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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Shakespeare’s polyphonic imagination Rowan, Stephen Charles 1975

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SHAKESPEARE'S POLYPHONIC IMAGINATION by Stephen Charles Rowan B.A., F a i r f i e l d University, 1966 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN THE REQUIREMENTS MASTER PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF FOR THE DEGREE OF OF ARTS in the Department of • English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 1975 In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make it f ree l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thes is fo r f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my writ ten permission. Department of E n g l i s h  The Univers i ty o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date J a n u a r y 3 1 , 1 9 7 5 i i ABSTRACT Shakespeare's plays do not dramatize a single point of view; rather, they enact the mind's playing with a concern. They are the dancing of several attitudes through time. As with the text i n polyphonic music, Shakespeare's concern i n each play i s distributed among several voices, each of which expresses i t i n ways unique to i t s e l f while i n relation to a l l the others. The concern emerges through .the counterpointing of one voice with another - by the repetition of similar words and situations among the several parts. As a result, the play does not concludei.with a point proven so much as i t ends with attitudes celebrated. Renaissance aesthetics, by i t s emphasis on decorum and proportion, recognized the need for distinct voices in poetic expression. Renaissance cosmology recognized the principle of hierarchy on a l l levels of the cosmos, each level expressing the principle i n a way proper to i t s e l f while corresponding with the others. Being attuned to polyphonic structuring was a habit of the Renaissance mind that was seeking understanding. The three comedies studied in this thesis - Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night and As You Like It - are analyzed with an eye and ear alerted to the polyphonic relations among several voices. It studies these plays as they move through time, notes the variety of attitudes counterpointed with one another, and accounts for the festive mood that holds i n the end. i i i TABLE OP CONTENTS Chapter I I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Chapter I I Much Ado About Nothing 14 Chapter I I I Twelfth Night 36 Chapter IV As You L i k e I t 53 Chapter V Conclusion. 75 Footnotes 84 B i b l i o g r a p h y 85 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Any c r i t i c of Shakespeare w i l l admit the complexity of trying to analyze his plays. No sooner has the c r i t i c noticed the emergence of some theme in a play - appearance versus reality l e t us say - when another theme appears to challenge the importance of the f i r s t one: Nature versus art; fortune versus nature; the corrosive effects of time, etc. Each theme may be demonstrably there, traceable throughout the imagery and action of the play. But the complexity of a play's meaning arises from the fact that several themes are being played out simultaneously and that each of them i s presented differently according to which character i s speaking. The c r i t i c who analyzes a Shakespearean play as i f Shakespeare intended to dramatize only one theme or one version of a theme or worse yet that he intended to make only one paraphrasable statement in a play learns soon enough that much of the play has escaped his analysis. Perhaps the danger of making a thematic statement i s simply the price that one must pay for trying to say anything analytical at a l l . If the c r i t i c ' s remarks have helped to illuminate even a strand of the pattern in Shakespeare's carpet he can claim to have done his job. The reader can return to the whole experience of the play more sensitive to something he had not noticed before. On the other hand, perhaps the c r i t i c should acquire something of the negative capability so admirable in Shakespeare himself and so avoid an ir r i t a b l e search after meaning which impels him to make precipitous and sometimes misleading conclusions about a play's theme. Mr. Norman Rabkin suggests that .,a Shakespearean c r i t i c might find i t easier to avoid reducing a play to a conceptual paraphrase i f he were to adopt the sensitivities needed of a musical c r i t i c : . • .the music c r i t i c cannot look for a conceptual content at the center of the work's intention and power. The attraction of the word "theme" for l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s may be i t s musical implications, but i t s prime meaning as they use i t i s i t s older lexical meaning-the text of a sermon or the subject of a discourse. For the musicologist a theme i s generally one among several and i t i s never to be confused with meaning. If he wants to discuss meaning the music c r i t i c has no choice but to study i n minute particularity the ways in which at each point a composition arouses and f u l f i l l s or f a i l s to f u l f i l l an audience's expectation. This thesis w i l l adapt something of Mr. Rabkin's suggestion and analyze three of Shakespeare's festive comedies, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, as i f they played like music -specifically polyphonic music. This approach seems worth pursuing becaus of the structural similarity between drama and music: both achieve expression only through words or notes which succeed one another in time. Also, this approach seems justi f i e d by the theories of Renaissance c r i t i c who thought of language and poetry i n terms of decorous proportion among many parts of a composition and even more broadly by the Renaissance view of the Cosmos as a hierarchy of beings with analogous relations to one another. These ways of thinking about literature and the Cosmos bear a resemblance to polyphonic music in which several voices give expression to the same theme while each does so i n a way appropriate to i t s e l f . There i s a decorous relationship among a l l the parts of the music so that while each voice receives i t s proper expression no one of them can be said to be the dominant one. Renaissance c r i t i c s inherited the concern with decorum from medieval theorists from whom they also inherited the custom of studying literature under the categories of grammar, logic and rhetoric. As a result, the -3-emphasis i n their criticism f e l l on proportion, harmony and decorum as these were maintained among a variety of figures or rhetorical devices in a sentence or in a work of literature. The following quote from George Puttenham1 s Arte of English Poesie i s worth citing i n f u l l because i n i t he relates the idea of proportion in poetry to proportion i n several other disciplines: It i s said by such as professe the Mathematicall sciences, that a l l things stand by proportion, and that without i t nothing could stand to be good or beautiful. The Doctors of our Theologie to the same effect, but i n other termes, say that God made the world by number, measure, and weight; some for weight say tune, and peraduenture better. For weight i s a kind of measure or of much conueniencie with i t ; and therefore i n their descriptions be alwayes coupled together statica et metriea, weight and .measures. Hereupon i t seemeth the Philosopher gathers a tr i p l e proportion, to wit, the Arithemeticall, the Geo-metricall, and the Musicall. And by one of these three i s euery other proportion guided of the things that haue conueniencie by relation, as the visible by light colour and shadow; the audible by stirres, times, and accents; the odorable by smelles of sundry temperaments; the tastible by sauours to the rate; the tangible by his obiectes i n this or that regard. Of a l l which we leaue to speake, returning to our poeticall proportion, which holdeth of the Musical, because, as we sayd before, Poesie i s a s k i l l to speake & write harmonically: and verses or rime be a kind of Musicall vtterance, by reason of a certaine congruitie in sounds pleasing the eare, though not perchance so exquisitely as the harmonicall concents of the a r t i f i c i a l Musicke, consisting i n strained tunes, as i s the vocall Musike, or that df melodious instruments, as Lutes, Harpes, Regals, Record's, and such l i k e . And this our proportion Poeticall resteth i n fiue points: Staffe, Measure, Concord, Scituation, and Figure, a l l which shall be spoken of i n their places.2 A good i l l u s t r a t i o n of proportion and harmony i s the euphuistic sentence in which one meaning i s elaborated by several parallel expressions which are harmoniously and proportionately i n relation to one another. Such polyphony of sentence structure i s found in Falstaff's imitation of Henry IV for the benefit of Prince Hal i n 1 Henry IV: -4-Harry, I do not only marvel where thou spendest thy time, but also how thou art accompanied: for though the camomile, the more i t i s trodden on the faster i t grows, yet youth, the more i t is wasted the sooner i t wears. . .If then thou be son to me, here l i e s the point; why, being son to me, art thou so pointed at? Shall the blessed sun of heaven prove a milcher and eat blackberries? A question not to be asked. Shall the son of England prove a thief and take purses? A question to be asked. There i s a thing, Harry, which thou hast often heard of and i t i s known to many in our land by the name of pitch: this pitch, as ancient writers do report, doth defile; so doth the company thou keepest: for, Harry, now I do not speak to thee in drink but in tears, not i n pleasure but in passion, not in words only, but i n woe also. . . (II,iv,438-459) . Falstaff's speech is f u l l of the figures.catalogued by grammarians such as Puttenham: antithesis, parallelism, repetition, and a l l i t e r a t i o n . These figures were schematized and studied i n order to equip the speaker and the audience with the a b i l i t y to note the aptness of an expression to achieve an intended effect. Speaker and audience could be expected to be well attuned to the demands of proportion and harmony; not only within the sentence i t s e l f but between the sentence and the meaning i t was intended to convey and between the style of the speech and the character of the man who spoke i t . As Puttenham wrote: . . .as learning and arte teacheth a-schollar to speake, so doth i t also teach a counsellour, and .aswell an old man as a yong, and a man i n authoritie .aswell as a priuate person, and a pleader aswell as a preacher, euery man after his sort and calling as best becommeth: and that speach which becommeth one doth not become another, for maners of speaches, some serue to work i n excesse, some in mediocritie, some to graue purposes, some to light, some to be short and brief, some to be long, some to stirre vp affections, some'to pacifie and appease them, and these common despisers of good vtterance, which resteth altogether i n figuratiue speaches, being well vsed whether i t come by nature or by arte or by exercise, they be but certaine g'rosse ignorance, of whom i t i s truly spoken scientia non  habet inimicum n i s i ignorantem.-^ Falstaff's speech i s funny, in terms of Renaissance aesthetics, because i t i s indecorous on at least two counts: the speaker i s straining to affect a style more elevated than his own; and the marshalling of his rhetorical devices i s out of proportion to the meaning conveyed. As Horace warned the poet when urging decorous composition, beware that a mountain in labor does not give birth to a mouse. Falstaff's speech is especially funny to one attuned to the indecorous proportion i n the polyphony of meaning and expression, speaker and speech. Shakespeare's plays, like a euphuistic sentence and a piece of polyphony keep several voices counterpointed at a l l times. An audience must be attuned to how each one has a proportionate right to a place i n the piece; and i f no voice i s disregarded for the sake of some extractable meaning, the complexity of Shakespeare's exploration of a theme w i l l become increasingly evident. For example, the complexity of Hamlet's dilemma whether to revenge his father or not increases for an audience when they see the parallel situations of Fortinbras, Laertes, and the Player King counterpointed against his. And when a l l of these courtiers and revengers are alluded to, i n the joking of the gravedigger, a further consideration of where their action leads i s counterpointed with what the audience has already heard of the glory of honor defended for an eggshell. The success of the play i n exploring i t s concerns depends, in terms of Renaissance aesthetics, on maintaining a decorous proportion among a polyphony of analogous situations, giving each i t s complete expression without letting any one receive undue emphasis. The prominence given to decorum in aesthetics was part of the larger belief i n a harmonious and hierarchically structured universe --6-a way of thinking about the universe also inherited from the Middle Ages. As D. W. Robertson, Jr. points out i n A Preface to Ghauoer, this way of thinking i n terms of faculties and functions related to one another hierarchically i s different from the post-romantic belief that thesis in conflict with antithesis w i l l equal synthesis. The Medieval and early Renaissance mind saw l i f e as well ordered, not i n conflict, and believed that order was maintained by each level of the hierarchy knowing i t s place and performing according to i t s competence. Robertson summarizes one of St. Augustine's arguments for the existence of G-od i n which the,theologian explains what can be known about God by the senses and then proceeds to what can be known by the faculty of understanding, and so on. As Robertson points out: It i s noteworthy that there i s no opposition between the bodily senses and the understanding; they represent different ways i n which the problem may be approached, and the way of understanding i s superior to, but not opposite to, the way of the senses. The two approaches do not interact dynamically to produce the. desired solution. . .The pattern of ascent by .degrees i s familiar throughout the Middle Ages i n works as diverse as St. Bonaventura1s The Mind's Road to God, Dante's Divine Comedy, or Petrarch's Ascent of  Mount Yentoux.4 The hierarchy of faculties which could be used to know God was only one among many hierarchies i n creation. For animals, elements, planets, social positions - everything - there was a proper place along a str a t i f i e d scale of value or importance. A l l existents related to one another because they shared a common substance (being) and a common purpose (the fulfillment of God's intentions for them); they were, i n principle, as tightly related to one another as the words of a sentence are related by the logic of the speaker's mind. -7-As R. W. Ackerman remarks: The most impressive efforts of the philosophers were devoted to perceiving the divinely established analogies or links between the heavens and the purposes of God so far as man i s concerned. In developing these links, they u t i l i z e d with eclectic ingenuity much ancient lore and several concepts from late G-reek thought. Most important among these fragments from the pagan past were the doctrine of the four elements, astrological and numerological superstitions,' the notion of the goddess Eortuna, and miscellaneous Platonic and neo-Platonic concepts having to do with the triad, the nine orders of angels, and the great chain of being. The result -the vast, comprehensive rationale of God's Providence or governance of the universe uniting i n seamless unity the physical and moral realms - was perhaps the most sublime achievement of the medieval mind.5 The habit of thinking.in terms of hierarchies requires that a mind be sensitive to the analogous interrelationships among several existents as among the several parts i n a piece of polyphonic music. And this way of thinking also respects the claim of each existent within i t s own sphere. This primarily medieval mode of thought certainly survived throughout the Renaissance and even lasted into the early Seventeenth Century where i t contributes to the poetic expression of the Adam-Eve relationship in Paradise Lost. At some hard-to-identify moment, the comfortable (because reasonable and benevolent) assumptions of the Middle Ages gave way to others. There was a turning away from the hierarchial system toward the "thing-in-i t s e l f " . Creatures like men, animals, elements, and plants ceased to be significant because related and became merely coincidental because occupying space-time simultaneously. It i s d i f f i c u l t to say at what point the system collapsed f i r s t : i n i t s assumptions about man's right reason; about the necessity for the state to obey God's law; or about creation as containing significant correspondences among creatures ruled by G-od's w i l l . In any case, each assumption implied the others and one was modified when another changed. -8-By 1600 Luther had long ago raised doubts about the a b i l i t y of '•whore reason" to understand God and had rejected i t i n favor of " f a i t h alone". Montaigne too had rejected right reason as a sure guide to God but had gone further than Luther by denying any knowledge of God whatever that i s not anthropomorphic. In orthodox theology, the reason could be darkened and the w i l l weakened by appetite and inordinate passion. But for Montaigne reason and w i l l were thoroughly useless equipment i f used to weigh speculations which were l i t e r a l l y imponderable. If God could not be known by fa i t h or reason, the Medieval analogies and correspondences could only be pleasant similes and not intuitions of real relationships. Without f a i t h or reason,.purpose and f i n a l cause were inscrutable and skepticism about them was only being honest about one's own limitations. Without any way of seeing how God's purposes were anchored i n the disposition of natural objects and the laws of nature, late Renaissance man witnessed the feeling that these purposes f 0 r him were drifting away beyond his mental horizon. God's ways were not man's ways - not only in the orthodox sense that God was more just, more merciful, more holy than man, but i n the newer Calvinistic sense that God's w i l l was inscrutable and unpredictible. No use of analogy could fathom i t ; no appeal to the precedents of b i b l i c a l history could bind God to act now as he had then; no church or human action could intervene between God's predestination and man's fate or rescue him from the hands of an angry God. With God so far removed from human comprehension and so unaffected by human behavior, he was effectively dead. . He was so far above the human condition as to be "out of i t " and the consequences of God's absence or demise were applied by Machievelli to his theory of statecraft. -9-Unlike Dante who saw man's in f i n i t e desire as an index of his in f i n i t e goal - God - Machievelli saw i n f i n i t e desire as f u t i l e because directed to a f i n i t e object - the getting and keeping of power. This power i s necessary because men who are innately e v i l needed to be coerced into obedience (over-awed by someone) to prevent chaos from engulfing everyone. Machievelli anticipates Hobbes in his pessimism about man and i n his theory of Government. Coming after Machievelli and soon before Hobbes, James I's assertion of Divine right seems sadly anachronistic. If God's purposes were ignored in Statecraft, they were disregarded in sc i e n t i f i c study as well. They were, after a l l , irrelevant to an understanding of how something worked and, consequently, to the power of control possible through the knowledge of the thing-in-itself. A doctor did not have to believe that sickness was a judgement of God i n order to cure i t ; understanding why the eyes were placed on top of the head (to enable man to study the universe easily and thereby to praise God, according to More's Utopia) would not solve the problem of helping them to see. Moreover, understanding man's significance i n relation to a world of other beings only risked introducing a paralyzing awe and preventing objective investigation (which, etymologically, cannot avoid stepping on i t s object of research). . DaVinci had to dissect cadavars to understand human anatomy and,, to do so, had to suspend whatever belief he may have had that, as men, these had been microcosms of the universe and temples of the Holy Ghost. Death i t s e l f had to be bracketed as a significant event: as "God's beadle" or a " f e l l seargeant". DaVinci could not attend to Death as the summons to judgement (as dramatized i n Everyman) i f he wanted to understand how an old man dies. Shakespeare and his world lived on the isthmus of a middle state between the Medieval and the late Seventeenth Century-views. Their spot of time f e l t a great tension of interpretations: whether the variety of creation was significant or coincidental; whether man i s the paragon of animals with godlike reason or a quintessence of dust; whether the king was always God's regent or at times a cutpurse of the empire; whether conscience was a way of rightly knowing obligations or merely a word devised to keep the strong i n awev The Medieval view had had i t s own tensions which could be dramatized. Man could choose to rise or f a l l i n the hierarchy of being and the f i r s t . P a l l was enough to show that the choice of Everyman was significant and consequential. But the Elizabethan world allowed for an additional choice: to be part of hierarchy or apart from i t . The distance of disagreement about creation, society and man was too broad to be harmonious; the opinions could only, as i n polyphony, be counterpointed. Eor example, when Richard III boasts that,he w i l l send the learned Machiavel to school, he becomes more than a wicked king i n a chronicle play or a Vice figure i n a morality play; he represents a contemporary attitude about statecraft which i s at ^ variance with a l l accepted notions of the, king as God's regent for the exercise of justice. This attitude that the Prince i s bound by no law i s counterpointed with Richmond's attitude, that he i s God's "captain", and each .is related to the other ' by a common concern with conscience ,as a regulative principle of kings and statesmen. When these viewpoints are further contrasted i n the comic debate of Clarence's executioners, the. use of polyphony as a metaphor to explain how the play i s structured and makes i t s effect seems increasingly apt. The Medieval assumptions are the norm according to -11-which Richard can be judged villainous but the pressure to which his attitude subjects that norm i s severe. As a character, he voices the subterranean doubts of his audience and their age about the divine right of kings. The conflict i n Richard III raises strong emotions because i t i s the dancing of two attitudes, the counterpointing of two beliefs which are driving at centripetal force away from one another while being held together by the centrifugal attraction of expressing a common concern:', in this case, conscience and i t s claims. In his study of King Lear, John P. Danby notes a similar counter-pointing of ideas about Nature: the benevolent view of the early Renaissance espoused by Lear and Cordelia, and the purposeless view of Hobbes and the late Seventeenth Century, espoused by Edmund, G-oneril, and Regan. As in Richard III, an Elizabethan truly f e l t the claims of both attitudes and this accounted for the complexity of his responses as he tried to follow the polyphonic development of both views. To the extent that our own age has found i t hard to accept the Medieval assumptions about a benevolent and purposeful universe, i t has found i t hard to appreciate the searing t r i a l to Lear's s p i r i t when he pleads with the gods for thunder and has to learn patience and compassion through the suffering of his being refused this request.. Lear's plea for divine justice appears absurd or at least presumptious to modern audiences who cannot assume as easily as the Elizabethans that i t was only justice and God1s business to avenge his annointed. Furthermore, modern audiences find i t hard to accept one of the necessities of tragedy: that a moral order which has been violated be appeased and reaffirmed; i t i s consequently a moot point whether tragedy i t s e l f i s possible on the modern stage. Whatever limitations our Twentieth Century assumptions impose on us, they at least show how • -12-unlimited Shakespeare was i n having a public credence i n two diverging attitudes. The Renaissance could not repose on either continent of assurance held by the Middle Ages or the late Seventeenth Century. Elizabethan England was truly the isthmus between both views and. Elizabethans could entertain both attitudes because they could see and feel both as tenable. To return to the musical analogy, the Elizabethan could hear both assumptions; he was not "tone' deaf" to either one and so could follow the counterpointing of each and appreciate the complexity and ambivalence of any expression about the human condition made by such means. Listening to :a Shakespearean play requires a sensitivity to echoes, contrasts, and counterpointing which imply a never stated and silent center of concern that has prompted the expression. The complexity of Shakespeare's plays i s such that they resist paraphrase as surely as a Palestrina motet resists being hummed. And the complexity of both art forms and both artists reflects the complexity of their age. Because the Renaissance accepted a hierarchy of beings, God as the giver of law for these beings, and right reason as the way of knowing that law, Shakespeare could evoke a moral order and norm which gave significance to a character's conduct. Because the same moral order which bound the character also bound the audience, the significant conduct of the story had parabolic and even emblematic - universal - application. But because his characters were realized as individuals, and because some of them assumed attitudes which challenged the accepted views of a benevolent hierarchy, a drama of sharp conflicts was possible i n which the unity of the play, lik e the age i t s e l f , was tested almost.to breaking. This thesis w i l l analyze three of Shakespeare's comedies by looking for correspondences and echoes among several analogous situations; i t w i l l present the results of attempting to l i s t e n to these plays as i f they developed like polyphonic music. It should be shown that the plays, like polyphonic music, have a significant rhythm to them and contain several voices, which when counterpointed with one another, develop a theme differently than any one voice could do separately. Furthermore,- the theme i n each play i s not one that can be easily paraphrased i n verbal terms, such as "appearance versus reality", "fortune versus Nature", or. "nature versus art". Rather, the theme i s a situation like eavesdropping, or a word like "love" which i s played with i n a variety of ways u n t i l the audience arrives at some f e l t appreciation of what i t i s like and what i t can do. This thesis attempts to illuminate some of Shakespeare's central concerns in each of the three comedies, and to demonstrate at the same time the complexity with which these concerns are expressed. -14-CHAPTER II MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING In Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare expresses interest i n what can happen when a person overhears or notes a presumably candid conversation. As the t i t l e of the comedy suggests, there is much ado made by several characters as, one by one, they overhear slanderous or gossipy talk about somebody else. It does not matter i f the talk i s intended to be overheard or not, nor whether i t i s true, probable or false; what matters i s that the person overhearing the conversation believes what he hears and, as a result, changes his attitude toward the one who has been the topic of discussion. Furthermore, a change in the listener's attitude w i l l incline him to take decisive action based on his belief, and this w i l l bode either well or i l l for the one who has been talked about. The theme i s as complex as i t i s serious and Shakespeare respects the complexity by structuring his comedy polyphonically; that i s , he distributes the theme among several characters or.voices who express i t differently but i n relation to one another. By the conclusion of the play an audience i s convinced that fa i t h comes from hearing but i t is also aware that such faith can be erroneous as well as accurate. There are five crucial instances of overhearing in this play: when Benedick hears that Beatrice loves him despite her apparent disdain,; when Beatrice hears that Benedick really loves her despite his apparent scorn; when Claudio hears' that Hero i s unfaithful to him; when Dogberry^ and the Night Watch hear how Hero has been maligned; when Claudio hears that Hero, is dead as a result of his deserting her. -15-The f i r s t of these c r u c i a l conversations takes place because the g a l l a n t s of Messina, r e c e n t l y home from the wars and passing time u n t i l the wedding of Claudio and Hero, decide to p l a y a joke on Benedick, t h e i r comrade, and B e a t r i c e , the niece of Leonato, Governor of Messina. Benedick and B e a t r i c e never meet but there i s a s k i r m i s h of w i t s between them, each one t r y i n g to e x c e l i n mocking the other. Don Pedro, P r i n c e of Aragon and leader of the g a l l a n t s suggests a p l a y f u l deception that may have the r e s u l t of b r i n g i n g Benedick and B e a t r i c e together. H i s idea i s simple: to stage a candid conversation among Glaudio, Leonato and h i m s e l f , about how much B e a t r i c e loves Benedick despite a l l appearances to the c o n t r a r y , and about how she i s doomed to- go unrequited because Benedick, despite h i s many commendable q u a l i t i e s , i s prone to make broad-jests at her expense. As the g u l l i n g procedes, the men note how Benedick i s t a k i n g the b a i t and how the " f o w l " i s being trapped. Soon, they hope, he w i l l change h i s a t t i t u d e toward B e a t r i c e and t h i n k b e t t e r of her f o r l o v i n g him. The f r i e n d s are not disappointed. Benedick, who does not want to be thought of as proud, and hearing h i m s e l f "slandered" i n t h i s way, r e s o l v e s to r e q u i t e B e a t r i c e ' s supposed love and save h i s r e p u t a t i o n . Once he i s r e s o l v e d , reasons enough rush to h i s defence: "The world must be peopled", he says ( i l , i i i , 2 3 8 ) and begins to read i n t o B e a t r i c e ' s words and a c t i o n s signs of the ,love he has heard about" and b e l i e v e d i n . Before overhearing the conversation, Benedick had i r o n i c a l l y a n t i c i p a t e d h i s own case by. musing on the scorn heaped on a man l i k e Glaudio who f a l l s i n love a f t e r p r o f e s s i n g i n d i f f e r e n c e to i t : I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man i s a f o o l when he dedicates h i s behavior to l o v e , w i l l , a f t e r he has laughed at such shallow f o l l i e s i n others, become the argument of h i s own scorn by f a l l i n g i n l o v e ; and such a man i s Glaudio. / . .. \ -16-Now Benedick, like Claudio, has changed; however, unlike Claudio, Benedick qualifies his love with reasons and with considerations of honour. He does not love Beatrice only for herself but because loving her i s consistent with other principles which are important to him -such as his own good name. Ballasted as i t i s by practical considerations, Benedick's love w i l l move slowly but more surely through storms which always seem to threaten those who love, like Caludio, in a more-Petrarchan manner. Beatrice i s subjected to a similar deception by Hero and her servant, Ursula, who follow the directions of Don Pedro. Beatrice, like Benedick, i s a f i s h ready to take the bait and a bird ready to be caught by overhearing a staged conversation. Like Benedick as well, Beatrice does not want to be known as proud and disdainful because "no glory lives behind the back of such" ( l l l , i , 1 1 0 ) , and decides to requite his supposed love. Beatrice, as practical and self-regarding as her male counterpart, loves i n order to be consistent with her sense of honour 'and to escape the slander she hears threatening her reputation. Don Pedro intends his deception only as a playful diversion. It w i l l be amusing, he thinks, to witness the dumb show of two people who meet and who cannot use their customary banter because they see each other differently. He does not anticipate that Beatrice and Benedick w i l l be greatly changed, but they w i l l be; Don Pedro's white l i e becomes a chance for the two of them to look at another facet of their merry war -to consider that love can be closely a l l i e d with mockery, abuse, and scorn. Fault finding may, i n fact, be a way of showing interest in a person whom one i s afraid to love. Don Pedro's "slander" helps Beatrice and Benedick to acknowledge feelings they have been suppressing in exchange -17-for the safety of remaining at sword's length from one another. There i s some indication that the two of them do feel more positively about one another than their mutual mockery would-indicate. Benedick had already let s l i p some hint of his positive feelings for Beatrice when he admitted to Glaudio: There's (Hero's) cousin, and she were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty as the f i r s t of May doth the last of December. (l,i,184-186) And Beatrice at sometime in the indefinite past did not escape feeling hurt by Benedick's light treatment of her advances; as she admits to Don Pedro: Indeed, my Lord, he lent (his heart to) me awhile and I gave him use for i t , a double heart for his single one. Marry, once before he won i t of me with false dice; therefore your Grace may well say I have lost i t . (II,i,275-279) Both are led to remorse through what they overhear and resolve to vindicate their good names by doing the honorable thing of requiting an offer of love. This i s not only consistent .'with their desire to maintain their good reputations but, as i t happens, i s also true to their feelings for each other. The resolution w i l l be a satisfactory one for, as Benedick says, "Happy are they that hear their detractions and can put them to mending"- (il,iii,225-226). Don Pedro undertook the office of trickster with a flattering sense of self-importance. " I f we can do this", he had said, "Cupid i s no longer an archer; his glory shall be ours, for we are the only love-gods" (il,i,380-383) • In the;,courtly world of Messina, the gods are mentioned frequently but only to decorate conversation. There i s no sense that they represent powers to be reckoned with. On the contrary, the nobles of Messina imagine themselves to be self-sufficient and i n control of the events they arrange. -18-Becau.se Don Pedro feels so smugly in control of events, i t i s heavily ironic that i n the scene immediately following his determination to "fashion" the gulling of Benedick and Beatrice, his bastard brother, John, aided by his Henchman, Borachio, determines to "fashion" the deception of Don Pedro and Claudio. The love-gods do not realize that they are not the prime movers of Messina and so they w i l l soon f a l l victim not only to Don John's deception, but later i n the. play, to the deceptions of a Friar as well. Don John seeks to destroy his brother's happiness by destroying the happiness of Claudio, Don Pedro's protege. To accomplish this, Don John f i r s t slanders Hero by te l l i n g Don Pedro and Claudio that she i s unfaithful to Claudio, her betrothed, even on the night before the wedding. He then offers to give them proof of his accusations and takes them at night to the garden below Hero's window where they witness a rendezvous between a man and a woman. Don John's slander has prejudiced Claudio's interpretation of this scene, which i s ambiguous, in i t s e l f . The man and woman are actually the v i l l i a n Borachio and one of Hero's servants, Margaret. But Claudio's belief in the slander he has heard determines his version of what he sees and his attitude toward Hero suffers a complete reversal from ardent love to seething hate. He determines, with Don Pedro's backing, to shame her before the congregation which w i l l meet for the wedding the next day. This i s not the f i r s t time that Claudio has reversed his opinion about Hero as a result of hearsay. Earlier at a masked ba l l held at Leonato's house, Claudio waited anxiously while Don Pedro undertook to woe Hero on his behalf. Don John approached Claudio knowing f u l l well who he was even behind a mask but, addressing him as Benedick, had asked him to dissuade Don Pedro from marrying Hero. -19-How know you he loves her? I heard him swear his affection. So did I too, and he swore he would marry her tonight. Gome, let us to the banquet. Thus answer I i n name of Benedick But hear these i l l news with the ears of Claudio. 'Tis certain so. The Prince woos for himself. Friendship i s constant i n a l l other things Save i n the office and affairs of love. Therefore a l l hearts i n love use their own tongues; Let every eye negotiate for i t s e l f And trust no agent; for beauty i s a witch Against whose charms f a i t h melteth into blood. This i s an accident of hourly proof, Which I mistrusted not. Farewell therefore Hero! , ( l l , i , 165-180) Claudio learns later that Don Pedro has actually been wooing as he had agreed to and so he resumes his previous feelings for Hero. Claudio has shown, however, that he i s a l l too ready to believe what he has been told and to change his attitude toward Hero as a result. Don John's f i r s t slander failed, but his second one succeeds i n convincing Don Pedro and Claudio of Hero's i n f i d e l i t y . And-as they have resolved i n the garden, they shame Hero in the church at the very moment of the wedding. Claudio denounces her i n the most scathing terms: Out on thee, seeming! I w i l l write against i t . You seem to me as Dian i n her orb, As chaste as i s the bud ere it, be blown;. But you are more intemperate in your blood Than Venus, or those pamp'red animals That rage i n savage sensuality. (IV,i,55-60) And even Leonato joins i n a fierce denunciation of his daughter after she faints from the shock of Claudio's words and i s trying to recover: Leonato: Dost thou look up? Claudio: Don John: Borachio: Don John: Claudio: Friar: Yea, wherefore should she not? -20-Leonato: Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly thing Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny The story that i s printed i n her blood? Do not l i v e , Hero; do not ope thine eyes; For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die, Thought I thy spi r i t s were.stronger than thy shames, Myself would on the rearward of reproaches Strike at ;thy l i f e . (IV,i,117-126) There seems to be no way of delivering Hero from the slander under which her reputation l i e s buried. But the Friar who has witnessed the entire scene has noted the. lady more deeply and has seen something that gives the l i e to a l l the slanders against her and that supports his f a i t h in her innocence: . . .1 have marked A thousand blushing apparitions To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames In angel whiteness beat away those blushes, And in her eye there hath appeared a f i r e To burn the errors that these princes hold Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool; Trust not my reading nor my observations, Which with experimental seal doth warrant The tenor of my book; trust not my age, My reverence, calling, nor divinity, If this sweet lady l i e not guiltless here Under some biting error. (IV,1,157-169) He urges patience on Leonato and advises that a l l agree to start a rumor that Hero has died. When Claudio hears this, the Friar hopes, he w i l l have s t i l l another facet of her character to consider and w i l l perhaps look on her differently: Th1 idea of her l i f e shall sweetly creep Into his study of imagination, And every lovely organ of her l i f e Shall come appareled i n more precious habit, More ..moving, delicate, and f u l l of l i f e , Into the eye and prospect of his soul Than when she lived indeed. Then shall he mourn, If ever love had interest i n his l i v e r , And wish he had not so accused her, No, though he thought his accusation true. (IV,1,223-232) -21-With. remorse at work, the truth w i l l have a chance to come to light i n time, though the Friar admits to some uncertainty about exactly how i t w i l l do so. The Friar has no proof for what he believes about Hero's innocence and that i s why he fashions the deception of her death. He i s testing what w i l l be proved about Hero when some hypothesis of her worth suggested by the imagination i s entertained along with the hypothesis of her i n f i d e l i t y suggested by slander; having advised this much, and having counselled patience, he trusts that, i n time,"success w i l l fashion the event i n better shape than (he) can lay i t down i n likelihood" (IV,1,233-235). The help the Friar i s hoping for comes from an unexpected source, indicating again that the events fashioned by men are not completely under their control. Don John i s foiled and the Friar i s helped by the night Watch, this play's inclusion of the "low l i f e " humour which Shakespeare often incorporates into his drama. Clown comedy i s a distinctive voice in a Shakespearean play, distinguishable by the colloquial accent and distinctive prose idiom. As a separate voice the clown humour repeats the concerns of the play i n burlesquing fashion and presents i n miniature what the plot and sub-plot ravel and unravel for five acts. A short cut to the understanding of many a Shakespearean play runs through a study of the clowns' exchanges. The importance that overhearing has i n this play gets renewed emphasis by appearing in the clown scenes, although the clowns repeat this theme with a difference: the conversation overheard by the Watch i s the only candid conversation overheard i n the play and Dogberry's misunderstanding of the truth reported to him by the Watch i s almost as disasterous as Claudio's misreading of the slander against Hero. By what they overhear - 2 2 -the Watch w i l l eventually help renew Hero's damaged reputation;,', but through their garrulous and apparently unimportant conversation, they w i l l also unwittingly comment on some of the central concerns of the play. Two of the exchanges i n the clown sub-plot are especially noteworthy. The f i r s t of these i s the long conversation between Borachio and his friend, Conrade,overhead by the Watch: Borachio: Therefore know I have earned of Don John Conrade: a thousand ducats. Is i t possible that any v i l l a i n y should be so dear? Borachio: Thou shouldst rather ask i f i t were possible any v i l l a i n y should be so rich; for when ri c h v i l l a i n s have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they w i l l . Conrade: I wonder at i t . Borachio: That shows thou art uncomfirmed. Thou knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, i s nothing to a man. Conrade: Yes, i t i s apparel. Borachio: I mean the fashion. Conrade: Yes, the fashion i s the fashion. Borachio: Tush! I may as well say the fool's the fool. But seest thou not what a deformed thief this fash-ion is? Watch (Aside) I know that Deformed; 'a has been .a vil e thief this seven year; 'a goes up and down like a gentleman. I remember his name. Borachio: Didst thou not hear somebody? Conrade: Wo; 'twas the vane on the house. Borachio: Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion is? How giddily 'a turns about a l l the. hotbloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty? Sometimes fashioning them like Pharaoh* s soldiers in the reechy painting, sometime like god Bel's priests in the old church window, sometime like the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten -23-t a p e s t r y , where h i s codpiece seems as massy as h i s club? Conrade: A l l t h i s I see; and I see that the f a s h i o n wears out more apparel than the man. But a r t not thou t h y s e l f giddy w i t h the f a s h i o n too, that thou hast s h i f t e d out of thy t a l e i n t o t e l l i n g me of the fashion? Borachio: Not so n e i t h e r . But know that I have tonight-wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero', s gentlewoman, by the name of Hero. She leans me out at her m i s t r e s s chamber window, bids me a thousand times good n i g h t . I t e l l t h i s t a l e v i l e l y — I should f i r s t t e l l thee how the P r i n c e , Claudio, and my master, planted and placed and possessed by my master Don John, saw a f a r o f f i n the orchard t h i s amiable encounter. ( i l l , i i i , 1 0 8 - 1 5 2 ) What emerges , from t h e i r apparent d i g r e s s i o n i s t h a t : ( l ) the f a s h i o n of a man's cl o t h e s does not r e v e a l h i s character; (2) f a s h i o n i t s e l f - or a change of appearance - i s the f a s h i o n ; and (3) f a s h i o n i s a t h i e f because i t f o r c e s the giddy young men to change c l o t h e s more than they need t o . These remarks have such l i t t l e connection w i t h Borachio's s t o r y of how he has duped Don Pedro and Glaudio i n the garden t h a t an explanation of what they may r e f e r to has to be sought f o r i n the main p l o t . I t i s by studying the echoes of f a s h i o n there and by comparing these echoes to the commentary i n the clown's sub-plot that some h i n t of one of Shakespeare's concerns i n Much Ado can be discovered. Shakespeare.seems to be l i k e n i n g the f o r t u n e s of Hero to the giddy changes of f a s h i o n which take place because of the rumor of what i s " i n " and "out" and not because of a need f o r change. Fashion wears out more clo t h e s than the man does, as Borachio says. So too, slander r a t h e r than true worthlessness causes Claudio to d i s c a r d Hero while rumor of her death, coupled w i t h word of her innocence, causes him to repent what he has done and to look on her d i f f e r e n t l y . Both Don John and the F r i a r had - 2 4 -hoped to "fashion" results with their deceptions about Hero, and the rumors they devised about her did have the same effect as rumors about fashions i n clothes - they caused a change i n the "buyer". Benedick, too, changes his mind about Beatrice after Don.'Pedro has fashioned a white l i e about how much she loves him. Benedick's change may be one for the better, but, like Glaudio's, i t begins with a concern for reputation, and not from a concern for the true worth of what he is "buying". The faithfulness of the men of this play i s as giddy as any of the hotbloods between fourteen and thirty-five whom Borachio speaks of. Beatrice i s good humoured about i t when she says teasingly at the beginning of the play that Benedick's faithfulness i s worn "li k e the fashion of his hat; i t ever changes with the next block" ( l , i , 7 2 - 7 3 ) and Benedick i s equally lighthearted when he sums up the change he has undergone i n order to marry Beatrice by saying, "Since I do purpose to marry, I w i l l think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against i t ; and therefore never flout at me-for what I have said against i t ; for man i s a giddy thing, and this i s my conclusion" ( v , i v , 1 0 4 - 1 0 8 ) . But giddiness has painful consequences too, as Glaudio's rejection of Hero shows. It i s ironic that, before-the denunciation, Hero i s concerned with what she w i l l wear to' the wedding and that Margaret compliments her on the fashion of her dress. After a l l , Claudio w i l l not. be attending to this'fashion but to the slander that has been fashioned by Don John. It i s only when the rumor of Hero's death i s fashioned by the Priar that Hero w i l l appear to Claudio "appareled i n more precious habit" than when she lived. Meanwhile, the Priar counsels patience and trusts to what w i l l appear i n time. -25-The Friar.has confidence that no matter how much giddy men turn about, they w i l l turn out right in time. This trust i s shared by Don Pedro and Claudio who, in referring to Benedick, are sure that "In time the savage bull w i l l bear the yoke" ( l , i , 2 5 2 ) ; in time, they believe, Benedick w i l l get married - and Claudio reminds Benedick of this proverb turned prophecy at the end of the play ( v , i V j 4 3 ) . As a central belief of the play, this trust in time i s burlesqued i n a second conversation of the clown sub-plot - Dogberry's charge to the Watch. The Constable instructs his men to wait u n t i l the drunk man sobers up - and then they need not arrest him since he i s not the same man; to l e t the thief show himself for what he i s and steal away; and to l e t the baby wake the nurse because i f she does not hear the child, she w i l l certainly not hear the Watch. He instructs them, in effect, to do nothing and to let events resolve themselves by following a natural course; i n due time the man w i l l shake off his drunkeness, the thief w i l l remove himself from the company of good-men, and the nurse w i l l awake to her duty. Counterpointed with the trust of the Friar and Don Pedro i s the clown's absurd application of i t and the audience's realization, "Would that such trust were so simple!". But i n their own way and i n their own time the Watch brings about the downfall of Don John's best la i d plans and assists the Friar's by acting on what they overhear of Borachio's conversation with Conrade. They report what they have overheard to Dogberry who i n turn tries to present the v i l l a i n s to Leonato, but because Leonato i s i n a hurry to attend Hero's wedding and because Dogberry i s as loquacious as ever, the examination of Borachio and Conrade i s deputed to Dogberry and his men. They conduct the.investigation i n the scene following Claudio's denunciation of Hero and provide a comic -parpay of that scene as Dogberry invites the -26-Watch to come forward and "accuse" these men while he proceeds to misunderstand the accusations completely. The town clerk i s present, however, and he understands well enough to take the examination to Leonato and to explain the entire affair to him before Dogberry and the Watch bring the two v i l l a i n s along. When Borachio meets Don Pedro and Claudio. before Leonato's house he confesses to them what he has done, which leads Claudio to a profound repentance for what he thinks has been his murder of Hero by slander. Leonato i s surprisingly calm and forgiving, imposing on Claudio only the penance of hanging an-.epitaph on Hero's tomb and singing a lament i n her honour. When this i s accomplished, he says, Claudio may then have the hand of his niece i n marriage who i s "almost the copy of (his) child that's dead" ( v,i,290). Claudio readily agrees to this arrangement, performs his penance and. receives back the very Hero he thought had been k i l l e d by his murdering tongue. The deliverance made possible by the Watch i s entirely unexpected; they represent that element of unpredictability which the comic ar t i s t believes i s at work to make a l l turn out for the best in time. Although they are the lowest social stratum of Messina, they perform the most decisive action of the play and voice i n a muddled way the apte'st commentary on their comic world. There i s a paradox here such as Borachio notes when he says to Don Pedro and Claudio, "What your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light. . ." (V,i,231-233). There i s a reversal here of cosmic proportions when the prime mover toward the resolution should be so low and foolish as the Watch. The clown's sub-plot is one way Shakespeare has of repeating the concerns of his play. As a student of Elizabethan cosmology would see i t , -27-the clown's world i s a microcosm corresponding on i t s own l e v e l to the nature of the macrocosm or the world of Messina's high s c o i e t y ; as a student of polyphony would understand i t , the clowns are a unique voice, expressing i n a way appropriate to t h e i r range or rank, the same themes of the play which concern the other more noble characters. But Shakespeare has other ways than the clown's sub-plot to r e i t e r r a t e h i s concerns i n t h i s play. One of these i s music. When words are sung they become more noticeable i f only because i t takes more time and e f f o r t to sing them. There i s something of a s t a s i s created when a l l the action stops on stage, the actors assume an attitud e of attention, and someone takes time out to sing. Shakespeare w i l l often use t h i s moment of s t a s i s to repeat h i s play's concerns i n the words of a song. In Much Ado, the f i r s t song occurs immediately before the g u l l i n g of Benedick and a f t e r the plans of Don John to deceive Don Pedro and Claudio. The audience has already seen Claudio's quick desertion of Hero at the s l i g h t e s t suspicion of h i s i n f i d e l i t y to him and has just heard Benedick's soli l o q u y on the u n l i k e l i h o o d of h i s ever marrying " t i l l a l l graces be i n one woman" ( i l , i i i , 2 8 - 2 9 ) . At t h i s point, the music begins and, as i t plays i n the background, Balthasar the singer makes j e s t s which unconsciously apply to the action yet to come: "O,.good my l o r d , tax not so bad a voice to slander music anymore than once." T ... . . .„\ J (II,1 1 1 , 4 4 - 4 5 ) a warning against Don John and a foreshadowing of how much slander w i l l occur i n the play. "Because you t a l k of wooing, I w i l l sing, Since many a wooer doth commence h i s s u i t To her he thinks not worthy, yet he woos, Yet w i l l he swear he loves" /__ ... ._. r r i\ ( l I , i i i , 4 9 - 5 2 ) -28-a description of what Benedick's situation w i l l he after he has "been "slandered" by his friends and been shown Beatrice in a new.light. "Note this before my notes: There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting" (II,iii,54-55) a recollection of the t i t l e of the play and an ironic warning to Don Pedro, Leonato and Claudio who w i l l be asked to note the proofs of Hero's i n f i d e l i t y . The song i t s e l f i s a grim comment on the faithlessness of men: ". . .men were deceivers ever One foot i n sea, and one on shore, To one thing constant never. . ." (II,iii,63-65) and i t underscores the long continuance and ultimate deceptiveness of a man's promises: ". . .The fraud of men was ever so Since summer f i r s t was leavy. . ." (II,iii,73-74) As the luxurient trees soon reveal barren boughs, men's fine words soon give way to empty deeds. Don Pedro's response i s ironically perceptive: "By my troth, a good song" ( l l , i i i , 7 6 ) . The second song, i s the "solemn hymn" at Hero's tomb which asks pardon from Diana for Claudio and Don Pedro and thus underscores the steps already taken toward reconciliation at the end of the play. Dance, as measured movement, does for action what music does for words - i t patterns action and makes i t noticeable and, as such, i s useful for reiterating the concerns of the play. Immediately preceeding the Mask i n Much Ado there i s a pairing off of four couples, a l l of whom are masked and identified as revellers. What they say i n four brief exchanges is noticeable because occurring i n a stylized, rather than natural pattern -29-of movement. Each couple makes a remark, then steps aside and allows another couple to step forward for an exchange; 'it i s almost a dance before the dance. What they say stands out from the pattern as words stand out from music. Fir s t , Hero and Don Pedro exchange light banter about his mask. Hero professes to be rejecting his advances because his mask is so ugly and "God defend the lute should be like the case" ( i l , i , 9 3 - 9 4 ) . But Don Pedro claims that his mask i s like Philemon's roof which housed a god despite humble appearances. Hero enacts in a teasing way what Glaudio and Don Pedro w i l l later enact seriously: a denunciation of character because of an ugly appearance. And Don Pedro's defence to Hero i s , ironically, appropriate to her own defence later. Then, Balthasar and Margaret enact the wooing with insult which Beatrice and Benedick w i l l later engage in: Balthasar: Well, I would you did like me. Margaret: So would not I for your own sake, for'I have many, i l l qualities. Balthasar: Which i s one?. Margaret: I say my prayers aloud. Balthasar: I love you the better. The hearers may cry amen. Margaret: God match me with a good dancer! Balthasar: Amen. Margaret: And God keep him out of my sight when the dance i s done! Answer, clerk. Balthasar: No more words. The clerk i s answered. (II,i,99-110) -30-In a third exchange, Ursula notices the aged Antonio behind the mask because of the t e l l - t a l e sign of his dry hands. And when she adds: "Can virtue hide i t s e l f ? Go to, mum, you are he: graces w i l l appear, and there's an end" (ll,i,121-123) she anticipates the ultimate-vindication of Hero who, at the denunciation of Claudio loses a l l grace, even i n her father's eyes, only to show herself as bright as usual when the cloud of slander i s blown away. There i s an aptness to the analogy between Hero's unchanged virtue and Antonio's old age unchanged beneath the mask as well as a comic sense of incongruity when old age i s compared with youth and ugliness with beauty. Finally, Beatrice flaunts Benedick, pretending not to recognize him behind his mask. This directly anticipates Don John's similar treatment of Claudio and highlights - the role that overhearing a deliberate slander w i l l have i n advancing action i n Messina. After Beatrice has teased Benedick, the music strikes up and the two exchange some f i n a l significant words: Beatrice: We must follow the leaders. Benedick: In every good thing. Beatrice: Nay, i f they lead to any i l l , I w i l l leave them at the next turning. (II,1,149-153) And this i s exactly what both w i l l do when Claudio takes the lead i n the denunciation of Hero. During the Mask that follows these exchanges, the audience has time to reflect on what has been said and to see the society of Messina, appropriately masked, mingling with one another i n a r t i f i c i a l movement. They present a picture of confidence as they relate to one another through the predictable rituals of dance and can, as long as the pattern holds, - 3 1 - . disregard the uncertainties which arise when one wonders who i s behind which disguise. The Dance i s emblematic, of Messina society which, beneath i t s codes and patterned relationships, contains the attitudes enacted in the four exchanges. These attitudes are soon to be prodded into- release by.Don John who alone remains unmasked among maskers, a bastard among legitimates, and an outsider among the court. This dance scene not only shows the nature of Messina society but also shows the extent to which i t i s subject to a measureless power beyond i t s control -Don John, a very "devil" whose sadness and the malice i t breeds are, unlike the dance, without measure ( i l l , i i i , 1 5 5 and I , i i i , 3 - 4 ) . The next time Messina assembles for a Mask and a Dance w i l l be under chastened circumstances. Slander w i l l have been overheard and allowed to cloud r e a l i t y with the appearance of truth; the truth w i l l have,appeared i n time, pardon asked for, and forgiveness given. At this second Mask, Claudio effects his reconciliation to leonato by accepting the bride offered to him, sight unseen. He knows by now that appearances w i l l t e l l him nothing and accepts his bride at Leonato's word and as Leonato's g i f t . His reward i s "another Hero" who unmasks herself and shows herself as she i s . Once again, something measureless accompanies the movements of this highly patterned society, but this time i t i s the measureless joy of wonder and amazement. Benedick, who has always qualified his love for Beatrice with reasons pro and con asks to see "which i s Beatrice" before proceeding to the marriage. She unmasks and, face to face, the two engage i n a last exchange of love masked as insult. They are convinced by a "miracle" that they really love one another - what they have written i n secret contradicts what they say i n public - and they complete the wonder of the occasion by preparing to dance, unmasked, together. -32-Immediately before the f i n a l dance, however, there i s a grim reminder of the forces which started a l l the damaging action of the play and which were present at the f i r s t masked b a l l . A messenger announces: My lord, your brother John i s ta'en in fli g h t And brought with armed men back to Messina. (V,iv,125-126) Don John w i l l return and the question remains whether or not the citizens of Messina have been innoculated against his practices as a result of what they have undergone. Whether they are.prepared for him or not, they w i l l not be r i d of him and of the melancholy-breeding- e v i l which he encourages. The play ends with grace showing i t s e l f unmasked, with Benedick's carefree words, "Think not on him t i l l tomorrow", and yet with the sober realization that Don John cannot remain ignored for long. The mood of f e s t i v i t y i s not broken, however, despite the sobering reentry of Don John. Much Ado as a comedy has already vindicated the confidence expressed by the.Friar that, i n time, Hero would be delivered from slander. Don John's ingenious deception of Don Pedro and Claudio was much like Iago's deception of Othello i n i t s lending of slanderous interpretation to what i s really an ambiguous action: a man and a woman at a window or a man receiving a hahkerchief from his mistress. But Don John, unlike Iago, i s spoiled i n time, likewise, the Friar who fashions the deception of Hero's death i s successful in time, unlike his counterpart in Romeo and Juliet whose plan for the lovers f a i l e d because • time .in tragedy moves far too quickly for everyone. Although there i s the sad admission that men are deceivers and are too ready to change loyalties on mere hearsay, there i s also confidence and even evidence i n this play that, in time, "graces w i l l show themselves", that forgiveness such as Leonato's i s effective, and that patience under -33-duress and remorse for mistakes w i l l bring pardon and reconciliation. This confidence i n the bounties that are sure to come i n time creates a festive mood; i t i s saved from sentimentality and'gains ini-credibility by surviving several tests of i t s s p i r i t . • For example, i t i s burlesqued by Dogberry's charge to the Watch, as mentioned earlier, and shown to be a precarious assurance at best because dependent on such bumbling fools as they to sort out the truth from slander. Furthermore, the confidence that there i s time for deliverance must always work under the shadow of Don John who, although reconciled to his brother, w i l l continue to plot his undoing. Dogberry implicitly warns leonato about Don John: when he indites Borachio as a man who obtains forgiveness but who does not extend i t to others. He i s one who "borrows money in God's name, the which he hath used so long and never paid that now men grow hard-hearted and w i l l lend nothing for God's sake" (V,i,310-313). Leonato i s one who gives freely - of money and forgiveness - but there are some with whom such generosity w i l l have no effect and who w i l l therefore always remain as unreconciled alternatives to the happy society. Finally, the confidence that a l l w i l l be well in time i s qualified by two sobering considerations: that people who must change or repent in order to be reconciled and forgiven may not, i n fact, be able to change a l l that much; and that defeats as well as success come i n time. There i s one person, of course, who is determined not to change and that i s Don John. But there are slight reminders of a resistance to change which i s shared by everyone. There are, for example, the references to planetary influences on peoples' dispositions, which help determine their personalities. Don John says to Conrade, "I wonder that thou, being (as thou say'st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply -34-a moral medicine to a m o r t i f y i n g m i s c h i e f " ( i , i i i , 1 0 - 1 2 ) . B e a t r i c e says of h e r s e l f : ". . .there was a s t a r danced, and under that was I born" - which e x p l a i n s her merry d i s p o s i t i o n ( l l , i , 3 3 1 - 3 3 2 ) . And Benedick'• e x p l a i n s h i s i n a b i l i t y to invent rhymes by a s i m i l a r reference to the i n f l u e n c e of the p l a n e t s : "No, I was not born under a rhyming p l a n e t , nor I cannot woo i n f e s t i v a l terms" ( v , i i , 4 0 - 4 l ) . Another i n d i c a t i o n that peoples' p e r s o n a l i t i e s are somewhat f i x e d and r e s i s t a n t to change i s shown i n the use of e p i t h e t s to describe the characters of Messina: B e a t r i c e i s Lady Tongue,and Lady D i s d a i n ; Benedick i s "the married man"; Olaudio i s Lord Lackbeard and Monsieur Love; and even conscience i s Don Worm. The e p i t h e t i l l u s t r a t e s Bergson's theory of the comic as the i m p o s i t i o n of a sterotype or r i g i d code of behaviour onto a l i v i n g person who i s always more than the most accurate paraphrase of who he i s . Nevertheless, to the extent that the e p i t h e t i s accurate, i t shows a range of behaviour that i s p r e d i c t a b l e because c h a r a c t e r i s t i c ; i t e s t a b l i s h e s the broad l i m i t s w i t h i n which i t can be assumed a person w i l l operate. I n doing t h i s , the e p i t h e t i s a b i t i n g reminder of l i m i t -. of the d i f f i c u l t y of change even when necessary. There are reminders too of the defeats t h a t come i n time along w i t h the successes; they come i n t o the p l a y q u i c k l y and amid l i g h t banter but they challenge, however b r i e f l y , the mood of f e s t i v i t y which comes from the b e l i e f t h a t time i s on one's s i d e . B e a t r i c e says of Benedick, ". . .he i s no l e s s than a s t u f f e d man. But f o r the s t u f f i n g - w e l l , we are a l l mortal ( l , i , 3 6 - 3 7 ) . And she says of marriage, "Would i t not g r i e v e a woman to be overmastered w i t h a piece of v a l i a n t dust? To make an account of her l i f e to a c l o d of wayward marl?" ( l l , i , 6 0 - 6 2 ) . I n these sayings she reminds an audience of a l l t h a t i s mortal i n nature, a l l that goes -35-down to the grave in time. Don Pedro remarks to Beatrice about her mirth: ". . .out o 1question you were born i n a merry hour." And she replies, "No, sure, my lord, my mother cried. . ." (li,i,328-330). And a l l the joy i n l i f e that i n time is purchased by pain receives some slight expression. However, a l l of the counter-assertions against the mood that creates fe s t i v i t y are i n the end only one voice among a polyphony of others. They create a dissonance throughout the play, but i n so doing, make i t more true to l i f e which, i t so happens, i s not always harmonious.. The dissonance may be a threat to the f i n a l harmony but also makes i t a l l the more welcome when i t comes. In festive comedy, such as Much Ado About Nothing, forgiveness, reconciliation, and harmony' prove their strength by the number of people who end up espousing and effecting the desired resolution, and by the large measure of resistance that has been overcome. In this play, f a i t h that comes from hearing.has been erroneous but also accurate; deceptions have been devilishly malicious but also purgative and helpful toward inducing remorse. In this play, confidence i n the deliverance that comes with time i s well placed and wonder is the appropriate response to the outcome. In the world of Messina, Hero has died i n order to l i v e . -36-CHAPTER I I I TWELFTH NIGHT I n Shakespeare's-comedy, T w e l f t h Night, the c i t i z e n s of I l l y r i a have to l e a r n to make t h e i r wishes w i t h i n l i m i t s that show a respect f o r r e a l i t y ; they a l s o have to l e a r n that r e a l i t y i s d i f f i c u l t to recognize because appearances are o f t e n deceptive. The Lady O l i v i a , f o r example, begins an u n r e a l i s t i c seven year mourning p e r i o d f o r her dead brother, during which she r e s o l v e s to r e c e i v e no s o l i c i t a t i o n s to marriage from Duke Orsino. As Shakespeare has s a i d elsewhere, "Moderate lamentation i s the r i g h t of the dead, excessive g r i e f the enemy to the l i v i n g " ( A l l ' S W e l l I,i,63-4). O l i v i a ' s behavior c e r t a i n l y c o n t r a s t s s h a r p l y w i t h the shipwrecked V i o l a who t h i n k s she has l o s t a brother and yet who determines to c a r r y on w i t h l i f e , seek employment w i t h Orsino and comfort h e r s e l f w i t h chance. O l i v i a ' s f o o l , Peste, t r i e s to p o i n t out that such mourning i s e s p e c i a l l y f o o l i s h because O l i v i a b e l i e v e s t h a t her brother i s i n heaven and that he has t h e r e f o r e s u f f e r e d no i r r e p a r a b l e l o s s , c o n s i d e r i n g the a l t e r n a t i v e . Feste also h i n t s at a measure of i n s i n c e r i t y i n O l i v i a ' s p l a n by reminding her that the cowl does not make the monk - nor does the v e i l she throws over her face n e c e s s a r i l y cover a woman i n mourning. O l i v i a ' s r e s o l u t i o n to remain a r e c l u s e ends soon afterwards when V i o l a appears d i s g u i s e d as Orsino's page boy, Caesario, to plead the cause of the Duke's lo v e f o r O l i v i a . The l a d y has no d e s i r e to marry the Duke but she f a l l s q u i c k l y i n love w i t h Caesario. V i o l a ' s appearance deceives O l i v i a and she makes her hopeless wish w i t h no knowledge of how u n r e a l i s t i c and i r o n i c i t i s : "Fate, show thy f o r c e ; ourselves we do -37-not owe./ What i s decreed must be - and be this so!" (l,v,311-12). . Caesario warns Olivia "I am not what I am" (ill,i,143) but this disavowal i s too subtle to help Olivia overcome the strength of appearances. Olivia replies only the more desperately: "I would you were as I would have you be" (ill,1,144). She has been a proud woman up to now, according to Caesario, but she quickly loses this pride by sending a ring after the messenger as an obvious ploy to get him to return. As Olivia admits to Caesario later: Under your hard.construction must I s i t To force that on you in a shameful cunning Which you knew none of yours. What might you think? Have you not set mine honor at the stake And baited i t with a l l th1unmuzzled thoughts That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving Enough i s shown. . . (Ill,i,117-123) Olivia learns much about her own pride and foolishness while infatuated by Viola's appearance and comes at least that much closer to reality. But her wishes are completely unrealistic and she i s bound to be lastingly frustrated by them i f the' situation does not change. Duke Orsino, too, begins the play in a pose of unrealistic melancholy which i s almost a caricature of i t s e l f . He thinks of himself as " s k i t t i s h i n a l l motions else/ Save in the constant image of the creature/ That i s beloved" (ll,iv,18-20). He illustrates how fanciful this melancholy makes him by punning on the words "hart" and "heart" and by interpreting the news of Olivia's resolution to mourn for her brother as reflecting favorably on his own hopes: i f she mourns this way for a brother, he reasons, how much more w i l l she love him "when the rich golden shaft/ Hath k i l l e d the flock of a l l affections else/ That live i n her" (l,i,36-38). His very diction shows an a r t i f i c i a l i t y dangerously captive to -fancy and floating free of reality. Olivia i s -38-determined.not to marry the Duke, though she acknowledges his merits and, as she t e l l s Caesario, "He might have took his answer long ago." (l,v,264) Orsino shows l i t t l e a b i l i t y or inclination to give up this pose and he also shows l i t t l e awareness of how much of a pose i t i s . He t e l l s Caesario that he i s constant, like a l l true lovers, on line 19 of II,iv and then on line 32 he i s counseling his page to marry a younger woman so that his affections w i l l remain steady towards her. Orsino, like Olivia, needs schooling from Feste who t e l l s him that his constancy i s not as genuine as he thinks: I would have men of such constancy put to sea, that their business might be everything and their intent everywhere; for that's i t that always makes a good voyage of nothing. (II,iv,75-78) Orsino has begun to show some constancy toward Caesario, even though their acquaintance has been short. , -After only three days Caesario i s "no stranger" and the Duke can t e l l him: "Thou know'st no less but a l l , . . ." (I ,iv,13). Caesario i s a confidant, a trusted messenger, and one toward whom the Duke w i l l grow "tender" (V,i,126). However, "he" i s s t i l l an appearance and deceives Orsino. As a result, the Duke continues in his i l l u s i o n that "There i s no woman's slides/ Can bide the beating of so strong a passion/ As love doth give my heart. . ." (li,iv,94-96). And, deceived by Viola's disguise, he persists in his hopeless desire to win Olivia. "But", says Viola, " i f she cannot love you, si r ? " "I cannot be so answered", responds the Duke. "Sooth but you must", warns the r e a l i s t i c Viola (lI,iv,88-90). -39-The two principal citizens of I l l y r i a persist i n choices that w i l l ultimately frustrate them because they are deceived by a disguise. Viola realizes what i s happening after Olivia makes her mistake and sums up the situation accurately: My master loves her dearly; And I (poor monster) fond as much on him; And she (mistaken) seems to dote on me. What w i l l become of this? As I am man, My state i s desperate for my master's love. As I am woman (now alas the day!), What thr i f t l e s s sighs shall poor Olivia breathe? 0 Time, thou must untangle this, not I; It i s too hard a knot for me t 1untie. (II,ii,33-41) In this same soliloquy Viola likens her disguise to something which the "pregnant enemy" (Satan) might do to deceive every man, which, for the moment, makes the predicament of Olivia and Orsino a parable for the audience and connects them, by analogy, to the players. Viola also trusts the outcome to Time, as she did when she landed i n I l l y r i a - a trust that, i n comedy, w i l l be rewarded. But while Time i s delivering up a solution i n the person of Sebastian, the frustrations of unrequited lovers continue. The audience sees the results of making unwise choices at the same time that i t recognizes the d i f f i c u l t y of choosing correctly. Reality must be what i t appears to be or appear as i t i s so that people can more easily know the extent of i t s limits. Once those limits are known, i t i s easier to make wise choices. The predicament of Olivia and Orsino i s parodied by the fate of Olivia's steward, Malvolio. He i s led into such an i l l u s i o n of being loved by Olivia that "when the image of i t leaves him", predicts Sir Toby, "he must run mad", (ll,v,194-195 ). The deception is planned by Maria, whom Sir Toby calls "a very devil of wit". Her manipulation of -40-appearances (like Viola's disguise and Satan's tactics) deceives Malvolio and leads him to make a choice based on i l l u s i o n which, being unrealistic, w i l l never be satisfied. Peste has already told Malvolio the truth about himself - that he i s a fool - but the steward has paid the clown no more heed than Ol i v i a or Orsino did. He i s under the il l u s i o n that " a l l that look on him love him""(ll,iii,151-152) and Maria w i l l use that "grounds of faith" to work her trick. Maria's plan i s to supply Malvolio with a letter apparently written in Olivia's hand and apparently about her love for the steward. The jest w i l l be to watch Malvolio twist the contents of the letter so that i t reads as he wants.it to. Maria and the others are not ,\disappointed. The handwriting deceives Malvolio understandably enough but he contributes more than his own share to his own deception by interpreting the i n i t i a l s of Olivia's supposed lover as spelling. his own name: M. - Malvolio. M - Why, that begins my name. . . M. - But then there i s no consonancy i n the sequel. That suffers under probation. A should follow, but 0 does. . . And then I comes behind. . .M.O.A.I. This simulation i s not as the former; and yet, to crush this a l i t t l e , i t would bow to me, for every one of these letters are i n my name. ( l I > V f l 2 5 _ u o ) Like Olivia, who imagines she i s in love with a man, and like Orsino who imagines there i s no woman who loves him as much as he loves Olivia, Malvolio i s under an i l l u s i o n . Appearances deceive him because his self love i s only too ready to construct a w i l l f u l interpretation of them with the help of an active imagination. Malvolio's state i s a dangerous one because any clash between i l l u s i o n and real i t y i s one sided - at the expense of i l l u s i o n . The only weapon against the devil of deception i s faith, as Sir Toby says i n passing, but what one i s -41-to believe becomes a problem when appearances are so shifty. Malvolio w i l l see no humor in the deception .he suffers. Although he w i l l not end up mad, he w i l l leave the stage embittered, no less f u l l of self love than before. His fate could very well become Olivia's or Orsino's to the extent that they continue to be deceived by Viola's appearance and continue to nourish self-pitying feelings of unrequited love. Viola, too, w i l l suffer by keeping up the pretense of her own disguise. It has been helpful in getting her employment from the Duke and i n getting him to confide in her man to "man" - as he.could not do with a woman. Viola's disguise has helped her to get close to the Duke i n a way she could not have done had she appeared -as a woman and had he been in his melancholy, unrealistic, f i t . But, having come so close, she can go no farther; she cannot get him to merge trust and tenderness into love as long as she appears as she i s . Viola i s almost relieved of 'her disguise (and her burden) when she, along with Sir Andrew, i s made the victim of yet another deception in this play, stage managed by Sir Toby and Fabian. As i n Much Ado About  Nothing, the characters most removed from an awareness of what i s going on i n their world come closest to learning a deep secret and to resolving the d i f f i c u l t i e s of the play. Fabian has already convinced-Sir Andrew - a complete but delightful fool - that Olivia's attentions toward Oaesario are really meant to arouse Sir Andrew to prove his love for-her i n a dual. Since Sir Andrew would like to believe that Olivia loves him, i t i s easy to convince him of any opinion which reaches that conclusion, -like Orsino who interprets Olivia's mourning in his favor, like Olivia who thinks Caesario's look of scorn i s "beautiful", and like Malvolio who twists the letter u n t i l i t reads according to his -42-hopes, Sir Andrew lets his hopeless wish lead him to believe Fabian's interpretation of events. Sir Andrew writes a letter intended to challenge Caesario to a duel but i t i s , i n effect, only an unintended parody of the letter Malvolio received. Sir Andrew gets his language so confused that Sir Toby realizes at once that the letter i s completely useless. Caesario w i l l never believe this letter as Malvolio believed Maria's. As a result, Toby determines to issue Sir Andrew's challenge by word of mouth. The sport he hopes to have i s to watch Caesario and Sir Andrew " k i l l one another by the look, like cockatrices" when they come face to face for a dual, each convinced that the other i s "a very devil" for valor (ill,iv,204). Sir Toby's scheme works well and Viola has to struggle to maintain the swaggering pose of a page boy. As she says in an aside, "Pray G-od defend me! A l i t t l e thing would make me t e l l them how much I lack of a man" (ill,iv,313-315). She learns, thanks to this deception, that there are limits to what she can pretend to be: sooner or later those limits are bound to force her to reveal herself; looked at another way, those limits to pretense w i l l free her to be herself. As she and Sir Andrew stand for a moment with drawn swords and knocking knees, the audience becomes laughingly aware that there are limits to "what you w i l l " . .Up to this point Viola has not been forced to reveal her identity and has also seen no way of doing so which would not jeopardize her privileged position close to Orsino. But with the entrance of Antonio she begins to sense that deliverance may be at hand. The audience has known of Antonio since Act II when he appeared as the faithful, companion of Viola's brother, Sebastian. The audience has learned at -43-the same time that Sebastian was not drowned but has arrived in I l l y r i a and i s going to seek the court of Count Orsino while Antonio seeks lodging for the-two of them in town. Somehow, the audience'knows, Sebastian w i l l supply the missing piece to a puzzle that cannot be. assembled without him. Meanwhile, he can be expected to add to the confusion of people already bewildered by deceptive appearances. The tempo of confusion increases when Antonio sees Caesario about to be attacked by Sir Andrew and stops the fight, thinking he. i s saving Sebastian from trouble. However, Antonio himself i s soon arrested by the officers of the law who have been searching for him to put him under arrest for past offences against the city. Ironically, they arrest Antonio because they recognize his face while he i s deceived and confused because he cannot recognize Viola's. Viola, too, i s confused by Antonio's friendliness and i s puzzled by the fact he calls her Sebastian. Antonio's mistake gives Viola a reason to hope that her brother i s s t i l l alive. But Antonio, deceived by Viola's appearance, i s driven to disillusionment. He has to ask "Sebastian" to return some money he had lent him but Caesario does not know what he i s talking about. The appearance of ingratitude stings Antonio: Thou hast, Sebastian, done good feature shame. In nature there's no blemish but the mind; None can be called deformed but the unkind. Virtue i s beauty; but the beauteous e v i l Are empty trunks, o'erflourished by the devil. (III,iv,378-382) Antonio is one more example of a person whose best intentions have, been baffled by unreliable appearances. aHis case is even more pathetic than Malvolio's because he has no f o l l y to be exorcised. His good nature seems imposed upon, and there i s no remedy for i t . -44-Three more deceptions quickly follow one another, accelerating the movement toward a resolution. The Clown approaches Sebastian whom he thinks is Caesario and t e l l s him that the Lady Olivia wants to see him. Sebastian, like Viola earlier, i s understandably puzzled and sends the Clown away with no satisfaction. Feste, like Antonio, i s deceived by this behavior into reaching a pessimistic but inaccurate conclusion. His remarks are more true than he realizes, but i n an opposite sense than he intends: Well held out,i' faith! No, I do not know you; nor I am not sent to you, by my lady, to bid you come speak with her; nor your name i s not Master Caesario; nor this i s not my nose neither. Nothing that i s so i s so. (IV,i,5-9) Some things are what they appear to be and the next incident between Sebastian and Sir Toby proves i t . Sir Toby and Sir Andrew mistake- Sebastian for Caesario and are determined to continue the fight that Antonio interrupted. They too are deceived by appearances because, in this case, rea l i t y i s what i t appears to be and i s not otherwise.. Sebastian i s a man and a gentleman and f u l l y capable of giving his attackers a sound drubbing. There i s a limit to their mischief making which the testy Malvolio had not been able to impose: and that limit i s the ..limit of re a l i t y . Olivia arrives to stop the fighting and she, in turn, i s deceived by Sebastian's appearance. She reaches out to him as she had to Caesario, though this time with a better chance of success because this time what she sees i s really there. Olivia's case i s the opposite of Antonio's: he had stopped a fight to save a friend and had looked for help in return only to be refused, much to his disillusionment; Olivia stops a fight to save whom she thinks i s her love and asks him to come home with her which he accepts, much to her surprise. -45-The madness which Antonio, Peste, and Sebastian are beginning to experience - each as a result of his own involvement on a deception -i s parodied by the fate of Malvolio. Malvolio knows he is not mad and wants only a chance to prove his sanity. But he i s kept confined i n a dark house by Maria, Toby and the others and treated as i f he were mad. Peste's remarks to him are more true than Malvolio i s ready to admit: "Madman, thou errest. I say there i s no darkness but ignorance, i n which thou art more puzzled than the Egyptians i n their fog" (IV,ii,43-45). Malvolio i s ignorant of exactly how much appearances have deceived him and he i s unaware too of the irony of his remark: " I am as well i n my wits as any man in I l l y r i a " (IV,ii,109-110). A l l the others i n the play have fal l e n victim to the deceptions of appearance and are as puzzled as Malvolio about how to sort the pieces out. Sebastian, who appears in the scene following the baiting of Malvolio expresses, the bafflement common to the others: This.is the air; that i s the glorious sun; This pearl she gave me, I do feel't and see't; And though ' t i s wonder that enwraps me thus, Yet ' t i s not madness. . . Yet doth this accident and flood of fortune So far exceed a l l instance, a l l discourse, That I am ready to distrust mine eyes And wrangle with my reason that persuades me To any other trust but that I am mad, Or else the lady's mad. . . There's something in't That i s deceivable. (IV,iii,1-21) The comedy of Twelfth Wight i s about people who make faulty decisions because they are misled by appearances. In some cases the appearances have been deliberately constructed or interpreted to mislead a victim (viz. Toby's gulling of Sir Andrew and Caesario and Maria's gulling of Malvolio); in other cases, the appearances have -46-prevented a correct assessment of the situation and have so encouraged wrong choices (viz. Olivia's love of Caesario, Antonio's protection of Caesario, Orsino's ignorance of Viola's love, Toby's attack on Sebastian, and teste's ignorance of Sebastian). In a moment, a l l the confusion w i l l be sorted out and the madness w i l l cease. After a l l , this i s a comic world where confusion leads to a renewal of people who have been chastened by their experiences; there i s enough time i n comedy to learn something from mistakes. In a tragic world there i s not enough time to learn and the same experiences that end happily i n comedy can lead to disasterous results. Comedy makes fun of events that are tragic in other contexts and i t encourages a sense of superiority over events that arouse fear at other times. Twelfth Night has fun with the deception of appearances which lead to tragedy in Othello. Iago, like Maria i s a "devil of wit" who leads Othello into a madness which "not poppy, nor mandragora/ Nor a l l the drowsy syrups of the world" ( i l l , i i i , 3 3 0 - 3 3 1 ) can cure. Iago uses the "divinity of h e l l " to juggle appearances that w i l l damn his victims. And Viola, like Iago, uses words that are more true than the listener has wit enough to believe. Both of them say expl i c i t l y and ironically: "I am not what I am". The tragic p o s s i b i l i t i e s of these comic actions i s one feature that raises them above mere divertimentoes and makes them worthy of serious as well as laughable attention. In addition to other features which w i l l be mentioned later, the tragic overtones that resonate among the comic actions of Twelfth Night contribute to making this comedy more true to l i f e than mere farce or comedy of manners. To return to the action, then, the resolution to the polyphony of confusions-because-of-deceptions begins in Act V with light banter between Fabian and Feste which anticipates what w i l l follow between Olivia and Caesario: Fabian: Now, as thou lov'st me, let me see (Malvolio's) letter. Feste: Good Master Fabian, grant me another request. Fabian: Anything. Feste: Do not desire to see this letter. Fabian: This i s to give a dog, and in recompense desire my dog again. ( v , i , l - 7 ) Caesario, accompanying the Duke, comes to Olivia's house immediately after this exchange. When Olivia sees the one she thinks i s her newly married husband, she reminds him, "Caesario, you do not keep promise with me" (V,i,103). But Viola remains resolutely by the Duke's side, leading Olivia to exclaim with desparation, "Ay me detested, how am I beguiled" ( v,i,139). The husband she thinks has been given to her i s being taken away again. She calls the priest to witness on her behalf to the marriage which causes the Duke and Viola to become confused and their confusion i s increased by Andrew and Toby who enter with bandaged wounds and with cross words for Caesario. Into this cacophony of recapitulated madness Sebastian enters as a tonic chord and enables the confusion to sort i t s e l f out amid exclamations of "most wonderful" and with a mutual and delightful recognition between himself and Viola. Olivia easily recognizes her mistake in longing for Viola and Orsino, i n order to "have share i n this most happy wrack" (V,i,266) gives over his suit to Olivia, accepts Viola's love for what, i t i s , and asks to see her in her "woman's weeds." The ending i s a victory for Time and Chance to which Viola had trusted in the beginning. In time, appearances are shown up for what -48-they are - deceptive and convincing, to the extent they mirror reality hut only temporarily deceptive i n the long run. Maria's handwriting resembles Olivia's almost perfectly but can be distinguished in time. Viola mirrors Sebastian almost perfectly: she not only looks l i k e her brother but, like him, has also escaped from the sea, entered I l l y r i a with a f a i t h f u l companion, and" has proceeded to Orsino's court. The audience i s even more aware than the citizens of I l l y r i a of how much alike the twins are i n almost every way. But, i n time, even Viola's disguise f a l l s away and Olivia and the Duke can make their marriage choices wisely. The audience, of course, has known a l l along that such a resolution would take place. Sebastian's f i r s t appearance followed immediately after Olivia had f i r s t fallen in love with Caesario, giving a hint that he was somehow to be involved in the love entanglements. The audience i t s e l f was confused for 17 lines by Sebastian's resemblance to Caesario. After he identifies himself they are relieved of their own uncertainities and can get ready to appreciate how deliciously confusing l i f e w i l l be for the others in the play. There i s no doubt, however, that a l l w i l l result in the proper pairings expected i n comedy. For the moment, however, Sebastian represents the resolution toward which. Olivia i s heading and Viola represents the chord that i s almost right. The result i s the tension of dissonance which grows in complexity to include as many others as possible u n t i l the resolution i s reached. The audience not only has the assurance of having heard the resolving chord in advance, but also has a preparation for this resolution in the words of Feste's song: -49-0 mistress mine, where are you roaming? 0, stay and hear, your true-love's coming. . . Journeys end i n lovers meeting, Every wise man's son doth know. ,/TT ... .n .. . c\ J (11,111,40-41; 44-45J But this confidence that Time i s benevolent, that i t w i l l sort out. a l l confusion and reveal the reality beneath appearance, does not go unqualified. Shakespeare celebrates a comic vision but seeks to make i t secure against denial by innoculating i t i n advance with counter considerations. These, in addition to the tragic overtones mentioned earlier, help make this comedy more "true to l i f e " ; that i s , more accommodating to a variety of attitudes. Shakespeare reminds the audience through Viola that the "pregnant enemy" often uses appearance to deceive mere mortals and when Malvolio i s deceived into a mistaken belief that Olivia loves him, Maria draws a parallel with c h i l l i n g overtones for Shakespeare's audience: "There i s no Christian that means to be saved by believing rightly can ever believe such impossible passages of grossness" ( l l l , i i , 7 0 - 7 3 ) . Appearances' can be damnably deceiving as Othello found out too late and as Hamlet was wise to be cautious of. He knew the power of the devil "t'assume a pleasing shape" (Hamlet II,ii,628-629)' and to mislead people who had the best of intentions and the most co-operative of imaginations. In this play, Antonio's bitter remark that "the beauteous e v i l / Are empty trunks o'erflourished by the devil" reminds the audience of a deceiver at work whose success can be measured by every example of ingratitude i n those who had seemed to be friends. There may not always be enough time to bring i n convincing evidence against such an adversary, as the tragedy of Othello i l l u s t r a t e s . -50-There is also the sober consideration that while Time can bring in a "flood of fortune", making "salt waves fresh i n love" (ill,iv,296), i t can also bring in "the. rain that raineth every day" (V,i,394). Time brings change, and this can be for the worse as well as for the better. If i t i s logical for Feste to credit the "whirligig of time" with bringing about revenge on Malvolio, i t i s also logical for Malvolio to appeal to Time and to say: " I ' l l be revenged on the whole pack of you" (V,i,380). His curse stings and sticks, a l l the more so since the audience realizes, with Olivia, that "he hath been most notoriously abused" ( v , i , 3 8 l ) . Time can bring with i t changes that qualify f e s t i v i t y and which test the vows of love. Sebastian can promise that "having sworn truth (he) ever w i l l be true" (lV,iii,33) and Viola can promise Orsino that she w i l l keep her vows to him "as true i n soul/ As doth the orbed continent the f i r e that severs day from night" (V,i,270-271). But Viola knows how unstable vows can be. She has already reminded Orsino "man" to man: "We men may say more, swear more; but indeed our shows are more than w i l l ; for s t i l l we prove much in our vows but l i t t l e in our love" (II,iv,117-119). And the Duke's earlier advice to Caesario to marry a woman younger than himself "or thy affection cannot hold the bent" (ll,iv,37) implies a recognition of the d i f f i c u l t i e s of f i d e l i t y which w i l l come in time. The Clown's song i s ample commentary on this sad fact: What* i s love? 'Tis not hereafter; Present mirth hath present laughter; What's to come i s s t i l l unsure: In delay there l i e s no plenty; Then come kiss me, sweet, and twenty, Youth's a stuff w i l l not endure. (II,iii,48-53) -51-Viola has also had a long discussion with Feste on the deceptiveness of language; as Feste says: To see this age! A sentence i s but a chev'ril glove to a good wit. How quickly the wrong side may be turned outward! (III,i,11-13) And he adds: Words are grown so false that I am loth to prove reason with them, (ill,i,24-25) Deceptions abound i n time and they work on people who have the "strong corruption" of vice tainting their " f r a i l blood" (ill,iv,368-369), and who are therefore prone to misinterpret appearances because of their own preconceptions and self-interest. These considerations strongly qualify the optimistic assertion that r e a l i t y can be recognized when i t appears and that rea l i t y w i l l , i n fact, appear i n time to enable people to make wise choices.. But the festive tone holds, despite threats to the contrary, because Sebastian and Viola are very much on the stage for a l l the maddened citizens of I l l y r i a to see. There i s even hope that Malvolio can be entreated to a peace and, i f not, there i s at least the assurance that he knows his hopes w i l l lead nowhere. The audience has known a l l along who was who and could . use i t s superior awareness to enjoy the comedy. When the players catch up with the audience, there i s nothing more for them to know and they too can laugh with the audience i n retrospect. The moment when Sebastian arrives next to Viola i s li k e the resolving chord which creates harmony out of dissonance and which i s "right" according to the logic developing from within the'movement of the music. Their mutual recognition, like a moment of discovery, i s a liberation from puzzlement, however short lived. For the moment, the -52-corroding effects of Time can be forgotten and some hard won insight can be celebrated, lo matter what else i s true about i l l u s i o n , deception, and human f r a i l t y , this moment i s also true. The audience and the citizens of I l l y r i a would be foolish not to catch the mood of the moment and to adopt the Clown's advice: Then come and kiss me, sweet, and twenty Youth's a stuff ' t w i l l not endure. -53-CHAPTER IV AS YOU LIKE IT In As You Like It, Shakespeare explores the thought that.Nature i s an unimpeachable legislator of human conduct and that love, even though often foolish, i s a worthy as well as natural expression. Touchstone, as usual, cites the cynical view of things: "We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as a l l i s mortal i n nature, so i s a l l nature i n love mortal in f o l l y " (I ,iv,51-54). But his voice i s only one among a polyphony of others. Nature and Love w i l l be 'strong enough, i n this play, to withstand the' tests and changes brought by time. Shakespeare develops this thought in two movements: One, the dark world of Frederick's court and the other, the lighter world of Arden. The two themes of Nature and Love are sounded for the f i r s t time at Court and are echoed for the rest of the play u n t i l they reach the resounding resolution of four marriages and a massive conversion to natural behavior in Act V. On the way toward that resolution, Shakespeare counterpoints Nature and Love with considerations which threaten to create dissonance. For example, Love i s counterpointed with i n f i d e l i t y , symbolized by the cuckold's horns often alluded to and Nature i s contrasted with what i s unnatural, what i s gentle i s contrasted with the villainous. The result of such counterpointing i s disharmonious but, by Act V, Shakespeare resolves the polyphony of voices into a harmony with Nature and Love and the dissonance along the way only makes the resolution more welcome. The two movements through which the themes are developed are analogous to one another i n structure, thus capable of reflecting on one another point by point. The difference between the two i s one of tone: Duke Frederick's world i s tyrannical and oppressive; Nature and Love can never define themselves positively i n this world. The tone in Arden i s different: more encouraging to the positive expressions of Nature and Nature i n Love. The tones are different but the structure of court and country i s the same. Each i s governed by a Duke and assorted nobles; there i s a hierarchy of command, however much Duke Senior's benevolent rule may obscure the fact. Each world i s ruled by a usurper, however much Senior regrets having to admit that he i s one: Come, shall we go and k i l l us venison? And yet i t irks -me the poor dappled fools, Being native burghers of this desert city, Should, i n their own confines, with forked heads Have their round haunches gored. /• . \ ^11,1 , £ l — o ) Both courts are entertained by truth-telling fools, Touchstone and Jacques. And i n both the worlds of court and country there i s the eviction of loyal old men - Adam and'Corin - who have given a lifetime of service only to be ungratfully banished or evicted i n their old age. The similar structure of the two worlds or movements i s important. In so far as Arden resembles the court, the testing of peoples' Nature and Love w i l l stand them in good stead when they return to court l i f e . Arden i s not simply a "Fantasie" or "Reverie"; i t i s a world very much like the ordinary world but more favorable to the expression of themes which are too often suppressed there. A change in tone w i l l allow for a different treatment of a theme; i t w i l l colour attitude and w i l l make positive, l i v e l y , and exuberant expressions possible. At the end of As You Like It the tone of the court world changes by a surprising -55-and daring conversion into a new key. And with this conversion, f i r s t of Oliver and then of Frederick and his soldiers, Shakespeare makes i t possible for the society of Arden to move back into court l i f e where the tone they have established i n the forest w i l l echo within a healthier society. Before this conversion i s reached, however, Nature and Love w i l l have to achieve some expression; they w i l l have to define themselves by showing some recognizable shape, l o r this reason, Shakespeare arranges a series of counterpointings which reach a crescendo i n Act III. These help to define Nature and Love by showing, at least, what they are not, which i s probably as far as one can go. without sounding platitudinous or simplistic. Shakespeare does not expli c i t l y define Nature or Love but respects them as mysteries i n which he and the audience are necessarily involved. He respects the silence which surrounds these mysteries and which guards them from ever being adequately expressed or understood. But in order to say something about them (for what goes completely unmentioned risks being completely disregarded) Shakespeare presents a number of theses, a l l of which are valid but inadequate. The force of Nature and Nature i n Love defines i t s e l f by the way i t disposes of these theses, much like the force f i e l d of a magnet proves i t s strength and reveals.its shape by the way i t rearranges iron f i l i n g s while i t s e l f remaining invisible except i n i t s effects. The silence of the mystery i s counterpointed by several debats i n the forest and what cannot be said turns out to be the shape of Nature and Love. The f i r s t theme to be sounded i s that of Nature. Orlando feels "the s p i r i t of (his) father" rise up i n him when he is denied the rights to an education l e f t to him i n his father's w i l l . He i s being kept as a peasant by his brother, Oliver, and has nothing to show for his time on the farm but growth. Although "the custom of nations" has made distinctions between f i r s t born sons and others, i t has not erased and cannot erase the bonds between brothers. Each brother has an inalienable right to respect for what he i s - his father's son or, i n other words, for being what "God made" ( l , i , - 3 2 ) . Even i f , i n fact, these rights are violated, they remain binding as a law to which the beleagured party can appeal. The father's w i l l remains valid and normative, however much i t i s disregarded. Oliver's attitude i s "unnatural", which he w i l l admit later i n the play ( I V , i i i , 1 2 5 ) and i t i s ironic that he calls Orlando his "natural" brother and claims to be speaking brotherly of him when he anatomizes his supposed faults to Charles the wrestler. The audience recognizes Oliver's attitude as villainous not only by his plotting to do damage to Orlando but by his soliloquy i n which he shows that, lik e Edmund in King Lear, he has an irrational hatred for the good only because i t i s good: . . .my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle, never schooled and yet learned, f u l l of noble device, of a l l i n the heart of the world, and especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am altogether misprized. ^ ^ -j_g^ ) Orlando's goodness shows i t s e l f more by contrast with Oliver's behavior than by any positive expression at this point. The counterpointing of Oliver and Orlando shows that whatever "nature" w i l l mean, i t w i l l not be reducible to biological terms. The two are "natural" brothers but have entirely different "natures". Adam i s even hesitant about what to c a l l Oliver when he has to reveal his villainous plans to Orlando: . . .within this roof The enemy of a l l your graces l i v e s . Your brother - no, no brother, yet the son -Yet not the son, I w i l l not c a l l him son, Of him I was about to c a l l his father -Hath heard your praises, and this night he means To burn the lodging where you use to l i e And you within i t . /__... n , n„s J (^11,111,16-23; Some indication of a more natural way of acting - and certainly an alternative to Oliver's plotting against Orlando - i s the behavior of Celia and Rosalind "whose loves are dearer than the natural bond of sisters" (i,ii,265-266). Celia, instead of being jealous of her cousin wants to share her own fortunes with her: You know my father hath no child but I, nor none i s like to have; and truly, when he dies, thou shalt be his heir; for what he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I w i l l render thee again in affection. /_ .. , r „„\ ° • (I,ii,16-20) Celia's father, the Duke Frederick, i s like Oliver i n his unnatural behavior because he has usurped the place of his older brother, Duke Senior. He i s also as jealous of goodness as Oliver i s and banishes Rosalind from court because "her very silence and her patience/ Speak to the people and they do pity her" ( i , i i i , 7 6 - 7 7 ) . Clearly, unnatural behavior i s not only the vice of older sons; and brotherly or sisterly love i s not limited to "natural" siblings. Natural or unnatural i s beginning to take shape as a certain kind of behavior though, as already mentioned, the outlines of that behavior must of necessity be dim. Rosalind i s not a traitor just because she i s her father's daughter and Celia does not have to hate Orlando because her father does. What is natural, then, i s not necessarily what "comes naturally" as i f by some kind of biological determinism. "Natural", as i t i s taking shape i n the f i r s t two scenes, i s a freely chosen way of acting and looks like love. Some further refinement of what natural behavior might look like emerges by comparing Oliver's treatment of Adam with the treatment given to Gorin by his landlord. Both situations are analogous and therefore throw light on one another. We are shown the eviction of Adam and w i l l learn later,what to think of i t when he i s brought to Senior's banquet and Amiens sings the song: Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind As man's ingratitude:. . . Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky Thou dost not bit so nigh As benefits forgot: (II,vii,174-176; 184-186) . We are only told about Corin's eviction but learn exp l i c i t l y what kind of behavior his master lacks: My master i s of churlish disposition And l i t t l e recks to find the way to heaven By doing deeds of hospitality. ( I I j i v > 8 0 _ 8 2 ) Gratitude and hospitality emerge as characteristic of "natural" rather than of unnatural or villainous or churlish people. Orlando's care for Adam, as well as Adam's loyalty to him and Rosalind's rescue of Corin (with Celia's offer to mend his wages) counterpoints the behavior of Oliver and Corin's householder and helps to define a natural way of acting. It i s i n the forest that what i s natural can find f u l l expression. As a result, when Orlando finds Duke Senior at supper he learns that a l l he need do i s to ask for food and he w i l l get i t . There i s no need to adopt the bullying manners of an Oliver or Frederick. As Senior t e l l s him: "Your gentleness shall force/ More than your force move us to gentleness" (.II,vii, 101-102). And this quality of gentleness receives further emphasis as Orlando asks: Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you. I thought a l l things had been savage here, And therefore put I on the countenance Of stern commandment. . . (106-109) And the Duke replies: "Sit you down in gentleness" (124). This episode i s a further reminder that "natural" cannot be identified with "instinctive" since gentleness i s a cultivated quality. Nor can Nature be identified with a l l gentlemen since the same fathers begot a Frederick and a Senior, an Orlando and an Oliver. The complexity of the question: "What is Natural" increases as each thesis i s counterpointed with another and the shape of Nature emerges. Nature i s also counterpointed with Fortune - a familiar comparison. As Rosalind and Celia argue i t , Fortune may be too powerful for Nature by so arranging events that some natural g i f t , like wit, gets s t i f l e d by circumstance. If this were the last word in the argument i t would be an incentive to unnatural behavior. An all-powerful Fortune, making no distinction between natural or unnatural, good or bad, but regarding everything as either in or out, up or down, encourages the devotion of the cynical and the opportunist. Throughout the play there i s a repeated concern for how one's fortunes are going or what they w i l l be. Obviously, a turn of Fortune i s important; i t can defeat one's allegiance to natural behavior when such i s no longer opportune. But Nature's defeat i s not necessarily the result of a clash between these two mighty opposites. One's fortunes can be part of a natural process of learning from adversity. As Rosalind and Celia experience i t , Touchstone arrives abruptly to cut off their debate about Nature and Fortune. One could regard this as a turn of fortune meant to confound their arguments. Or else, as Celia puts i t : "Peradventure this i s not Fortune's work neither, but Nature's, who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason ( -60-of such godesses and hath sent this natural for our whetstone. For always the dullness of the fool i s the whetstone of the wits" ( i , i i , 4 9 - 5 3 ) . The f u l l expression of this a b i l i t y to make the best of circumstance comes i n the forest where Amiens congratulates Duke Senior: . . .happy i s your Grace That can .translate the stubborness of fortune Into so quiet and so sweet a style/ i 18-20) And, indeed, the Duke sounds as i f he has learned some valuable lessons from adversity, showing himself to be a comic inversion of King Lear: Hath not custom made this l i f e more sweet Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods More free from p e r i l than the envious court? Here we feel not the penalty of Adam; The seasons' difference, as the icy fang And churlish chiding of the winter's wind, Which, when i t bites and blows upon my body Even t i l l I shrink with cold, I smile and say "This i s no flattery; these are counsellors That feelingly persuade me what I am", ^ 2-11) Amiens' song w i l l later echo this feeling of the Duke: Who doth ambition shun And loves to liv e i n the sun, Seeking the food he eats, And pleased with what he gets, Gome hither, come hither, come hither. . Here shall he see no enemy But winter and rough weather. • Jacques w i l l parody this with his version of what kind of people choose to liv e under such harsh conditions: If i t do come to pass That any man turn ass, Leaving his wealth and ease A stubborn w i l l to please. Due dame, duedame, due dame. Here shall he see gross fools as he, An i f he w i l l come to me. Jacques, however, like Touchstone, is only one voice among a polyphony of others. And although the notes he sounds add dissonance to theirs, his are clearly not dominant; they are too feeble to be sustained throughout the large "measure" of goodness shown by the Duke and also by Orlando who appears in the scene following this song, caring for Adam in his hunger. Nature, then, can withstand and even profit from fortune of any •kind. It i s a kind of behavior resembling gratitude, hospitality and gentleness which i s at home in court or country. Manners and customs are relative to each locale, as Gorin asserts i n his debate with Touchstone; and longstanding habit can make certain customs seem "natural". But truly natural behavior shows i t s e l f at work under any conditions. The behavior of Adam and Corin makes them more alike than their court or country origins makes them different. Shakespeare adds a f i n a l voice i n his attempt to "define" what i s natural and to show how this Nature i s an unimpeachable legislator of human conduct. This voice sings' of the deterioration that comes to people in time; i t sings of Nature in the sense of the "natural processes" which only enfeeble a man the older he gets. By giving expression to this voice, Shakespear.e shows eventually that what he means by nature cannot be confined to this one version of i t . There i s no doubt that the natural processes are taking their t o l l and are a force to be reckoned with. Adam, for instance, has "lost a l l (his) teeth" in his master's service. Because of his weakness, he cannot sustain a f l i g h t into the forest as well as Orlando and, despite the care he took in his youth to remain vigorous, he is growing weaker with age. As Orlando remarks sadly but r e a l i s t i c a l l y : . . .poor old. man, thou prun'st a rotten tree That cannot so much as a blossom yield In l i e u of a l l thy pains and husbandry. ^ - ^ ^ g ^ Further echoes of this theme occur when Jacques, the forest fool, moralizes on the seven ages of man as seven pageants of increasing debility and Touchstone, the court fool, summarizes the effects of Time's progress in the merciless reminder:" And so from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,/ And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;/ And thereby hangs a tale" (ll,vii,26-28). Decay and debility come in Time and, like Fortune, impose severe limits on a person's behavior. But neither Fortune or decay need defeat "natural" behavior as this i s shown in Adam's and Corin's continued service and in Orlando's and Rosalind's continued care for them. Natural behavior, as i t defines i t s e l f by disposing of a l l the "theses" counterpointed against i t , and as i t receives f u l l e s t expression in Orlando, shows i t s e l f to be a vigorous force. It cannot be overcome by unnatural behavior, though i t can be disregarded; custom can put i t into disuse, Fortune and various d i s a b i l i t i e s can discourage men from acting naturally. But Nature remains as a criterion to measure the worthiness of action and to.embolden Orlando in his self-defense, even i f i t s exact shape remains invisible and i t s exact definition remains-unarticulated. It is f i t t i n g for the purposes of this play that Orlando defeats Charles at wrestling. Charles i s the unwitting tool of an unnatural brother, while Orlando represents a l l that i s good and that Oliver loaths. He is a f i t t i n g representative of Nature against Fortune, being young and tender and having the gentle wishes of two ladies on his side. His overthrow of Charles i s consequently emblematic of Nature's strength. This power w i l l be enough, in the end, -63-to sustain Orlando i n his moral struggle to overthrow feelings of revenge and w i l l prompt him to the merciful deliverance of Oliver from a lioness. This deed, in turn, w i l l be enough to convert Oliver from his unnatural behavior into someone as generous toward his brother as Celia was to Rosalind and Senior was to Orlando and Adam. The movement of the play i s such that i t almost requires the f i n a l conversion/ of Frederick and his army on the fringes of Arden. A l l the other major court characters have come to the forest and have given free expression to natural behavior. Even Oliver's tune has changed and Hymen's song has commented on the action from a god's viewpoint: Then i s there mirth i n heaven When earthly things made even Atone together. ( v / i v , 1 0 8 _ l l o ) Frederick's conversion makes sense in the logic of polyphonic development where a l l voices unite in a harmonic f i n a l chord. It makes l i t t l e difference in polyphony how each voice has developed i t s part or has counterpointed with others in the course of i t s expression. It only matters that a l l end up together i n harmony. When a dramatist wrenches a character into.line.with a l l . the others by such an improbable conversion, he shows l i t t l e respect for character but much regard for •the demands of theme. To the extent that such a conclusion i s dramatically improbable, the analogy to polyphonic development seems a l l the more helpful for seeing how Shakespeare i s working. The logic of music i s as valid for i t s own purposes as the logic of Aristotle. Just as Nature received expression and'definition throughout this play by a series of counterpointed theses, Nature-in-love w i l l receive similar development, centering on Rosalind and dominating most of the attention i n the forest. Rosalind i s the f i r s t one to f a l l in love, which she does simply by setting eyes on Orlando. He, in turn, f a l l s in love with her when she gives him a token to wear and he slips into "the very exstasy of love", stammering and becoming inarticulate. The power of love has shown i t s force by overthrowing pride i n Rosalind and by overthrowing Orlando who has become identified with Nature at i t s most self-assertive. It remains to be seen what this power is like i n more detail and i f i t i s strong enough to endure through time. At f i r s t sight, Rosalind and Orlando look like any pair of infatuated adolescents An audience might laugh with condecension at their love wounds.or adopt Celia's slightly skeptical, attitude: "Is i t possible on such a sudden you. should f a l l into so strong a lik i n g with old s i r Rowland''s youngest son?" ( i , i i i , 2 7 - 2 9 ) . Shakespeare w i l l delineate the shape of this passion as he did with that of Nature, by counterpointing other voices with those of Orlando and especially of Rosalind and by showing how these voices are disposed of. As with Nature, the most fullsome development of the Love theme w i l l occur in the "forest movement" where people are more free to be themselves, unrestrained by any arbitrary or tyrannical restraints. The f i r s t thing to be learned about Rosalind's love i s that i t makes a total claim on her allegiance. When she f i r s t appears, she i s mourning for her father and prattling with Celia about Fortune and. Nature. When she f a l l s i n love, her only thoughts are for Orlando, and her own heart's ache. The openings of I , i i and of I , i i i are. similar enough to show the great extent to which the reason for Rosalind's melancholy has changed: I , i i : Celia: I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry. Rosalind: Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of, and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure. I , i i i : Celia: Why, cousin, why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy, not a word? Rosalind: Not one to throw at a dog. . . Celia: But is a l l this for your father? Rosalind: No, some of i t i s for my child's father. (Orlando) Love i s a disruptive force, creating new alliances and modifying former loyalties. However common an occurrence i t i s , Love can threaten uncommon danger by blinding lovers to any other world but one of their own making. Since lovers, poets and madmen "are of imagination a l l compact", they have the a r t i f i c e capable of constructing such a world and the danger they w i l l do so i s only too real. Shakespeare showed the tragic results of the self-sufficient isolation of lovers in Romeo and Juliet and Anthony and Cleopatra. In As You Like It he only hints at the disintegrating po s s i b i l i t i e s of a lover's passion by showing Rosalind's realignment of loyalties and by having her say i n the Forest: "But what talk we of fathers when there i s such a man as Orlando?" ( i l l ,iv,35—36). Such a sentiment has tragic p o s s i b i l i t i e s (for King Lear, for example) and, as such, helps make this comedy worthy of serious attention. It i s clear that Love makes serious claims and leads, eventually, to life-long commitments. The audience gets a-further look at what this Love might be iike as soon as Rosalind announces "this i s the forest of Arden" and the f i r s t of several spectacles comes into view: "a young man and an old -66-insolomn talk" ( l l , i v , 1 9 ) . Rosalind, Celia and Touchstone adopt a spectator's stance for a moment and let two local shepherds - young Silvius and old Corin converse about love. With Rosalind established as an audience the plight of Silvius appears more clearly as melodrama and, simultaneously, distinguished from Rosalind's. Shakespeare w i l l further dissociate Rosalind's love from any pose by having her play herself for Orlando later and i n that play adopt attitudes of petulance, testiness and coquetry which partly are and mostly are not true expressions of her love. Rosalind's play i s a way of separating actor and act, of showing that her love i s capable of in f i n i t e variety, while floating free of any pose. Meanwhile, the spectacle of Silvius and Corin helps to define what Rosalind's love i s not. Silvius insists that love delights i n foolish behavior and that a true lover w i l l remember every instance of f o l l y done in youth. Corin claims to have loved "ere now" but to have long since forgotten the ridiculous actions into which fantasy had once led him. The audience, and Rosalind, can consider through this exchange whether love has to die when foolish actions do or whether i t simply changes i t s mode of expression. There i s no indication that Corin has grown cynical about love i n his old age; he is ;tolerant of Silvius's excesses and admits that they once were his. But he has. changed. It i s tempting to see Corin as Love i n old age as Adam was Nature i n old age. The two men represent Love and Nature enduring through time, not overcome by i t , but modified. Each age can express Love and Nature in a way appropriate to i t s e l f without one age having to be any worse than the other. An organic development can occur i n time, up to and including aid age, as in the parable of Marcus Aurelius: "Green grape, ripe cluster, raisi n ; -67-every step a change, not into what i s not, but what i s yet to be" (Meditations, Book XI, 35). To recognize that Love can change while remaining part of an organic development of one's personality i s to insure oneself against the cynicism that comes when the f i r s t f i r e s fade. Time w i l l bring change and the wise person w i l l be one who can "keep his time" and "lose not his•time" as the singers mention i n another context (V,iii,36-37). Silvius breaks off the exchange by running off i n passionate chase of his Phebe which gives Rosalind a chance to exclaim: "Alas, poor shepherd! Searching of thy wound, I have by hard adventure found my own" (il,iv,42-43). But Touchstone, ever the practical one i n such matters - who w i l l later entertain no idealized conception of what he is doing in love - deflates Silvius*s plight and Rosalind's as well, to the extent that her love resembles Silvius's:" I remember, when I was in love I broke my sword upon a stone and bid him take that for coming a-night to Jane Smile; and I remember the kissing of her batler, and the cow's dugs that her pretty chopt hands had milked. . ." (II,iv,44-48). • '\ Rosalind s t i l l identifies her passion with Silvius's: "Jove, Jove!, This shepherd's passion/ Is much upon my fashion" (il,iv,58-59). But by the next time we see her a subtle change has occurred-. She i s s t i l l very much in love with Orlando and grows out of patience with Celia to t e l l her for sure that i t i s he who has scattered love verses to her throughout the forest. She i s bursting with eagerness to hear about him but when he arrives i n conversation with Jacques, Rosalind harnesses . her passion with self-control and begins the testing of Orlando's love. There i s a bit of Touchstone's deflating wit in what she says and much -68-of Silvius's ardor in what she feels. Like Jacques' own melancholy, Rosalind's love is uniquely her own, "compounded of many simples" and identifiable by no one i n particular. As she tests Orlando, Rosalind discovers him to be someone much like herself ,- more mature than he was when he was f i r s t struck by love and showing none of the conventional signs symptomatic of the lover he yet claims to be: he has no lean cheek, blue eye and sunken, Unquestionable s p i r i t or beard neglected ( l l l , i i , 3 6 6 - 3 6 9 ) . He i s not scrupulous about coming an hour late for a love appointment, nor w i l l he desert his brother i n need just to keep a rendezvous with Rosalind, disguised as Ganymede. Orlando i s certainly i n love but -in a way that enhances his already gentle nature and not in a way that would reduce, him to a caricature. It i s true that he i s the author of some exaggerated love verse which i s parodied by Touchstone into typical bawdry. But he shows himself a more r e a l i s t i c man than the poetry suggests while never expressing himself on Touchstone's level. He considers love worth more than virtue, as he t e l l s Jacques, and w i l l not be cured of i t , as he t e l l s Ganymede. But his fervor i s balanced by an a b i l i t y to attend to other claims on his time and affection. He i s a devotee of love, not an enthusiast. . Both Rosalind and Orlando show themselves as lovers who are able to withstand the test of many attitudes. Their-love i s not as fanciful as Silvius's: Rosalind: Well, i n (Rosalind's) person, I say I w i l l not have you. Orlando: Then, in mine own person, I die. Rosalind: No, faith, die by attorney. . . Orlando: I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind, for I protest her frown might k i l l me. Rosalind: By this hand, i t w i l l not k i l l a f l y . (IV,i,87-89; 103-105) Nor i s their love as cynical as Touchstone's. Rosalind i s not as unmoved as Celia: Rosalind: Aliena, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando. I ' l l go find a. shadow, and sigh t i l l he come. Celia: And I ' l l sleep. (IV,1,206-209) And Orlando i s not as cynical as Jacques: Jacques: The worst fault you have i s to be i n love. Orlando: 'Tis a fault I w i l l not change for your best virtue. I am weary of you. (Ill,ii,279-281) The a b i l i t y of Rosalind and Orlando to love without exaggeration or cynicism should steady them i n advance against a l l the changes that w i l l come in Time. And, in this play, there i s special emphasis on the changes that occur when courtship turns to marriage: "Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives" (IV,i,140-142). With change there comes confusion and a possible realignment of loyalties which, i n marriage, shows i t s e l f i n extra-marital affairs. There i s ' a hint of such i n f i d e l i t y as a possibility for the future i n Rosalind's teasing with Orlando: Orlando: Then love me Rosalind. Rosalind: Yes, faith, w i l l I, Fridays and Saturdays and a l l . Orlando: And wilt thou have me? Rosalind: Ay, and twenty such. Orlando: What sayest thou? Rosalind: Are you not good? -70-Orlando: I hope so. Rosalind: Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing? ( i v ? i j l 0 8 _ l l 6 ) And again: Rosalind: Make the doors upon a woman's wit, and i t w i l l out at the casement. . . Orlando: A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say, 'wit, whither wilt?' Rosalind: Nay, you might keep that check for i t t i l l you met your wife's wit going to your neighbor's bed. Orlando: And what wit could wit have to excuse that? Rosalind: Marry, to say she came to seek you there. . .0 that woman that cannot make her fault her husband's occasion, l e t her never, nurse her child herself, for she w i l l breed i t like a fool. (IV,1,154-168) Throughout the play, especially through Touchstone's courting of Audrey, there i s the reminder that lust as well as love can lead to marriage plans and that these may not even be intended to la s t . There i s a constant joking about horns that are the dowry of a man's wife: by Touchstone before he attempts to marry Audrey (lII,iii,53-60); by Rosalind i n teasing Orlando (IV,i,48-56); and by the song sung by the foresters returning from the hunt: Take thou no scorn to wear the horn, It was a crest ere thou wast born, Thy father's father wore i t , And thy father bore i t . The horn, the horn, the lusty horn, Is not a thing to laugh to scorn. (IV,ii,14-19) There are also many references to violated vows that are seemingly normal in the course of Time. Orlando mentions them i n his love verse (ill,ii,125-133); Celia. blandly interprets Orlando's lateness as a sign -71-that he i s out of love and therefore not accountable for the vows he made when he was i n i t ( i l l , iv r30-3l);. and even up to the f i n a l marriages, Touchstone alludes to the i n f i d e l i t y that rises as sexual interest f a l l s : I press i n here, s i r , amongst the rest of the country copulatives, to swear and to forswear, according as marriage binds and blood breaks. (V,iv,56-58) Orlando survives Celia's cynical accusation that he i s faithless, but he may nevertheless be well advised to say "a day" without the "ever" when promising how long he intends to remain i n love. Just as there were Fortune and the debilities of natural processes to discourage natural behavior, there are changes with Time that can make love mortal in f o l l y . From what they learn from the testing in the forest, Orlando and Rosalind know that they may liv e happily but certainly not easily ever af'ter. From this same testing, Love and Nature receive some definition and, especially toward the end of the play show their force. From I V , i i to the end, they become the dominating motifs of the action as, one by one, the major characters change their tune u n t i l they are brought into harmony with the natural and loving behavior espoused by Orlando and Rosalind. The f i r s t major change occurs..at Oliver's' entrance i n I V , i i i when he comes to announce the reason for Orlando's lateness to Rosalind and when he declares his "conversion" from his former unnatural self. At the same moment, Celia i s converted into love for him and leaves behind her earlier cynicism and indifference. At one stroke, Nature and Love gain fresh.conquests and start a movement that w i l l drown a l l voices counterpointed against them. In the next scene (V,i) Touchstone vanquishes William, the r i v a l to his Audrey and promises her that they w i l l find a time to get married, and not by "a most v i l e Mar-text" either. Touchstone seems to be taking practical measures to insure himself against the horns he has said are no disgrace to wear and to be joining, at least publically, in the kind of love ritualized by the other lovers. .In V , i i , Silvius and Phebe are paired off with Orlando and Rosalind, like a quartet, singing about "what ' t i s to love". Silvius describes the qualities of a lover which he has adequately demonstrated throughout the play and then starts off on a round repeated by the others: Silvius: It i s to be a l l made of sighs and tears; And so.am I for Phebe. Phe.be: And I for Ganymede. Orlando: And I for Rosalind. Rosalind: And I for no woman. (V,ii,83-87)' The round i s one last chance to counterpoint Orlando and Rosalind with their look-alikes and opposites. It i s a piece of recapitulated confusion and i s deliberately a r t i f i c i a l , but works as a similar movement in music does to signal the approach of the resolution. As in Twelfth Wight, there are several frustrated relationships i n precarious suspension and they w i l l soon have to be satisfied. The following scene with Touchstone and Audrey reenforces the forward movement toward resolution with the commentary: Touchstone: Tomorrow i s the joyful day, Audrey; tomorrow w i l l we be married. Audrey: I do desire i t with a l l my heart. . . . (V,iii,1-3) And the song adds encouragement in the verse: And therefore take the present time, With a .hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino, For love i s crowned with the prime. . . (V,iii,29-31) When a l l the couples are brought to the wedding day, i t i s f i t t i n g that Hymen, the god of marriage, should effect the resolution by pointing out the proper pairs and by singing the song i n praise of wedlock. Even Touchstone does not seem completely out of place i n such company. His marriage may be stormy and, as Jacques points out, undertaken out of some necessity; but i t i s as sure to last as winter and rough weather. Some people, i t seems, are made for each other, i f not for everybody. Phebe's marriage i s not to her l i k i n g but, i n view of the alternatives, (marriage with Rosalind) has more of a future in i t . She cannot be satisfied by another woman and so gives i n at last to someone who w i l l care for her, however mawkishly: "so i s the bargain". By including Touchstone and Audrey as well as Silvius and Phebe among the country copulatives, Shakespeare shows the extent and the variety of Hymen's dominion. love has led eight people into a variety of marriages. Two of these couples w i l l no doubt prove themselves to be yoked but not pulling together. Oliver's and Celia's marriage i s too quickly arranged to allow for predictions about i t s outcome. But Orlando has been tested by Rosalind and Rosalind has learned from the foolishness of Silvius, the cynicism of Touchstone and the indifference of Jacques. The two seem better prepared than the others to take each other as they are and the time as i t comes; their marriage w i l l change as they do. They show every sign of having deep love without illusions - of being able to modulate from one key to another without losing their time or changing their tune (a tricky accomplishment.!). They remain in love without having to remain as tongue-tied or as melancholy as they were at f i r s t . And they remain i n love despite what they already • know of violated vows and i n f i d e l i t y and of what Orlando knows of the many moods i t i s possible for his Rosalind to assume. With the f i n a l resolution of the Love theme and the final, conversion of Frederick to natural behavior, Shakespeare vindicates the power of Nature and Nature-in-Love. They are the silent centers of concern for everyone i n this play and they show their force by disposing of whatever person or opinion might contradict them. Nature and Love remain, i n this play, the unimpeachable legislators and arbiters of conduct and the high mood of festive dance and music at the end celebrates their vindication. -75-CHAPTER V CONCLUSION This thesis has attempted to analyze three romantic comedies -Much.A'do About Nothing, Twelfth Night, and As You Like It - as i f they worked on an audience like polyphonic music. The decision to do so was not made out of mere whimsy but, as explained i n the introduction, was guided by two considerations: l ) the presumption that since dramatic words function like music i n pursuing a pattern through time, a play might profitably be analyzed i n musical terms; and 2) the awareness of how much Elizabethan thought about s t y l i s t i c s and the cosmos seemed to keep several analogous relations i n suspension at once, as does a piece of polyphonic music. At this point, several conclusions emerge about how helpful the musical metaphor has been for analyzing what Shakespeare has been saying i n the three comedies under discussion. The metaphor of polyphony, for one thing, helps, keep steadily i n a c r i t i c ' s mind Shakespeare's tendency to use analogous situations to develop his thought and to use words that echo from character to character throughout the play. I f the c r i t i c i s sensitive to these repetitions of sound and situation, he can more easily hear what Shakespeare i s saying. Empson has done a famous study of the repeated use of "honest" i n Othello; this thesis has suggested the beginnings of a similar study of "fashion" i n Much Ado, of "nature" i n As You  Like It, and of "devil" i n Twelfth Night. An ear that i s sensitive to the repeated sounds of these words i s following closely Shakespeare's concerns i n each play. It should be mentioned parenthetically that Shakespeare's tendency to pun i s notorious and these echoed words work much like the pun: they are one sound used in and for two or more . contexts. A pun shows a mind at play and may simply indicate a fanciful connection between otherwise unrelated r e a l i t i e s . But, for the moment, the pun makes a connection and, in doing so, teases the mind to consider the worth of the synthesis. Is there a connection between fashioning a deception, concern with Hero's fashion, and the fashion of the world which i s to itch after ever-changing fashions? If there i s , the echoing word, analogous to the pun, has helped the artist and the audience arrive .at the discovery of i t . The several analogous situations in a play, like different voices in polyphony, take up a theme in different ways. Through the repetition of a similar concern among the voices, one can learn what the concern i s and can appreciate a variety of ways of considering i t . love looks different i n As You Like It when expressed by a Silvius, a Touchstone, or an Orlando; overhearing and what i t can lead to becomes more obviously a concern in Much Ado when i t occurs differently for a Benedick, a Claudio, or a Dogberry; the deceptiveness of appearances and the wrong choices made because of them emerges as a concern i n Twelfth Wight by the analogous fates of Olivia, Orsino, Malvolio and, eventually, everyone in I l l y r i a . The comparison of Shakespearean drama to polyphony keeps one alert to these analogous and echoing situations and prepares one as well to expect a good "measure" of complication before any resolution occurs. The use of as many voices as possible also enables Shakespeare to conduct a broad exploration of his theme and,. as a result, to make i t richer and truer to the complexities of l i f e . For example, there i s an upper class and a lower class way of deceiving and of being deceived and Shakespeare, characteristically, considers both: Viola's way and Maria's; the results may be ultimately beneficial or embittering and Shakespeare presents both of them. The variety of his considerations keeps Shakespeare's plays from being mere dramatizations of a thesis, such as Shaw might write. His variety shows a respect for complexity -a multitude of perspectives - without implying any cynicism about the f u t i l i t y of exploring what concerns him. In his treatment of a theme, Shakespeare not only mingles "high" with "low" characters who show how much they are alike by how similarly they behave. He also mingles tragic with comic and vice versa, with good dramatic results i n both cases. In the tragedies, the comic scenes help point up the darkness of the serious action, reiterate i n a comic way the concerns of the main action, and allow the audience some r e l i e f from the tension of attending with intense interest and pathos to the hero's struggle. The Grave-digger i n Hamlet allows an audience to relax after four acts of unremitting mental anguish and terrifying action, illuminates with his light banter how dark and serious Hamlet's struggle has been, and reiterates the play's concern with a brother's murder, the seeming that masks a v i l l a i n , and the limitation to a l l human purpose as this was earlier expressed by the Player King: "Our wills and fates do so contrary run/ That our devices are s t i l l overthrown;/ Our thoughts are ours, their end none of our own'.* (Hamlet, III,ii,221-223). In his comedies, Shakespeare treats themes that have tragic possibilities and so gains serious attention for what w i l l happen, in these plays, to turn out happily. Maria i n Twelfth Night and Don John -78-in Much Ado work much like Iago i n weaving deceptions for their victims; Rosalind i n As You Like It, like Cordelia i n Lear, w i l l not think entirely of her father when the time comes for her to think of a husband. The fact that Shakespeare has treated the work of deceivers and the choices of daughters i n tragic contexts i s especially helpful to an audience familiar with these other plays. They can more readily recognize the tragic po s s i b i l i t i e s of actions done in a comic world and so give them more serious attention. But even an audience unable to counterpoint one play with another cannot f a i l to see the serious side to events i n I l l y r i a , Ardens and Messina. In each of these comedies there i s a character who w i l l not be integrated into the f i n a l action and who therefore creates a slight dissonance which makes the resolution more welcome while i t also shows how the ending might have been otherwise. Don John, although made a prisoner, returns as a possible menace to Messina; Jacques abandons the celebration of wedded love i n Ardens for a "nook merely monastic"; and Malvolio calls down curses on I l l y r i a . These characters are reminders that the comic resolution holds only for the time being; l i f e w i l l go on happily for awhile but not necessarily ever after. Besides these characters, there are also religious images i n each play which help allude to a more serious perspective on situations raised in these comedies. Don John and Maria are called-devils and Viola's disguise i s explicitly compared to Satan's tactics of deception. Orlando's plight i s passingly compared to that of the Prodigal Son and there are other commonplaces from the scriptures echoed throughout As You Like It: trees yielding bad f r u i t ( i l l , i i , 1 1 6 ) , God's feeding of the birds of the air ( l l , i i i , 4 3 ) , and the rejoicing i n heaven over the conversion of sinners (v,iv,108-110). An audience that -79-i s sensitive to these serious and. even tragic "overtones" w i l l appreciate the richness and complexity of Shakespeare's treatment of what concerns him i n these- comedies. The use of a polyphony of voices also allows Shakespeare to counterpoint one thesis with another within his comedies and so to qualify any one version of his theme with another. It i s expected that lovers, after overcoming a l l obstacles to their love, w i l l vow eternal f i d e l i t y to one another. It i s also expected than an audience will' believe i n this promise at the time i f only because i t wants to. But later, as the magic of the play wears off, disbelief can no longer stand the strain of being suspended. An audience, looking back, w i l l usually remark, "It was only a play", and make a sharp distinction between that and the harsher, blander, unromantic r e a l i t i e s they have to face every day. Shakespeare seeks to inoculate his plays i n advance against being as easily dismissed as unreal by counterpointing unromantic assertions against the romantic ones within the play i t s e l f . Sebastian, for example, w i l l vow everlasting f i d e l i t y to Olivia and Viola w i l l do the same to Orsino.but Viola and Peste have already had a witty conversation on the untrustworthiness of vows and language. Hero and Glaudio w i l l f i n a l l y join hands in a solemn ceremony of everlasting love but they are soon joined by Beatrice and Benedick whose motives for marriage are less solemn and sentimental. Orlando and Rosalind rush to celebrate Hymen's rights over their love alongside Touchstone who admits that marriage binds but who also declares, that blood breaks - and seems not inclined to worry about i t either. Shakespeare accounts for cynical or less than ideal views by giving them an appropriate voice i n his polyphony. By this device,he also -80-shows that the more romantic assertions are strong enough to withstand whatever would deny their force. One might say that Shakespeare i s playing a trick on his audience: making them swallow their objections to romance i f they want to enjoy the main movement of the resolution. On the other hand, perhaps Shakespeare i s demonstrating the strength of the romantic assertions once they are recognized and given a chance to succeed. If one i s not "tone deaf" to a l l of the voices .of the drama, one can appreciate i t s complexities as well as the strength of the more ideal assertions i n at least several "real to l i f e " cases. The metaphor of music i s also a reminder that the c'ounterpointing and movement of the voices mentioned above follows a logic a l l i t s own. If a musician determines to make one melody his motif, he w i l l work out harmonies and variations for i t and.structure i t according to some received or invented pattern. His concern i s with the development of that central motif and everything else w i l l , i n the end, resolve i t s e l f i n the interests of the main theme. Even in polyphony, which does not develop motifs i n this way, a l l voices w i l l end harmoniously and together after a well controlled, mutually related exploration of the artist's f e l t insight. If Shakespeare's plays are evaluated musically, there should be less uneasiness about the improbabilities of some actions (for example, Frederick's conversion i n As You Like It) and more attention to the motif that i s asserted or the pattern that i s repeated by such occurrences. I also suggest that Shakespeare favors multiple marriages at the conclusion of the three comedies because i t i s one way he has of resolving a l l the voices simultaneously and harmoniously while, at the same time, effecting a resounding, hyperbolic assertion of romantic values. -81-The metaphor of music also keeps the c r i t i c sensitive to the rhythm of a Shakespearean play. There are moments which move more .slowly than others and these are often the times Shakespeare uses to t e l l clearly what i s going on in the play. Such moments occur during the songs when the words, of"necessity, must be prolonged according to the demands of a sung melody. And i t i s the songs which often comment on or anticipate the action of the play. As the song i s sung, a l l the action pauses on stage"!, and the actors s i t around and l i s t e n which further slows down the rhythm and makes what i s sung more noticeable. I suggest, too, that the garrulity of the clowns and their seemingly purposeless exchanges of wit are also ways of slowing down rhythm. They are certainly interruptions i n the action; for one concerned with the fortunes of the hero and heroine, the clown talk can seem even longer than i t i s . Such a slow down in action makes time for commentary which Shakespeare inserts effectively through Dogberry, Feste, and Touchstone. Finally, the comparison of Shakespeare's dramatic technique to a musician's makes one sensitive to the silences i n drama which are part of i t s radically inexpressible meaning. J i l l Levenson discusses this feature i n a paper presented for "Shakespeare * 71" at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia entitled: "What the Silences Said: S t i l l Points in 'King Lear'": At the end of Stravinsky's Les Moces, an extraordinary series of pauses punctuates"' the music. Creating and disappointing expectation almost simultaneously, the pauses compel the listener's attention, his energies, with at least as much force as the sounds. When the last vibration from the percussion blends completely with the stillness i n which i t began, we experience a l l the resonance of silence. Silence i n drama can create, disappoint, compel", and absorb as vigorously as the most eloquent musical pause. And this profound similarity exists because the dramatist -82-and the composer share the power to create silence. The poet and the novelist must invoke or describe stillness; the painter and the sculptor can express i t through space or light. But, for the makers of drama and music, silence i t s e l f furnishes means to express, invoke, even define other kinds of r e a l i t y . " ^ One might say that the purpose of sound i s to make an audience aware of silence once the sound stops; and that in the depths of the silence the inexpressible point of an artist's communication l i e s hidden. To say this i s not to advocate that playgoers and c r i t i c s s i t before a play like Job before the whirlwind, hands on the mouth, saying nothing about i t . Rather, i t i s to recognize that there are often thoughts that l i e too deep for words and that a wise playwright w i l l not descend to bathos or fustian i n an attempt to express them. He w i l l lead an audience to the brink and show them the depths but say nothing further, hoping to e l i c i t from them a corresponding silence which accompanies wonder and deep thought. The moments of silence are the point of the play; to use Eliot's phrase, they are the s t i l l points of an ever turning world. And a sensitive producer or a s k i l l f u l reader of Shakespeare's plays w i l l respect them and allow them to emerge. In the three comedies studied by this thesis, the moments of silence emerge slightly during the songs mentioned above, when the stage business halts and a slower pace decelerates toward s t i l l n e s s . An even more noticeable pause occurs at the recognition scenes when the resolution becomes suddenly and luminously clear and exclamations such as "0 wonder" and "most strange" surround the discovery which unravels a l l complications. It i s interesting to notice that in each play the confusion of four or five acts i s recapitulated only moments before the solution arrives so that wonder i s increased by a sense of r e l i e f for the deliverance i t brings. No words are adequate to express what this deliverance means to people who are saved by i t from madness, slander, or the•frustration of unrequited love. And Shakespeare does not attempt to make words do the impossible. He creates the silence and lets i t speak for i t s e l f , letting i t e l i c i t from the audience whatever response they are prepared to give i t . In the case of these resolutions which are saving moments as well as discoveries, and which anticipate the deeper silences of the late romances, Shakespeare adopts the attitude of Claudio i n Much Ado and retains a respectful silence about mystery. As Claudio says, "Silence i s the perfectest herald of joy; I were but l i t t l e happy i f I could say how much" ( l l , i , 3 0 3 ) . Shakespeare, i n using a method analogous to polyphony i n constructing his comedies has paradoxically used as many voices as he could to create silence. He has explored a concern or a situation from as many perspectives as possible, has counterpointed one attitude with another i n each play, and has alternated action with commentary - a l l in an attempt to reach that moment of wonder and resolution where i t i s fut i l e to say any more. The silence he constructs and respects not only shows the depths of Shakespeare's comic vision; i t also shows that his confidence i n i t i s such that he can let i t alone to have what effect i t w i l l on an attentive audience. -84-FOOTNOTES 1. Norman Rabkin, "Meaning and Shakespeare", i n Shakespeare 1971? ed. Clifford Leech and J. M. R. Margeson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972), p. 102. 2. George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie, i n Elizabethan C r i t i c a l  Essays, ed. G. Gregory Smith (London: Oxford University Press, 1904), II, 67-68. 3. Ibid., p. 145. 4. D. W. Robertson, Jr., A Preface to Chaucer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973), p. 7. 5. Robert W. Ackerman, Backgrounds to Medieval English Literature (New York: Randon House, 1966), p. 104. 6. J i l l Levenson, "What the Silence Said: S t i l l Points i n 'King Lear'", in Shakespeare 1971, ed. Cl i f f o r d Leech and J. M. R. Margeson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972), p. 215.. -85-BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman, Robert W., Backgrounds to Medieval English Literature, New York: Randon House, 1966. Barber, C. L., Shakespeare's Festive Comedy, Cleveland: Meridian, 1968. Bergson, Henri, "Laughter", i n Comedy, ed. Wylie Sypher, Garden City: Doubleday, 1956. Danby, John F., Shakespeare's Doctrine of Man, London: Faber, 1961. Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. G. Gregory Smith, 2 vols., Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1904. Elton, W. R., "Shakespeare and the Thought of His Age", i n A New Companion  to Shakespeare Studies, ed. Kenneth Muir and S. Schoenbaum, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1971. Fergusson, Francis, "Hamlet: The Analogy of Action", i n Essays i n Shakespearean Criticism, ed. James 1. Calderwood and Harold E. Toliver, Englewood C l i f f s : Prentice Hall, 1970. Forker, Charles R., "Shakespeare's Theatrical Symbolism and Its Function in Hamlet", i n Essays i n Shakespearean Criticism, ed. James L. Calderwood and Harold E.. Toliver, Englewood C l i f f s : Prentice Hall, 1970. Fluchere, Henri, Shakespeare and the Elizabethans, New York: H i l l and Wang, 1967. Freeman, Rosemary, English Emblem Books, New York: Octagon, 1966. Krook, Dorothea, Elements of Tragedy, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. levenson, J i l l , "What the Silence Said: S t i l l Points i n 'King Lear 1", in Shakespeare 1971, ed. Cl i f f o r d Leech and J. M. R. Margeson, Toronto: University Press, 1972. Lewis, C. S., The Discarded Image, Cambridge University Press, 1967. Mazzeo, Joseph Anthony, Renaissance and Seventeenth Century Studies, New York: Columbia University Press, 1964. Mack, Maynard, King Lear i n Our Time, Berkeley: Univ. of C a l i f . Press, 1972. The Portable Medieval Reader, ed. James Bruce Ross and Mary Martin McLaughlin, New York: Viking, 1949. -86-Rabkin, Norman, "Meaning and Shakespeare", i n Shakespeare 1971, Toronto: Univ e r s i t y Press, 1972. Robertson, D. W., J r . , A Preface to Chaucer, Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1973. Shakespeare, William, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, As You Like I t , Signet Clas s i c s E d i t i o n , ed. Sylvan Barnet, New York: The New American Libra r y , 1963. Spencer, Theodore, Shakespeare and the Nature of Man, New York: MacMillan, 1949. T i l l y a r d , E. M. W., The Elizabethan World P i c t u r e , New York: Vintage, n.d. Willey, B a s i l , The Seventeenth Century Background, New York: Doubleday, 1953. 


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