The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0204  Friday, 26 August 2011


From:         Philip Weller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 19, 2011 2:03:30 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Qs Jaques


I’d like to thank, tardily, all those who responded to my questions about two lines in AYLI, especially Don Bloom’s expression of the sort of frustration I often feel when I’m trying to write notes clarifying what is not clear to me.  Also, I’d like to express my appreciation of David Bishop’s long and eloquent commentary about the truth that there is no simple truth about MOV. And another thought: what Don and David wrote are both, to me, evidence that there are some effects and meanings in Shakespeare that are permanently lost. Another case in point is another AYLI line “Atalanta's better part” (http://www.shakespeare-navigators.com/as_you_like_it/As_You_Like_It_Act_3_Scene_2.html#147). David Bevington and Anne Barton (Riverside) agree that Atalanta's better part is her “fleetness of foot” (I’m quoting both editors at once), but to me, that hardly seems likely, as the line is bracketed between “Cleopatra's majesty” and “Sad Lucretia's modesty.” If “fleetness of foot” is really “Atalanta's better part” then the passage seems comic, as in the following paraphrase: Rosalind has the awe-inspiring majesty of Cleopatra, the world-shaking virtue of Lucretia, and she can run really fast. Maybe it is supposed to be comic, but I think it’s very possible that both Shakespeare and his audiences had an understanding of  “Atalanta's better part” which has been long lost.


Philip Weller



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