the New Critics' notion of Shakespeare.  Telling an actor that, from
the director's perspective, the line means what it says is nothing like saying
"It's all in the text," without referent to outside sources, meanings,
contexts, information, and so forth. Michael said nothing of that kind at all.

But what has amused me, and I think kept me silent (with a resolve not to drop
others' ideas into the lion's lair again) is the extent to which people who in
their internet exchanges love to hold firm, clear, opinions - some of which at
times seem rather silly to me, some of which seem intelligent, some of which I
forget quickly - jumping to insult as a "pompous twit" a director of some
repute who is reported to hold a strong opinion himself.  Come on, guys, don't
the opinionated love others who are the same? What pleasure does it give you to
insult Michael Kahn indirectly for something he is merely reported to have

Milla Riggio

you all to pay particular attention to Stacy Keach's comments.  Not only does
he gloss EXACTLY what Michael meant (and wrote) in his Preface, but he has the
experience to prove it, as he has been directed by Michael. And, by the way, I
have heard Mark Lamos work in a very similar manner, to get actors back to the
point of the language with the assumption that characters mean what they say
and that the first interpretive choice is to find out what it is that they are
saying.  What director in the world would try to restrict interpretive choices?
Neither of these, for sure, but both do begin with the idea that the
characters say what they mean and mean what they say, and interpretation takes
off from there.

*SNL* Spring 1996, Shakespeare Summer Festivals

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0488.  Friday, 28 June 1996.

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, June 28, 1996
Subject:        *SNL* Spring 1996, Shakespeare Summer Festivals

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

I am posting the 1996 Shakespeare Summer Festivals list that I compile for
*The Shakespeare Newsletter*.  This list will appear shortly in the Spring
1996 issue.  Although it is too late now for further inclusions, if you are
associated with a festival or attend a festival I have not listed, please send
me that festival's address so that I can include it in next year's list.


Shakespeare Summer Festivals 1996
Compiled by Hardy M. Cook
Bowie State University

ACTORS' THEATRE, 1000 City Park, Columbus, OH 43206.  (614) 444- 6888.  15th
Season. Patricia B. Ellson, Artistic Director.  June 12-Aug. 31.  Rom. (Phil
Kilbourne) June 12-29; My Fair Lady  July 10-Aug. 3; Tit. (Jim Harbour) Aug.

ALABAMA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, 1 Festival Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117-4605.
(334) 271-5300. 25th Season. Kent Thompson, Artistic Director. Feb. 27-July 21.
 In repertory Rom. March 5-July 20; WT March 26-July 21; MWW May 28-July 19.
Also The Ladies of the Camellias, To Kill a Mockinbird, Ain't Got Long to Stay
Here, Lizard, and School for Scandal.

AMERICAN PLAYERS THEATRE, P.O. Box 819, Spring Green, WI 53588. (608) 588-2361.
17th Season. June 13-Oct. 6.  David Frank, Artistic Director.  In repertory:
The Misanthrope (opens June 21); The Country Wife (opens June 29); MWW (opens
June 29); MM (opens Aug. 10); Rom. (opens Sept. 14).

BARD ON THE BEACH, 510 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC V6B 1L8. (604) 739-0559.
7th Season.  Christopher Gaze, Artistic Director.  June 11-Sept. 22.  Ado
(Douglas Campbell); MV (Douglas Campbell).  Located under the "big red tent" in
Vanier Park with a stunning backdrop of mountain, city, and sky.

CALIFORNIA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, 2531 Ninth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710. (510)
548-3422. 23rd Season. Joe Vincent, Artistic Director. June 15-Oct. 6. MWW
(Robert Kelley) June 15-July 28; H5 (James Bundy) July 6-Aug. 3; TN (Joe
Vincent) Aug. 10-Sept 7; MM (Michael Addison) Sept. 14-Oct. 6. Performances
outdoors at Bruns Memorial Amphitheatre, Orinda.

COLORADO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, University of Colorado - Boulder, P.O. Box 460,
Boulder, CO 80309-0460. (303) 492-0554. 39th  Season.  Richard M. Devin,
Producing Artistic Director. June 28-Aug. 18. In repertory: MND (Joel Fink); MV
(Susan Gregg); Oth. (Ken Frankel); Moliere's The Miser (John Dennis).

GEORGIA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, 4484 Peachtree Rd., N.E., Atlanta, GA 30319.
(404) 264-0020.  11th Season.  Richard Garner, Producing Director. June 14-Aug.
11.  In repertory: a world premiere of a musical adaptation of TN; Tro.;
Moliere's The Bourgeois Gentleman; Ammerman's Booth, Brother Booth.
Performances in 400-seat air-cooled tent theatre. Pre-show activities and
picnic grounds.

HOUSTON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, University of Houston School of Theatre, Houston,
TX 77204-5071. (713) 743-3003. 22th Season. Sidney Berger, Producing Director.
Aug. 2-Aug. 17.  Mac. (Sidney Berger); WT (Beth Stanford). Outdoors in Miller
Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park.

HUDSON VALLEY SHAKSPEARE FESTIVAL, 137 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516.
(914) 265-7858 (office), (914) 265-9575 (box office). 10th Season.  Terrence
O'Brien, Artistic Director; Susan Landstreet, Managing Director.  June 26-Aug.
18.  MND (June 26- Aug. 4); LLL (July 25-Aug. 18).  All performances take place
in a tent-theater on the grounds of Boscobel Restoration, a Hudson River estate
in Garrison, New York, approximately 50 miles north of New York City.

IDAHO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, P.O. Box 9365, Boise, ID 83707. (208) 336-9221.
20th Season.  Charles Fee, Artistic Director.  June 27- Sept. 21. The Complete
Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) by Jess Borgeson, Adam Long, and Daniel
Singer (Charles Fee) June 27-Aug. 30; MWW (Sari Ketter) June 27-Aug. 31; Tmp.
(Bart Sher) July 18-Sept. 1; TN (Charles Fee) Aug. 1-Sept. 21.

KENTUCKY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, 1114 South Third St., Louisville, KY 40203.
(502) 583-8738. Curt L. Tofteland, Producing Director.  June 6-July 21. TGV
(Curt L. Tofteland) opens June 6; H5 (Drew Fracher) opens July 5; Pantalone
Gets His! (Brandi J. Smith) opens June 13.

MARIN SHAKSPEARE COMPANY, P.O. Box 4053, San Rafael, CA 94913. (415) 499-1108.
7th Season.  Robert S. Currier, Artistic Director.  July 20-Sept. 22.  MND
(Robert S. Currier) July 20- Agu. 11; Peter Pan (Robert S. Currier) Aug.
24-Sept. 22. Performances in the sylvan Forest Meadows Amphitheatre in San

MONTANA SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKS, Department of Media and Theatre, Montana
State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-0400. (406) 994-3901/5885.  24th Season.
Joel Jahnke, Artistic Director. June 21-Sept. 10.  JC and Shaw's You Never Can
Tell; 78 performances in 56 communities, touring in parks throughout Montana,
Cody, Lovell, & Sheridan WY, and Salmon, ID.  Features 16 shows in Bozeman with
evening shows outside under lights and Saturday matinees.

NASHVILLE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: Shakespeare in the Park, 2814 12th Avenue
South, Nashville, TN 37204.  (615) 292-2273.  9th Season.  Aug. 2-31.  JC
(David Alford).

NEBRASKA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, c/o Department of Fine and Performing Arts,
Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178.  (402) 280-2391.
10th Season.  Cindy Phaneuf, Artistic Director.  June through early July.  H5
(John Ahlin) and Shr. (Cindy Phaneuf) June 20-23, 27-30, July 4-7.

NEW JERSEY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, Drew University, 36 Madison Ave., Madison, NJ
07940 (201) 408-3278. 34th Season. Bonnie J. Monte, Artistic Director. TGV
(Robert Duke, dir.; Adapted by John Guare and Mel Shapiro; Lyrics by John
Guare; Music by Gait MacDermot) May 22-June 15; Our Town (Dylan Baker) June
19-July 6; R3 (Daniel Fish) July 10-27; WT (Scott Wentworth) July 31-Aug. 17;
Anouih's Leocadia (Bonnie J. Monte) Aug. 21-Sept. 7. Annual Shakespeare
Colloquium July 20-21.

NORTH CAROLINA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, P.O. Box 6066, High Point, NC 27262-6066.
(910) 887-3001 (Ticket Office), (910) 841-2273 (Administrative Office). 20th
Season. Louis Rackoff, Artistic Director. Thomas G. Gaffney, Managing Director.
Aug. 17-Oct. 12.  In repertory: TN, Wt, and Cyrano de Bergerac. 600 seat
theatre. Outreach Tours.

OLD GLOBE THEATRE, P.O. Box 2171, San Diego, CA 92112. (619) 239- 2255. Jack
O'Brien, Artistic Director.  June 30-Oct. 5.  Shr. (James Dunn) June 30- Aug.
10; Mac. (TBA) Aug. 25-Oct. 5.

OKLAHOMA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL.  P.O. Box 1074, Durant, OK 74702.  (405)
924-0121 (extension 2217).  17th Season.  Molly Risso, Artistic Director.  June
28-July 28.  Mac. (John Addison) July 19, 23, 27; MND Dinner Theatre (James
Serpento) July 12, 13, 25, 28; The Sound of Music (Molly Risso) July 18, 21,
24, 26; Children's Theatre Workshop (Riley Risso) June 28-30; Teen Theatre
Workshop (Ruby Quinn) July 5-7.  Hosted by Southeastern Oklahoma State

OKLAHOMA SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK, P.O. Box 1171, Edmond, OK, 73083.  (405)
340-1222.  12th  Season.  Kathryn O'Meara, Artistic Director. May 16-Sept. 1.
LLL  (J. Shane McClure) May 16-June 9; 1H4 (Kathryn O'Meara) June 13-July 7;
Scapin (Robert E. McGill) July 11-Aug. 4; WT (Kathryn O'Meara) Aug. 8-Sept. 1.
Performances 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in the O'Meara Amphitheatre, Hafer
Park, 9th & Bryant in Edmond.

OJAI SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, P.O. Box 575, Ojai, CA 93024. (805) 646-WILL.  14th
Season.  Paul Backer, Artistic Director.  Aug. 2- Aug. 18.  In repertory MWW
(Potter) and Three One-Act Plays by Moliere (Kelejian).

OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, P.O. Box 158, Ashland, OR 97520. (541) 482-4331.
61st Year.  Libby Appel, Artistic Director. Feb. 16-Oct. 27.  Angus Bowmer
Theatre: WT (Fontaine Syer) Feb. 18- Oct. 27. The Elizabethan Theatre: Rom.
(Rene Buch) June 4-Oct.6;  Cor. (Tony Taccone) June 5-Oct. 4; LLL (Pat Patton)
June 6-Oct. 5. Plus seven non-Shakespearean productions.  Backstage tours,
lectures, concerts, play readings, and more. Write or call for detailed
brochure, or visti Web at http://www.mind.net/osf/.

ORLANDO-UCF SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, 30 South Magnolia, Suite 250, Orlando, FL
32822. (407) 245-0985. 6th Season. Jim Helsinger, Artistic Director. March
29-May 5. In repertory JC (Russell Treyz) and TGV (Jim Helsinger).

Center Valley, PA 18034. (610) 282-9455. Gerard J. Schubert, O.S.F.S.,
Producing Artistic Director.  June 11-Aug. 3.  AYL  (Dennis Razze) June 11-June
29; Oth.  (Jim Christy) July 9- Aug. 3; The School for Wives (Russell Treyz)
July 2-July 28; Jack and the Beanstalk (Chuck Conwell) June 6-Aug.2).  Pre-main
stage outdoor Green Show, featuring Renaissance music, dance, and clowning
(William T. George).

590479, San Francisco, CA 94159-0479. (415) 666-2222. 14th  Season. July-Oct.
Free Shakespeare in the Park: LLL (Ed Hastings) in San Francisco, San Jose,
Oakland, and San Ramon; Presentation Theatre: Ham. (David Dower) Sept.-Oct. in
Sand Harbor (Lake Tahoe); Ado (Hector Correa); Err. (Albert Takazauckas)

SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY AT THE MOUNT, P.O. Box 865, Lenox, MA 01240. (413)
637-1199. 19th Season.  Tina Packer, Artistic Director.  May 24-Sept. 1.
Mainstage Theatre: MWW  July 26-Sept. 1.  Other plays in repertory include MM,
TGV, LLL, and more. Performances at the Mount, Edith Wharton's historic home in
the beautiful Berkshires.

SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL OF DALLAS,  Sammons Center for the Arts, 3630 Harry Hines
Blvd., Dallas, TX 75219.  (214) 559-2778.  25th Season. Reynolds B. "Cliff"
Redd, Executive Producer. June 18- July 28.  In repertory: Oth. (Rene Moreno);
MND (Raphael Parry). Performances in Samuell-Grand Park. Free.

SHAKESPEARE THEATRE FREE FOR ALL, 301 East Capitol Street, S.E., Washington,
D.C. 20003. (202) 393-2700. 6th Season.  June 9-23. Michael Kahn, Artistic
Director. MM (Michael Kahn). At the Carter Barron Amphitheatre in Rock Creek
Park and featuring Kelly McGillis as Isabella. Free workshops, tours, and

Saskatchewan, Canada S7K 3R8. 1-306-6523-2300. Henry Woolf, Artistic Director.
12th Season. July 2-Aug. 18. In rotation: TN (opens July 5); Lr. (opens July
5); Offenbach's La Vie Pariesienne (opens July 7, produced by the Riverbank
Music Company).

SHAKESPEARE SANTA CRUZ, Performing Arts Complex, University of California,
Santa Cruz, CA 95064. (408) 459-4168. 15th Season Paul Whitworth, Artistic
Director. July 18-Sept. 1. In repertory: TN (Tim Ocel) opens July 18; Per.
(Christopher Grabowski) opens July 28; Moliere's Tartuffe (Anthony Powell)
opens July 27. Located on the campus of the University of California at Santa
Cruz, the festival overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay and boasts the
most beautiful outdoor, redwood theater glen in the country.

SHAKESPEARE UNDER THE STARS 1996, Hampshire Shakespeare Company, P.O. Box 825,
Amherst, MA 01004.  (413) 256-4120.  6th  Season. Timothy Holcomb, Artistic
Director.  June 24-Aug. 1. Lr. (Brian Marsh) June 24-July 11; Shr. (Sarah
Wilson) July 11-Aug. 1. Presenting uncut versions of the plays as they were
published in the First Folio.

SHENANDOAH SHAKESPEARE EXPRESS,  P.O. Box 1485, Harrisonburg, VA 22801. (504)
434-3366. Ralph Alan Cohen and Jim Warren, Artistic Directors. 1996 Summer
Season in repertory: AYL, H5, JC and Err. June 18-July 31, The Thomas Harrison
Middle School, Harrisonburg, VA; fall tour in New England and Canada, Sept.
through Nov.

STERLING RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL, Farden Road, Sterling, NY 13156. 1-800-879-4446.
20th  Season. June 29-Aug. 11. Gary Izzo, Artistic Director. Shr., The
Deceived, One Comedia dell'arte show.

STRATFORD FESTIVAL THEATRE, Box 520, Stratford, Ontario, Canada N5A 6V2. (519)
273-1600 or 1-800-567-1600. 44th Season. May 6- Nov. 3.  Richard Monette,
Artistic Director.  Lr. (Richard Monette) May 6-Nov. 2; MV (Marti Maraden) May
13-Nov. 3; AYI (Richard Rose) June 16-Sept.14; plus eight other non-
Shakespearean productions.  Visit Internet site at

THE THEATER AT MONMOUTH: The Shakespeare Theater Of Maine,  P.O. Box 385,
Monmouth, ME 04259-0385. (207) 933-9999. 27th Season. Richard C. Sewell,
Jeremiah Kissel, and Michael O'Brien, Co- Artistic Director. July 5-Aug. 31.
AYL (Michael O'Brien) July 5- Aug. 31; WT  (Charles Weinstein) July 24-Aug. 30;
and Charles Dickens' Hard Times (Jeremiah Kissel); Arms and the Man (Jeremiah
Kissel); Once Upon a Wolf (Michael O'Brien). The Theater at Monmouth has been
recognized by the state legislature as The Shakespeare Theater of Maine.  Plays
are performed in rotating repertory at Cumston Hall - a national historic
landmark building erected in 1900.

THEATREWORKS SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado
Springs, CO 80933.  (719) 593-3240. Murray Ross, Artistic Director. 14th
Season.  Aug. 6-Aug. 24.  TGV.  Live music, art, food.

70118-5698.  (504) 862-8000 (Extension 1752).  3rd Season.  Paul Schierhorn,
Artistic Director.  June 14-Aug. 10. MWW (Nick Faust) June 14-July 7; Mac.
(Aimee Michel) July 19-Aug. 10; Free "Swan Series" of concerts, lectures on
Tuesdays.  Sunday matinees preceded by brunch on verandah.

UTAH SHAKESPEAREAN FESTIVAL, 351 W. Center St., Cedar City, UT 84720. (801)
586-7878.  Fred C. Adams, Founder and Executive Director; Douglas N. Cook and
Cameron Harvey, Producing Artistic Directors; R. Scott Phillips, Managing
Director.  June 20-Aug. 31.  In repertory: 1H4 (Paul Barnes); Mac. (Robert
Cohen); Err. (D. Scott Glasser); WT (James Edmondson); The Mikado (Roger Bean);
The Three Musketeers (Michael Addison).

VIRGINIA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, College of William & Mary, P.O. Box 8795,
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795. (804) 221-2660. 18th Season.  Jerry H. Bledsoe,
Executive Director.  July 5-July 28. In repertory: H5 (J. H. Bledsoe) opens
July 5; TN (James Luse) opens July 12.

WASHINGTON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, P.O. Box 1501, Olympia, WA 98507.  (360)
943-9492.  11th Season.  Aug. 6-Aug. 31.  In repertory Ham., Ado, and Lion in

WESTERLY SHAKSPEARE IN THE PARK, P.O. Box 191, Westerly, RI 02891. (401)
596-0810.  5th Season.  Harland Meltzer, Artistic Director.  July 18-Aug. 11.
Rom. (John Clinton Eisner) July 18- Aug.4; JC (Michael Edwards) Aug. 7-Aug. 11.
 In Wilcox Park.

WISCONSIN SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, Center for the Arts, U of W, Platteville, WI
53818-3099. (608) 342-1298. 20th Season. July 6- Aug. 10. Thomas P. Collins,
Artistic Director. In repertory: TN opens July 6; Mac. opens July 10; Shr.
opens July 12. "Talk- backs" (Tuesday evenings) and Backstage tours (Saturday

Re: What Emilia Knew

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0489.  Friday, 28 June 1996.

(1)     From:   Thomas E. Ruddick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jun 96 13:35:32 EST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0484  Re: What Emilia Knew

(2)     From:   Tunis Romein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jun 1996 14:40:50 -0400
        Subj:   Something Else Emilia Knew

(3)     From:   Daniel Lowenstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jun 1996 12:14:43 PST
        Subj:   Emilia

(4)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 28 Jun 1996 07:12:44 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0484  Re: What Emilia Knew

From:           Thomas E. Ruddick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 27 Jun 96 13:35:32 EST
Subject: 7.0484  Re: What Emilia Knew
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0484  Re: What Emilia Knew

Briefly: Emilia's character does not possess high ethics, if her declarations
to Desdemona during the unpinning scene are any indications.  Emilia would not
use her husband so by this holy light--but she might do it in the dark
(chuckle).  Desdemona would not do such a thing for the world--but Emilia
insists that the world's a great price for a small vice.  These lines contrast
Emilia's selfish motives to Desdemona's pure ones, and they establish Emilia as
concerned only for herself.  Her death line "as I speak true" reveals still a
selfish motive--though she speaks truth primarily from horror at Iago's
deceptions and from loyalty to her late lady, she still hopes that having
spoken truth at the end will yield her a heavenly reward.

Thomas E. Ruddick

From:           Tunis Romein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 27 Jun 1996 14:40:50 -0400
Subject:        Something Else Emilia Knew

Besides remaining silent about what had happened to Desdemona's handkerchief,
Emilia seems to suppress another important fact: the identity of the person
Othello suspects of being Desdemona's lover.

After Othello calls Desdemona a whore (IV, ii), she, Emilia, and Iago speculate
about Othello's abusive behavior.  At one point, Emilia says,

        Why should he call her whore?  Who keeps her company?
        What place?  What time? What form? What likelihood?
        The Moor's abused by some most villainous knave,
        Some base notorious knave, some survey fellow.

Her remark about the  "villainous knave," evidently speculative, makes Iago
nervous ("Speak within door. . . . You are a fool. Go to.").

But she should not have had to speculate about the identity of Desdemona's
putative lover.  Othello has already told her that he suspects Cassio. This
exchange occurs at the beginning of the same scene:

Othello:        You have seen nothing then?
Emilia:         Nor ever heard, nor ever did suspect.
Othello:        Yes, you have seen Cassio and she together.
Emilia:         But then I saw no harm,and then I heard
                Each syllable that breath made up between them.

So Emilia knows about the handkerchief and about Othello's suspicion of Cassio.
But when these facts surface at the end of the play, she seems shocked and
surprised by both.  When she hears that Othello suspected Cassio of being his
wife's lover, she says, "She false with Cassio? Did you say with Cassio?"

How do we explain Emilia's behavior? Does she consciously withhold this
information out of some vicious antagonism toward Desdemona?  Do we label her a
passive-aggressive co-culprit?  Do we blame Shakespeare for sloppy writing?

Here's another question: Why, after the murder, does Emilia refer to
Desdemona's marriage to Othello as a "bargain," albeit "her most filthy

Tunis Romein
Charleston, SC  USA
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

From:           Daniel Lowenstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 27 Jun 1996 12:14:43 PST
Subject:        Emilia

Horton's evidence from his own linguistic experience and Goldberg's textual
arguments make a good case that Emilia intends to copy the handkerchief and
give Desdemona back the original.  Thanks to both of them for helping me see
the scene and Emilia's character in a different light.

I wonder, though, if there is any way for a director to communicate this
understanding to a modern audience, which will not understand the words "ta'en
out" to mean "copied."  Emilia could try to conceal the handkerchief from Iago
before he takes it, but my guess is that that would be more confusing than
enlightening to an audience.

Either way, I don't know if there is a difference of opinion between Goldberg
and me over whether Emilia understands "the significance" of the handkerchief
prior to the final scene.  She presumably does understand its "significance" as
a cause of a very bitter matrimonial brawl, which she presumably believes is
based on an irrationally strong attachment on Othello's part to the gift he had
made to Desdemona.  I think it is entirely understandable and in character that
Emilia would remain silent, given that understanding, for the reasons I gave in
my original message and that someone else improved on yesterday.  But she does
not understand the "significance" of the handkerchief as part of a plot by her
husband to deceive Othello into jealousy until the final scene, at which point
she discloses the handkerchief's role in the plot but not her own culpability.

                                Dan Lowenstein

From:           Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 28 Jun 1996 07:12:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0484  Re: What Emilia Knew
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0484  Re: What Emilia Knew

In my post of yesterday I neglected to point out the similarities between the
culpable role of the Princess of Eboli in the strangling of Elizabeth Valois
and the more ambiguous role of Emilia in the strangling of Desdemona. The
aspersions cast on Emilia's fidelity by Iago may be a hint also that this is
so, since the character of Emilia as portrayed by Shakespeare is that of a
kindly woman, faithful both to husband and to mistress. The Princess of Eboli
was Philip's (Othello's) mistress although she was married to another (Iago).

Thanks to G. L. Horton for the memory of her grandmother. For me this clinches
the meaning of "take out", which is that it refers to copying the design, not
to erasing it.

Just to touch once again on my point of yesterday; whenever we see a character
onstage who seems to have no real business being there, we can't help but
think, "rewrite?" As everyone knows who has rewritten earlier work, altering
the nature of a character or the sequence of events in a finished work can
cause a ripple of required changes throughout the whole work. By having Emilia
merely borrow the handkerchief rather than steal it and perhaps suggest the
ruse to Iago, the author has removed her from the villain list, but was either
unable to resolve the issues raised by Goldberg (why does she appear so stupid
about the handkerchief later) or ignored them since she was not important
enough as a character. (Or some stage direction or explanatory exchange didn't
survive the process of editing and publishing.) Though a masterful builder of
plot and character, Shakespeare's plays frequently demonstrate such
ambiguities, evidence to me of probable rewriting.

Stephanie Hughes

Free "As You Like It" at the Folger

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0487.  Thursday, 27 June 1996.

From:           Margo McGuirr <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 27 Jun 1996 10:54:14 -0400
Subject:        Free "As You Like It" at the Folger

The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express will perform As You Like It, directed by
Ralph Alan Cohen, at the Folger's Elizabethan Theater on Monday, July 1 at
6:30pm.  The performance is in conjunction with the  Folger's High-School
Teaching Institute but is open to any Folger reader or teacher who would like
to attend.   Any reader or teacher who wishes to be placed on the guest list
should contact Margo McGirr at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for reservations.

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