The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0236  Friday, 10 May 2013


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

Date:         May 10, 2013 9:13:03 AM EDT

Subject:     Alonso Resigns a Dukedom? 




Another one of those lines I’ve look past many times without stopping before to ask how it can be:


ALONSO: Thy pulse

Beats, as of flesh and blood; and, since I saw thee,

Th'affliction of my mind amends, with which,

I fear, a madness held me. This must crave

(An if this be at all) a most strange story.

Thy dukedom I resign and do entreat

Thou pardon me my wrongs. But how should Prospero

Be living and be here?  [TEMPEST, 5.1.113-120]


The problem: How can Alonso resign a dukedom he doesn’t have? I’ve long known the discussion of Antonio’s near silence in Act 5, and I’ve double-checked a few online facsimiles of the scene in the folio, and there’s no mistaking the attribution of the line to Alonso.


So, I’m stumped. Suggestions?


(By the way, a thank-you for the responses to my previous enquiries about Kent in KING LEAR.)


Jack Heller


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