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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 PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  i n the Department of • English  We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 1975  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s  thesis  in p a r t i a l  f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r  an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, the L i b r a r y s h a l l I  f u r t h e r agree  make i t  freely available  that permission  for  I agree  r e f e r e n c e and  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f  this  that  study. thesis  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s of  representatives.  this  thesis  It  is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l  written permission.  Department of  English  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada  Date  January  31,  1975  Columbia  not be allowed without my  ii  ABSTRACT  Shakespeare's  plays do not dramatize a single point of view;  rather, they enact the mind's playing with a concern. dancing of several attitudes through time. polyphonic music, Shakespeare's  They are the  As with the text i n  concern i n each play i s d i s t r i b u t e d  among several voices, each of which expresses i t i n ways unique to i t s e l f while i n r e l a t i o n to a l l the others.  The concern emerges through  .the counterpointing of one voice with another - by the r e p e t i t i o n of similar words and situations among the several parts.  As a r e s u l t , 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 f o r d i s t i n c t voices i n poetic expression. Renaissance cosmology recognized the p r i n c i p l e of hierarchy on a l l l e v e l s of the cosmos, each l e v e l expressing the p r i n c i p l e 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 i n t h i s thesis - Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night and As You Like I t - are analyzed with an eye and ear alerted to the polyphonic r e l a t i o n s among several voices.  I t studies  these plays as they move through time, notes the variety of attitudes counterpointed with one another, and accounts f o r the f e s t i v e mood that holds i n the end.  iii  TABLE OP CONTENTS  Chapter I  Introduction  1  Chapter I I  Much Ado About N o t h i n g  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  Bibliography  85  CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION  Any c r i t i c of Shakespeare w i l l admit the complexity of trying to analyze h i s plays.  No sooner has the c r i t i c noticed the emergence of some  theme i n a play - appearance versus r e a l i t y l e t us say - when another theme appears to challenge the importance of the f i r s t one: art; may  Nature versus  fortune versus nature; the corrosive effects of time, etc.  Each theme  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 d i f f e r e n t l y 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 i n a play learns  soon enough that much of the play has escaped h i s analysis. Perhaps the danger of making a thematic  statement i s simply the price  that one must pay f o r trying to say anything a n a l y t i c a l at a l l .  I f the  c r i t i c ' s remarks have helped to illuminate even a strand of the pattern i n Shakespeare's carpet he can claim to have done h i s 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 c a p a b i l i t y so admirable i n Shakespeare himself and so avoid an i r 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 f i n d i t easier to avoid reducing  a play to a conceptual paraphrase i f he were to adopt the s e n s i t i v i t i e s needed of a musical c r i t i c : . • .the music c r i t i c cannot look f o r a conceptual content at the center of the work's intention and power. The a t t r a c t i o n of the word "theme" f o r 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 l e x i c a l meaningthe 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 p a r t i c u l a r i t y the ways i n 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 f e s t i v e comedies, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like I t , and Twelfth Night, as i f they played l i k e music s p e c i f i c a l l y polyphonic music.  This approach seems worth pursuing becaus  of the s t r u c t u r a l s i m i l a r i t y between drama and music:  both achieve  expression only through words or notes which succeed one another i n time. Also, t h i s approach seems j u s t i 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 r e l a t i o n s to one another.  These ways of thinking about l i t e r a t u r e and the Cosmos bear  a resemblance to polyphonic music i n 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 l i t e r a t u r e under the categories of grammar, logic and r h e t o r i c .  As a r e s u l t , the  -3-  emphasis i n t h e i r c r i t i c i s m f e l l on proportion, harmony and decorum as these were maintained among a v a r i e t y of figures or r h e t o r i c a l devices i n a sentence or i n a work of l i t e r a t u r e .  The following quote from  George Puttenham s Arte of English Poesie i s worth c i t i n g i n f u l l 1  because i n i t he relates the idea of proportion i n poetry to proportion i n several other d i s c i p l i n e s : 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 b e a u t i f u l . The Doctors of our Theologie to the same e f f e c t , but i n other termes, say that God made the world by number, measure, and weight; some f o r 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 s t a t i c a et metriea, weight and .measures. Hereupon i t seemeth the Philosopher gathers a t r i p l e proportion, to wit, the Arithemeticall, the Geom e t r i c a l l , and the M u s i c a l l . And by one of these three i s euery other proportion guided of the things that haue conueniencie by r e l a t i o n , as the v i s i b l e by l i g h t colour and shadow; the audible by s t i r r e s , times, and accents; the odorable by smelles of sundry temperaments; the t a s t i b l e by sauours to the rate; the tangible by his obiectes i n t h i s or that regard. Of a l l which we leaue to speake, returning to our p o e t i c a l l 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 M u s i c a l l vtterance, by reason of a certaine congruitie i n 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 v o c a l l Musike, or that df melodious instruments, as Lutes, Harpes, Regals, Record's, and such l i k e . And t h i s our proportion P o e t i c a l l resteth i n f i u e points: Staffe, Measure, Concord, Scituation, and Figure, a l l which s h a l l be spoken of i n t h e i r 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 i n which one meaning i s elaborated by several p a r a l l e l expressions which are harmoniously  and proportionately i n r e l a t i o n to one another.  Such  polyphony of sentence structure i s found i n F a l s t a f f ' s imitation of Henry IV f o r the benefit of Prince Hal i n 1 Henry IV:  -4Harry, I do not only marvel where thou spendest thy time, but also how thou art accompanied: f o r though the camomile, the more i t i s trodden on the f a s t e r i t grows, yet youth, the more i t i s 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. S h a l l the son of England prove a t h i e f 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 i n our land by the name of p i t c h : t h i s pitch, as ancient writers do report, doth d e f i l e ; so doth the company thou keepest: f o r , Harry, now I do not speak to thee i n drink but i n tears, not i n pleasure but i n passion, not i n words only, but i n woe also. . . (II,iv,438-459) . F a l s t a f f ' s speech i s f u l l of the figures.catalogued by grammarians such as Puttenham:  a n t i t h e s i s , parallelism, r e p e t i t i o n , 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 e f f e c t .  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 o l d 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 h i s sort and c a l l i n g as best becommeth: and that speach which becommeth one doth not become another, f o r maners of speaches, some serue to work i n excesse, some i n mediocritie, some to graue purposes, some to l i g h t , some to be short and b r i e f , some to be long, some to s t i r r e vp affections, some'to p a c i f i e and appease them, and these common despisers of good vtterance, which r e s t e t h 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 t r u l y spoken s c i e n t i a non habet inimicum n i s i ignorantem.-^  F a l s t a f f ' s speech i s funny, i n terms of Renaissance aesthetics, because i t i s indecorous on at least two counts:  the speaker i s s t r a i n i n g to  affect a style more elevated than his own;  and the marshalling of h i s  r h e t o r i c a l devices i s out of proportion to the meaning conveyed. Horace warned the poet when urging decorous composition, mountain i n labor does not give b i r t h to a mouse.  As  beware that a  F a l s t a f f ' s speech i s  especially funny to one attuned to the indecorous proportion i n the polyphony of meaning and expression, speaker and speech. Shakespeare's plays, l i k e a euphuistic sentence and a piece of polyphony keep several voices counterpointed must be attuned to how  at a l l times.  An audience  each one has a proportionate right to a place i n  the piece; and i f no voice i s disregarded f o r 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 h i s father or not increases f o r an audience when they see the p a r a l l e l situations of Fortinbras, Laertes, and the Player King counterpointed  against h i s .  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, i n terms of Renaissance aesthetics, on maintaining a decorous proportion among a polyphony of analogous s i t u a t i o n s , giving each i t s complete expression without l e t t i n g any one receive undue emphasis. The prominence given to decorum i n aesthetics was part of the larger b e l i e f i n a harmonious and h i e r a r c h i c a l l y structured universe -  -6a way of thinking about the universe also inherited from the Middle Ages.  As D. W. Robertson, J r . points out i n A Preface to Ghauoer, this  way of thinking i n terms of f a c u l t i e s and functions related to one another h i e r a r c h i c a l l y i s d i f f e r e n t from the post-romantic b e l i e f that thesis i n c o n f l i c t 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 c o n f l i c t , and believed that order was maintained by each l e v e l of the hierarchy knowing i t s place and performing according to i t s competence.  Robertson  summarizes one of St. Augustine's arguments f o r 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 f a c u l t y 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 d i f f e r e n t 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 f a m i l i a r throughout the Middle Ages i n works as diverse as St. Bonaventura s The Mind's Road to God, Dante's Divine Comedy, or Petrarch's Ascent of Mount Yentoux.4 1  The hierarchy of f a c u l t i e s which could be used to know God was only one among many hierarchies i n creation.  For animals, elements, planets,  s o c i a l positions - everything - there was a proper place along a s t r 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 f u l f i l l m e n t of God's intentions f o r them); they were, i n p r i n c i p l e , as t i g h t l y related to one another as the words of a sentence are related by the logic of the speaker's mind.  -7As R. W. Ackerman remarks: The most impressive e f f o r t s of the philosophers were devoted to perceiving the d i v i n e l y established analogies or l i n k s between the heavens and the purposes of God so far as man i s concerned. In developing these l i n k s , they u t i l i z e d with e c l e c t i c ingenuity much ancient lore and several concepts from l a t e G-reek thought. Most important among these fragments from the pagan past were the doctrine of the four elements, a s t r o l o g i c a l and numerological superstitions,' the notion of the goddess Eortuna, and miscellaneous Platonic and neo-Platonic concepts having to do with the t r i a d , the nine orders of angels, and the great chain of being. The r e s u l t 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 i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s among several existents as among the several parts i n a piece of polyphonic music.  And t h i s way  of thinking also respects the claim of each existent within i t s own sphere. This primarily medieval mode of thought c e r t a i n l y 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 i n 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 h i e r a r c h i a l system toward the " t h i n g - i n itself".  Creatures l i k e men,  animals, elements, and plants ceased to be  s i g n i f i c a n t because related and became merely coincidental because occupying space-time simultaneously. the  system collapsed f i r s t :  I t i s d i f f i c u l t to say at what point  i n i t s assumptions about man's r i g h t reason;  about the necessity f o r the state to obey God's law; or about creation as containing s i g n i f i c a n t 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.  -8By 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 r i g h t 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.  I f God could  not be known by f a i t h or reason, the Medieval analogies and correspondences could only be pleasant similes and not i n t u i t i o n s of r e a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . 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 l i m i t a t i o n s . Without any way of seeing how God's purposes were anchored i n the d i s p o s i t i o n of natural objects and the laws of nature, late Renaissance man witnessed the f e e l i n g that these purposes f r him were d r i f t i n g 0  away beyond h i s mental horizon.  God's ways were not man's ways - not  only i n the orthodox sense that God was more just, more merciful, more holy than man, but i n the newer C a l v i n i s t i c 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 f a r removed from human comprehension and so unaffected  by human behavior, he was e f f e c t i v e l y dead. . He was so f a r 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 h i s theory of s t a t e c r a f t .  -9Unlike Dante who saw man's i n f i n i t e desire as an index of h i s i n 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 i n h i s pessimism  about man and i n h i s theory of Government.  Coming a f t e r Machievelli and  soon before Hobbes, James I's assertion of Divine right seems sadly anachronistic. I f God's purposes were ignored i n Statecraft, they were disregarded i n s c i e n t i f i c study as well.  They were, a f t e r a l l , i r r e l e v a n t to an  understanding of how something worked and, consequently, to the power of control possible through the knowledge of the t h i n g - i n - i t s e l f .  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 e a s i l y 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 r e l a t i o n to a  world of other beings only risked introducing a paralyzing awe and preventing objective i n v e s t i g a t i o n (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 b e l i e f he may have had that, as men, these had been microcosms of the universe and temples of the Holy Ghost. s i g n i f i c a n t event:  Death i t s e l f had to be bracketed as a  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 o l d man dies.  Shakespeare and h i s world l i v e d on the isthmus of a middle state between the Medieval and the l a t e Seventeenth Century-views. of time f e l t a great tension of interpretations: creation was  whether the v a r i e t y of  s i g n i f i c a n t or coincidental; whether man  animals with godlike reason or a quintessence  Their spot  i s the paragon of  of dust; whether the king  was always God's regent or at times a cutpurse of the empire; whether conscience was  a way  of r i g h t l y knowing obligations or merely a word  devised to keep the strong i n awe  v  tensions which could be dramatized.  The Medieval view had had i t s own Man  could choose to r i s e or f a l l  i n the hierarchy of being and the f i r s t . P a l l was the choice of Everyman was  enough to show that  s i g n i f i c a n t and consequential.  Elizabethan world allowed f o r an additional choice: hierarchy or apart from i t .  But  the  to be part of  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 f i g u r e i n a morality play; he represents a contemporary attitude about statecraft which i s at ^variance with a l l accepted of the, king as God's regent f o r the exercise of j u s t i c e .  notions  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 r e l a t e d to the other ' by a common concern with conscience ,as a regulative p r i n c i p l e 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 increasingly apt.  the play i s structured and makes i t s e f f e c t seems  The Medieval assumptions are the norm according to  -11which Richard can be judged v i l l a i n o u s but the pressure to which h i s attitude subjects that norm i s severe.  As a character, he voices the  subterranean doubts of h i s audience and t h e i r age about the divine right of kings.  The c o n f l i c t i n Richard I I I r a i s e s strong emotions  because i t i s the dancing of two attitudes, the counterpointing of two b e l i e f s which are driving at c e n t r i p e t a l force away from one another while being held together by the centrifugal a t t r a c t i o n of expressing a common concern:', i n t h i s case, conscience and i t s claims. In h i s 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 i n Richard I I I , an Elizabethan t r u l y f e l t the claims of both attitudes and this accounted f o r the complexity of h i s responses as he t r i e d 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 f o r thunder and has to learn patience and compassion through the suffering of h i s being refused t h i s request.. Lear's plea f o r divine justice appears absurd or at least presumptious  to modern audiences who  cannot assume as e a s i l y  as the Elizabethans that i t was only justice and God s business to avenge 1  his  annointed.  Furthermore, modern audiences f i n d i t hard to accept one  of the necessities of tragedy:  that a moral order which has been v i o l a t e d  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. our Twentieth Century assumptions  Whatever l i m i t a t i o n s  impose on us, they at least show how  • -12unlimited 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 l a t e Seventeenth Century. Elizabethan England was t r u l y the isthmus between both views and. Elizabethans could entertain both attitudes because they could see and f e e l 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 s e n s i t i v i t y to  echoes, contrasts, and counterpointing which imply a never stated and s i l e n t center of concern that has prompted the expression. The complexity of Shakespeare's plays i s such that they r e s i s t paraphrase as surely as a Palestrina motet r e s i s t s being hummed.  And the complexity of both art  forms and both a r t i s t s r e f l e c t s the complexity of t h e i r age. Because the Renaissance accepted a hierarchy of beings, God as the giver of law f o r these beings, and r i g h t 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 s i g n i f i c a n t conduct of the story had parabolic and even emblematic - universal - application. But because h i s characters were r e a l i z e d as individuals, and because some of them assumed attitudes which challenged the accepted views of a benevolent hierarchy, a drama of sharp c o n f l i c t s was possible i n which the unity of the play, l i k 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 r e s u l t s of attempting to l i s t e n to these plays as i f they developed l i k e polyphonic music.  I t should be shown that the plays, l i k e  polyphonic music, have a s i g n i f i c a n t rhythm to them and contain several voices, which when counterpointed with one another, develop a theme d i f f e r e n t l y than any one voice could do separately.  Furthermore,- the  theme i n each play i s not one that can be e a s i l y paraphrased i n verbal terms, such as "appearance versus r e a l i t y " , "fortune versus Nature", or. "nature versus a r t " .  Rather, the theme i s a s i t u a t i o n l i k e eavesdropping,  or a word l i k e "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 l i k e and what i t can do.  This thesis attempts to illuminate some of Shakespeare's  central concerns i n 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 i n t e r e s t 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 i s much ado made by several characters as, one by one, somebody else.  they overhear slanderous or gossipy t a l k about  It does not matter i f the t a l k i s intended  to be overheard  or not, nor whether i t i s true, probable or f a l s e ; what matters i s that the person overhearing  the conversation believes what he hears and,  r e s u l t , changes his attitude toward the one who discussion.  as a  has been the topic of  Furthermore, a change i n the l i s t e n e r ' s attitude w i l l i n c l i n e  him to take decisive action based on his b e l i e f , and t h i s 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 h i s comedy polyphonically; that i s , he d i s t r i b u t e s the theme among several characters or.voices who but i n r e l a t i o n to one another.  express i t d i f f e r e n t l y  By the conclusion of the play an audience  i s convinced that f a i t h comes from hearing but i t i s also aware that such f a i t h can be erroneous as well as  accurate.  There are f i v e c r u c i a l instances of overhearing  i n t h i s play:  when  Benedick hears that Beatrice loves him despite her apparent disdain,; when Beatrice hears that Benedick r e a l l y loves her despite his apparent scorn; when Claudio hears' that Hero i s u n f a i t h f u l to him; when Dogberry^ and  the  Night Watch hear how Hero has been maligned; when Claudio hears that Hero, i s dead as a r e s u l t of h i s deserting her.  -15The  f i r s t o f these c r u c i a l c o n v e r s a t i o n s t a k e s p l a c e 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 p a s s i n g time  until  the wedding o f C l a u d i o and Hero, decide to p l a y a j o k e on B e n e d i c k , t h e i r comrade, and B e a t r i c e , the n i e c e o f Leonato, Governor o f M e s s i n a .  Benedick  and B e a t r i c e never meet but t h e r e i s a s k i r m i s h o f w i t s between them, each one t r y i n g t o e x c e l i n mocking the o t h e r . and l e a d e r o f the g a l l a n t s suggests  Don  Pedro, P r i n c e o f Aragon  a p l a y f u l d e c e p t i o n t h a t may  r e s u l t o f b r i n g i n g B e n e d i c k and B e a t r i c e t o g e t h e r . to how  have the  His idea i s simple:  stage a c a n d i d c o n v e r s a t i o n among G l a u d i o , Leonato and h i m s e l f , about much B e a t r i c e l o v e s B e n e d i c k d e s p i t e a l l appearances to the c o n t r a r y ,  and about how  she i s doomed to- go u n r e q u i t e d because B e n e d i c k , d e s p i t e  h i s many commendable q u a l i t i e s , i s prone t o make b r o a d - j e s t s a t h e r expense. As the g u l l i n g procedes, how  the men  the " f o w l " i s b e i n g t r a p p e d .  note how  B e n e d i c k i s t a k i n g the b a i t  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 o f h e r f o r l o v i n g him. f r i e n d s are not d i s a p p o i n t e d .  and  B e n e d i c k , who  does not want t o be thought  o f as proud, and h e a r i n g h i m s e l f " s l a n d e r e d " i n t h i s way, r e q u i t e B e a t r i c e ' s supposed l o v e and save h i s r e p u t a t i o n . r e s o l v e d , r e a s o n s enough r u s h t o h i s defence:  The  "The  resolves to Once he i s  w o r l d must be  peopled",  he says ( i l , i i i , 2 3 8 ) and b e g i n s t o r e a d i n t o B e a t r i c e ' s words and a c t i o n s s i g n s o f the ,love he has heard about" and b e l i e v e d i n . B e f o r e o v e r h e a r i n g the c o n v e r s a t i o n , B e n e d i c k had a n t i c i p a t e d h i s own G l a u d i o who  ironically  case by. musing on the s c o r n heaped on a man  like  f a l l s i n l o v e 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 t h a t one man, s e e i n g how much another man i s a f o o l when he d e d i c a t e s h i s b e h a v i o r t o l o v e , w i l l , a f t e r he has laughed a t such s h a l l o w f o l l i e s i n o t h e r s , become the argument o f h i s own s c o r n by f a l l i n g i n l o v e ; and such a man i s G l a u d i o . /  . ..  \  -16Now  Benedick, l i k e Claudio, has changed; however, unlike Claudio,  Benedick q u a l i f i e s h i s love with reasons and with considerations of honour.  He does not love Beatrice only f o r h e r s e l f but because loving  her i s consistent with other p r i n c i p l e s which are important such as h i s own good name.  to him -  Ballasted as i t i s by p r a c t i c a l considerations,  Benedick's love w i l l move slowly but more surely through storms which always seem to threaten those who  love, l i k e Caludio, i n 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, l i k e Benedick,  i s a f i s h ready to take the bait and a b i r d ready to be caught by overhearing a staged conversation.  Like Benedick as well, Beatrice does  not want to be known as proud and d i s d a i n f u l because "no glory l i v e s behind the back of such" ( l l l , i , 1 1 0 ) , and decides to requite h i s supposed love.  Beatrice, as p r a c t i c a l 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 h i s deception only as a p l a y f u l diversion. be amusing, he thinks, to witness the dumb show of two people who who  It w i l l meet and  cannot use t h e i r 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 f o r the two of them to look at another facet of t h e i r 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 f a c t , be a way  person whom one i s a f r a i d to love.  of showing interest i n a  Don Pedro's "slander" helps Beatrice  and Benedick to acknowledge f e e l i n g s they have been suppressing i n exchange  -17for the safety of remaining at sword's length from one another.  There i s  some i n d i c a t i o n that the two of them do f e e l more p o s i t i v e l y about one another than t h e i r mutual mockery would-indicate. Benedick had already l e t s l i p some hint of h i s positive feelings f o r Beatrice when he admitted to Glaudio: There's (Hero's) cousin, and she were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much i n beauty as the f i r s t of May doth the l a s t of December. (l,i,184-186) And Beatrice at sometime i n the i n d e f i n i t e past did not escape f e e l i n g hurt by Benedick's l i g h t 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 f o r i t , a double heart f o r h i s single one. Marry, once before he won i t of me with f a l s e dice; therefore your Grace may well say I have l o s t i t . (II,i,275-279) Both are l e d to remorse through what they overhear and resolve to vindicate t h e i r good names by doing the honorable thing of requiting an offer of love.  This i s not only consistent .'with t h e i r desire to maintain  their good reputations but, as i t happens, i s also true to t h e i r feelings for each other.  The resolution w i l l be a s a t i s f a c t o r y one f o r , as Benedick  says, "Happy are they that hear t h e i r detractions and can put them to mending"- ( i l , i i i , 2 2 5 - 2 2 6 ) . Don Pedro undertook the o f f i c e of t r i c k s t e r with a f l a t t e r i n g sense of self-importance. " I f we can do t h i s " , he had said, "Cupid i s no longer an archer; h i s glory s h a l l be ours, f o r 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 s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t and i n control of the events they arrange.  -18-  Becau.se Don Pedro f e e l s so smugly i n control of events, i t i s heavily i r o n i c that i n the scene immediately  following h i s determination to "fashion"  the g u l l i n g of Benedick and Beatrice, his bastard brother, John, aided by h i s Henchman, Borachio, determines to "fashion" the deception of Don Pedro and Claudio.  The love-gods  do not r e a l i z e that they are not the  prime movers of Messina and so they w i l l soon f a l l v i c t i m not only to Don John's deception, but l a t e r i n the. play, to the deceptions of a F r i a r as w e l l . Don John seeks to destroy h i s brother's happiness by destroying the happiness of Claudio, Don Pedro's protege.  To accomplish t h i s , Don John  f i r s t slanders Hero by t e l l i n g Don Pedro and Claudio that she i s u n f a i t h f u l to Claudio, her betrothed, even on the night before the wedding.  He then  offers to give them proof of h i s 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 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  of t h i s scene, which i s ambiguous, i n 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 b e l i e f i n the slander he has heard determines h i s version of what he sees and h i s attitude toward Hero suffers a complete r e v e r s a l 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 f o r the wedding the next day. This i s not the f i r s t time that Claudio has reversed h i s opinion about Hero as a r e s u l t of hearsay.  E a r l i e r at a masked b a l l held at Leonato's  house, Claudio waited anxiously while Don Pedro undertook to woe Hero on h i s 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.  -19Claudio:  How know you he loves her?  Don John:  I heard him swear h i s a f f e c t i o n .  Borachio:  So did I too, and he swore he would marry her tonight.  Don John:  Gome, l e t us to the banquet.  Claudio:  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 f o r himself. Friendship i s constant i n a l l other things Save i n the o f f i c e and a f f a i r s of love. Therefore a l l hearts i n love use t h e i r own tongues; Let every eye negotiate f o r i t s e l f And trust no agent; f o r 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 l a t e r that Don Pedro has actually been wooing as he had agreed to and so he resumes h i s previous feelings f o r Hero.  Claudio  has shown, however, that he i s a l l too ready to believe what he has been t o l d and to change h i s attitude toward Hero as a r e s u l t . Don John's f i r s t slander f a i l e d , but h i s 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 i n 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 i n 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 f i e r c e denunciation of his daughter after she f a i n t s from the shock of Claudio's words and i s trying to recover: Leonato: Friar:  Dost thou look up? Yea, wherefore should she not?  -20Leonato:  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 s p i 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 F r i a r 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 h i s f a i t h i n 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 i n her eye there hath appeared a f i r e To burn the errors that these princes hold Against her maiden t r u t h . C a l l me a f o o l ; Trust not my reading nor my observations, Which with experimental seal doth warrant The tenor of my book; trust not my age, My reverence, c a l l i n g , nor d i v i n i t y , If t h i s sweet lady l i e not g u i l t l e s s here Under some b i t i n g 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 t h i s , the F r i a r 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 d i f f e r e n t l y : Th idea of her l i f e s h a l l sweetly creep Into h i s study of imagination, And every l o v e l y 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 h i s soul Than when she l i v e d indeed. Then s h a l l he mourn, If ever love had interest i n h i s l i v e r , And wish he had not so accused her, No, though he thought h i s accusation true. (IV,1,223-232) 1  -21With. remorse at work, the truth w i l l have a chance to come to l i g h t i n time, though the F r i a r admits to some uncertainty about exactly how i t w i l l do so.  The F r i a r has no proof f o r 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 t h i s 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 l a y i t down i n l i k e l i h o o d " (IV,1,233-235). The help the F r i a r i s hoping f o r comes from an unexpected  source,  indicating again that the events fashioned by men are not completely under t h e i r control.  Don John i s f o i l e d and the F r i a r i s helped by the  night Watch, t h i s play's i n c l u s i o n of the "low l i f e " humour which Shakespeare often incorporates into h i s drama.  Clown comedy i s a  d i s t i n c t i v e voice i n a Shakespearean play, distinguishable by the c o l l o q u i a l accent and d i s t i n c t i v e 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 f i v e 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 t h i s play gets renewed emphasis  by appearing i n the clown scenes, although the clowns repeat t h i s 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  -22-  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 f r i e n d , Conrade,overhead by the Watch: Borachio:  Therefore know I have earned of Don John a thousand ducats.  Conrade:  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 r i c h ; f o r when r i 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 f o o l ' s the f o o l . But seest thou not what a deformed t h i e f t h i s fashion i s ?  Watch (Aside) I know that Deformed; 'a has been .a v i l e t h i e f t h i s seven year; 'a goes up and down l i k e 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 t h i e f t h i s fashion i s ? How g i d d i l y 'a turns about a l l the. hotbloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty? Sometimes fashioning them l i k e Pharaoh* s soldiers i n the reechy painting, sometime l i k e god Bel's p r i e s t s i n the old church window, sometime l i k e the shaven Hercules i n the smirched worm-eaten  -23t a p e s t r y , where h i s codpiece club?  seems as massy as h i s  Conrade:  A l l t h i s I see; and I see t h a t the f a s h i o n wears out more a p p a r e l t h a n the man. But a r t not t h o u t h y s e l f g i d d y w i t h the f a s h i o n t o o , t h a t t h o u h a s t s h i f t e d out o f t h y t a l e i n t o t e l l i n g me o f the fashion?  Borachio:  Not so n e i t h e r . But know t h a t I have t o n i g h t wooed M a r g a r e t , the Lady Hero', s gentlewoman, by the name o f H e r o . She l e a n s me out at h e r m i s t r e s s chamber window, b i d s me a thousand times good night. 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 how the P r i n c e , C l a u d i o , and my master, p l a n t e d and p l a c e d and p o s s e s s e d by my master Don J o h n , saw a f a r o f f i n t h e o r c h a r d t h i s amiable e n c o u n t e r .  thee  (ill,iii,108-152) What emerges , f r o m  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 o f a man's c l o t h e s does not r e v e a l h i s c h a r a c t e r ; (2) f a s h i o n i t s e l f - or a change o f appearance - i s the f a s h i o n ; and a t h i e f because i t f o r c e s t h e g i d d y young men they need t o . s t o r y o f how  t o change c l o t h e s more t h a n  These remarks have such l i t t l e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h  Borachio's  he has duped Don Pedro and G l a u d i o i n the garden t h a t  e x p l a n a t i o n o f what t h e y may plot.  (3) f a s h i o n i s  an  r e f e r to has t o be sought f o r i n the main  I t i s by s t u d y i n g the echoes o f f a s h i o n t h e r e and by comparing  these echoes t o the commentary i n the clown's s u b - p l o t t h a t some h i n t o f one o f Shakespeare's concerns i n Much Ado Shakespeare.seems t o be l i k e n i n g  can be  discovered.  the f o r t u n e s of Hero t o the  giddy  changes o f f a s h i o n w h i c h t a k e p l a c e because o f the rumor o f what i s " i n " and "out" and not because o f a need f o r change. c l o t h e s t h a n the man true worthlessness  does, as B o r a c h i o  says.  F a s h i o n wears out more  So t o o , s l a n d e r r a t h e r t h a n  causes C l a u d i o t o d i s c a r d Hero w h i l e rumor of h e r  death, c o u p l e d w i t h word o f her i n n o c e n c e , has done and t o l o o k on h e r d i f f e r e n t l y .  causes him to r e p e n t what he B o t h Don J o h n and the F r i a r  had  - 2 4 -  hoped to "fashion" r e s u l t s with t h e i r 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 h i s 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 f o r the better, but, l i k e Glaudio's, i t begins with a concern f o r reputation, and not from a concern f o r the true worth of what he i s "buying". The f a i t h f u l n e s s of the men of this play i s as giddy as any of the hotbloods between fourteen and t h i r t y - f i v e 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 f a i t h f u l n e s s i s worn " l i k e the fashion of h i s hat; i t ever changes with the next block"  (l,i,72-73)  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 f l o u t at me-for what I have said against i t ; f o r 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 r e j e c t i o n of Hero shows.  I t i s i r o n i c 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.  I t i s only when the rumor of Hero's death i s fashioned by  the P r i a r that Hero w i l l appear to Claudio "appareled i n more precious habit" than when she l i v e d .  Meanwhile, the P r i a r counsels patience and  trusts to what w i l l appear i n time.  -25The Friar.has confidence that no matter how much giddy men turn about, they w i l l turn out r i g h t i n time. Pedro and Claudio who,  This trust i s shared by Don  i n r e f e r r i n g to Benedick, are sure that "In time  the savage b u l l w i l l bear the yoke" ( l , i , 2 5 2 ) ; i n time, they believe, Benedick w i l l get married - and Claudio reminds Benedick of t h i s proverb turned prophecy at the end of the play  (v,iVj43).  As a central  belief  of the play, t h i s trust i n time i s burlesqued i n a second conversation of the clown sub-plot - Dogberry's charge to the Watch.  The Constable  instructs h i s 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 t h i e f show  himself f o r what he i s and s t e a l away; and to l e t the baby wake the nurse because i f she does not hear the c h i l d , she w i l l c e r t a i n l y not hear the Watch.  He instructs them, i n e f f e c t , to do nothing and to l e t events  resolve themselves by following a natural course; i n due time the man  will  shake o f f his drunkeness, the t h i e f 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 F r i a r and Don Pedro i s the clown's absurd application of i t and the audience's r e a l i z a t i o n , "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 l a i d plans and assists the F r i a r ' 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 t r i e s 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 i n v i t e s the  -26Watch 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 a f f a i r 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 f o r what he thinks has been h i s 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 t h i s i s accomplished, he says, Claudio may then have  the hand of h i s niece i n marriage who i s "almost the copy of (his) c h i l d that's dead" ( v , i , 2 9 0 ) .  Claudio r e a d i l y agrees to this  arrangement,  performs h i s penance and. receives back the very Hero he thought had been k i l l e d by h i s murdering tongue. The deliverance made possible by the Watch i s e n t i r e l y unexpected; they represent that element of u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y which the comic a r t i s t believes i s at work to make a l l turn out f o r the best i n time.  Although  they are the lowest s o c i a l stratum of Messina, they perform the most decisive action of the play and voice i n a muddled way the apte'st commentary on t h e i r 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 l i g h t . . ." (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 f o o l i s h as the Watch. The clown's sub-plot i s one way Shakespeare has of repeating the concerns of h i s play.  As a student of Elizabethan cosmology would see i t ,  -27the  clown's w o r l d i s a microcosm c o r r e s p o n d i n g on i t s own l e v e l to the  nature o f t h e macrocosm o r the w o r l d o f Messina's h i g h s c o i e t y ; as a student o f polyphony would u n d e r s t a n d i t , the clowns are a unique v o i c e , e x p r e s s i n g i n a way a p p r o p r i a t e t o t h e i r range o r rank, the same themes o f the  p l a y which c o n c e r n the o t h e r more noble c h a r a c t e r s . But Shakespeare has o t h e r ways than t h e clown's s u b - p l o t t o r e i t e r r a t e  his  concerns i n t h i s p l a y .  One o f these i s music.  When words are sung  they become more n o t i c e a b l e i f o n l y because i t t a k e s more time and e f f o r t to  s i n g them.  There i s something o f a s t a s i s c r e a t e d when a l l t h e a c t i o n  s t o p s on stage, the a c t o r s assume an a t t i t u d e o f a t t e n t i o n , and someone t a k e s time out t o s i n g .  Shakespeare w i l l  o f t e n use t h i s moment o f s t a s i s  to r e p e a t h i s p l a y ' s concerns i n the words o f a song. I n Much Ado, the f i r s t  song o c c u r s immediately b e f o r e the g u l l i n g o f  Benedick and a f t e r t h e p l a n s o f Don John t o d e c e i v e Don Pedro and C l a u d i o . The audience has a l r e a d y seen C l a u d i o ' s q u i c k d e s e r t i o n o f Hero slightest  suspicion of h i s i n f i d e l i t y  t o him and has j u s t h e a r d B e n e d i c k ' s  s o l i l o q u y on the u n l i k e l i h o o d o f h i s ever m a r r y i n g " t i l l i n one woman" ( i l , i i i , 2 8 - 2 9 ) .  a t the  a l l g r a c e s be  A t t h i s p o i n t , the music b e g i n s and, as i t  p l a y s i n the background, B a l t h a s a r the s i n g e r makes j e s t s  which  u n c o n s c i o u s l y a p p l y t o the a c t i o n y e t to come: "O,.good my l o r d , t a x not so bad a v o i c e to s l a n d e r music anymore t h a n once." ... . . .„\ T  J  (II,111,44-45)  a warning a g a i n s t Don John and a foreshadowing o f how much s l a n d e r o c c u r i n the p l a y . "Because you t a l k o f wooing, I w i l l s i n g , S i n c e many a wooer d o t h commence h i s s u i t To h e r he t h i n k s n o t worthy, y e t he woos, Yet w i l l he swear he l o v e s " /__ ... ._. \ (lI,iii,49-52) r r i  will  -28a description of what Benedick's s i t u a t i o n w i l l he after he has "been "slandered" by h i s friends and been shown Beatrice i n a new.light. "Note t h i s before my notes: There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting" (II,iii,54-55) a r e c o l l e c t i o n of the t i t l e of the play and an i r o n i c warning to Don Pedro, Leonato and Claudio who w i l l be asked to note the proofs of Hero's infidelity. 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 f i n e words soon give way to empty deeds. "By my troth, a good song"  Don Pedro's response i s i r o n i c a l l y perceptive: (ll,iii,76).  The second song, i s the "solemn hymn" at Hero's tomb which asks pardon from Diana f o r Claudio and Don Pedro and thus underscores the steps already taken toward r e c o n c i l i a t i o n at the end of the play. Dance, as measured movement, does f o r action what music does f o r words - i t patterns action and makes i t noticeable and, as such, i s useful for r e i t e r a t i n g the concerns of the play.  Immediately preceeding the  Mask i n Much Ado there i s a p a i r i n g o f f of four couples, a l l of whom are masked and i d e n t i f i e d as r e v e l l e r s .  What they say i n four b r i e f exchanges  i s noticeable because occurring i n a s t y l i z e d , rather than natural pattern  -29-  of movement.  Each couple makes a remark, then steps aside and allows  another couple to step forward f o r an exchange; ' i t i s almost a dance before the dance.  What they say stands out from the pattern as words  stand out from music. F i r s t , Hero and Don Pedro exchange l i g h t banter about h i s mask.  Hero  professes to be r e j e c t i n g h i s advances because h i s mask i s so ugly and "God defend the lute should be l i k e the case" ( i l , i , 9 3 - 9 4 ) .  But Don  Pedro claims that h i s mask i s l i k e Philemon's roof which housed a god despite humble appearances.  Hero enacts i n a teasing way what Glaudio  and Don Pedro w i l l l a t e r enact seriously: because of an ugly appearance.  a denunciation of character  And Don Pedro's defence to Hero i s ,  i r o n i c a l l y , appropriate to her own defence l a t e r . Then, Balthasar and Margaret enact the wooing with i n s u l t  which  Beatrice and Benedick w i l l l a t e r engage i n : Balthasar:  Well, I would you d i d l i k e me.  Margaret:  So would not I f o r your own sake, f o r ' I have many, i l l q u a l i t i e s .  Balthasar:  Which i s one?.  Margaret:  I say my prayers aloud.  Balthasar:  I love you the better. 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, c l e r k .  Balthasar:  No more words.  The hearers may cry  The clerk i s answered. (II,i,99-110)  -30In a t h i r d exchange, Ursula notices the aged Antonio behind the mask because of the t e l l - t a l e sign of h i s dry hands. virtue hide i t s e l f ?  Go to, mum, you are he:  And when she adds:  "Can  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 v i r t u e and Antonio's o l d age unchanged beneath the mask as well as a comic sense of incongruity when o l d age i s compared with youth and ugliness with beauty. F i n a l l y , Beatrice flaunts Benedick, pretending behind h i s mask.  not to recognize him  This d i r e c t l y anticipates Don John's s i m i l a r treatment  of Claudio and highlights - the r o l e that overhearing  a deliberate slander  w i l l have i n advancing action i n Messina. After Beatrice has teased Benedick, the music s t r i k e s up and the two exchange some f i n a l s i g n i f i c a n t 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 t h i s 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 r e f l e c t 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 r e l a t e to one another through  the predictable r i t u a l s of dance and can, as long as the pattern holds,  -31-. disregard the u n c e r t a i n t i e s 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 i n 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 " d e v i l " 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 f o r 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 f o r , and forgiveness given.  At t h i s second Mask,  Claudio effects h i s r e c o n c i l i a t i o n to leonato by accepting the bride offered to him, sight unseen.  He knows by now that appearances w i l l  tell  him nothing and accepts h i s bride at Leonato's word and as Leonato's g i f t . His  reward i s "another Hero" who unmasks h e r s e l f and shows h e r s e l f as  she i s .  Once again, something measureless accompanies the movements of  t h i s highly patterned society, but this time i t i s the measureless joy of wonder and amazement. Benedick, who has always q u a l i f i e d h i s love f o r 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 l a s t  of love masked as i n s u l t .  exchange  They are convinced by a "miracle" that they  r e a l l y 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.  -32Immediately  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 l o r d , your brother John i s ta'en i n f l i 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 c i t i z e n s of Messina have been innoculated against h i s practices as a r e s u l t of what they have undergone.  Whether they are.prepared f o r 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 r e a l i z a t i o n that Don John cannot remain ignored f o r 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 l i k e Iago's deception of Othello i n i t s lending of slanderous interpretation to what i s r e a l l y an ambiguous action:  a man and a woman  at a window or a man receiving a hahkerchief from h i s mistress. Don John, unlike Iago, i s spoiled i n time,  likewise, the F r i a r  But who  fashions the deception of Hero's death i s successful i n time, unlike h i s counterpart i n Romeo and J u l i e t whose plan f o r the lovers f a i l e d because • time . i n tragedy moves f a r too quickly f o r everyone. Although there i s the sad admission that men  are deceivers and are  too ready to change l o y a l t i e s on mere hearsay, there i s also confidence and even evidence i n this play that, i n time, "graces w i l l show themselves", that forgiveness such as Leonato's i s e f f e c t i v e , and that patience under  -33duress and remorse f o r mistakes w i l l bring pardon and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . 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 i n i - c r e d i b i l i t y 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 e a r l i e r , 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 f o r deliverance must always work under the shadow of Don John who, although reconciled to h i s brother, w i l l continue to plot h i s undoing.  Dogberry i m p l i c i t l y warns leonato about Don John:  when he i n d i t e s Borachio as a man who obtains forgiveness but who does not  extend i t to others.  He i s one who "borrows money i n 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 f o r God's sake" (V,i,310-313).  Leonato  i s one who gives f r e e l y - 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. F i n a l l y , the confidence that a l l w i l l be well i n time i s q u a l i f i e d by two sobering considerations:  that people who must change or repent  i n order to be reconciled and forgiven may not, i n f a c t , 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 i s determined not to change and that i s Don John.  But there are s l i g h t reminders of a resistance to  change which i s shared by everyone.  There are, f o r 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  -34a moral medicine to a m o r t i f y i n g m i s c h i e f " B e a t r i c e says o f h e r s e l f :  (i,iii,10-12).  ". . .there was  a s t a r danced, and  t h a t was I born" - w h i c h e x p l a i n s h e r merry d i s p o s i t i o n  under  (ll,i,331-332).  And Benedick'• e x p l a i n s h i s i n a b i l i t y t o i n v e n t rhymes by a s i m i l a r r e f e r e n c e to the i n f l u e n c e of the p l a n e t s : rhyming p l a n e t , nor I cannot woo  "No,  I was not b o r n under  i n f e s t i v a l terms"  a  (v,ii,40-4l).  A n o t h e r i n d i c a t i o n t h a t p e o p l e s ' 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 t o change i s shown i n the use o f e p i t h e t s t o d e s c r i b e t h e characters of Messina: i s "the m a r r i e d man";  B e a t r i c e i s Lady Tongue,and Lady D i s d a i n ; B e n e d i c k O l a u d i o i s L o r d L a c k b e a r d and M o n s i e u r Love;  even c o n s c i e n c e i s Don Worm.  and  The e p i t h e t i l l u s t r a t e s Bergson's t h e o r y  of the comic as t h e i m p o s i t i o n o f a s t e r o t y p e o r r i g i d code o f b e h a v i o u r onto a l i v i n g p e r s o n who o f who he i s .  i s always more t h a n t h e most a c c u r a t e p a r a p h r a s e  N e v e r t h e l e s s , t o the e x t e n t t h a t t h e e p i t h e t i s a c c u r a t e ,  i t shows a range o f b e h a v i o u r t h a t i s p r e d i c t a b l e because  characteristic;  i t e s t a b l i s h e s t h e broad l i m i t s w i t h i n w h i c h i t can be assumed a p e r s o n w i l l operate.  I n d o i n g t h i s , t h e e p i t h e t i s a b i t i n g r e m i n d e r of l i m i t  -.  of the d i f f i c u l t y o f change even when n e c e s s a r y . There are r e m i n d e r s too o f the d e f e a t s t h a t come i n time a l o n g w i t h the  s u c c e s s e s ; t h e y come i n t o the p l a y q u i c k l y and amid l i g h t b a n t e r but  t h e y c h a l l e n g e , however b r i e f l y , t h e mood of f e s t i v i t y w h i c h comes f r o m the  b e l i e f t h a t time i s on one's s i d e .  i s no l e s s t h a n a s t u f f e d man. mortal (l,i,36-37).  B e a t r i c e says o f B e n e d i c k , ". . .he  But f o r the s t u f f i n g - w e l l , we a r e a l l  And she says o f m a r r i a g e , "Would i t not g r i e v e a  woman t o be o v e r m a s t e r e d w i t h a p i e c e o f v a l i a n t dust? of h e r l i f e t o a c l o d of wayward m a r l ? " ( l l , i , 6 0 - 6 2 ) .  To make an account I n these sayings  she reminds an audience o f a l l t h a t i s m o r t a l i n n a t u r e , a l l t h a t goes  -35down to the grave i n time. Don Pedro remarks to Beatrice about her mirth: you were born i n a merry hour." mother cried.  ". . .out  And she r e p l i e s , "No,  o question 1  sure, my l o r d ,  my  . ." (li,i,328-330). And a l l the joy i n l i f e that i n time  i s purchased by pain receives some s l i g h t  expression.  However, a l l of the counter-assertions against the mood that creates f e 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.. dissonance may  The  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 f e s t i v e comedy, such as Much Ado About Nothing, forgiveness, reconciliation, who  and harmony' prove t h e i r strength by the number of people  end up espousing  and effecting the desired r e s o l u t i o n , and by the  large measure of resistance that has been overcome.  In t h i s play, f a i t h  that comes from hearing.has been erroneous but also accurate;  deceptions  have been d e v i l i s h l y malicious but also purgative and h e l p f u l toward inducing remorse.  In t h i s play, confidence i n the deliverance that comes  with time i s well placed and wonder i s 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 N i g h t , t h e c i t i z e n s o f I l l y r i a have t o l e a r n t o make t h e i r w i s h e s w i t h i n l i m i t s t h a t show a r e s p e c t f o r r e a l i t y ; they a l s o have t o l e a r n t h a t r e a l i t y i s d i f f i c u l t t o because appearances are o f t e n d e c e p t i v e .  The  recognize  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 y e a r mourning p e r i o d f o r h e r dead b r o t h e r , d u r i n g w h i c h she r e s o l v e s t o r e c e i v e no s o l i c i t a t i o n s t o m a r r i a g e f r o m Duke O r s i n o .  As Shakespeare has  s a i d elsewhere,  "Moderate  i s the r i g h t o f the dead, e x c e s s i v e g r i e f t h e enemy to the ( A l l ' S Well I,i,63-4). w i t h the shipwrecked who  lamentation living"  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 sharply  V i o l a who  t h i n k s she has l o s t a b r o t h e r and  d e t e r m i n e s t o c a r r y on w i t h l i f e ,  comfort h e r s e l f w i t h chance.  seek employment w i t h O r s i n o  yet and  O l i v i a ' s f o o l , P e s t e , t r i e s t o p o i n t out  t h a t 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 b r o t h e r i s i n heaven and t h a t 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 o f 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 r e m i n d i n g  her t h a t t h e cowl  does not make the monk - nor does t h e v e i l she throws o v e r h e r  face  n e c e s s a r i l y c o v e r a woman i n mourning. O l i v i a ' s r e s o l u t i o n t o r e m a i n a r e c l u s e ends soon a f t e r w a r d s when V i o l a appears d i s g u i s e d as O r s i n o ' s page boy, cause o f t h e Duke's l o v e f o r O l i v i a .  Caesario, to plead  The l a d y has no d e s i r e t o marry t h e  Duke but she f a l l s q u i c k l y i n l o v e w i t h C a e s a r i o . d e c e i v e s O l i v i a and she makes h e r h o p e l e s s u n r e a l i s t i c and i r o n i c i t i s :  the  V i o l a ' s appearance  w i s h w i t h no knowledge o f  " F a t e , show t h y f o r c e ; o u r s e l v e s we  do  how  -37not owe./  What i s decreed must be - and be t h i s so!" (l,v,311-12). .  Caesario warns O l i v i a "I am not what I am"  ( i l l , i , 1 4 3 ) but t h i s  disavowal i s too subtle to help O l i v i a overcome the strength of appearances.  O l i v i a r e p l i e s only the more desperately:  were as I would have you be" ( i l l , 1 , 1 4 4 ) . up to now,  "I would you  She has been a proud woman  according to Caesario, but she quickly loses t h i s pride by  sending a r i n g after the messenger as an obvious ploy to get him to return.  As O l i v i a admits to Caesario l a t e r : Under your hard.construction must I s i t To force that on you i n 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 th unmuzzled thoughts That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your r e c e i v i n g Enough i s shown. . . (Ill,i,117-123) 1  O l i v i a learns much about her own pride and foolishness while infatuated by V i o l a ' s appearance and comes at least that much closer to reality.  But her wishes are completely u n r e a l i s t i c and she i s bound to  be l a s t i n g l y frustrated by them i f the' s i t u a t i o n does not change. Duke Orsino, too, begins the play i n a pose of u n r e a l i s t i c 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 e l s e / Save i n the constant image of the creature/ That i s beloved" ( l l , i v , 1 8 - 2 0 ) .  He i l l u s t r a t e s how  fanciful  t h i s melancholy makes him by punning on the words "hart" and "heart" and by interpreting the news of O l i v i a ' s r e s o l u t i o n to mourn f o r her brother as r e f l e c t i n g favorably on h i s own hopes:  i f she mourns t h i s  way f o r a brother, he reasons, how much more w i l l she love him "when the r i c h golden shaft/ Hath k i l l e d the f l o c k of a l l affections e l s e / That l i v e i n her" (l,i,36-38). dangerously  His very d i c t i o n shows an a r t i f i c i a l i t y  captive to -fancy and f l o a t i n g free of r e a l i t y .  Olivia i s  -38determined.not to marry the Duke, though she acknowledges h i s merits and, as she t e l l s Caesario, "He might have took h i s answer long ago."  (l,v,264) Orsino shows l i t t l e a b i l i t y or i n c l i n a t i o n to give up t h i s 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, l i k e a l l true lovers, on l i n e 19 of I I , i v and then on l i n e 32 he i s counseling h i s page to marry a younger woman so that his affections w i l l remain steady towards her. Orsino, l i k e O l i v i a , needs schooling from Feste who t e l l s him that h i s constancy i s not as genuine as he thinks: I would have men of such constancy put to sea, that t h e i r business might be everything and t h e i r intent everywhere; f o r 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 t h e i r acquaintance  has been short. , -After only three days Caesario  i s "no stranger" and the Duke can t e l l him: all,.  . ." (I ,iv,13).  "Thou know'st no l e s s but  Caesario i s a confidant, a trusted messenger, and  one toward whom the Duke w i l l grow "tender" (V,i,126). s t i l l an appearance and deceives Orsino.  However, "he" i s  As a r e s u l t , the Duke continues  i n h i s i l l u s i o n that "There i s no woman's s l i d e s / Can bide the beating of so strong a passion/ As love doth give my heart. . ." ( l i , i v , 9 4 - 9 6 ) . And, to  deceived by V i o l a ' s disguise, he p e r s i s t s i n h i s hopeless desire  win O l i v i a .  "But", says V i o l a , " i f she cannot love you,  "I cannot be so answered", responds the Duke. warns the r e a l i s t i c V i o l a  (lI,iv,88-90).  sir?"  "Sooth but you must",  -39-  The two p r i n c i p a l c i t i z e n s of I l l y r i a p e r s i s t i n choices that w i l l ultimately f r u s t r a t e them because they are deceived by a disguise.  Viola  r e a l i z e s what i s happening after O l i v i a makes her mistake and sums up the  s i t u a t i o n 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 f o r my master's love. As I am woman (now alas the day!), What t h r i f t l e s s sighs s h a l l poor O l i v i a breathe? 0 Time, thou must untangle t h i s , not I; It i s too hard a knot f o r me t u n t i e . 1  (II,ii,33-41) In t h i s same soliloquy V i o l a likens her disguise to something which the "pregnant enemy" (Satan) might do to deceive every man, which, f o r the moment, makes the predicament of O l i v i a and Orsino a parable f o r the audience and connects them, by analogy, to the players.  V i o l a 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 d e l i v e r i n g  up a solution i n the person of Sebastian, the f r u s t r a t i o n s of unrequited lovers continue.  The audience sees the r e s u l t s 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.  R e a l i t y must be what i t appears to be or appear as i t i s so  that people can more e a s i l y know the extent of i t s l i m i t s .  Once those  l i m i t s are known, i t i s easier to make wise choices. The predicament of O l i v i a and Orsino i s parodied by the fate of O l i v i a ' s steward, Malvolio.  He i s l e d into such an i l l u s i o n of being  loved by O l i v i a that "when the image of i t leaves him", predicts S i r Toby, "he must run mad", ( l l , v , 1 9 4 - 1 9 5 ) .  The deception i s planned by  Maria, whom S i r Toby c a l l s "a very d e v i l of wit".  Her manipulation of  -40appearances ( l i k e Viola's disguise and Satan's t a c t i c s ) deceives Malvolio and leads him to make a choice based on i l l u s i o n which, being u n r e a l i s t i c , w i l l never be s a t i s f i e d .  Peste has already t o l d Malvolio  the truth about himself - that he i s a f o o l - but the steward has paid the clown no more heed than O l i v i a or Orsino did.  He i s under the  i l 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 f a i t h " to work her t r i c k . Maria's plan i s to supply Malvolio with a l e t t e r apparently written i n O l i v i a ' s hand and apparently about her love f o r the steward. The jest w i l l be to watch Malvolio twist the contents of the l e t t e r so that i t reads as he wants.it t o . Maria and the others are not ,\disappointed.  The handwriting  deceives Malvolio understandably  enough  but he contributes more than h i s own share to h i s own deception by interpreting the i n i t i a l s of O l i v i a ' s supposed lover as s p e l l i n g . h i s 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 t h i s a l i t t l e , i t would bow to me, f o r every one of these l e t t e r s are i n my name. _ (  l  I  >  V  f  l  2  5  u  o  )  Like O l i v i a , who imagines she i s i n love with a man, and l i k e Orsino who imagines there i s no woman who loves him as much as he loves O l i v i a , Malvolio i s under an i l l u s i o n .  Appearances deceive him because h i s  s e l f 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 r e a l i t y i s one sided - at the expense of i l l u s i o n .  The only weapon against the d e v i l  of deception i s f a i t h , as S i r Toby says i n passing, but what one i s  -41to believe becomes a problem when appearances are so s h i f t y . w i l l see no humor i n the deception .he suffers. end up mad,  Malvolio  Although he w i l l not  he w i l l leave the stage embittered, no less f u l l of s e l f  love than before.  His fate could very well become O l i v i a ' s or Orsino's  to the extent that they continue to be deceived by Viola's appearance and continue to nourish s e l f - p i t y i n g feelings of unrequited love. V i o l a , too, w i l l suffer by keeping up the pretense of her disguise.  own  I t has been h e l p f u l i n getting her employment from the Duke  and i n getting him to confide i n 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 i n h i s melancholy, u n r e a l i s t i c , 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 . V i o l a i s almost r e l i e v e d of 'her disguise (and her burden) when she, along with S i r Andrew, i s made the v i c t i m of yet another deception i n t h i s play, stage managed by S i r 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 t h e i r 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-  S i r Andrew - a complete but d e l i g h t f u l f o o l - that O l i v i a ' s attentions toward Oaesario are r e a l l y meant to arouse S i r Andrew to prove h i s love for-her i n a dual.  Since S i r Andrew would l i k e to believe that O l i v i a  loves him, i t i s easy to convince him of any opinion which reaches that conclusion, - l i k e Orsino who l i k e O l i v i a who  interprets O l i v i a ' s mourning i n h i s favor,  thinks Caesario's look of scorn i s " b e a u t i f u l " , and  l i k e Malvolio who  twists the l e t t e r u n t i l i t reads according to h i s  -42hopes, S i r Andrew l e t s h i s hopeless wish lead him to believe Fabian's interpretation of events. challenge Caesario  S i r Andrew writes a l e t t e r intended  to  to a duel but i t i s , i n e f f e c t , only an unintended  parody of the l e t t e r Malvolio received.  S i r Andrew gets h i s language  so confused that S i r Toby r e a l i z e s at once that the l e t t e r i s completely useless.  Caesario w i l l never believe t h i s l e t t e r as Malvolio believed  Maria's.  As a r e s u l t , Toby determines to issue S i r Andrew's challenge  by word of mouth.  The sport he hopes to have i s to watch Caesario  and S i r Andrew " k i l l one another by the look, l i k e cockatrices" when they come face to face f o r a dual, each convinced that the other i s "a very d e v i l " f o r valor ( i l l , i v , 2 0 4 ) . Sir  Toby's scheme works well and V i o l a has to struggle to maintain  the swaggering pose of a page boy. G-od defend me! of a man"  As she says i n an aside, "Pray  A l i t t l e thing would make me t e l l them how  (ill,iv,313-315). She learns, thanks to t h i s  that there are l i m i t s to what she can pretend to be:  much I lack  deception,  sooner or l a t e r  those l i m i t s are bound to force her to reveal herself; looked at another way,  those l i m i t s to pretense w i l l free her to be h e r s e l f .  As  she and S i r Andrew stand f o r a moment with drawn swords and knocking knees, the audience becomes laughingly aware that there are l i m i t s to "what you w i l l " . .Up to this point V i o l a has not been forced to reveal her i d e n t i t y and has also seen no way  of doing so which would not jeopardize  p r i v i l e g e d p o s i t i o n close to Orsino.  her  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 f a i t h f u l , companion of Viola's brother, Sebastian.  The audience has learned at  -43-  the same time that Sebastian was not drowned but has arrived i n I l l y r i a and i s going to seek the court of Count Orsino while Antonio lodging f o r the-two of them i n town.  seeks  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 S i r Andrew and stops the f i g h t , thinking he. i s saving Sebastian from trouble.  However, Antonio himself i s soon arrested by  the o f f i c e r s of the law who  have been searching f o r him to put him  under arrest f o r past offences against the c i t y .  Ironically,  they  arrest Antonio because they recognize h i s face while he i s deceived and confused because he cannot recognize V i o l a ' s . V i o l a , too, i s confused by Antonio's f r i e n d l i n e s s and i s puzzled by the fact he c a l l s her Sebastian.  Antonio's mistake gives V i o l a a  reason to hope that her brother i s s t i l l a l i v e .  But Antonio,  deceived  by V i o l a ' 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 c a l l e d deformed but the unkind. Virtue i s beauty; but the beauteous e v i l Are empty trunks, o'erflourished by the d e v i l . (III,iv,378-382) Antonio i s one more example of a person whose best intentions have, been b a f f l e d by unreliable appearances. H i s case i s even more pathetic a  than Malvolio's because he has no f o l l y to be exorcised. nature seems imposed upon, and there i s no remedy f o r i t .  His good  -44Three more deceptions quickly follow one another, accelerating the movement toward a r e s o l u t i o n .  The Clown approaches Sebastian whom  he thinks i s Caesario and t e l l s him that the Lady O l i v i a wants to see him.  Sebastian, l i k e V i o l a e a r l i e r , i s understandably puzzled and  sends the Clown away with no s a t i s f a c t i o n .  Feste, l i k e Antonio, i s  deceived by t h i s behavior into reaching a pessimistic but inaccurate conclusion.  His remarks are more true than he r e a l i z e s , but i n an  opposite sense than he intends: Well held o u t , i ' f a i t h ! 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 S i r Toby proves i t . S i r Toby and S i r Andrew mistake- Sebastian f o r Caesario and are determined  to continue the f i g h t that Antonio interrupted. They too  are deceived by appearances because, i n t h i s case, r e a 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 h i s attackers a sound drubbing. There i s a l i m i t to t h e i r mischief making which the testy Malvolio had not been able to impose:  and that l i m i t i s the ..limit of r e a l i t y .  O l i v i a arrives to stop the f i g h t i n g and she, i n turn, i s deceived by Sebastian's appearance.  She reaches out to him as she had to  Caesario, though t h i s time with a better chance of success because t h i s time what she sees i s r e a l l y there. of Antonio's:  O l i v i a ' s case i s the opposite  he had stopped a f i g h t to save a f r i e n d and had looked  f o r help i n return only to be refused, much to h i s disillusionment; O l i v i a stops a f i g h t 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 to experience - each as a r e s u l t of h i s own i s parodied by the fate of Malvolio.  beginning  involvement on a deception -  Malvolio knows he i s not mad  wants only a chance to prove h i s sanity.  and  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 t h e i r fog" ( I V , i i , 4 3 - 4 5 ) . Malvolio i s ignorant of exactly how much appearances have deceived and he i s unaware too of the irony of h i s remark: wits as any man  i n I l l y r i a " (IV,ii,109-110).  him  " I am as well i n my  A l l the others i n the  play have f a l l e n v i c t i m to the deceptions of appearance and are as puzzled as Malvolio about how  to sort the pieces out.  Sebastian,  who  appears i n the scene following the baiting of Malvolio expresses, the bafflement  common to the others: T h i s . i s the a i r ; that i s the g l o r i o u s sun; This pearl she gave me, I do f e e l ' t and see't; And though ' t i s wonder that enwraps me thus, Yet ' t i s not madness. . . Yet doth t h i s accident and flood of fortune So f a r exceed a l l instance, a l l discourse, That I am ready to d i s t r u s t 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 i n ' t That i s deceivable. (IV,iii,1-21)  The comedy of Twelfth Wight i s about people who decisions because they are misled by appearances.  make f a u l t y  In some cases the  appearances have been d e l i b e r a t e l y constructed or interpreted to mislead a v i c t i m ( v i z . Toby's g u l l i n g of S i r Andrew and Caesario  and  Maria's g u l l i n g of Malvolio); i n other cases, the appearances have  -46prevented a correct assessment of the s i t u a t i o n and have so encouraged wrong choices ( v i z . O l i v i a ' 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 , t h i s i s a comic  world where confusion leads to a renewal of people who have been chastened by t h e i r 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 r e s u l t s . Comedy makes fun of events that are tragic i n 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 i n Othello.  Iago, l i k e Maria i s a " d e v i l 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 " d i v i n i t y of h e l l " to juggle appearances that w i l l damn h i s victims. And V i o l a , l i k e Iago, uses words that are more true than the l i s t e n e r has wit enough to believe. "I am not what I am".  Both of them say e x p l i c i t l y and i r o n i c a l l y :  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 l a t e r , 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 i n Act V with l i g h t banter  between Fabian and Feste which anticipates what w i l l follow between O l i v i a and Caesario: Fabian:  Now, as thou lov'st me, l e t me see (Malvolio's) letter.  Feste:  Good Master Fabian, grant me another  Fabian:  Anything.  Feste:  Do not desire to see t h i s l e t t e r .  Fabian:  This i s to give a dog, and i n recompense desire my dog again.  request.  (v,i,l-7)  Caesario, accompanying the Duke, comes to O l i v i a ' s house after t h i s exchange.  When O l i v i a sees the one she thinks i s her newly  married husband, she reminds him, with me" (V,i,103).  immediately  "Caesario, you do not keep promise  But V i o l a remains r e s o l u t e l y by the Duke's side,  leading O l i v i a to exclaim with desparation, "Ay me detested, how am I beguiled" ( v , i , 1 3 9 ) . The husband she thinks has been given to her i s being taken away again.  She c a l l s the p r i e s t to witness on her behalf  to the marriage which causes the Duke and V i o l a to become confused and t h e i r confusion i s increased by Andrew and Toby who enter with bandaged wounds and with cross words f o r 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 d e l i g h t f u l recognition between himself and V i o l a . O l i v i a e a s i l y recognizes her mistake i n longing f o r V i o l a and Orsino, i n order to "have share i n t h i s most happy wrack" (V,i,266) gives over h i s suit to O l i v i a , accepts Viola's love f o r what, i t i s , and asks to see her i n her "woman's weeds." The ending i s a v i c t o r y f o r Time and Chance to which V i o l a had trusted i n the beginning.  In time, appearances are shown up f o r what  -48they are - deceptive and convincing, to the extent they mirror r e a l i t y hut only temporarily deceptive i n the long run.  Maria's handwriting  resembles O l i v i a ' s almost p e r f e c t l y but can be distinguished i n time. V i o l a mirrors Sebastian almost p e r f e c t l y :  she not only looks l i k e her  brother but, l i k e 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 c i t i z e n s 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 O l i v i a and the Duke can make t h e i r marriage choices wisely. The audience, of course, has known a l l along that such a r e s o l u t i o n would take place.  Sebastian's f i r s t appearance followed immediately  a f t e r O l i v i a had f i r s t f a l l e n i n love with Caesario, giving a hint that he was somehow to be involved i n the love entanglements.  The  audience  i t s e l f was confused f o r 17 l i n e s by Sebastian's resemblance to Caesario. After he i d e n t i f i e s himself they are r e l i e v e d of their own u n c e r t a i n i t i e s and can get ready to appreciate how d e l i c i o u s l y confusing l i f e w i l l be for the others i n the play.  There i s no doubt, however, that a l l w i l l  result i n the proper pairings expected i n comedy.  For the moment,  however, Sebastian represents the r e s o l u t i o n toward which. O l i v i a i s heading and V i o l a represents the chord that i s almost r i g h t .  The r e s u l t  i s the tension of dissonance which grows i n complexity to include as many others as possible u n t i l the r e s o l u t i o n i s reached. The audience not only has the assurance of having heard the resolving chord i n advance, but also has a preparation f o r t h i s resolution i n the words of Feste's song:  -490 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. ,/ ... . .. . \ (11,111,40-41; 44-45J TT  J  n  c  But t h i s confidence that Time i s benevolent, that i t w i l l sort out. a l l confusion and reveal the r e a l i t y beneath appearance, does not go unqualified.  Shakespeare celebrates a comic v i s i o n but seeks to make  i t secure against denial by innoculating i t i n advance with counter considerations.  These, i n addition to the t r a g i c overtones mentioned  e a r l i e r , help make t h i s comedy more "true to l i f e " ; that i s , more accommodating  to a variety of attitudes.  Shakespeare reminds the audience through V i o l a that the "pregnant enemy" often uses appearance to deceive mere mortals and when Malvolio i s deceived into a mistaken b e l i e f that O l i v i a loves him, Maria draws a p a r a l l e l with c h i l l i n g overtones f o r Shakespeare's audience:  "There  i s no C h r i s t i a n that means to be saved by believing r i g h t l y 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 l a t e and as Hamlet was wise to be cautious of.  He knew the power of the  d e v i l "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 t h i s play, Antonio's b i t t e r remark that "the beauteous  e v i l / Are empty trunks o'erflourished by the d e v i l " 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 f r i e n d s .  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 .  -50There i s also the sober consideration that while Time can bring i n a "flood of fortune", making " s a l t waves f r e s h i n love" i t can also bring i n "the. r a i n that raineth every day"  (ill,iv,296), (V,i,394).  Time  brings change, and t h i s can be f o r the worse as well as f o r the better. If  i t i s l o g i c a l for Feste to credit the " w h i r l i g i g of time" with  bringing about revenge on Malvolio, i t i s also l o g i c a l f o r Malvolio to appeal to Time and to say: you"  (V,i,380).  " I ' l l be revenged on the whole pack of  His curse stings and s t i c k s , a l l the more so since the  audience r e a l i z e s , with O l i v i a , that "he hath been most notoriously abused"  (v,i,38l).  Time can bring with i t changes that q u a l i f y f e s t i v i t y and which test the vows of love.  Sebastian can promise that "having sworn t r u t h  (he) ever w i l l be true" ( l V , i i i , 3 3 ) and V i o l a can promise Orsino  that  she w i l l keep her vows to him "as true i n s o u l / As doth the orbed continent the f i r e that severs day from night" (V,i,270-271). V i o l a knows how "man"  to man:  unstable vows can be. "We  men may  But  She has already reminded Orsino  say more, swear more; but indeed our shows  are more than w i l l ; f o r s t i l l we prove much i n our vows but l i t t l e i n our love" (II,iv,117-119).  And  the Duke's e a r l i e r advice to  Caesario  to marry a woman younger than himself "or thy a f f e c t i o n cannot hold the bent" ( l l , i v , 3 7 ) 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 i n time.  The Clown's song i s ample commentary on  this sad f a c t : 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 k i s s me, sweet, and twenty, Youth's a s t u f f w i l l not endure. (II,iii,48-53)  -51V i o l a has also had a long discussion with Feste on the deceptiveness of language; as Feste says: To see t h i s age! A sentence i s but a c h e v ' r i l 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 f a l s e that I am l o t h to prove reason with them, ( i l l , i , 2 4 - 2 5 ) Deceptions abound i n time and they work on people who have the "strong corruption" of vice t a i n t i n g their " f r a i l blood" (ill,iv,368-369), and who are therefore prone to misinterpret appearances because of t h e i r own preconceptions and s e l f - i n t e r e s t .  These considerations strongly  qualify the optimistic assertion that r e a l i t y can be recognized when i t appears and that r e a l i t y w i l l , i n f a c t , appear i n time to enable people to make wise choices.. But the f e s t i v e tone holds, despite threats to the contrary, because Sebastian and V i o l a are very much on the stage f o r a l l the maddened c i t i z e n s 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 l e a s t the assurance that he knows h i s 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 f o r them to know and they too can laugh with the audience i n retrospect. The moment when Sebastian arrives next to V i o l a i s l i k e the resolving chord which creates harmony out of dissonance and which i s "right" according to the l o g i c developing from within the'movement of the music.  Their mutual recognition, l i k e a moment of discovery, i s a  l i b e r a t i o n from puzzlement, however short l i v e d .  For the moment, the  -52corroding e f f e c t s of Time can be forgotten and some hard won i n s i g h t can be celebrated,  l o matter what else i s true about i l l u s i o n ,  and human f r a i l t y , t h i s moment i s also true.  deception,  The audience and the  c i t i z e n s of I l l y r i a would be f o o l i s h not to catch the mood of the moment and to adopt the Clown's  advice:  Then come and k i s s me, sweet, and twenty Youth's a s t u f f ' t w i l l not endure.  -53-  CHAPTER IV AS YOU LIKE IT  In As You Like I t , Shakespeare explores the thought  that.Nature  i s an unimpeachable l e g i s l a t o r of human conduct and that love, even though often f o o l i s h , i s a worthy as well as natural expression. Touchstone, as usual, c i t e s 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 i n f o l l y " (I ,iv,51-54). i s only one among a polyphony of others.  But his voice  Nature and Love w i l l be  'strong enough, i n t h i s play, to withstand the' tests and changes brought by time. Shakespeare develops t h i s thought i n two movements:  One, the  dark world of Frederick's court and the other, the l i g h t e r world of Arden.  The two themes of Nature and Love are sounded f o r the f i r s t  time at Court and are echoed f o r the rest of the play u n t i l they reach the resounding r e s o l u t i o n of four marriages and a massive conversion to natural behavior i n Act V.  On the way toward that r e s o l u t i o n ,  Shakespeare counterpoints Nature and Love with considerations which threaten to create dissonance. with i n f i d e l i t y , symbolized  For example, Love i s counterpointed  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 v i l l a i n o u s .  The r e s u l t 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 the way only makes the r e s o l u t i o n more welcome.  along  The two movements through which the themes are developed are analogous to one another i n structure, thus capable of r e f l e c t i n g on one another point by point. tone:  The difference between the two i s one of  Duke Frederick's world i s tyrannical and oppressive; Nature  and Love can never define themselves p o s i t i v e l y i n t h i s world. i n Arden i s d i f f e r e n t :  The tone  more encouraging to the positive expressions of  Nature and Nature i n Love.  The tones are d i f f e r e n t 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 f a c t .  Each world i s ruled by  a usurper, however much Senior regrets having to admit that he i s one: Come, s h a l l we go and k i l l us venison? And yet i t i r k s -me the poor dappled f o o l s , Being native burghers of t h i s desert c i t y , Should, i n t h e i r own confines, with forked heads Have t h e i r round haunches gored. /• . \ ^11,1,£l—o) Both courts are entertained by t r u t h - t e l l i n g f o o l s , Touchstone Jacques.  and  And i n both the worlds of court and country there i s the  e v i c t i o n of l o y a l old men - Adam and'Corin - who have given a l i f e t i m e of service only to be ungratfully banished or evicted i n t h e i r o l d age. The s i m i l a r structure of the two worlds or movements i s important. In so f a r as Arden resembles the court, the t e s t i n g of peoples' Nature and Love w i l l stand them i n 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 l i k e the ordinary world but more favorable to the expression of themes which are too often suppressed there.  A change i n tone w i l l allow f o r  a d i f f e r e n t treatment of a theme; i t w i l l colour attitude and w i l l make p o s i t i v e , l i v e l y , and exuberant expressions possible.  At the end of  As You Like I t the tone of the court world changes by a surprising  -55and daring conversion into a new key.  And with t h i s conversion, f i r s t  of Oliver and then of Frederick and h i s s o l d i e r s , Shakespeare makes i t possible f o r 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 t h i s 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 t h i s reason, Shakespeare  arranges a series of counterpointings which reach a crescendo i n Act I I I . These help to define Nature and Love by showing, at l e a s t , what they are not, which i s probably as f a r as one can go. without platitudinous or s i m p l i s t i c .  sounding  Shakespeare does not e x p l i 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 i n order to say something  about them  (for what goes completely unmentioned r i s k s being completely disregarded) Shakespeare presents a number of theses, a l l of which are v a l i d 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 l i k e the force f i e l d of a magnet proves i t s strength and r e v e a l s . i t s shape by the way i t rearranges i r o n f i l i n g s while i t s e l f remaining i n v i s i b l e except i n i t s e f f e c t s .  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 f e e l s  "the s p i r i t of (his) father" r i s e up i n him when he i s denied the r i g h t s to an education l e f t to him i n h i s father's w i l l .  He i s being kept as a  peasant by h i s brother, O l i v e r , and has nothing to show f o r h i s time on the farm but growth.  Although "the custom of nations" has made  d i s t i n c t i o n s 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 r i g h t to respect f o r what he i s - his father's son or, i n other words, f o r being what "God made" ( l , i , - 3 2 ) .  Even i f , i n f a c t ,  these r i g h t s are violated, they remain binding as a law to which the beleagured party can appeal.  The father's w i l l remains v a l i d and  normative, however much i t i s disregarded.  Oliver's attitude i s  "unnatural", which he w i l l admit l a t e r i n the play ( I V , i i i , 1 2 5 ) and i t i s i r o n i c that he c a l l s Orlando h i s "natural" brother and claims to be speaking brotherly of him when he anatomizes h i s supposed f a u l t s to Charles the wrestler. as  The audience recognizes O l i v e r ' s attitude  v i l l a i n o u s not only by h i s p l o t t i n g to do damage to Orlando but by  h i s soliloquy  i n which he shows that, l i k e Edmund i n King Lear, he has  an i r r a t i o n a l hatred f o r 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 e s p e c i a l l y 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 O l i v e r ' s behavior than by any p o s i t i v e expression at t h i s 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 b i o l o g i c a l terms. have e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t "natures".  The two are "natural" brothers but Adam i s even hesitant about what to  c a l l O l i v e r when he has to reveal h i s  v i l l a i n o u s plans to Orlando:  . . .within t h i s 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 t h i s night he means To burn the lodging where you use to l i e And you within i t . /__... , „s J  (^11,111,16-23; n  n  Some i n d i c a t i o n of a more natural way  of acting - and c e r t a i n l y  an alternative to Oliver's p l o t t i n g against Orlando - i s the  behavior  of C e l i a and Rosalind "whose loves are dearer than the natural bond of s i s t e r s " (i,ii,265-266). cousin wants to share her own  C e l i a , instead of being jealous of her fortunes with her:  You know my father hath no c h i l d but I, nor none i s l i k e to have; and t r u l y , when he dies, thou shalt be h i s h e i r ; f o r what he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I w i l l render thee again i n a f f e c t i o n . /_ .. , „„\ ° • (I,ii,16-20) r  Celia's father, the Duke Frederick, i s l i k e 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 p i t y her" ( i , i i i , 7 6 - 7 7 ) .  Clearly, unnatural  behavior i s not only the vice of older sons; and brotherly or s i s t e r l y love i s not l i m i t e d to "natural" s i b l i n g s . beginning  Natural or unnatural i s  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 t r a i t o r just because she i s her father's daughter and C e l i a does not have to hate Orlando because her father does.  What  i s natural, then, i s not necessarily what "comes naturally" as i f by some kind of b i o l o g i c a l determinism.  "Natural", as i t i s taking shape i n the  f i r s t two scenes, i s a f r e e l y chosen way  of acting and looks l i k e love.  Some further refinement of what natural behavior might look l i k e emerges by comparing Oliver's treatment of Adam with the treatment given to Gorin by h i s landlord.  Both situations are analogous and  therefore throw l i g h t on one another.  We are shown the e v i c t i o n 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 b i t t e r sky Thou dost not b i t so nigh As benefits forgot: (II,vii,174-176; 184-186) . We are only t o l d about Corin's e v i c t i o n but learn e x p l i c i t l y what kind of behavior h i s master lacks: My master i s of c h u r l i s h d i s p o s i t i o n And l i t t l e recks to f i n d the way to heaven By doing deeds of h o s p i t a l i t y . ( _82) I I j i v > 8 0  Gratitude and h o s p i t a l i t y emerge as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of "natural" rather than of unnatural or v i l l a i n o u s or c h u r l i s h people.  Orlando's  care f o r Adam, as well as Adam's l o y a l t y to him and Rosalind's rescue of Corin (with Celia's o f f e r to mend h i s 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 f i n d f u l l expression. As a r e s u l t , when Orlando finds Duke Senior at supper he learns that a l l he need do i s to ask f o r food and he w i l l get i t . to  There i s no need  adopt the bullying manners of an Oliver or Frederick. As Senior  t e l l s him:  "Your gentleness s h a l l force/ More than your force move us  to gentleness" (.II,vii, 101-102).  And t h i s 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 r e p l i e s :  " S i t you down i n gentleness" (124).  This episode i s a further reminder that "natural" cannot be i d e n t i f i e d with " i n s t i n c t i v e " since gentleness i s a cultivated q u a l i t y . Nor can Nature be i d e n t i f i e d with a l l gentlemen since the same fathers begot a Frederick and a Senior, an Orlando and an O l i v e r . of the question:  The  complexity  "What i s Natural" increases as each thesis i s  counterpointed with another and the shape of Nature emerges. Nature i s also counterpointed with Fortune - a f a m i l i a r  comparison.  As Rosalind and C e l i a argue i t , Fortune may be too powerful f o r Nature by so arranging events that some natural g i f t , l i k e wit, gets s t i f l e d by circumstance.  I f t h i s were the l a s t word i n the argument i t would  be an incentive to unnatural behavior.  An all-powerful Fortune, making  no d i s t i n c t i o n between natural or unnatural, good or bad, but regarding everything as either i n or out, up or down, encourages the devotion of the cynical and the opportunist.  Throughout the play there i s a repeated  concern f o r 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 r e s u l t 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 C e l i a experience i t , Touchstone arrives  abruptly to cut o f f their debate about Nature and Fortune.  One could  regard t h i s as a turn of fortune meant to confound t h e i r arguments. else, as C e l i a puts i t :  "Peradventure  neither, but Nature's, who  Or  t h i s i s not Fortune's work  perceiveth our natural wits too d u l l to reason  (  -60of such godesses and hath sent t h i s natural f o r our whetstone. For always the dullness of the f o o l i s the whetstone of the wits" ( i , i i , 4 9 - 5 3 ) . The f u l l expression of t h i s 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 s t y l e / 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 t h i s 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 f e e l not the penalty of Adam; The seasons' difference, as the i c y 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 f l a t t e r y ; these are counsellors That f e e l i n g l y persuade me what I am", ^ 2-11) Amiens' song w i l l l a t e r echo t h i s f e e l i n g of the Duke: Who doth ambition shun And loves to l i v e i n the sun, Seeking the food he eats, And pleased with what he gets, Gome hither, come hither, come h i t h e r . . Here s h a l l he see no enemy But winter and rough weather. • Jacques w i l l parody t h i s with his version of what kind of people choose to l i v e under such harsh conditions: If i t do come to pass That any man turn ass, Leaving h i s wealth and ease A stubborn w i l l to please. Due dame, duedame, due dame. Here s h a l l he see gross f o o l s as he, An i f he w i l l come to me.  Jacques, however, l i k e Touchstone, i s only one voice among a polyphony of others.  And although the notes he sounds add dissonance to t h e i r s ,  h i s are c l e a r l y 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 i n the scene following t h i s song, caring for  Adam i n his hunger. Nature, then, can withstand and even p r o f i t from fortune of any •kind.  I t i s a kind of behavior resembling gratitude, h o s p i t a l i t y and  gentleness  which i s at home i n court or country.  Manners and customs  are r e l a t i v e to each l o c a l e , as Gorin asserts i n his debate with Touchstone; and longstanding "natural". conditions.  habit can make c e r t a i n customs seem  But t r u l y natural behavior shows i t s e l f at work under any The behavior of Adam and Corin makes them more a l i k e than  t h e i r court or country origins makes them d i f f e r e n t . Shakespeare adds a f i n a l voice i n his attempt to "define" what i s natural and to show how human conduct.  t h i s Nature i s an unimpeachable l e g i s l a t o r of  This voice sings' of the deterioration that comes to  people i n time; i t sings of Nature i n the sense of the "natural processes"  which only enfeeble a man  the older he gets.  By g i v i n g  expression to t h i s voice, Shakespear.e shows eventually that what he means by nature cannot be confined to t h i s 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, f o r instance, has " l o s t a l l (his)  teeth" i n h i s 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 i n h i s youth to remain vigorous, he i s 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 y i e l d In l i e u of a l l thy pains and husbandry. ^  -^^g^  Further echoes of t h i s theme occur when Jacques, the forest f o o l , moralizes on the seven ages of man  as seven pageants of increasing  d e b i l i t y and Touchstone, the court f o o l , summarizes the effects of Time's progress i n the merciless reminder:"  And so from hour to hour, we ripe  and r i p e , / And then, from hour to hour, we rot and r o t ; / And hangs a t a l e " ( l l , v i i , 2 6 - 2 8 ) .  thereby  Decay and d e b i l i t y come i n Time and,  l i k e Fortune, impose severe l i m i t s on a person's behavior.  But neither  Fortune or decay need defeat "natural" behavior as this i s shown i n Adam's and Corin's continued service and i n Orlando's and Rosalind's continued care f o r 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 i n Orlando, shows i t s e l f to be a vigorous force.  I t 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 c r i t e r i o n to  measure the worthiness of action and to.embolden Orlando i n h i s self-defense, even i f i t s exact shape remains i n v i s i b l e and i t s exact d e f i n i t i o n remains-unarticulated.  It i s f i t t i n g f o r the purposes of  t h i s play that Orlando defeats Charles at wrestling.  Charles i s the  unwitting t o o l of an unnatural brother, while Orlando represents a l l that i s good and that Oliver loaths. He i s 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 h i s side. emblematic of Nature's strength.  His overthrow of Charles i s consequently This power w i l l be enough, i n the end,  -63-  to sustain Orlando i n h i s 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, i n turn, w i l l be enough to convert O l i v e r from  his unnatural behavior into someone as generous toward h i s brother as C e l i a 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 h i s 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 i n the l o g i c of polyphonic development where a l l voices unite i n a harmonic f i n a l chord.  I t makes  l i t t l e difference i n polyphony how each voice has developed i t s part or has counterpointed with others i n the course of i t s expression. only matters that a l l end up together i n harmony.  It  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 f o r character but much regard f o r •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 h e l p f u l f o r seeing how Shakespeare i s working.  The l o g i c  of music i s as v a l i d f o r i t s own purposes as the logic of A r i s t o t l e . Just as Nature received expression and'definition throughout t h i s 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 f o r e s t .  Rosalind i s the f i r s t one to f a l l i n love, which she does simply by setting eyes on Orlando.  He, i n turn, f a l l s i n love with her when  she gives him a token to wear and he s l i p s into "the very exstasy of love", stammering and becoming i n a r t i c u l a t e .  The power of love has  shown i t s force by overthrowing pride i n Rosalind and by overthrowing Orlando who has become i d e n t i f i e d with Nature at i t s most s e l f assertive.  I t remains to be seen what t h i s power i s l i k e i n more  d e t a i l and i f i t i s strong enough to endure through time.  At f i r s t  sight, Rosalind and Orlando look l i k e any pair of infatuated adolescents An audience might laugh with condecension at t h e i r love wounds.or adopt Celia's s l i g h t l y skeptical, attitude:  "Is i t possible on such a sudden  you. should f a l l into so strong a l i k i n g with old s i r Rowland''s youngest son?"  (i,iii,27-29).  Shakespeare w i l l delineate the shape of t h i s  passion as he did with that of Nature, by counterpointing other voices with those of Orlando and e s p e c i a l l y 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 i n the "forest movement" where people are more free to be themselves, unrestrained by any a r b i t r a r y or tyrannical r e s t r a i n t s . The f i r s t thing to be learned about Rosalind's love i s that i t makes a t o t a l claim on her allegiance.  When she f i r s t appears, she i s  mourning f o r her father and p r a t t l i n g with C e l i a about Fortune and. Nature.  When she f a l l s i n love, her only thoughts are f o r Orlando, and  her own heart's ache.  The openings of I , i i and of I , i i i are. s i m i l a r  enough to show the great extent to which the reason f o r Rosalind's melancholy has changed:  I,ii:  I,iii:  Celia:  I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.  Rosalind:  Dear C e l i a , 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 l e a r n me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.  Celia:  Why,  cousin, why,  Rosalind!  Cupid have mercy,  not a word? Rosalind:  Not one to throw at a dog.  Celia:  But i s a l l t h i s f o r your father?  Rosalind:  No,  some of i t i s f o r my c h i l d ' s father. (Orlando)  Love i s a disruptive force, creating new former l o y a l t i e s .  . .  a l l i a n c e s and  modifying  However common an occurrence i t i s , Love can threaten  uncommon danger by blinding lovers to any other world but one of t h e i r 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 r e a l .  Shakespeare showed  the tragic r e s u l t s of the s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t i s o l a t i o n of lovers i n Romeo and J u l i e t and Anthony and Cleopatra.  In As You Like I t he only  hints at the d i s i n t e g r a t i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s of a lover's passion by showing Rosalind's realignment the Forest: Orlando?"  of l o y a l t i e s and by having her say i n  "But what t a l k we of fathers when there i s such a man ( i l l ,iv,35—36).  as  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 t h i s comedy worthy of serious attention.  I t i s clear that Love makes serious claims  and leads, eventually, to l i f e - l o n g commitments. The audience gets a-further look at what t h i s Love might be i i k e 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  -66i n s o l o m n talk" ( l l , i v , 1 9 ) .  Rosalind, C e l i a and Touchstone adopt a  spectator's stance f o r a moment and l e t two l o c a l shepherds - young S i l v i u s and old Corin converse about love.  With Rosalind established  as an audience the p l i g h t of S i l v i u s appears more c l e a r l y 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 f o r Orlando l a t e r and i n that play adopt attitudes of petulance, testiness and coquetry which p a r t l y 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 i n f i n i t e variety, while f l o a t i n g free of any pose.  Meanwhile, the spectacle of S i l v i u s  and Corin helps to define what Rosalind's love i s not. S i l v i u s i n s i s t s that love delights i n f o o l i s h behavior and that a true lover w i l l remember every instance of f o l l y done i n youth. Corin claims to have loved "ere now" but to have long since forgotten the r i d i c u l o u s actions into which fantasy had once led him.  The audience,  and Rosalind, can consider through t h i s exchange whether love has to die when f o o l i s h actions do or whether i t simply changes i t s mode of expression.  There i s no i n d i c a t i o n that Corin has grown c y n i c a l about  love i n h i s old age; he i s t o l e r a n t of S i l v i u s ' s excesses and admits ;  that they once were h i s .  But he has. changed.  I t 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 i n 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 a i d age, as i n the parable of Marcus Aurelius:  "Green grape, ripe cluster, r a i s i n ;  -67every 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. w i l l bring change and the wise person w i l l be one who  Time  can "keep h i s time"  and "lose not his•time" as the singers mention i n another context (V,iii,36-37). S i l v i u s breaks o f f the exchange by running o f f i n passionate chase of h i s Phebe which gives Rosalind a chance to exclaim: shepherd! own"  "Alas, poor  Searching of thy wound, I have by hard adventure found my  (il,iv,42-43).  But Touchstone,  ever the p r a c t i c a l one i n such  matters - who w i l l l a t e r entertain no i d e a l i z e d conception of what he i s doing i n love - deflates S i l v i u s * s p l i g h t and Rosalind's as well, to  the extent that her love resembles S i l v i u s ' s : "  I remember, when I  was i n love I broke my sword upon a stone and bid him take that f o r coming a-night to Jane Smile; and I remember the k i s s i n g 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 i d e n t i f i e s her passion with S i l v i u s ' s :  "Jove, Jove!,  This shepherd's passion/ Is much upon my fashion" ( i l , i v , 5 8 - 5 9 ) .  But by  the next time we see her a subtle change has occurred-. She i s s t i l l very much i n love with Orlando and grows out of patience with C e l i a to t e l l her f o r sure that i t i s he who has scattered love verses to her throughout the f o r e s t .  She i s bursting with eagerness to hear about  him but when he arrives i n conversation with Jacques, Rosalind harnesses . her passion with s e l f - c o n t r o l and begins the t e s t i n g of Orlando's love. There i s a b i t of Touchstone's  d e f l a t i n g wit i n what she says and much  -68of S i l v i u s ' s ardor i n what she f e e l s . Rosalind's love i s uniquely her own,  Like Jacques' own melancholy, "compounded of many simples" and  i d e n t i f i a b l e by no one i n p a r t i c u l a r .  As she tests Orlando, Rosalind  discovers him to be someone much l i k e h e r s e l f ,- 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: cheek, blue eye and sunken, Unquestionable (lll,ii,366-369).  he has no lean  s p i r i t or beard neglected  He i s not scrupulous about coming an hour l a t e f o r  a love appointment, nor w i l l he desert h i s brother i n need just to keep a rendezvous with Rosalind, disguised as Ganymede. certainly i n love but -in a way  Orlando i s  that enhances h i s already gentle nature  and not i n a way that would reduce, him to a caricature. I t i s true that he i s the author of some exaggerated love verse which i s parodied by Touchstone into t y p i c a l 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 v i r t u e , 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 h i s fervor i s  balanced by an a b i l i t y to attend to other claims on h i s 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 a t t i t u d e s . Their-love i s not as f a n c i f u l as S i l v i u s ' s : Rosalind:  Well, i n (Rosalind's) person, I say I w i l l not have you.  Orlando:  Then, i n mine own person, I die.  Rosalind:  No, f a i t h , die by attorney. . .  Orlando:  I would not have my r i g h t Rosalind of t h i s mind, f o r I protest her frown might k i l l me.  Rosalind:  By t h i s 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 t h e i r love as cynical as Touchstone's.  Rosalind i s not as  unmoved as C e l i a : Rosalind:  Aliena, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando. I ' l l go f i n d 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: Orlando:  The worst f a u l t you have i s to be i n love. 'Tis a f a u l t I w i l l not change f o r your best v i r t u e . 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 i n Time.  And, i n t h i s play, there i s special emphasis on  the changes that occur when courtship turns to marriage: A p r i l when they woo, December when they wed.  "Men  are  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 l o y a l t i e s which, i n marriage, shows i t s e l f i n extra-marital a f f a i r s .  There i s ' a  hint of such i n f i d e l i t y as a p o s s i b i l i t y f o r the future i n Rosalind's teasing with Orlando: Orlando: Rosalind:  Then love me Rosalind. Yes, f a i t h , w i l l I, Fridays and Saturdays and a l l .  Orlando:  And w i l t thou have me?  Rosalind:  Ay, and twenty such.  Orlando:  What sayest thou?  Rosalind:  Are you not good?  -70Orlando:  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 f o r 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 f a u l t her husband's occasion, l e t her never, nurse her c h i l d herself, f o r she w i l l breed i t l i k e a f o o l . (IV,1,154-168)  Throughout the play, especially through Touchstone's courting of Audrey, there i s the reminder that l u s t as well as love can lead to marriage plans and that these may not even be intended to l a 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 ( l I I , i i i , 5 3 - 6 0 ) ; 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 l u s t y horn, Is not a thing to laugh to scorn. (IV,ii,14-19) There are also many references to v i o l a t e d vows that are seemingly normal i n the course of Time.  Orlando mentions them i n h i s love verse  ( i l l , i i , 1 2 5 - 1 3 3 ) ; Celia. blandly interprets Orlando's lateness as a sign  -71that he i s out of love and therefore not accountable f o r the vows he made when he was i n i t ( i l l , iv 30-3l);. and even up to the f i n a l marriages, r  Touchstone  alludes to the i n f i d e l i t y that r i s e s as sexual i n t e r e s t  falls:  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 f a i t h l e s s , 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 d e b i l i t i e s 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 i n the forest, Orlando  and Rosalind know that they may l i v e happily but c e r t a i n l y not e a s i l y ever af'ter. From t h i s same testing, Love and Nature receive some d e f i n i t i o n and, e s p e c i a l l y toward the end of the play show t h e i r 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 t h e i r 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 f o r Orlando's lateness to Rosalind and when he declares his "conversion" from h i s former unnatural s e l f .  At  the same moment, C e l i a i s converted into love f o r him and leaves behind her e a r l i e r cynicism and i n d i f f e r e n c e .  At one stroke, Nature and Love  gain fresh.conquests and s t a r t 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 h i s Audrey and promises her that they w i l l f i n d a time to get married, and not by "a most v i l e Mar-text" e i t h e r .  Touchstone seems  to be taking p r a c t i c a l measures to insure himself against the horns he has said are no disgrace to wear and to be joining, at least p u b l i c a l l y , i n the kind of love r i t u a l i z e d by the other lovers. .In V , i i , S i l v i u s and Phebe are paired o f f with Orlando and Rosalind, l i k e a quartet, singing about "what ' t i s to love". describes the q u a l i t i e s of a lover which he has adequately  Silvius  demonstrated  throughout the play and then starts o f f on a round repeated by the others: Silvius:  I t i s to be a l l made of sighs and tears; And so.am I f o r Phebe.  Phe.be:  And I f o r Ganymede.  Orlando:  And I f o r Rosalind.  Rosalind:  And I f o r no woman. (V,ii,83-87)'  The round i s one l a s t chance to counterpoint Orlando and Rosalind with t h e i r look-alikes and opposites.  I t 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 s i m i l a r movement i n music does to signal the approach of the r e s o l u t i o n . As i n Twelfth Wight, there are several f r u s t r a t e d r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n precarious suspension and they w i l l soon have to be s a t i s f i e d . The following scene with Touchstone and Audrey reenforces the forward movement toward r e s o l u t i o n with the commentary: Touchstone:  Tomorrow i s the j o y f u l 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 i n 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 l a s t as winter and rough weather.  Some people, i t seems, are made for each other, i f  not f o r 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 i n it.  She cannot be s a t i s f i e d by another woman and so gives i n at l a s t  to someone who w i l l care f o r her, however mawkishly: bargain".  "so i s the  By including Touchstone and Audrey as well as S i l v i u s and  Phebe among the country copulatives, Shakespeare  shows the extent and  the v a r i e t y of Hymen's dominion. love has l e d eight people into a v a r i e t y of marriages.  Two of  these couples w i l l no doubt prove themselves to be yoked but not p u l l i n g together.  Oliver's and Celia's marriage i s too quickly  arranged to allow f o r predictions about i t s outcome.  But Orlando has  been tested by Rosalind and Rosalind has learned from the foolishness of S i l v i u s , 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 i l l u s i o n s - of  being able to modulate from one key to another without losing time or changing t h e i r tune (a t r i c k y accomplishment.!).  their  They remain  i n 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 f o r h i s Rosalind to assume. With the f i n a l resolution  of the Love theme and the f i n a l , conversion  of Frederick to natural behavior, Shakespeare vindicates the power of Nature and Nature-in-Love.  They are the s i l e n t centers of concern f o r  everyone i n t h i s play and they show t h e i r force by disposing of whatever person or opinion might contradict them. this play, the unimpeachable  Nature and Love remain, i n  l e g i s l a t o r s and arbiters of conduct and  the high mood of f e s t i v e dance and music at the end celebrates t h e i r 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 I t - as i f they worked on an audience l i k e 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 l i k e music i n pursuing a pattern through time, a play might p r o f i t a b l y 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 r e l a t i o n s i n suspension  at once, as does a piece of polyphonic music.  At this point, several  conclusions emerge about how h e l p f u l the musical metaphor has been for analyzing what Shakespeare has been saying i n the three comedies under discussion. The metaphor of polyphony, f o r 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 h i s 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 s i t u a t i o n , he can more e a s i l y hear what Shakespeare i s saying.  Empson has done a famous study of the repeated  use of "honest" i n Othello; t h i s thesis has suggested the beginnings of a similar study of "fashion" i n Much Ado, of "nature" i n As You Like I t , and of " d e v i l " 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.  I t should be mentioned parenthetically that  Shakespeare's tendency to pun i s notorious and these echoed words work much l i k e the pun: contexts.  they are one sound used i n and f o r two or more .  A pun shows a mind at play and may  simply indicate a f a n c i f u l  connection between otherwise unrelated r e a l i t i e s .  But, f o r the moment,  the pun makes a connection and, i n 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 i t c h after ever-changing fashions?  I f there i s , the  echoing word, analogous to the pun, has helped the a r t i s t and the audience arrive .at the discovery of i t . The several analogous situations i n a play, l i k e d i f f e r e n t voices i n polyphony, take up a theme i n d i f f e r e n t ways.  Through the r e p e t i t i o n  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 I t when expressed by a S i l v i u s , a Touchstone, or an Orlando; overhearing and what i t can lead to becomes more obviously a concern i n Much Ado when i t occurs d i f f e r e n t l y f o r 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 O l i v i a , Orsino, Malvolio and, eventually, everyone i n I l l y r i a .  The comparison of Shakespearean drama  to polyphony keeps one a l e r t 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 h i s theme and,. as a r e s u l t , to make i t r i c h e r 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, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y , considers both: way  and Maria's; the r e s u l t s may  Viola's  be ultimately b e n e f i c i a l or embittering  and Shakespeare presents both of them.  The v a r i e t y of h i s considerations  keeps Shakespeare's plays from being mere dramatizations of a thesis, such as Shaw might write.  His variety shows a respect f o r 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 h i s treatment of a theme, Shakespeare not only mingles "high" with "low"  characters who  they behave.  show how much they are alike by how  similarly  He also mingles t r a g i c with comic and vice versa, with  good dramatic r e s u l t s i n both cases.  In the tragedies, the comic  scenes help point up the darkness of the serious action, r e i t e r a t e 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 r e l a x a f t e r four acts of unremitting mental anguish t e r r i f y i n g action, illuminates with h i s l i g h t banter how  and  dark and  serious Hamlet's struggle has been, and r e i t e r a t e s the play's concern with a brother's murder, the seeming that masks a v i l l a i n , and the l i m i t a t i o n to a l l human purpose as t h i s was Player King:  e a r l i e r expressed by the  "Our w i l l s and fates do so contrary run/ That our devices  are s t i l l overthrown;/ Our thoughts are ours, t h e i r end none of our own'.* (Hamlet, III,ii,221-223). In h i s comedies, Shakespeare treats themes that have t r a g i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s and so gains serious attention f o r what w i l l happen, i n these plays, to turn out happily.  Maria i n Twelfth Night and Don John  -78i n Much Ado work much l i k e Iago i n weaving deceptions f o r t h e i r victims; Rosalind i n As You Like I t , l i k e Cordelia i n Lear, w i l l not think e n t i r e l y of her father when the time comes f o r 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 e s p e c i a l l y h e l p f u l to an audience f a m i l i a r with these other plays.  They can more r e a d i l y  recognize the tragic p o s s i b i l i t i e s of actions done i n 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 s l i g h t 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 f o r a "nook merely monastic"; and Malvolio c a l l s down curses on I l l y r i a .  These characters are reminders that the comic  resolution holds only f o r the time being; l i f e w i l l go on happily f o r awhile but not necessarily ever a f t e r . Besides these characters, there are also r e l i g i o u s images i n each play which help allude to a more serious perspective on situations r a i s e d i n these comedies.  Don John and Maria are c a l l e d - d e v i l s and V i o l a ' s  disguise i s e x p l i c i t l y compared to Satan's t a c t i c s 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 I t :  trees y i e l d i n g bad f r u i t  ( i l l , i i , 1 1 6 ) , God's feeding  of the birds of the a i r ( l l , i i i , 4 3 ) , and the r e j o i c i n g i n heaven over the conversion of sinners (v,iv,108-110).  An audience that  -79i s sensitive to these serious and. even tragic "overtones"  will  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 h i s comedies and so to qualify any one version of h i s theme with another.  I t i s expected  that lovers, after overcoming a l l obstacles to t h e i r love, w i l l eternal f i d e l i t y to one another.  vow  I t i s also expected than an audience  w i l l ' believe i n this promise at the time i f only because i t wants to. But l a t e r , as the magic of the play wears o f f , d i s b e l i e f can no longer stand the s t r a i n of being suspended.  An audience, looking back, w i l l  usually remark, " I t was only a play", and make a sharp d i s t i n c t i o n 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 h i s plays i n advance  against being as e a s i l y dismissed as unreal by counterpointing unromantic assertions against the romantic ones within the play i t s e l f . Sebastian, f o r example, w i l l vow  everlasting f i d e l i t y to O l i v i a and  V i o l a w i l l do the same to Orsino.but V i o l a 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 j o i n hands i n a solemn ceremony of everlasting love but they are soon joined by Beatrice and Benedick whose motives f o r marriage are less solemn and sentimental.  Orlando  and Rosalind rush to celebrate Hymen's r i g h t s over t h e i r love alongside Touchstone who  admits that marriage binds but who  also declares, that  blood breaks - and seems not i n c l i n e d to worry about i t e i t h e r . Shakespeare accounts f o r cynical or less than ideal views by giving them an appropriate voice i n h i s polyphony.  By this device,he  also  -80shows that the more romantic assertions are strong enough to withstand whatever would deny their force.  One might say that Shakespeare i s  playing a t r i c k on h i s audience:  making them swallow their objections  to romance i f they want to enjoy the main movement of the r e s o l u t i o n . 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.  I f 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 i d e a l assertions i n at least several " r e a l 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 l o g i c a l l i t s own. I f a musician determines to make one melody h i s motif, he w i l l work out harmonies and variations f o r 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 i n t e r e s t s of the main theme. develop motifs i n t h i s way,  Even i n polyphony, which does not  a l l voices w i l l end harmoniously and  together after a well controlled, mutually r e l a t e d exploration of the artist's f e l t insight.  I f 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 I t ) 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, e f f e c t i n g a resounding, of romantic values.  hyperbolic assertion  -81The 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 what i s going on i n the play. the  Such moments occur during the songs when  words, of"necessity, must be prolonged according to the demands of  a sung melody. the  clearly  And i t i s the songs which often comment on or anticipate  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. the  I suggest, too, that  g a r r u l i t y of the clowns and t h e i r seemingly purposeless exchanges  of wit are also ways of slowing down rhythm.  They are c e r t a i n l y  interruptions i n the action; f o r 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 i n action makes time f o r commentary which Shakespeare i n s e r t s e f f e c t i v e l y through Dogberry, Feste, and Touchstone. F i n a l l y , 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 r a d i c a l l y inexpressible meaning.  J i l l Levenson discusses t h i s  feature i n a paper presented f o r "Shakespeare * 71" at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia e n t i t l e d : in  "What the Silences Said:  S t i l l Points  '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 l i s t e n e r ' s attention, h i s energies, with at least as much force as the sounds. When the l a s t v i b r a t i o n from the percussion blends completely with the s t i l l n e s s 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 t h i s profound s i m i l a r i t y exists because the dramatist  -82and the composer share the power to create silence. The poet and the n o v e l i s t must invoke or describe s t i l l n e s s ; the painter and the sculptor can express i t through space or l i g h t . But, f o r 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 i n the depths of the silence the inexpressible point of an a r t i s t ' s communication l i e s hidden.  To say t h i s i s not to advocate that playgoers and c r i t i c s s i t  before a play l i k e 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 f o r words and that a wise playwright w i l l not descend to bathos or f u s t i a n 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 E l i o t ' 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 t h i s thesis, the moments of silence emerge s l i g h t l y 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 r e s o l u t i o n 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 i n t e r e s t i n g to notice that i n each play the confusion of four or f i v e acts i s recapitulated only moments before the solution a r r i v e s so that wonder i s increased by a sense of r e l i e f f o r the deliverance i t  brings.  No words are adequate to express what t h i s deliverance means  to people who are saved by i t from madness, slander, or the•frustration of unrequited love. do the impossible.  And Shakespeare does not attempt to make words He creates the silence and l e t s i t speak f o r  i t s e l f , l e t t i n g 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 h i s comedies has paradoxically used as many voices as he could to create silence.  He has explored a concern or a s i t u a t i o n 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 i n an attempt to reach that moment of wonder and resolution where i t i s f u t i l e to say any more.  The silence he constructs and respects not only  shows the depths of Shakespeare's comic v i s i o n ; i t also shows that h i s confidence i n i t i s such that he can l e t 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. C l i f f o r d 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, J r . , A Preface to Chaucer (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'", i n Shakespeare 1971, ed. C l i f f o r d Leech and J . M. R. Margeson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972), p. 215..  Princeton  -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 C r i t i c i s m , ed. James 1. Calderwood and Harold E. T o l i v e r , Englewood C l i f f s : Prentice H a l l , 1970. Forker, Charles R., "Shakespeare's T h e a t r i c a l Symbolism and I t s Function i n Hamlet", i n Essays i n Shakespearean C r i t i c i s m , ed. James L. Calderwood and Harold E.. T o l i v e r , Englewood C l i f f s : Prentice H a l l , 1970. Fluchere, Henri, Shakespeare and the Elizabethans, New York: Wang, 1967. Freeman, Rosemary, English Emblem Books, New York: Krook, Dorothea, Elements of Tragedy, New Haven:  H i l l and  Octagon, 1966.  Yale University Press, 1969.  levenson, J i l l , "What the Silence Said: S t i l l Points i n 'King L e a r " , i n Shakespeare 1971, ed. C l i f f o r d Leech and J . M. R. Margeson, Toronto: University Press, 1972. 1  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, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1972. Robertson, D. W., P r e s s , 1973.  J r . , A P r e f a c e t o Chaucer, P r i n c e t o n :  Toronto:  Princeton Univ.  Shakespeare, W i l l i a m , Much Ado About N o t h i n g , T w e l f t h N i g h t , As You L i k e I t , S i g n e t C l a s s i c s E d i t i o n , ed. S y l v a n B a r n e t , New York: The New American L i b r a r y , 1963. Spencer, Theodore, Shakespeare and t h e Nature o f Man, New York:  MacMillan,  1949. T i l l y a r d , E . M. W.,  The E l i z a b e t h a n World P i c t u r e , New York:  W i l l e y , B a s i l , The Seventeenth Century Background, New York:  V i n t a g e , n.d. Doubleday,  1953.  

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