The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1689 Wednesday, 24 July 2002
Date: Tuesday, 23 Jul 2002 17:57:26 EDT
Subject: A Few Things on All's Well
I happen to be reading All's Well, and have noticed two uses of words
that make me think of Macbeth.
The word "syllable" is used as it is in Macbeth, "down to the last
syllable of recorded time," by Bertram. And the word "hereafter" is
used as well, as in "she should have died hereafter." Coincidence?
A question, what is it in II, iii that turns Lafeu so violently against
Parolles? The conversation seems prosaic enough, until Lafeu loses his
temper. Is it in the words, or is it Lafeu's instincts for a low life?
Any coincidence that Dumaine is in this play, which I think might also
have been titled Love's Labours Won, as well as in Love's Labours Lost?
If we think in terms of the fairy tale stood on its head, a usage to
which he violently objects, a fascinating insight, is Bertram's behavior
so unusually bad? In the last scene, of course, he loses our sympathy
and shows his despicable weakness, but until then he is simply doing
what most soldier nobles would have done. He would have done better to
observe Parolles and keep his mouth shut, or observe the clown and open
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