The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0887  Friday, 29 March 2002

From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 14:06:16 -0600
Subject: 13.0859 Re: Almost Damn'd
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0859 Re: Almost Damn'd

Larry Barkley notes examples of parallel lovers in Othello including,

> Othello and Desdemona; Iago and Emilia;
> Cassio and his fair wife, as a way of examining love and/or
> relationships (through the use of couples as foils), changed his mind,
> and didn't go back and revise?  WS uses couples as foils in other plays
> (e.g. 1HIV Hotspur/Kate and Mortimer/Welsh wife; AYLI Orlando/Rosalind
> and Oliver/Celia and Touchstone/Audry and Silvius/Phoebe; MV
> Bassanio/Portia and Gratiano/Nerissa and Lorenzo/Jessica) as a means of
> exploring love and/or relationships . . .

I am just finishing up teaching MSND which has Theseus/Hippolyta,
Lysander/Hermia, Demetrius/Helena, and Oberon/Titania. We could also
include Claudio/Hero and Benedick/Beatrice (not to mention
Margaret/Borachio) in Much Ado, and similar lists for LLL, Two Gents,
Shrew, COE.

What it indicates is that Shakespeare mostly wrote romantic comedies,
and that he liked to develop parallel plots, so that his romantic
comedies generally involve such parallel structures. But he used
parallels in non-romantic works and areas, as well (Hal/Falstaff and
Hotspur/Worcester, for example, and Hamlet/Laertes/Fortinbras).

I don't think it necessarily tells us much about Othello except that it
was a "romantic tragedy," nor about Cassio's missing and possibly
illusory wife.


PS: 12N is something of a problem with Orsino/Olivia, Olivia/Viola,
Viola/Orsino, until Sebastian enters to save the day. d.a.b.

PPS: Not to mention, Sir Toby/Maria and Malvolio/Malvolio. d.a.b.

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