The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0037  Monday, 8 January 2001

From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 05 Jan 2001 12:51:18 -0500
Subject:        Orlando

My friend Bill Liston (Hi, Bill!) is certainly right to point to 3.2 as
a series of "wit combats" in which Orlando more than holds his own.  I
don't think there's any question but that Orlando has a good head on his
shoulders.  The real issue, however, is Rosalind and Orlando as a
couple.  For Rosalind bestrides her play in much the same way that
Hamlet dominates his: that is, in both cases the lead character is
intellectually head and shoulders above everyone else!

I think that Rosalind initially falls in love with Orlando because he
has a great body.  Later, as Bill says, she recognizes that he has a
mind as well.  But what really ices the match is that Orlando has a good
heart.  He is good natured and possessed of generous and free and open
thoughts and actions.  That's the bottom line: and that is also what
helps make any marriage work.

But Rosalind has more brains, don't you think?  So Shakespeare affirms,
doesn't he, that the potential for a good marriage can exist even if the
woman is smarter than the man?

What do we have here: Shakespeare the feminist?  Maybe.

--Ed Taft

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