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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The image of the theatre in Shakespeare Rytell, Geoffrey 1962

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THE  IMAGE OF THE THEATRE IN SHAKESPEARE byGeoffrey  Rytell  B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia,  1959  A T h e s i s Submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l m e n t o f The Requirements f o r t h e Degree o f Master o f A r t s  i n t h e Department of English  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o t h e r e q u i r e d standard  THE  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1962  In presenting  this thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of  the requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. f o r extensive  I f u r t h e r agree that permission  copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be  granted by the Head of my Department o r by h i s  representatives.  I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission.  UNGLlSH  Department o f  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. Date  7  ?  •  ABSTRACT The purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s i s t o suggest something o f t h e e x t e n t t o which t h e image o f t h e t h e a t r e i s r e f l e c t e d i n Shakespeare's p l a y s . things —  By image i s meant a v a r i e t y o f  t h e p h y s i c a l t h e a t r e , i t s s t a g e , i t s a c t o r s and  i t s a u d i e n c e , and t h e i r m e t a p h y s i c a l c o n c o m i t a n t s .  The image  o f t h e t h e a t r e i n v o l v e s Shakespeare's a t t i t u d e s towards t h e t h e a t r e i t s e l f ; h i s comments upon t h e n a t u r e o f d r a m a t i c i l l u s i o n , l i f e as an i l l u s i o n , t h e i n a d e q u a c i e s o f s t a g e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n ,and h i s methods o f overcoming such d i f f i c u l t i e s . I have a l s o been i n t e r e s t e d i n Shakespeare's s i g n i f i c a n t p l a y i n g w i t h t h e s p e c t a t o r ' s sense o f d r a m a t i c i l l u s i o n .  Also  i n c l u d e d under t h i s g e n e r a l h e a d i n g o f image are h i s i d e a s about t h e n a t u r e and f u n c t i o n o f drama as m i r r o r , and t h e s i g n i f i c a n t ways i n w h i c h he uses t h e p l a y - w i t h i n - t h e - p l a y as a r e f l e c t o r .  O t h e r a s p e c t s o f t h e image a r e t h e way i n  which Shakespeare's c h a r a c t e r s d e s c r i b e t h e m s e l v e s , o r a r e d e s c r i b e d , as r o l e - p l a y e r s , i n t h e sense t h a t t h e y v o l u n t a r i l y adopt o r a r e f o r c e d by c i r c u m s t a n c e s t o assume, a p a r t i c u l a r p a r t ; and a l s o t h e t h e a t r i c a l imagery which permeates t h e language o f t h e p l a y s t h r o u g h o u t t h e canon. As I have i n d i c a t e d i n t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n , r e c e n t  cri-  t i c i s m t o u c h i n g on t h i s g e n e r a l a r e a has p r o v e d t o be q u i t e e x t e n s i v e , and o f t e n most i l l u m i n a t i n g .  Such w r i t e r s as S.  L.  B e t h e l l , M u r i e l Bradbrook, Una E l l i s - F e r m o r , B e r n a r d S p i v a c k , Robert H e i l m a n , John L a w l o r , t o mention o n l y a few, have much to  say on Shakespeare's c h a r a c t e r s , t h e i r r o l e - p l a y i n g , and  o t h e r aspects o f the image, which I found i n v a l u a b l e .  Most  o f the c r i t i c a l commentary, however, though s u b s t a n t i a l enough and  extremely u s e f u l i n p o i n t s o f d e t a i l , was  cerned with the p a r t i c u l a r approach adopted by the writer.  To the best o f my  way  con-  present  knowledge, none o f the  quoted has been c o n s i s t e n t l y concerned with  not  authors  suggesting  the  i n which the t h e a t r e pervades Shakespeare's work; how i t  i s r e f l e c t e d i n h i s o v e r t concern with the problems o f the t h e a t r e , i n h i s language and h i s view o f l i f e  itself.  There are a number o f c o n c l u s i o n s to t h i s and by no means e x h a u s t i v e , dramatic  study.  general,  Shakespeare's remarks on  i l l u s i o n , as g i v e n i n the prologues  to Henry V  P e r i c l e s , suggest t h a t he c o n s i d e r s the matter o f  and  realistic  stage p r e s e n t a t i o n as o f a somewhat p e r i p h e r a l concern f o r the d r a m a t i s t .  The t r u e r e a l i t y o f a p l a y l i e s i n the  sub-  stance which u n d e r l i e s the shadow, o r v i s i o n , which i s presented to us.  Shakespeare, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the  o f t e n breaks the i l l u s i o n , reminding us t h a t we a play.  comedies, are watching  Yet f o r a l l t h i s j u g g l i n g with the audience's sense  of i l l u s i o n —  o f t e n done s u b t l y -  i n the t r a g e d i e s —  and  less self-consciously  the t r u t h which i s r e f l e c t e d i n the  remains u n a f f e c t e d .  The  i n n e r p l a y i n Shakespeare, l i k e  fiction the  p l a y i t s e l f , a l s o serves to m i r r o r t r u t h , as i n "Pyramus and Thisbe,"  "The  Mousetrap," and o t h e r s .  The  r e l a t i o n o f the  image o f the t h e a t r e t o c h a r a c t e r i s p a r t i c u l a r l y I concentrated  interesting.  e s p e c i a l l y upon c e r t a i n groups o f c h a r a c t e r s ,  the l o v e r s , the v i l l a i n s , the f o o l s , the k i n g s , the heroes.  Of these  tragic  groups, some c h a r a c t e r s are aware o f t h e i r  r o l e - p l a y i n g , o t h e r s are n o t . The i n t e r e s t i n g and s i g n i f i c a n t p o i n t i s t h a t the image o f t h e t h e a t r e m a n i f e s t s Shakespeare's conception o f c h a r a c t e r .  I t also  itself in manifests  i t s e l f i n h i s language and h i s view o f l i f e . Prospero's famous speech i n The Tempest, "our r e v e l s now are ended," p r o v i d e s perhaps a f i t t i n g climax t o t h i s  study.  As s p e c t a t o r s t o t h i s l a s t p l a y , our own p e r s p e c t i v e , which encompasses t h e f i c t i o n o f the masque and the " r e a l " Ferdinand  spectators  and Miranda, themselves a p a r t o f the l a r g e r f i c t i o n  The Tempest, i s i t s e l f d i s p l a c e d and made f i c t i v e . become as f i g u r e s i n t h e p l a y o f l i f e ,  We too  the v i s i o n o f r e a l i t y .  CONTENTS  Page Introduction I . Chapter I .  i - iv The Dramatic I l l u s i o n  I I . Chapter I I .  . . .  The M i r r o r o f Nature  1  . . 17  I I I . Chapter I I I . L o v e r s , L u n a t i c s and Wise Men IV. Chapter IV.  " I P l a y the V i l l a i n "  25 . . 33  V. Chapter V. The P l a y e r - K i n g V I . Chapter V I . The T r a g i c Hero  43 70  VII. Conclusion  93  Introduction The  purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s i s t o suggest something  o f the extent to which the image o f the t h e a t r e i s r e f l e c t e d i n Shakespeare's p l a y s . — and  By image i s meant a v a r i e t y o f t h i n g s  the p h y s i c a l t h e a t r e , i t s stage, i t s a c t o r s and t h e i r metaphysical  concomitants.  The  i t s audience,  image o f the  i n v o l v e s Shakespeare's a t t i t u d e s towards the t h e a t r e his  comments upon the nature  i l l u s i o n , the inadequacies  o f dramatic  illusion,  itself;  life  o f stage r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and  methods o f overcoming such d i f f i c u l t i e s .  theatre  as his  I have a l s o been  i n t e r e s t e d i n Shakespeare's s i g n i f i c a n t p l a y i n g w i t h the t a t o r ' s sense o f dramatic  illusion.  spec-  A l s o i n c l u d e d under t h i s  g e n e r a l heading o f image are h i s i d e a s about the nature  and  f u n c t i o n o f drama as m i r r o r , and the s i g n i f i c a n t ways i n which he uses the p l a y - w i t h i n - t h e - p l a y as a r e f l e c t o r . o f the image are the way  Other  aspects  i n which Shakespeare's c h a r a c t e r s  d e s c r i b e themselves, o r are d e s c r i b e d , as r o l e - p l a y e r s , i n the sense t h a t they v o l u n t a r i l y adopt o r are f o r c e d by to  circumstance  assume, a p a r t i c u l a r p a r t ; and a l s o the t h e a t r i c a l imagery  which permeates the language o f the p l a y s throughout the canon. Recent c r i t i c i s m t o u c h i n g on the g e n e r a l area  has  proved to be q u i t e e x t e n s i v e , and o f t e n most i l l u m i n a t i n g . S. L. B e t h e l l ' s Shakespeare and the Popular (London, S t a p l e s P r e s s , 1948) breaking  Dramatic T r a d i t i o n  d i s c u s s e s the s u b j e c t o f  i n a n c i e n t and modern a r t , and p r o v i d e s  several inter-  e s t i n g comments on the E l i z a b e t h a n a t t i t u d e towards the t i n c t i o n s between r e a l i t y and f i c t i o n .  illusion-  C. L. Barber,  dis-  ii  Shakespeare's F e s t i v e Comedy ( P r i n c e t o n , P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1959)  a l s o makes some v e r y good p o i n t s about the  t i o n s between a r t and bethan drama.  l i f e , with p a r t i c u l a r r e f e r e n c e t o E l i z a -  On a r t as the m i r r o r o f nature, M. H.  The M i r r o r and the Lamp (New 1958)  rela-  York, W.W.  Abram's  Norton and Co.  Inc.,  p r e s e n t s an e x c e l l e n t h i s t o r i c a l survey which notes t h a t  the n o t i o n o f a r t as m i r r o r was  a dominant c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e  up t o the end o f the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y .  Post-romantic  theor-  i s t s came t o view a r t as a t r a n s p a r e n t medium intended t o r e v e a l the poet's  heart. C. L. Barber's  remarks on R o s a l i n d , Berowne, Benedict  and Puck as r o l e - p l a y e r s were most u s e f u l ; as were M.  C. Brad-  brook's i l l u m i n a t i n g o b s e r v a t i o n s on the c h a r a c t e r s i n Shakespeare's comedies (Shakespeare and E l i z a b e t h a n P o e t r y . London, Chatto and Windus, 1951).  E s p e c i a l l y suggestive were Joseph  Summers' notes on the r o l e s p l a y e d by V i o l a and Feste i n T w e l f t h Night Essays  ("The  Masks o f T w e l f t h N i g h t , " Shake speare:  i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. L.F. Dean, New  s i t y P r e s s , 1957,  from The  XXII, Autumn, 1955,  pp.25-32).  p r o v o c a t i v e by way  both Edgar and Kent.  York, Oxford  Univer-  U n i v e r s i t y o f Kansas C i t y Review, R.B.  Heilman's T h i s Great  (Louisiana, State U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1948) was  Modern  p r o v i d e d much t h a t  o f commentary on the r o l e - p l a y i n g o f Richard A l t i c k ' s a r t i c l e  Imagery in. R i c h a r d I I " (PMLA, 1947,  "Symphonic  pp.339-365) p r o v i d e d  approach t o R i c h a r d I I ; w h i l e Maurice Charney's a r t i c l e the c l o t h i n g imagery i n C o r i o l a n u s ("The i n Shakespeare's C o r i o l a n u s , " ELH, suggested  a way  Stage  o f approaching  Dramatic Use  Sept. 1956,  an on  o f Imagery  pp.183-193)  not o n l y C o r i o l a n u s , but a l s o  iii  Macbeth.  As s e l f - c o n s c i o u s commentators on t h e i r own charac-  t e r s , Shakespeare's v i l l a i n s have r e c e i v e d a good d e a l o f attention.  Bernard  S p i v a c k , Shakespeare and t h e A l l e g o r y o f  E v i l (New York, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1953), goes i n t o t h e p r e - E l i z a b e t h a n stage h i s t o r y o f t h e v i l l a i n t y p e i n some d e t a i l and w i t h p a r t i c u l a r r e f e r e n c e t o I a g o , a f i g u r e whom Spivack  sees a s a c h a r a c t e r p o s s e s s e d a t once o f c o n v e n t i o n a l  and r e a l i s t i c q u a l i t i e s ; a development from t h e m o r a l i t y V i c e , y e t a p e r s o n i n h i s own r i g h t .  Brander Matthews (Shakespeare  as a P l a y w r i g h t , New York, Chas. S c r i b n e r ' s Sons, 1913) t e n d s t o see Shakespeare's v i l l a i n s and t h e i r s o l i l o q u i e s a s r a t h e r crude d r a m a t i c  d e v i c e s f o r conveying  i n f o r m a t i o n t o t h e audience.  My own p o i n t o f v i e w would admit t h e v a l i d i t y o f Matthews!, approach; R i c h a r d I I I i s t r u l y l i k e a m e d i e v a l V i c e , indeed he says s o . B u t t h e f a c t t h a t he says so s u g g e s t s he p o s s e s s e s a sharp and c y n i c a l w i t . Imagination  Alwin Thaler  ("Shakespeare on S t y l e ,  and P o e t r y , " PMLA, Dec. 1938, pp.1010-1036) h a s  some i n t e r e s t i n g remarks t o make about Edmund.  Una E l l i s -  Fermor's study o f Shakespeare's k i n g s (The F r o n t i e r s o f Drama, London, Methuen and Co. L t d . , 1946) emphasizes t h e p r o g r e s s i o n o f r u l e r s b e g i n n i n g w i t h Henry V I , from bad t o good,  culmina-  t i n g w i t h Henry V, whom Una E l l i s - F e r m o r r e g a r d s a s p e r f e c t but c o l d and c o l o r l e s s .  Without q u e s t i o n i n g the v a l i d i t y o f  Una Ellis-Fermor»s a p p r o a c h , t h e p r e s e n t d i s c u s s i o n i s concerned w i t h t h e k i n g s a s i n d i v i d u a l s ; and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , t h e r e s p o n s e s t h e y t h e m s e l v e s f e e l a s i n d i v i d u a l s towards t h e r o l e o f k i n g s h i p which i s g e n e r a l l y imposed upon them.  I was i n t e r -  e s t e d i n t h e d i s t i n c t i o n s between t h e k i n g , and t h e man who plays the king.  iv  Most o f the c r i t i c a l  comment, although s u b s t a n t i a l  enough and extremely u s e f u l i n p o i n t s o f d e t a i l ,  was not con-  cerned w i t h the p a r t i c u l a r approach adopted by the p r e s e n t writer.  To the best o f my knowledge,  none o f the authors  quoted has been c o n s i s t e n t l y concerned w i t h s u g g e s t i n g the way i n which t h e t h e a t r e pervades Shakespeare's work; how i t i s r e f l e c t e d i n h i s o v e r t concern w i t h t h e problems o f the t h e a t r e , and i n h i s language and h i s view o f l i f e  itself.  My own p a r t i c u l a r method o f approach by no means exhausts t h e m a t e r i a l .  Not a l l the examples o f i l l u s i o n -  b r e a k i n g i n Shakespeare have been g i v e n , nor a l l the p o s s i b l e i n s t a n c e s o f t h e a t r i c a l language mentioned.  Nor have I d i s -  cussed a l l t h e r o l e - p l a y e r s i n Shakespeare, but r a t h e r those who f i t t e d i n t o c e r t a i n groups, t h e l o v e r s , t h e v i l l a i n s and so on. the  My concern has thus been t o i n d i c a t e a way o f u s i n g  image o f the t h e a t r e as an approach t o Shakespeare.  A l l r e f e r e n c e s t o Shakespeare's p l a y s a r e taken from Shakespeare, t h e Complete Works, ed. G . B. H a r r i s o n , New York, H a r c o u r t , Brace and Co., 1952.  Chapter I .  The Dramatic  Illusion  I t i s t o be expected t h a t Shakespeare,  as an  concerned w i t h the problems o f c r e a t i n g a dramatic should have something  t o say on the s u b j e c t .  artist  illusion,  H i s own  atti-  tudes and f e e l i n g s seem t o be most c l e a r l y expressed i n the p r o l o g u e s t o Henry V. The Winter's T a l e (Act I V ) , and (Acts I I I , IV, V ) .  The d i f f i c u l t i e s o f making the  Pericles  audience  b e l i e v e the stage t o be a s h i p , o r a f o r e s t , o r a c a s t l e ; o r a man  t o r e p r e s e n t an army, o r a boy a woman, are considered  i n these p r o l o g u e s , as t h e y are a l s o i n A Midsummer N i g h t ' s Dream.  The  e f f o r t s o f P e t e r Quince's men  t o r e p r e s e n t such  t h i n g s as moonlight, w a l l s , l o v e r s and l i o n s , upon the stage, are,  o f course, u n w i t t i n g l y h i l a r i o u s .  T a k i n g e s p e c i a l care  t h a t the p l a y l i o n i s not mistaken f o r the r e a l one,  they  d e c i d e , o r r a t h e r Bottom does, t h a t Snug must assure the a u d i ence t h a t he, Snug, i s not a l i o n indeed but a man. answers t o the problems o f p r e s e n t i n g a w a l l and are perhaps  even f u n n i e r .  Their  moonlight  A l l t h i s i s g r e a t s p o r t f o r both  o u r s e l v e s and the c o u r t l y audience on-stage.  But the problems  of dramatic p r e s e n t a t i o n c o n s i d e r e d by these amateur a c t o r s , r e g a r d l e s s o f the e f f i c a c y with which t h e y are s o l v e d , are r e a l enough and ones which Shakespeare h i m s e l f must have f a c e d as a playwright.  As Ronald Watkins n o t e s :  . . . these s i x men are a f t e r a l l d i s c u s s i n g the d i f f i c u l t y t h a t c o n f r o n t e d the C h a m b e r l a i n ^ men w i t h every p l a y t h e y presented; how namely t o c r e a t e i l l u s i o n with inadequate means. I t i s the o l d problem t h a t Shakespeare . . . t o s s e d back t o h i s  2  a u d i e n c e i n Henry t h e F i f t h , how, " w i t h f o u r e o r f i v e mo/t v i l e and ragged f o y l e s " t o p r e s e n t A g i n court.1 How  do you p r e s e n t m o o n l i g h t on t h e s t a g e ?  The man  i n the  moon, complete w i t h dog, i s c e r t a i n l y one s o l u t i o n . do you do about h o r s e s ? problem.)  And what  (Bears would appear t o be l e s s o f a  And oh, c r i e s Shakespeare, what a r e we t o do w i t h  the great E n g l i s h b a t t l e s ? And so our scene must t o t h e b a t t l e f l y , Where — oh, f o r p i t y ! — we s h a l l much d i s g r a c e W i t h f o u r o r f i v e most v i l e and ragged f o i l s , ' . , Right i l l - d i s p o s e d i n brawl r i d i c u l o u s , (Henry V , ! I V , P r o . , 48-52)  The name o f A g i n c o u r t .  C r i t i c i s m of t h i s kind of u n r e a l i s t i c representation,  criti-  c i s m w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e s t h e response o f t h e audience — Theseus —  save  t o "Pyramus and T h i s b e , " f i n d s i t s p a r a l l e l i n con-  temporary E l i z a b e t h a n w r i t i n g . u n i t i e s o f t i m e and p l a c e —  Emphasis upon t h e A r i s t o t l e a n  two u n i t i e s n o t t o be found i n  A r i s t o t l e , b u t r a t h e r i n I t a l i a n t r a n s l a t i o n s and which E n g l i s h c r i t i c s used —  commentaries  caused S i d n e y t o c r i t i c i z e  unnamed p l a y s i n t h e f o l l o w i n g t e r m s .  (The l a s t phrase i s  e s p e c i a l l y c l o s e t o t h e l i n e s above from Henry V . ) But i f i t be so i n Gorboduc, how much more i n a l l t h e r e s t ? Where you s h a l l have A s i a o f t h e one s i d e , and A f r i c o f t h e o t h e r , and so many o t h e r under-kingdoms, t h a t t h e p l a y e r , when he cometh i n , must e v e r b e g i n w i t h t e l l i n g where he i s , o r e l s e t h e t a l e w i l l n o t be c o n c e i v e d . Now ye s h a l l have t h r e e l a d i e s w a l k t o g a t h e r f l o w e r s , and t h e n we must b e l i e v e t h e stage t o be a garden . . . . i n t h e meantime two a r m i e s f l y i n , r e p r e s e n t e d w i t h f o u r swords and b u c k l e r s , and t h e n what h a r d h e a r t w i l l n o t r e c e i v e i t f o r a p i t c h e d field?2 1 R . W a t k i n s , M o o n l i g h t a t t h e Globe. London, M i c h a e l J o s e p h , 1946, p.77. S i r P h i l i p S i d n e y , The Defense o f Poesy, Cook, B o s t o n , G i n n , 1890, p.48. 2  ed.  A.S.  3  Sidney i s a l i t t l e  i n c o n s i s t e n t on t h i s p o i n t , f o r elsewhere  he says t h a t even a c h i l d w i l l not mistake a door marked "Thebes" t o be r e a l l y Thebes.  With r e g a r d t o stage r e p r e s e n -  t a t i o n Jonson, on t h e o t h e r hand, i s q u i t e p r e c i s e and unambiguous. at  In t h e prologue t o Every Man i n H i s Humour he j e e r s  authors who . . . w i t h t h r e e r u s t y swords, And h e l p o f some few f o o t and h a l f - f o o t words, F i g h t over York and L a n c a s t e r ' s l o n g j a r s , And i n t h e t y r i n g house b r i n g wounds t o s c a r s . 3  Shakespeare  would not d i s a g r e e w i t h J o n s o n s 1  (9-12)  a t t i t u d e here;  f o u r o r f i v e swords a r e inadequate t o r e p r e s e n t a war. Shakespeare  i s the f i r s t  t o mock t h e i n s u f f i c i e n c i e s o f h i s  own stage s p e c t a c l e , as the tongue-in-cheek quoted above from Henry V suggest. lem o f dramatic i l l u s i o n , audience.  Indeed  tone o f the l i n e s  The s o l u t i o n t o t h e prob-  suggests Shakespeare,  l i e s with the  I t i s t h e i r i m a g i n a t i o n s which must make up what  the stage l a c k s i n props, o r the a c t o r s i n t a l e n t : Yet s i t and see, Minding t r u e t h i n g s by what t h e i r mockeries be. (Henry V, IV, Pro., Shakespeare  52-53)  sees t h e drama as a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , a "mockery" o f  r e a l i t y , a symbol o f a c t i o n , not a p e r f e c t and completely realistic  imitation of l i f e .  That i t i s a shadow, a r e f l e c t i o n ,  does not mean t h a t what i s thereby p r e s e n t e d i s t r i v i a l , ficial,  o r u n r e l a t e d t o t h e r e a l i t i e s o f human problems and  emotions. of  super-  The substance t h a t u n d e r l i e s t h e shadow i s composed  t h e t r u t h s o f humanity.  The audience must accept t h e l i m i t s  3The E n g l i s h Drama, ed. F.W. Parks and R.C. B e a t t y , New York, W.W. Norton, 1935, p . 6 2 0 .  4  o f i l l u s i o n , must see the p l a y as a f i c t i o n and take what i s presented as a shadow, as r e f l e c t i n g and embodying something worthwhile.  T h i s i s t r u e , not o n l y o f "Pyramus and  Thisbe,"  but o f any p l a y , as Theseus p o i n t s out: The best i n t h i s k i n d are but shadows, and the Worst are no worse, i f i m a g i n a t i o n amend them. (A Midsummer Night's Dream. V, i , 211-212) I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note t h a t much the same k i n d o f g r a c i o u s comment on the need f o r i m a g i n a t i o n i s made by S i r Thomas More when the P l a y e r s v i s i t  him:  My good Lord C a r d i n a l l e s p l a y e r s , I thancke Them f o r i t , P l a y us a p l a y . . . A theame o f some importe, how ere i t proove; But, i f a r t e f a i l e , weele inche i t out with l o o v e . . . .4 (IV, i , 114-117) In the prologue to Henry V and P e r i c l e s Shakespeare makes f u r t h e r appeals to the audience and i m a g i n a t i o n .  to employ t h e i r  grace  S i m i l a r l y the prologue to the anonymous The  Merry D e v i l o f Edmonton implores the s p e c t a t o r s to Imagine now t h a t w h i l s t he i s r e t i r d e From Cambridge backe unto h i s n a t i v e home, Suppose the s i l e n t , sable visagde n i g h t Casts h e r b l a c k c u r t a i n e over a l l the World;? (22-25) The appeal i s made more humorously i n The Knight o f the Pestle.  Burning  There the g r o c e r ' s wife wishes something p a r t i c u l a r  t o be performed: Wife. George, l e t Rafe t r a v e l l over great h i l l s , and l e t him be Every2 weary, and come to the K i n g o f C r a c o v i a ' s house, covered with V e l v e t , and t h e r e l e t the King's daughter stand i n her window a l l i n beaten g o l d , combing her golden l o c k s . . . , and 4«The P l a y o f S i r Thomas More," The Shakespeare Apocrypha, ed. C.F. Tucker-Brooke, Oxford, Clarendon P r e s s , 1908, p.404. 5 I b i d . , p.265  5 come down t o him, and c a r r y him i n t o her f a t h e r ' s house, and then l e t Rafe t a l k w i t h h e r . C i t . W e l l s a i d , Wel, i t s h a l l be so: boy l e t ' s ha't done q u i c k l y . Boy. S i r , i f you w i l l imagine a l l t h i s t o be done a l r e a d y , you s h a l l hear them t a l k t o g e t h e r : but we cannot present a house covered w i t h b l a c k v e l v e t , and a Lady i n beaten g o l d . (IV, i ,  45ff.)  0  And  o f course, t h e r e are advantages to t r a v e l l i n g i n the imag-  ination  alone:  And thence t o France s h a l l we convey you s a f e , And b r i n g you back, charming the narrow seas To give you g e n t l e p a s s . F o r , i f we may, W e ' l l not o f f e n d one stomach w i t h our p l a y . (Henry V. I I , Pro., I have mentioned t h a t the  s i n c e r e but  37-40)  bumbling  e f f o r t s o f Quince and h i s a c t o r s t o c r e a t e a dramatic  illusion  o n l y serve to underscore the t h e a t r i c a l i t y o f "Pyramus and Thisbe."  F e a r f u l t h a t t h e i r l a d y a u d i t o r s w i l l perhaps be  overwhelmed by the power and  r e a l i t y o f t h e i r passionate  the a c t o r s s t r e s s the r e a l i t y o f the here and now; o f themselves as a c t o r s p e r f o r m i n g t h e i r p a r t s .  art,  that i s , In other words,  t h e y c o n t i n u a l l y remind the audience t h a t they are watching a p l a y ; they break, r a t h e r than make, the i l l u s i o n . same way  I n much the  t h a t Prospero p l a y s w i t h Miranda's sense o f  a s s u r i n g her t h a t the v i s i o n o f the  reality,  ship-wreck i s but a harm-  l e s s dream, so Shakespeare enjoys p l a y i n g with h i s audience's sense o f dramatic i l l u s i o n , and watching a p l a y .  reminds them t h a t t h e y are  In a q u i t e d e l i b e r a t e f a s h i o n , he  often  s h a t t e r s the make-believe atmosphere, e s p e c i a l l y o f the At the end  comedies.  o f Love's Labour's L o s t , f o r example, Berowne draws  a t t e n t i o n t o the f a c t  that:  °Francis Beaumont and John F l e t c h e r , Works o f , ed. A. R. W a l l e r , " . Cambridge, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1908, ,yi,:.p 210. #  6  Our wooing doth not end l i k e an o l d p l a y . Jack hath not J i l l . These l a d i e s * c o u r t e s y Might w e l l have made our sport a comedy. K i n g . Come, s i r , i t wants a twelvemonth and a day And then ' t w i l l end. Ber. That's too l o n g f o r a p l a y . (V, i i , 884-888) E a r l i e r , Berowne d e s c r i b e s p a r t o f the p l a y ' s a c t i o n as " . . . l i k e a Christmas comedy." (V, i i ,  462)  His  being  reference  t o the c o n v e n t i o n a l ending o f comedies, when a l l i s brought to  i t s proper  c o n c l u s i o n , and  each man  has h i s maid,  recalls  Puck's rhyme i n A Midsummer Night's Dream:  Jack s h a l l have  J i l l / N o u g h t s h a l l go i l l , "  Ingenioso,  end o f P a r t I I o f The  (III, i i ,  461).  Returne from Parnassus, a l s o comments  on the unhappy ending o f the p l a y , i n c o n t r a v e n t i o n to lawes o f . . . comick  a t the  "the  stage:"  Ing. Nay s t a y awhile and helpe me to content So many g e n t l e w i t t s a t t e n t i o n , Who kenne the lawes o f every comick stage, And wonder t h a t our scene ends d i s c o n t e n t . 7 (V, i v , 2200-2203) In T w e l f t h Night t h e r e i s Fabian's  comment upon the  ridiculous  actions of Malvolio: I f t h i s were p l a y e d upon a stage.now, I could condemn i t as an improbable f i c t i o n . (Ill, There i s perhaps another way these.  o f l o o k i n g a t such r e f e r e n c e s  Even i n I l l y r i a t h e r e are d o u b t l e s s t h e a t r e s and  can assume t h a t Fabian i s a t h e a t r e - g o e r .  In t h i s  h i s r e a l i t y and the r e a l i t y o f the p l a y world i l l u s i o n remains untouched.  iv,  140) as  we  respect,  are a f f i r m e d ;  Much the same argument can  be  7The Three Parnassus P l a y s (1598-1601). ed. J . B. Leishman, London, I v o r N i c h o l s o n & Watson L t d . , 1949, p.366.  the  7 a p p l i e d t o Berowne's r e f e r e n c e s t o the " o l d p l a y . " be l i t t l e  doubt,however, t h a t the immediate  a l l u s i o n s i s t o break the dramatic T h i s k i n d o f game, which  There  can  e f f e c t o f such  illusion. seems q u i t e c o n s c i o u s on  Shakespeare's p a r t , adds t o our enjoyment o f the p l a y s i n c e i t tends t o s t r e s s the d i f f e r e n c e between l i f e  and a r t .  Occasion-  a l l y we are reminded, however, t h a t the d i f f e r e n c e i s p r o b a b l y not  so g r e a t a f t e r a l l .  The episode o f "Pyramus and T h i s b e "  i s , o f course, r e c o g n i z e d by the on-stage audience to be a f i c t i o n , a play. But are they?  The  c o u r t l y o n l o o k e r s are themselves  "real."  Puck's e p i l o g u e a f f i r m s the f i c t i o n both o f  "Pyramus and T h i s b e " and a Midsummer N i g h t ' s Dream: I f we shadows have o f f e n d e d , Think but t h i s and a l l i s mended, That you have but slumbered here While these v i s i o n s d i d appear, And t h i s weak and i d l e theme, No more y i e l d i n g but a dream,  i , 430-435)  (V,  J u s t as the " r e a l i t y " o f the i n n e r audience f a d e s i n t o the l a r g e r shadow, so too we perhaps see o u r s e l v e s as a c t o r s , mere shadows upon the stage o f l i f e .  Much the same s o r t o f double  exposure o c c u r s a t the end o f Hamlet. addresses the assembled  Hamlet, f a t a l l y wounded,  court:  You t h a t look p a l e and tremble a t t h i s chance, That are but mutes o r audience t o t h i s a c t , (V,  His  i i , 345-346)  words, o f course, are a p p r o p r i a t e , f o r the c o u r t i e r s are  indeed an audience t o t h i s f a t a l l a s t scene.  But Hamlet's  remarks a p p l y e q u a l l y w e l l t o the r e a l audience; they too "look p a l e and tremble a t t h i s chance." of  Thus the  "reality"  the stage s p e c t a t o r s , o n l o o k e r s to "The Mousetrap," i s  8  i t s e l f seen t o be merely p a r t o f the l a r g e r f i c t i o n , Hamlet, j u s t as the c o u r t l y viewers o f "Pyramus and T h i s b e " i n A Midsummer N i g h t ' s Dream become shadows i n r e l a t i o n to t h e i r p l a y . There i s an i n t e r e s t i n g p a r a l l e l here w i t h a s i t u a t i o n i n Kyd's Spanish Tragedy.  Hieronimo has j u s t r e v e a l e d t o the  assembled  stage o n l o o k e r s t h a t the t r a g e d y o f "Soliman and Perseda" has been performed i n e a r n e s t : And, p r i n c e s , now behold Hieronimo, Author and a c t o r i n t h i s tragedy, Bearing h i s l a t e s t fortune i n h i s f i s t ; And w i l l as r e s o l u t e conclude h i s j p a r t As any o f the a c t o r s gone b e f o r e . ^ (IV, The o f f - s t a g e audience has known a l l a l o n g t h a t  iii,  177-181)  Hieronimo*s  p l a y - a c t i n g i s intended f o r e a r n e s t , w h i l e the stage viewers have thought i t to be t r u l y a p l a y .  The sudden s h i f t from the  f i c t i o n o f "Soliman and Perseda" t o the r e a l world o f The Spanish Tragedy,  shocks the Spanish k i n g and h i s entourage.  They are l i k e any audience watching the climax o f a t r a g i c play.  The r e a l audience, watching a l l the a c t i o n , r e t a i n s a  p e r s p e c t i v e from which they see the change from p l a y - w i t h i n p l a y t o r e a l i t y o c c u r r i n g w i t h i n the l a r g e r framework o f The Spanish Tragedy.  Once a g a i n , the i n n e r audience, r e p r e s e n t a -  t i v e s o f r e a l i t y , become shadows. of  T h i s p l a y i n g w i t h our sense  dramatic i l l u s i o n i s something we  f i n d o n l y i n the comedies.  should perhaps expect t o  I t seems more c o n s i s t e n t and i n  keeping w i t h comedy's g r e a t e r a r t i f i c i a l i t y  o f form.  t h i s k i n d o f t h i n g does not occur i n tragedy? have seen, i t does.  Surely,  And y e t , as we  I n p o i n t o f f a c t , two o f the most d i r e c t  ^Parks and B e a t t y , o p . c i t . , p.320.  9  and  s t a r t l i n g stage a l l u s i o n s o c c u r i n Hamlet and Antony and  C l e o p a t r a , and I should l i k e t o c o n s i d e r these, t o g e t h e r with a s i m i l a r one  i n Webster's Duchess o f M a l f i , i n some d e t a i l .  The f i r s t  o f these o c c u r s near:.the opening o f Hamlet.  Hamlet has j u s t spoken w i t h the ghost, and has been informed o f h i s f a t h e r ' s h o r r i d murder.  He now  prepares t o swear h i s  f r i e n d s t o keep s i l e n c e w i t h r e g a r d t o the n i g h t ' s p r o c e e d i n g s . I t would seem t o be a moment o f grand and  sombre t e n s i o n .  Yet the P r i n c e ' s r e p l y t o the ghost's i n v o c a t i o n to them to " s w e a r I " not o n l y r e f l e c t s h i g h s p i r i t s and good humour on his part — —  a few l i n e s l a t e r on he c a l l s the ghost " o l d mole"  but a l s o c a l l s immediate a t t e n t i o n t o a f e a t u r e o f the  p l a y ' s p r o d u c t i o n ; t h a t the a c t o r p o r t r a y i n g the s p i r i t i s now  underneath  the stage p l a t f o r m :  Ghost, (beneath) Swear. Hamlet. Oh, ha, boy I Say*st thou so? Come on.  A r t thou t h e r e , truepenny? You hear t h i s f e l l o w i n the c e l l a r a g e . ( I , v, 149-152)  Quite suddenly the solemn u n e a r t h l y presence o f the ghost the ramparts  on  o f E l s i n o r e has been t r a n s l a t e d t o the r a t h e r  more mundane r e s i d e n c e o f a space under the Globe T h e a t r e ' s wooden s t a g e ! scene and  John Dover Wilson w r i t e s a t some l e n g t h on  this  suggests t h a t Hamlet's j o c u l a r a t t i t u d e toward the  Ghost i s p a r t o f an a c t put on t o d e c e i v e M a r c e l l u s and H o r a t i o i n t o t h i n k i n g the s p i r i t  i s a devil:  He addresses the ghost i n the " c e l l a r a g e " as i f i t were a d e v i l , a " f a m i l i a r " w i t h whom he has j u s t been h o l d i n g converse. He c a l l s i t "boy" and " t r u e penny," t h a t i s " t r u s t y f e l l o w " o r " f a i t h f u l s e r v a n t , "  10  and he makes H o r a t i o and M a r c e l l u s swear w i t h the d e v i l , as the l a t t e r a t any r a t e w i l l b e l i e v e i t t o be, beneath t h e i r v e r y feet.° C e r t a i n l y an assumption t h a t Hamlet i s p u t t i n g on an a c t w i l l h e l p us t o account f o r the i n c o n s i s t e n c y o f h i s c a l l i n g h i s f a t h e r ' s s p i r i t an " o l d mole."  I wonder, though, i f Hamlet's  good humour i s not a w i t t y response to the ghost's s t a r t l i n g "Swear" from beneath.  Hamlet knows the ghost i s i n p u r g a t o r y ;  c o u l d he not be h a v i n g a joke a t i t s expense? i s too f a n c i f u l .  Perhaps  this  At any r a t e , I t h i n k the r e f e r e n c e t o the  " c e l l a r a g e " i s as much an a l l u s i o n t o the stage as i t i s t o the p l a t f o r m o f E l s i n o r e ' s  castle.  Before going on t o Antony and C l e o p a t r a l e t me  first  c o n s i d e r an i n s t a n c e o f i l l u s i o n b r e a k i n g i n Webster's Duchess of M a l f i . murder.  The o c c a s i o n i s immediately p r i o r t o the  Duchess*  She t u r n s t o B o s o l a and the o t h e r e x e c u t i o n e r s :  I know death hath t e n thousand s e v e r a l l doores F o r men, t o take t h e i r E x i t s : and * t i s found They go on such strange g e o m e t r i c a l l h i n g e s , You may open them both wayes:-iO (IV, i i , 225-228) What i s t o be made o f "strange g e o m e t r i c a l l h i n g e s ? "  Lucas*  note on t h i s p a r t runs as f o l l o w s : The meaning i s a p p a r e n t l y t h a t Death can open the door out o f l i f e from h i s s i d e , o r man can open i t from h i s : our e x i t may be by a c t o f God o r o f man. T h i s i s u n s a t i s f a c t o r y : but I see no a l t e r n a t i v e . (p.  187)  9j.D. W i l s o n , What Happens i n Hamlet. Cambridge, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1956, p.80. l°John Webster, Complete Works o f , ed. F.L. Lucas, London, Chatto and Windus, 1927, I I , p.99.  11  M. C. B r a d b r o o k l l suggests t h a t the words r e l a t e back t o the l i n e s immediately  p r e c e d i n g ; t h a t death may  come by means  smothered i n C a s s i a , shot t o death w i t h p e a r l s — seem t o promise l i f e r a t h e r than d e s t r u c t i o n . i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s i n mind, I b e l i e v e t h e r e may bility.  —  which would  Keeping  these  be another  possi-  Could not the "strange h i n g e s " be a r e f e r e n c e t o  E l i z a b e t h a n stage doors which perhaps opened both ways f o r the sake o f convenience?  Even i f t h i s were not the case, i t  seems c l e a r t h a t t h e whole r e f e r e n c e i s an a l l u s i o n t o the stage s i m i l a r i n k i n d t o Hamlet's " c e l l a r a g e . "  The  examples I have been c o n s i d e r i n g are p r o b a b l y not  two  deliberately,  i n the sense o f s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y , designed t o break the d r a matic i l l u s i o n .  Rather they are i n t u i t i v e e x p r e s s i o n s o f  p r e s e n t r e a l i t y , u n s e l f - c o n s c i o u s reminders t o the t h a t they are watching  a play.  audience  C l e o p a t r a ' s famous r e f e r e n c e  t o the stage, on the o t h e r hand, r e v e a l s an awareness o f r o l e playing. In Act V C l e o p a t r a f o r e s e e s the Roman triumph h e r s e l f and the dead Antony. l o v e on the  The Romans w i l l p r e s e n t  over  their  stage:  The quick comedians E x t e m p o r a l l y w i l l stage us and p r e s e n t Our A l e x a n d r i a n r e v e l s . Antony S h a l l be brought drunken f o r t h , and I s h a l l see Some squeaking C l e o p a t r a boy my greatness I ' the posture o f a whore. (V, i i , 216-221) L i k e Hamlet's r e f e r e n c e t o the " c e l l a r a g e " these words draw our a t t e n t i o n t o a p a r t i c u l a r aspect o f E l i z a b e t h a n and  not  C. Bradbrook, Themes and Conventions o f E l i z a bethan Tragedy. Cambridge, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , I960, p.90.  12  Roman a c t i n g p r a c t i c e .  M i d d l e t o n Murry p o i n t s out the i r o n y  i n v o l v e d here: And t h a t . . . was what was a c t u a l l y happening when those l i n e s were f i r s t spoken. The r e a l i t y , which C l e o p a t r a t h r u s t s away, thus becomes doubly r e a l . I t i s not some imagined o r apprehended d e g r a d a t i o n which she can a v o i d : i t has a l r e a d y overtaken her.12 T h i s i s q u i t e t r u e , but t h e r e i s something e l s e t o be added. F o r C l e o p a t r a the a c t r e s s has a l r e a d y p l a y e d h e r p a r t as a whore; t o h e r , t h i s r o l e i s p a r t o f the p a s t , a burlesque o f her present r o l e - p l a y i n g .  N 6 w  she c a s t s o f f her baser  char-  a c t e r and assumes the r o l e , t o g e t h e r w i t h the robes, o f the t r a g i c Queen: Give me my robe, put on my Immortal l o n g i n g s i n me.  crown.  I have  Methinks I hear Antony c a l l . I see him rouse h i m s e l f To p r a i s e my noble a c t , I hear him mock The l u c k o f Caesar, which the gods give men To excuse t h e i r a f t e r w r a t h . Husband, I come. Now t o t h a t name my courage prove my t i t l e I I am f i r e and a i r . My o t h e r elements I give to baser l i f e . (Antony and C l e o p a t r a , V, i i , 283-293) What she f e a r s i s b e i n g i n a d e q u a t e l y r e p r e s e n t e d on the The Romans w i l l present her " i  f  stage.  the posture o f a whore," but  w i l l f o r g e t h e r " g r e a t n e s s " and her "noble a c t . " thus bear some r e l a t i o n t o c h a r a c t e r ; we  The  lines  are reminded o f the  E l i z a b e t h a n stage and the "squeaking boy," but as w e l l o f C l e o p a t r a , the consummate a c t r e s s , the mighty and t r a g i c queen, and the poor maid. the  S. L. B e t h e l l comments on the b r e a k i n g o f  illusion: 12j.M. Murry, Shakespeare, London, Jonathan  1959, p.354.  Cape,  13 . . . as a d i r e c t r e f e r e n c e t o a c t i n g , i t Cbrings] . . . f o r c i b l y t o mind t h e d u a l i t y o f the p l a y w o r l d and t h e r e a l w o r l d . T h i s passage i s espec i a l l y remarkable s i n c e i t occurs i n a t r a g e d y and a t a moment o f emotional intensity.13 M i d d l e t o n Murry," terms i t ". . . the extreme challenge t o reality."14 C e r t a i n l y i t i s a measure o f Shakespeare's c o n t r o l ( d e l i b e r a t e o r i n t u i t i v e ) over h i s a r t t h a t such stage r e f e r ences as t h i s one can be made without u p s e t t i n g o r impinging upon t h e t r a g i c s p e c t a c l e o f C l e o p a t r a ' s  death.  A similar  k i n d o f e f f e c t i s wrought i n Chaucer's T r o i l u s and Creseyde where the n a r r a t o r keeps b r e a k i n g  i n and c o n t r a s t i n g t h e  i l l u s i o n o f the l o v e r s ' r e a l i t y with h i s own contemporary presence.  He c o n t i n u a l l y s t r e s s e s t h e p o i n t t h a t he i s  r e c o r d i n g t h e t a l e o f the l o v e r s , c u l l i n g i t from v a r i o u s h i s t o r i c a l sources,  i n p a r t i c u l a r that o f " L o l l i u s . "  (Simi-  l a r l y Dickens a s s e r t s t h e " t r u t h " o f h i s n a r r a t i v e sources i n The  Pickwick Papers.)  F o r a l l t h i s , however, the power o f t h e  l o v e r s ' world, and t h e s p e c t a c l e o f t h e i r tragedy, remain, undiminished, f o r we a r e able t o accept  and d i s t i n g u i s h t h e  r e a l i t y o f both the n a r r a t o r ' s and t h e l o v e r s ' " t r u t h s . " T h i s a b i l i t y t o accept  t h e f i c t i o n as f i c t i o n , y e t be moved  by the t r u t h which t h e f i c t i o n embodies, i s what B e t h e l l c a l l s the p r i n c i p l e o f multi-consciousness.  He suggests t h a t  an E l i z a b e t h a n audience was q u i t e able t o enjoy such stage a l l u s i o n s as would emphasize the p l a y , as a p l a y .  This  i3s.L. B e t h e l l , Shakespeare and t h e Popular Dramatic T r a d i t i o n , London, S t a p l e s P r e s s , 1948, p.39. 14Murry , o p . c i t . , p.376.  14  appreciation of the fiction stems from the audience's position as onlookers in the real world. On the other hand, this did not inhibit them from being moved by the problems of the characters in the play.  Through stage references, Shakespeare  . . . draws attention to the play as play, overtly, in the dialogue itself, emphasizing verbally . . . the co-existence of play-world and real world in the minds of his audience.15 Or, as J;. Lawlor describes i t , the spectator is ". . . both involved in and removed from the action, . . . . detached and 'committed', . . . ."16  We are both  This duality of response,  involvement in and detachment from, the play's action, is particularly marked in such a play as The Winter's Tale.  For  here we are continually reminded that we are spectators and that the play is but a shadow, a fiction, an old tale. Hermione affirms her fidelity to Leontes and suggests that her loyalty to him is so firmly figured in her l i f e and deeds that not even the assumed example of a play could improve upon them: You, my lord, best know, Who least will seem to do so, my past l i f e Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true, As I am now unhappy — which is more Than history can pattern, though devised And played to take spectators. ( I l l , i i , 33-38)  Elsewhere, the play's whole action leading up to the joyful reunion of Perdita and Leontes is described as an "old tale." (V, i i , 31)  The phrase is used again to describe the death  15Bethell,  op.cit., p.32.  16John Lawlor, The Tragic Sense in Shakespeare. London, Chatto & Windus, I960, p.10.  15  of Antigonus (V, i i , 6 6 ) while Hermione's awakening i s portrayed by P a u l i n a : That she i s l i v i n g , Were i t but t o l d you, should be hooted at L i k e an o l d t a l e . (V, i i , 115-117) The W i n t e r ' s Tale i s i t s e l f an " o l d t a l e , " "devised and played to take s p e c t a t o r s . "  Perhaps the word " t a k e , " with i t s  suggestion of charm or bewitch, i s e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h i s regard, and i s perhaps r e l a t e d to Sidney's views about the i d e a l i z e d r e a l i t y of the p o e t i c imagination being nearer the u l t i m a t e t r u t h than the r e a l i t y of immediate experience. The spectator i s moved by the.image i n a c t i o n of t r u t h as i t i s presented by the "sweet mysteries of p o e t r y . "  It is a  f i c t i o n ; but i t embodies the t r u t h s and r e a l i t i e s of the human s p i r i t : Behind the repeated s t r e s s l a i d on the f a c t t h a t we are f o l l o w i n g a f a b l e , a " t a l e " not subject to the normal laws of p r o b a b i l i t y , l i e s a consistent d e s i r e to make t h i s a c t i o n , t h i s f a b l e , the i n s t r u ment f o r a harmonious reading of human experience. The u n r e a l i t y of The W i n t e r ' s Tale i s no mere escape, as some have argued, i n t o a world of fancy. The various stages of the " f a b l e " correspond s t r i c t l y to steps i n the i n t e g r a t i o n of a v a r i e d range of emotions from which n e i t h e r t r a g i c d i s cord nor the sense o f harmonious f u l f i l m e n t i s excluded.17 The drama, then, although i t i s i t s e l f a f i c t i o n , a dream, a shadow, can, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , present or r e f l e c t r e a l i t y — or t h a t which we c a l l r e a l i t y .  The word " r e f l e c t , " w i t h i t s  suggestion of m i r r o r , i s s i g n i f i c a n t , f o r to  Shakespeare,  and Hamlet, the purpose of p l a y i n g i s 17D. T r a v e r s i , Shakespeare, the Last Phase, Stanford, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1953, p.105..  16  . . . t o h o l d as 'twere the m i r r o r up t o Nature — t o show V i r t u e h e r own f e a t u r e , scorn her. own image, and the v e r y age and body o f the time h i s form and p r e s s u r e . (Hamlet, I I I , i i ,  24-27)  I t i s t o t h i s s u b j e c t , the purpose o f drama as m i r r o r and i n p a r t i c u l a r Shakespeare's use o f the i n n e r p l a y as m i r r o r , t h a t I should now l i k e t o t u r n .  17  Chapter I I .  The M i r r o r o f Mature  The ular —  g e n e r a l concept o f a r t , and the drama i n p a r t i c -  as w e l l as h i s t o r y - ~-being used as a g l a s s o r m i r r o r , (  i s t y p i c a l o f Renaissance thought.  The  h o l d up h i s a r t as a m i r r o r so t h a t man correct h i s f a u l t s .  poet's duty was  to  could both see  and  The p r e f a c e t o The M i r r o r f o r  Magistrates  s e t s out the purpose o f t h i s c o l l e c t i o n o f poems: For here as i n a l o o k i n g g l a s , you s h a l l see ( i f any v i c e be i n you) howe the l i k e hath been punished i n o t h e r h e r e t o f o r e , whereby admonished, I t r u s t i t w i l l be a good o c c a s i o n t o move you t o the soner amendment.1° The  epilogue  t o Skelton's m o r a l i t y p l a y M a g n i f i c e n c e a l s o  i n c l u d e s the image o f the g l a s s , A myrour i n c l e r y d i s t h i s i n t e r l u d e , T h i s l y f e i n c o n s t a n t f o r to beholde and The  . sej!9  same a t t i t u d e i s expressed by Jonson i n the prologue t o  Every Man life;  i n H i s Humour.  The  purpose o f comedy i s t o  i t i s t o be an image o f man's f o l l i e s and  criticize  should  show  . . . deeds, and language, such as men do use, And persons, such as Comedy would choose, When she would show an image o f the times.20 Instances  o f t h i s k i n d are too numerous to mention.  s u f f i c i e n t t o say t h a t the i d e a o f a r t as m i r r o r was  (21-23.) It i s well  estab  l i s h e d i n the minds o f most Renaissance w r i t e r s . I t i s f o r such a purpose o f "shewing f o r t h an image o f crime," t h a t l&Fhe M i r r o r f o r M a g i s t r a t e s , ed. L i l y Campbell, Cambridge, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1938, p.65. 1 9 j h n S k e l t o n , M a g n i f i c e n c e , ed. R.L. Ramsay, E a r l y E n g l i s h Texts S o c i e t y , London, Kegan P a u l , 1908. 0  2 0 p k s and Beatty, ar  o p . c i t . , p.620,  18  Hamlet has the p l a y e r s perform "The  Mousetrap."  He  comments  on the moral e f f i c a c y o f drama: Hum, I have heard That' g u i l t y c r e a t u r e s s i t t i n g at a p l a y Have by the very cunning o f the scene Been s t r u c k so t o the s o u l t h a t p r e s e n t l y They have proclaimed t h e i r m a l e f a c t i o n s ; I ' l l have these p l a y e r s P l a y something l i k e the murder o f my f a t h e r Before mine u n c l e . ( I I , i i , 617-625) In Massinger's The Roman A c t o r , P a r i s c o n f e r s with and  Parthenius  suggests t h a t : a p l a y be performed i n which P h i l a r g u s *  m i s e r l y conduct w i l l be f i g u r e d . cure him  T h i s , i t i s hoped, w i l l  of that s i n :  P a r i s . S i r , with your pardon, I ' l l o f f e r my a d v i c e : I once observ'd In a tragedy o f ours i n which a murder Was acted t o the l i f e , a g u i l t y h e a r e r F o r c ' d by the t e r r o r o f a wounded conscience To make d i s c o v e r y o f t h a t which t o r t u r e Could not wring from him.21 ( I I , i , 88-94) Both Sidney and Thomas Heywood r e c o r d a u t h e n t i c cases o f such g u i l t y behaviour.  Upon a u t h o r i t y then, and w i s h i n g  Hamlet proceeds with the i n n e r p l a y .  The  success,  k i n g responds t o  the image o f h i s murderous deed and rushes out.  Significantly  the Queen, unaware o f the r e a l cause o f her f i r s t husband's death and not g u i l t y o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the murder, remains unmoved.  Only l a t e r , when Hamlet v i s i t s her alone, does he  make the image c l e a r to h e r : Come, come, and  s i t you down.  2lFive Stuart Tragedies, O.U.P., 1939, pp.345-346.  You  s h a l l not budge,  ed. A.K.  M c l l w r a i t h , London,  19  You go not t i l l I set you up a g l a s s Where you may see the inmost p a r t o f T h i s time the m i r r o r proves  i v , 18-21)  soul (III,  i v , 88-89)  effective:  0 Hamlet, speak no more. Thou t u r n s t mine eyes i n t o my v e r y Similarly  you. (Ill,  Cassius p l a y s the m i r r o r to Brutus, showing him  indeed t h a t which the noble Brutus d i d not t h i n k he the c a p a c i t y f o r s e l f - d e c e p t i o n and murder.  possessed;  Cassius  suggests  t h a t B r u t u s ' f o r e f a t h e r s would not have endured the yoke o f tyranny; n e i t h e r , my  friend,  should  you:  Bru.  Into what dangers would you l e a d me, Cassius, That you would have me seek i n t o myself For t h a t which i s not i n me? Cass. T h e r e f o r e , good Brutus, be prepared to hear. And s i n c e you know you cannot see y o u r s e l f So w e l l as by r e f l e c t i o n , I your g l a s s W i l l modestly d i s c o v e r to y o u r s e l f That o f y o u r s e l f which you yet know not o f . ( J u l i u s Caesar, I , i i , 63-70)  As Hamlet h o l d s up the m i r r o r o f "The uncle's  f a c e , so C a s s i u s h o l d s up the g l a s s to B r u t u s ,  suggests t o him deeds.  Mousetrap" t o h i s  the  and  shadowy images o f the l a t t e r ' s f u t u r e  So, too, the w i t c h e s ' p r o p h e c i e s to Macbeth prove to  be a m i r r o r o f the f u t u r e , r e f l e c t i n g forward i n time, a show o f the t h i n g s t h a t w i l l be. (II,  The  a c t i o n o f I Henry IV  i v ) proves t o be l i k e w i s e an image o f the Here, t h e r e  between P r i n c e Hal and  future.  i s a b r i e f play-within-a-play Falstaff.  For t h e i r own  scene  amusement,  the p a i r decide to put on a l i t t l e p l a y i n which the one  is  to take Henry IV's p a r t , w h i l e the other w i l l pretend t o  be  Hal.  A f t e r t h i s t h e y are t o r e v e r s e  assuming the k i n g ' s  roles.  Falstaff,  a u t h o r i t y , speaks i n p r a i s e o f  himself.  20  Hal  now  t a k e s h i s t u r n and, under the g u i s e o f h i s f a t h e r ,  b e r a t e s " H a l " f o r t a k i n g up with " t h a t gray i n i q u i t y , f a t h e r r u f f i a n " ( I I , i v , 499), F a l s t a f f .  But we  that  remember  t h a t the C h i e f J u s t i c e had e a r l i e r t o l d F a l s t a f f , i n e a r n e s t : Have you not a moist eye? A d r y hand? A y e l l o w cheek? A white beard? A decreasing leg? An i n c r e a s i n g b e l l y ? . . . And every p a r t about you blasted with a n t i q u i t y ? (I Henry IV, I , i i , 2 0 3 f f . ) The p l a y c o n t i n u e s .  F a l s t a f f defends h i s own  c h a r a c t e r and  p l e a d s a g a i n s t h i s f i c t i o n a l banishment: But f o r sweet Jack F a l s t a f f , k i n d Jack F a l s t a f f , t r u e Jack F a l s t a f f , v a l i a n t Jack F a l s t a f f , and t h e r e f o r e more v a l i a n t , b e i n g , as he i s , o l d Jack F a l s t a f f , b a n i s h not him t h y Harry's company, b a n i s h not him t h y Harry's company. (II,  iv,  521ff.)  H a l s answer " I do, I w i l l " a b r u p t l y changes the form o f f i c T  t i o n t o the hard shape o f r e a l i t y , i n much the same way Hieronimo's  address t o the stage s p e c t a t o r s a f t e r  and Perseda."  H a l ' s assumption  "Soliman  o f the k i n g ' s r o l e here  the pretended c r i t i c i s m o f F a l s t a f f , are t o be p a r a l l e l e d h i s own  r e a l a s c e n s i o n t o the throne and h i s a c t u a l  of F a l s t a f f . freely.  as  and by  rejection  The f i c t i o n here enables H a l t o speak h i s mind  The poignancy o f the s i t u a t i o n  i s that  Falstaff  r e t a i n s throughout the scene h i s sense o f f i c t i o n and the t r u e import o f the P r i n c e ' s words.  misses  T h i s i n n e r p l a y then  b e a r s d i r e c t l y on the a c t i o n o f the p l a y as a whole, and f u n c t i o n s as a m i r r o r o f the f u t u r e , r e f l e c t i n g what i s t o come.  21  Shakespeare employs the i n n e r p l a y as r e f l e c t o r i n both t r a g e d i e s and be  imaged.  comedies; not o n l y v i c e but f o l l y too  J u s t as C l a u d i u s *  Mousetrap," so "Pyramus and  crimes are presented  T h i s b e " m i r r o r s , and  the problems t h a t the r e a l l o v e r s —  in  "The  parodies,  Helena, Hermia, Lysander,  and  Demetrius - T f a c e i n the o u t s i d e world o f a n c i e n t  The  episode u n w i t t i n g l y mocks the t r i a l s and  someone l i v i n g on the o t h e r  Greece.  t r i b u l a t i o n s of  romantic l o v e r s , and m i r r o r s the awesome dangers o f i n love w i t h  may  falling  s i d e o f the  fence.  M u r i e l Bradbrook comments, r e f e r r i n g t o the i n n e r p l a y , T h e i r mimic p l a y apes the f l i g h t from Athens, though o f course the p a r a l l e l i s not v i s i b l e e i t h e r to them or to t h e i r h i g h l y condescending auditory: i t i s p a r t o f the " m i r r o r " technique o f the p l a y - w i t h i n - t h e - p l a y . . . where the f u n puts both p l a y e r s and audience t o g e t h e r i n s i d e the j e s t o f p r o f e s s i o n a l a c t o r s p r e t e n d i n g t o be mechanicals t r y i n g to be amateur a c t o r s b e f o r e an u n r e a l audience.22 The  a c t i o n o f "Pyramus and  T h i s b e , " and  in particular  " t r a g i c " deaths o f the l o v e r s , i s probably  more than  i n c i d e n t a l l y r e l a t e d t o Romeo and  The  Juliet.  c o u r t l y audience watching "Pyramus and  L i k e Gertrude watching "The  i n A Midsummer N i g h t * s  co-  f a c t that  T h i s b e " f a i l to  themselves i n the g l a s s , as M u r i e l Bradbrook notes, humorous.  see  Mousetrap," the  audience  Dream, unaware o f the i n t e r l u d e * s r e l a play  But where Gertrude i s unmoved by what i s  embodied i n the f i c t i o n because she simply  the  i s quite  t i o n t o the l a r g e r t r u t h which i n c l u d e s them, see the o n l y as a p l a y .  the  i s innocent,  they are  stupid.  22M.C. Bradbrook, Shakespeare and E l i z a b e t h a n London, Chatto & Windus, 1951, p.157.  Poetry.  22  Shakespeare i s not above h o l d i n g up the m i r r o r to his  own  audience  i n these i n n e r p l a y s .  The  s p e c t a t o r s * con-  t i n u a l i n t e r r u p t i o n o f the a c t i o n o f "Pyramus and  Thisbe,"  the "Nine Worthies" pageant i n Love's Labour's L o s t , t o  say  n o t h i n g o f Hamlet's i n v o c a t i o n s t o the p l a y e r s to get on with i t , was  a p p a r e n t l y a form o f behaviour  audiences.  The  common t o E l i z a b e t h a n  gallants i n particular —  r i g h t on the stage —  some o f whom s a t  were e s p e c i a l l y c u l p a b l e , although  were not the o n l y c u l p r i t s , as we  shall  A b r i l l i a n t parody o f audience  see. i n t e r v e n t i o n i s pre-  sented i n Beaumont and F l e t c h e r ' s Knight o f the Pestle. to  In t h i s p l a y , the prologue  Burning  comes on stage and  begins  speak the i n t r o d u c t i o n . At t h i s p o i n t , a g r o c e r , and  h i s w i f e , accompanied by t h e i r boy,  climb on stage.  The  p l a y be changed, f o r i t o f f e n d s the  later  Rafe, a l l a p p a r e n t l y r e a l  s p e c t a t o r s from the o f f - s t a g e audience, p l a c e s below and  they  suddenly  leave t h e i r  g r o c e r demands t h a t the  citizens:  E n t e r Prologue From a l l t h a t ' s near the Court, from a l l t h a t ' s great W i t h i n the compass o f the C i t y - w a l l s We now have brought our Scene. (Enter C i t i z e n ) C i t . Hold your peace good-man boy. Pro. What do you mean S i r ? C i t . That you have no good meaning: These seven years t h e r e hath been P l a y s a t t h i s House, I have observed i t , you have s t i l l g i r d s a t C i t i z e n s ; and now you c a l l your P l a y The London Merchant. Down w i t h your T i t l e , Boy, down w i t h your T i t l e . 2 3 And  so on.  The  g r o c e r wants the p l a y t o be c a l l e d The  Honour and the w i f e i n s i s t s t h a t the hero —  t o be,  Grocer's  naturally,  23Beaumont and F l e t c h e r , Works o f , ed. W a l l e r , VI, p.161.  23 a grocer —  should " k i l l a l i o n w i t h a p e s t l e " somewhere i n  the a c t i o n .  The prologue i s q u i t e nonplussed  at a l l t h i s ,  the g r o c e r and h i s w i f e remain adamant, and from t h a t p o i n t on t h e y v i r t u a l l y d i r e c t the a c t i o n o f the p l a y .  Clearly,  g a l l a n t s are not the o n l y ones capable o f i n t i m a t e t h e a t r i c a l criticism.  Instances o f t h i s i n c l u s i o n o f the  audience,  m i r r o r - f a s h i o n , w i t h i n the body o f the p l a y , are t o be i n much E l i z a b e t h a n drama.  found  W i l l Summer i n Nashe's Summer * s  L a s t W i l l and Testament remains on-stage  as a s p e c t a t o r -  commentator, w h i l e S l y performs h i s p a r t as a r e a l , though r a t h e r s i l e n t , on-stage the Shrew.  viewer i n Shakespeare's The Taming o f  Contemporary E l i z a b e t h a n c r i t i c a l commentary on  t h i s k i n d o f audience p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s i n d i c a t e d i n Dekker's G u l l ' s Hornbook (Chapter VI: How  a g a l l a n t should behave  h i m s e l f i n the P l a y h o u s e ) , where " i n s t r u c t i o n s " f o r stage behavior are g i v e n : By s i t t i n g on the stage, you have a s i g n a l patent t o engross the whole commodity o f censure: may l a w f u l l y presume t o be a G i r d e r : and stand a t the helm t o s t e e r the passage o f scenes . . . you may (without t r a v e l l i n g f o r i t ) at the v e r y next door, ask whose p l a y i t i s . . . i f you know not the author, you may r a i l a g a i n s t him: and peradventure so behave y o u r s e l f y t h a t you may e n f o r c e the Author t o know you . . . . I t s h a l l crown you w i t h r i c h commendation t o laugh aloud i n the middest o f the most s e r i o u s and saddest scene o f the t e r r i b l e s t tragedy . . . The prologue t o John Day's I s l e o f G u l l s , speaking t o c e r t a i n gentlemen who  have come up upon the stage, comments:  . . . ' t i s growne i n t o a cu/tome a t p l a y e s , i f any one r i / e ( e / p e c i a l l y o f any f a / h i o n a b l e *t-E. Chambers, The E l i z a b e t h a n Stage, IV, Clarendon P r e s s , 1923, pp.365-369. 2  Oxford,  24  _/ort) about what y-erious b u / i n e s / o e v e r , the r e / t t h i n k i n g i t i n d i / l i k e o f the p l a y tho he never t h i n k s i t , c r y mew, by I e / u s . v i l d e ; and leave the poor h a r t - l e / / e c h i l d r e n t o ?  ypeake t h e i r E p i l o g u e  to the empptie / e a t e s . 2 5  Thus the a c t u a l performances o f such p l a y s as The Knight o f the Burning P e s t l e , A Midsummer Night's  Dream and  Love's  Labour's L o s t would b r i n g the stage g a l l a n t s i n t o r a t h e r c l o s e p h y s i c a l p r o x i m i t y to the s p e c t a t o r s watching the play.  One  wonders t h a t t h e r e was  so much room on the  inner  stage  f o r people to watch a p l a y , i n which t h e y watch o t h e r people watching a p l a y .  This sort of s i t u a t i o n i s r e a l l y holding  the m i r r o r up to Nature. 25Shakespeare A s s o c i a t i o n F a c s i m i l e s No. 12, publ i s h e d by Humphrey M i l f o r d f o r t h e - A s s o c i a t i o n , London, 1936, S i g A3.  25  Chapter I I I .  Lovers, L u n a t i c s and Wise  I have mentioned M.,C, way  Bradbrook's comment on  i n which the a c t i o n in Pyramus and TT  mocks the l o v e r s  1  woods near Athens.  complicated  Men  Thisbe"  the  reflects  and  romantic manoeuvers i n the  C. L. Barber a l s o notes the  parallel:  The merriments P h i l o s t r a t e was t o have d i r e c t e d happen i n a d v e r t e n t l y , the l o v e r s w a l k i n g i n t o them b l i n d , so to speak. T h i s i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the way game i s t r a n s f e r r e d i n t o drama i n t h i s p l a y . . . the r o l e s which the young people might p l a y i n a wooing game, they c a r r y out i n earnest.2° Love, presented as a game, o r p l a y , i s t y p i c a l o f the i h A Midsummer N i g h t ' s Dream, Love's Labour's L o s t and Like I t . The  In these games t h e r e are both a c t o r s and  action As  You  spectators.  s p e c t a t o r s o f t e n prove a c t o r s themselves, though r a t h e r  u n w i l l i n g ones. Such c h a r a c t e r s Dream and  as the l o v e r s i n A Midsummer N i g h t ' s  S i l v i u s and Phebe i n As You  L i k e I t p l a y at t h e i r  r o l e s u n s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y , q u i t e unaware t h a t t h e i r indeed appear l i k e a game.  actions  Puck r e p o r t s t o Oberon on h i s  night's,work: Captain o f our f a i r y band, Helena i s here a t hand, And the youth mistook by me, Pleading f o r a lover's fee. S h a l l we t h e i r fond pageant see? Lord what f o o l s these m o r t a l s be! (A Midsummer N i g h t ' s Dream, I I I , i i , In As You  Like I t Rosalind  110-115)  i s i n v i t e d t o watch the pageant o f  ' S i l v i u s and Phebe. ' ^"C.L. Barber, Shakespeare's F e s t i v e Comedy, P r i n c e t o n , Princeton U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1959, p.126,  26  I f you w i l l see a pageant t r u l y played Between the p a l e complexion o f t r u e l o v e And the sad glow o f scorn and proud d i s d a i n , Go hence a l i t t l e and I s h a l l conduct you, . . . . ( I l l , i v , 55-58) Rosalind, Puck-like,  replies:  The s i g h t o f l o v e r s f e e d e t h those i n l o v e . B r i n g us t o t h i s s i g h t and you s h a l l say 1*11 prove a busy a c t o r i n t h e i r p l a y . ( I l l , i v , 60-62) Puck-like  she i s —  except t h a t she i s one  o f "those i n l o v e . "  Berowne p l a y s the s p e c t a t o r ' s r o l e i n t h a t scene o f Love's Labour's L o s t where the King and h i s f r i e n d s i n d i v i d u a l l y , and,  as, they t h i n k i n s e c r e t , p r o c l a i m t h e i r separate  Berowne observes t h i s "scene o f foolery'' (IV, i i i ,  loves. 163):  A l l h i d , a l l h i d , an o l d i n f a n t p l a y . L i k e a demigod here s i t I i n the sky, And wretched f o o l s ' s e c r e t s n e e d f u l l y o'ereye. (IV, i i i , 78-80) Yet he t o o , l i k e R o s a l i n d , i s one  o f those f o l l o w e r s o f  Cupid's band. To Benedict, a t o y , a game.  Berowne and B e a t r i c e , l o v e i s merely  Each one  be t h a t o f the observer, o f s p e c t a t o r i s one course, by Puck —  decides that h i s r o l e i n l i f e  shall  l i k e Jaques o r Puck.  role  t h a t cannot be maintained —  But the  save, o f  so t h a t each i n t u r n accepts the p a r t o f  the l o v e r i n good grace.  So Berowne:  By Heaven', I do l o v e , and . i t hath taught me t o rhyme, and t o be melancholy; and here i s p a r t o f my rhyme, and here my melancholy.  (IV, i i i , 13-15)  With the same k i n d o f wry  s e l f - c r i t i c i s m , Benedict  About Nothing, V, i i , 30)  and Armado accept  the  flesh:  (Much  the burden o f  Ado  27  Adieu, v a l o r ! Rust, r a p i e r ! Be s t i l l , drum! For your manager i s i n l o v e — yea, he l o v e t h . A s s i s t me, some extemporal god o f rhyme, f o r I am sure I s h a l l t u r n sonnet. (Love's Labour's L o s t . I , i i , 187-190) I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t i n Much Ado About Nothing B e n e d i c t and B e a t r i c e a r e , as i t were, c a s t i n t h e i r r o l e as l o v e r s .  B e n e d i c t overhears a group o f h i s f r i e n d s —  know he i s eavesdropping —  d i s c u s s i n g the " f a c t " that  B e a t r i c e i s i n l o v e w i t h him.  On t h e b a s i s o f t h i s knowledge,  Benedict a c c e p t s the l o v e r ' s r o l e — avoid being  who  mainly, i t seems, t o  c a l l e d proud:  I must not seem proud. I w i l l be h o r r i b l y i n love with h e r . (II, i i i ,  236-243)  S i m i l a r l y B e a t r i c e i s ''conned" by the a c t i n g o f h e r f r i e n d s i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t Benedict i s i n l o v e w i t h h e r . her r o l e ; l i k e B e n e d i c t ,  She a c c e p t s  she seems t o do i t f o r the wrong  reasons: Stand I condemned f o r p r i d e and scorn so much? Contempt, f a r e w e l l , and maiden p r i d e , a d i e u ! No g l o r y l i v e s behind the back o f such. And, B e n e d i c t , l o v e on, I w i l l r e q u i t e thee To b i n d our l o v e s up.:in a h o l y band, . . . . (Ill,  i , 108-112)  E a r l i e r i n the masque o f - Act. I I , Scene 1, B e a t r i c e , unaware both o f B e n e d i c t ' s masked i d e n t i t y and o f the f a c t t h a t he knows who she i s , f r e e l y c r i t i c i z e s him. the l e a s t , i s not amused.  Benedict,  t o say  E v e n t u a l l y , o f course, t h e i r  r o l e p l a y i n g becomes r e a l , as they each a f f i r m l o v e f o r t h e other. Rosalind the game o f l o v e .  i s by f a r the most complicated  player i n  She i s s p e c t a t o r , a c t o r and d i r e c t o r a l l  28  r o l l e d i n t o one. 'she  As s p e c t a t o r , under the guise o f Ganymede,  watches the pageant o f  r  S i l v i u s and Phebe,  o f the f o l l i e s and mistakes o f l o v e ' s p l a y .  ;  As  and i s axvare director-  a c t o r she performs her mock-wooing game with Orlando;, and under the mask o f p l a y , w i t h i t s many o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r i r o n i c comment, she r e v e a l s the f e e l i n g s o f her h e a r t .  To  Orlando, unaware o f R o s a l i n d ' s t r u e i d e n t i t y , the game remains a game; t o R o s a l i n d , as t o H a l i n the p l a y scene o f I Henry IV ( I I , i v ) , the p l a y i s a means o f approaching t r u t h .  As a c t o r ,  she o n l y awaits the r i g h t moment t o assume her proper the mature l o v e r .  She never assumes, as do Benedict  role  as  and  Berowne, t h a t she can stand a l o o f from Cupid's arrows. U n l i k e them, she i s i n l o v e from the v e r y b e g i n n i n g o f the play.  She both mocks the romance, and a f f i r m s the  o f l o v e . C . i i . Barber admirably  sincerity,  sums up her complex r o l e -  playing: Romantic p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l o v e and humorous detachment from i t s f o l l i e s , the two p o l a r a t t i t u d e s which are balanced a g a i n s t each o t h e r i n the p l a y as a whole, meet and are r e c o n c i l e d i n R o s a l i n d ' s personality. Because she remains always aware o f l o v e ' s i l l u s i o n s , w h i l e she h e r s e l f i s swept a l o n g by i t s deepest c u r r e n t s , she possesses as an a t t r i b u t e o f c h a r a c t e r the power o f combining whole hearted f e e l i n g and u n d i s t o r t e d judgment which g i v e s the p l a y i t s v a l u e . 27 V i o l a ' s r o l e - p l a y i n g i n T w e l f t h Night Rosalind's  In As You L i k e I t .  i s i n l o v e with is.  someone who  i s much the same as  She too, d i s g u i s e d as a  does not see her as she  man,  really  O r s i n o , on the o t h e r hand, i n d u l g e n t l y p l a y s the melan-  c h o l y l o v e r w h i l e O l i v i a i s at f i r s t the devoted mourner, 27Barber, o p . c i t . , p,233.  29  and  l a t e r the impetuous and romantic l o v e r .  comments on V i o l a ' s p a r t i n the  Joseph Summers  play:  Although V i o l a chooses to impersonate C e s a r i o from n e c e s s i t y , she l a t e r p l a y s her p a r t with u n d i s guised enjoyment. She misses none o f the opport u n i t i e s f o r parody, f o r c o n f e s s i o n , and f o r double entendre which the mask a f f o r d s , and she never f o r g e t s o r l e t s us f o r g e t the b i o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e between V i o l a and C e s a r i o . . . . she a n t i c i p a t e s and d i r e c t s our p e r c e p t i o n o f the l u d i c r o u s i n her r o l e as w e l l as i n the r o l e o f Orsino and O l i v i a . 2 8 The t r u t h o f l o v e ' s game i s t h a t p l a y i s e v e n t u a l l y t r a n s formed i n t o r e a l i t y . stand r e v e a l e d .  The  The masks are removed and  the p l a y e r s  f o r m a l c l o s e o f Love's Labour's L o s t .  A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado  About Nothing, and  As  You L i k e I t , each with i t s promise o f impending n u p t i a l s , a f f i r m s the u n i t y o f l o v e . R o s a l i n d g i v e s way marriage.  The mock wedding o f Orlando  t o the wedding masque, and  So Benedict  and  finally,  and B e a t r i c e accept t h e i r new  as husband and w i f e ; so Helena, Hermia, Lysander and  roles Demetrius,  awakened from t h e i r dream o f l o v e —  "something o f g r e a t con-  stancy" —  But a l a s !  are j o i n e d i n matrimony.  Rosaline  and  Berowne, thwarted by t h e i r c r e a t o r , must wait another y e a r . As we have seen, both V i o l a and R o s a l i n d wear masks as d i s g u i s e f o r e s s e n t i a l l y good purposes.  Further  instances  o f t h i s type o f r o l e - p l a y i n g ( i . e . a c t u a l d i s g u i s e ) may found throughout Shakespeare.  be  V i n c e n t i o and Prospero both  perform t h e i r p a r t s as omniscient  onlookers  t o the  play's  26\joseph H. Summers, "The Masks o f T w e l f t h N i g h t , " Shakespeare: Modern Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. L.F. Dean, New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957, p.132. (From The Univers i t y o f Kansas C i t y Review, XXII, Autumn 1955, pp.25-32.)  30  main a c t i o n .  In K i n g Lear, both Edgar and Kent are d i s -  guised; the one  to h e l p h i s f a t h e r , the o t h e r t o a i d L e a r .  Edgar?,s r o l e - p l a y i n g f u n c t i o n s i n c l o s e r e l a t i o n t o p l o t  and  theme, as R. B. Heilman p o i n t s out: H i s d i s g u i s e , o f course, i s v i r t u a l nakedness .... T h i s nakedness i s at one l e v e l simply a t e c h n i c a l p r o p r i e t y i n the Bedlam beggar; but by i t s p a r t i c u l a r inadequacy to a c o l d and stormy n i g h t . . . i t becomes a symbol o f t h a t d e f e n s e l e s s n e s s i n the world which Edgar has a l r e a d y shown and indeed o f the s i t u a t i o n o f innocent people genera l l y unprotected by pretense . . . . 2 9 In the k i n d o f world governed by Regan, G o n e r i l and Edmund, aided by such rash f o o l s as the impetuous Lear and the l o u s G l o u c e s t e r , d i s g u i s e becomes i m p e r a t i v e . i n v o l v e d , however, u l t i m a t e l y b r i n g s b e n e f i c e n t  credu-  The d e c e i t results.  O c c a s i o n a l l y the d i s g u i s e - f o r - g o o d m o t i f w i l l appear to move toward t r a g i c ends, even though the a c t i o n occurs i n a comedy. T h i s i s t r u e o f P o r t i a ' s r o l e as B a l t h a s a r i n The Merchant o f Venice and P o l i x e n e s ' r o l e - p l a y i n g as the shepherd i n the p a s t o r a l scenes o f The Winter's T a l e .  In the former p l a y ' s  t r i a l scene, P o r t i a , bound by law though a p p e a l i n g i n v a i n f o r mercy, moves s i d e by s i d e with Shylock toward the heavy sentence.  But at the l a s t moment she t u r n s the t r i c k on §hylock  and uses j u s t i c e t o d e f e a t h i s ends. o f the two  L a t e r , w i t h the  r i n g s , she and N e r i s s a have great fun w i t h  disguise motif.  The  episode the  comic atmosphere i s thus f u l l y r e s t o r e d .  In The Winter's T a l e P o l i x e n e s ' sudden r e v e l a t i o n o f h i s i d e n t i t y t o h i s son s h a t t e r s the dream o f l o v e which F l o r i z e l 29R.B. Heilman, T h i s Great U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1948, v.W.  Stage, L o u i s i a n a State  31  and  P e r d i t a shared.  promote good. Polixene's hearts,  later,  F l o r i z e l and  d i s g u i s e once more tends to  P e r d i t a , f o r c e d to d e c e p t i o n  rashness, take on t h e i r d i s g u i s e s w i t h  by  light  f o r they know the r o l e s they p l a y w i l l enable them  t o escape. and  But  Autolycus'  r o l e as c o u r t i e r p r e v e n t s the  h i s son from r e v e a l i n g P e r d i t a s  i d e n t i t y to  T  shepherd  Polixenes,  a step which A u t o l y c u s b e l i e v e s may  upset the p l o t o f  l o v e r s t o escape.  the p e r s o n a l i t y o f O s r i c  When we  i n Hamlet, Autolycus*  consider  performance h a r d l y  the  seems l i k e an exag-  geration. To  complicate f u r t h e r the r o l e - p l a y i n g - i n d i s g u i s e  theme, t h e r e are the p r o f e s s i o n a l mask-wearers, the f o o l s . Feste  and  the F o o l i n K i n g Lear, under a l i c e n s e t o  criticize  which the p a r t p e r m i t s , see through the masks o f o t h e r s , r e v e a l the world's u n w i t t i n g of spectator, As Uv.  foolery.  they observe and  Summers comments o f  Detached, i n the  and role  anatomize the o t h e r a c t o r s . .  Feste:  In the b u s i n e s s o f masking, F e s t e i s the one prof e s s i o n a l among a crowd o f amateurs; he does i t for a l i v i n g . He never makes the amateur's mistake o f c o n f u s i n g h i s p e r s o n a l i t y with h i s mask — he wears not motley i n h i s b r a i n . . . . He i s able to p e n e t r a t e a l l the masks o f the o t h e r s , and he succeeds i n r e t a i n i n g h i s own.-? u  The  burden o f the f o o l ' s p a r t i s t h a t he  mask, as R o s a l i n d  o r P o r t i a can.  can never remove the  A professional player,  like  Shakespeare's v i l l a i n s , he tends t o grow i n t o h i s mask, so t h a t i t e v e n t u a l l y becomes p a r t o f him. an o b s e r v e r , f o r t h a t , as  Summers notes, i s what he  being paid f o r . 30 ummers, o p . c i t . , S  He must always be  p.134.  is  32  I t h i n k i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note t h a t the masks worn by R o s a l i n d , V i o l a , i n t h e i r r o l e s as men, ones.  T h i s i s important  are p h y s i c a l  because i t h e l p s to suggest t h a t the  r o l e s they p l a y are l i t e r a l l y assumed, o r put on, as an a c t o r p u t s on h i s c l o a k .  The  d i s g u i s e thus i n v o l v e s a change i n  o u t e r shape o n l y , the c h a r a c t e r ' s t r u e p e r s o n a l i t y the same throughout — his  role-playing:  e s s e n t i a l l y good.  remaining  Edgar comments on  "In nothing/am I changed/But i n ray garments"  (King Lear, IV, v i , 9-10).  In Hamlet, Macbeth and  Coriolanus  t  which I s h a l l c o n s i d e r l a t e r , Shakespeare a l s o employs the imagery o f c l o t h e s i n r e l a t i o n to the a c t i n g m o t i f i n o r d e r to  suggest s i m i l a r d i s c r e p a n c i e s between man  then, h i d e s goodness, which f i n a l l y proper time.  But d i s g u i s e may  and r o l e .  Disguise,  r e a s s e r t s i t s e l f at the  a l s o h i d e wickedness and  evil.  T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y t r u e o f the v i l l a i n s i n Shakespeare, it  i s t o t h i s group t h a t I now  turn.  and  33 Chapter  IV.  " I P l a y the V i l l a i n "  Of a l l Shakespeare's v i l l a i n s perhaps the most famous are R i c h a r d I I I , Iago and Edmund,and i t i s w i t h t h r e e , and e s p e c i a l l y the f i r s t , cerned.  t h a t I s h a l l be most con-  However, t h e r e are o t h e r s whose c l a i m to  i s l e s s o n l y i n degree.  villainy  Aaron, i n T i t u s Andronicus,  haps the c l a s s i c v i l l a i n ; :  i s per-  f i e n d i s h and bloody-minded, he  p l a y s h i s p a r t w i t h g l e e f u l j o y and enthusiasm, as most o f the v i l l a i n s do.  these  indeed  R i c h a r d I l l ' s f a t h e r , the Duke o f  York, i s no mean hand a t the game o f seeming (see e s p e c i a l l y I I Henry VI, I I I , i , 331),  and i t i s c l e a r t h a t R i c h a r d  inherited his father's talent.  In I I Henry VI t h e r e i s  E l e a n o r , Duchess o f G l o u c e s t e r , who model f o r Lady Macbeth.  has  seems to be  Shakespeare's  At one p o i n t , the Duchess sounds out  her husband Humphrey w i t h r e g a r d t o h i s ambitions f o r the crown.  He i s not i n t e r e s t e d and  c h a s t i s e s her f o r s u g g e s t i n g  t h a t he  should be so u n l a w f u l l y ambitious.  He l e a v e s and  she  r e v e a l s h e r i n n e r f e e l i n g s i n soliloquy.: • F o l l o w I must; I cannot go b e f o r e While G l o u c e s t e r bears t h i s base and humble mind. Were I a man, a duke and next o f b l o o d , I would remove these t e d i o u s stumbling b l o c k s And smooth my way upon t h e i r h e a d l e s s necks; And, b e i n g a woman, I w i l l not be s l a c k To p l a y my p a r t i n Fortune's pageant. ( I I Henry VI, I , i i , 61-67) T h i s f a s t c o l l o q u i a l s t y l e , with the sharpness stumbling b l o c k s " and  of "tedious  "headless necks" i s indeed the a u t h o r i -  t a t i v e accent o f Lady Macbeth and R i c h a r d I I I . she makes t o "Fortune's pageant" i s detached I t i s the remark o f one who  observes  and  The  reference  sardonic.  the p a s s i n g scene o f  34  events and r e s o l v e s t o e n t e r i n a c t i v e l y and w i t h v i g o u r , to perform and i n i t i a t e a c t i o n .  She does not, i t i s true,'  manage to achieve her aims, f o r she i s soon found o u t .  But  f o r t h i s one moment, a t l e a s t , she c l e a r l y sees what she wants, and knows what t o  do.  S i m i l a r l y Richard I I I r e s o l v e s to p l a y h i s p a r t , or r a t h e r h i s p a r t s , i n "Fortune's pageant."  L i k e E l e a n o r he  stands a s i d e from events, c l o s e l y observes them and how  to act a c c o r d i n g l y .  decides  He i s not content t o be a pawn i n  the hands o f h i s t o r y ; r a t h e r he a c t s w i t h d e f i n i t e ness o f what h i s r o l e - p l a y i n g w i l l l e a d him t o .  conscious-  Unlike Eleanor  he does succeed i n h i s ambitions, making many "headless on the way.  Throughout I I I Henry V I . e s p e c i a l l y the  necks"  latter  p a r t , and R i c h a r d I I I , he d e l i b e r a t e l y d e s c r i b e s h i m s e l f as an a c t o r .  In I I I Henry VI ( I I I , i i ) he o u t l i n e s the p a r t s  he i s t o p l a y ; by such r o l e - p l a y i n g he w i l l achieve the "golden t i m e " he l o o k s f o r : Why, I can smile and murder w h i l e s I s m i l e , And c r y "Content" t o t h a t which g r i e v e s my h e a r t , And wet my cheeks w i t h a r t i f i c i a l t e a r s , And frame my f a c e t o a l l o c c a s i o n s I ' l l p l a y the o r a t o r as w e l l as Nestor, Deceive more s l y l y than U l y s s e s c o u l d . . . . ( I l l Henry V I . I l l ,  ii,  182-189)  Even o t h e r people seem i n t u i t i v e l y aware o f R i c h a r d ' s a c t i n g . The words spoken by Henry VI j u s t b e f o r e he i s murdered by R i c h a r d , "What scene o f death hath Roscius now v i , 10) —  are r e l e v a n t h e r e .  The  the Roman a c t o r i s c e r t a i n l y a p t . R i c h a r d ' s opening  soliloquy  to act,"(V,  comparison w i t h And,  Roscius  o f course, there i s  i n Richard I I I :  35  I am determined t o prove a v i l l a i n And hate the i d l e p l e a s u r e s o f these days. P l o t s have I l a i d , i n d u c t i o n s dangerous, By drunken p r o p h e c i e s , l i b e l s , and dreams, To set my b r o t h e r Clarence and the King In deadly hate the one a g a i n s t the o t h e r .  ( I , i , 30-35) I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to remark, i n connection with t h i s speech, how  the sense o f t h e a t r e , i m p l i c i t i n R i c h a r d ' s  character  as a conscious v i l l a i n - a c t o r , seems to work i t s way d i a l o g u e i t s e l f ; f o r example, i n the r e f e r e n c e s to and  "inductions."  into  "plots"  L a t e r , Queen Margaret becomes witness  a " d i r e i n d u c t i o n " (IV, i v , 5) w h i l e H a s t i n g s , R i v e r s Grey become " . . . i v , 68).  the beholders  the  to  and  o f t h i s t r a g i c p l a y " (IV,  M i d d l e t o n Murry comments upon t h i s type o f language,  and l i n k s i t to Shakespeare's i n t u i t i v e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f R i c h a r d as an a c t o r : The predominance o f t h e a t r i c a l metaphor i n the p l a y no doubt d e r i v e s i n p a r t from the " n a i v e " p r e s e n t a t i o n o f R i c h a r d I I I h i m s e l f . He i s conc e i v e d as a h y p o c r i t e , i n the e t y m o l o g i c a l sense — an a c t o r . . . .31 References  to R i c h a r d the a c t o r occur throughout R i c h a r d I I I .  He h i m s e l f notes t h a t he wins Anne by d i s s e m b l i n g the p a r t o f the woeful l o v e r .  Anne, aware o f h i s a c t i n g , n e v e r t h e l e s s  accepts him,and R i c h a r d s t r u t s o f f t o f i n d h i m s e l f , e s t i n g l y enough, a l o o k i n g - g l a s s , i n which he may shadow as he passes.  inter-  see h i s  I r o n i c a l l y , he i s to f e a r the shadows  o f h i s dreams, more than Richmond's great army.  Elsewhere  he remarks t h a t he seems a s a i n t when most he p l a y s the 3lMurry,  o p . c i t . , p.126.  36  devil  (I, i i i ,  333).  Buckingham urges him  maid's p a r t " ( I I I , v i i , and  5 1 ) to win  rather fancies himself  to "play  the  the c i t i z e n s '  approval,  (with a f i n e touch o f  unwitting  i r o n y ) as a good a c t o r : Tut, I can c o u n t e r f e i t the deep t r a g e d i a n , Speak and look back, and p r y on every s i d e , Tremble and s t a r t at wagging o f a straw, I n t e n d i n g deep s u s p i c i o n . G h a s t l y l o o k s Are at m y s e r v i c e , l i k e enforced s m i l e s , And both are ready i n t h e i r o f f i c e s At any time, t o grace my strategems. ( I l l , v, That R i c h a r d  i s an a c t o r , a dissembler,  o f p a r t s , i s obvious from the t e x t o f R i c h a r d I t i s a l s o c l e a r t h a t he knows he enjoys doing so.  5-11)  a player  III  alone.  i s performing, and  rather  T h i s awareness o f s e l f as a r o l e - p l a y e r  i s by no means a unique p i e c e o f c h a r a c t e r r e v e l a t i o n ; the mask-wearers R o s a l i n d ,  P o r t i a , Y i n c e n t i o , a l l are aware t h a t  they p l a y a r o l e , as an a c t o r would.  Shakespeare's v i l l a i n s ,  however, seem p a r t i c u l a r l y aware o f t h e i r r o l e - p l a y i n g . and Edmund, f o r example, both speak i n the idiom o f t h e a t r e and  see themselves as a c t o r s .  the  Iago's s o l i l o q u i e s  throughout O t h e l l o r e v e a l h i s i n t e r e s t i n h i m s e l f ,  as  he  comments on the d i s t i n c t i o n s between the f a c e s he puts t o w o r l d , and And  Iago  the i n n e r f e e l i n g t h a t remains h i d d e n .  what's he then t h a t says I p l a y the  the  He muses:  villain?  D i v i n i t y of H e l l ! When d e v i l s w i l l the b l a c k e s t s i n s put on, They do suggest at f i r s t with heavenly shows, As I do now. (II,  i i i ,  E a r l i e r , Iago i m p l i e s t o Roderigo t h a t he w i l l be one Who, trimmed i n forms and v i s a g e s o f duty, Keep yet t h e i r h e a r t s a t t e n d i n g on themselves,  342-359)  o f those  37  And throwing but shows o f s e r v i c e on t h e i r Dp w e l l t h r i v e by them, . . . .  lords,  (I, i , 50-53) Once more the imagery o f c l o t h i n g i s used to suggest d i f f e r e n c e between the man his  v i l l a i n y ; he w i l l be  and h i s r o l e .  the  Iago w i l l "put  "trimmed i n forms" o f duty.  on"  His  r e f e r e n c e to the "visages o f duty," w i t h t h a t word's c l o s e r e l a t i o n to v i z a r d , o r t h e a t r i c a l mask, i s e s p e c i a l l y esting.  inter-  Later,, Macbeth i s t o put on the v i z a r d o f s m i l e s t o  Duncan, to mask h i s v i l l a i n y . as I noted  (This i s a f u r t h e r instance,  i n regard t o R i c h a r d I I I , o f the language b e i n g  a f f e c t e d by the author's r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f c h a r a c t e r as actor.) As Iago and R i c h a r d I I I comment on t h e i r p l a y i n g , so, t o o , does Edmund.  Indeed at  role-  one p o i n t he  likens  himself to a character i n a m o r a l i t y p l a y while c a s t i n g h i s b r o t h e r i n another  role.  Edmund has  j u s t completed a  solil-  oquy:  Edgar — CEnter E d g a r ] . And pat he comes l i k e the catastrophe o f the o l d comedy. My cue i s v i l l a i n o u s melancholy, w i t h a s i g h l i k e Tom 0'Bedlam. (King Lear, I , i i , 145-149)  In much .the same way,  R i c h a r d I I I compares h i m s e l f to an  alle-  gorical figure i n a morality: Thus, l i k e the f o r m a l v i c e I n i q u i t y , I m o r a l i z e two meanings i n one word. (Richard I I I , I I I , i , 82-83) Alwin T h a l e r i n an a r t i c l e i m a g i n a t i o n and p o e t r y "  e n t i t l e d "Shakespeare on  (PMLA, December 1938,  style,  1019-1036)  comments on Edmund's remark, s u g g e s t i n g t h a t i t i s out character:  of  38  I l l e g i t i m a t e Edmund's goddess was nature, not a r t , and he was not a f f l i c t e d by the c u r i o s i t y o f n a t i o n s o r o f c r i t i c s concerning d e t a i l s o f dramatic t e c h n i q u e . He i s merely the mouthp i e c e o f Shakespeare — p l e a s a n t l y t a l k i n g shop. By way o f a v o i d i n g the bother o f m o t i v a t i n g Edgar's pat appearance, Shakespeare g e n i a l l y l i k e n s h i s management o f the scene t o the f r e e and easy d i s r e g a r d o f m o t i v a t i o n i n the "lament a b l e " o l d "comedy" o f Tudor times . . . . (p.  1021)  :A'. T h a l e r ' s note i s c o r r e c t , i n r e s p e c t t h a t o n l y Shakespeare could know t h a t Edgar was Tom  0'Bedlam.  We  l a t e r t o p l a y the p a r t o f  are thus reminded here o f the p l a y as a  p l a y , and o f Edmund's r o l e as v i l l a i n . p o s s i b l e to say —  But  i s i t not a l s o  d i s r e g a r d i n g the anachronism —  that  Edmund i s aware o f h i s r o l e - p l a y i n g , and here chooses to comment upon i t humorously? •A?. T h a l e r ' s remarks r a i s e the i n t e r e s t i n g o f to what extent  question  such s e l f - a n a l y t i c comments as Iago's o r  Edmund's o r Richard's  can be taken at f a c e v a l u e .  Do  such  b l u n t e x p l a n a t i o n s as "I am a v i l l a i n " merely r e f l e c t dramatic  convention,  suggesting  a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the k i n d o f  v i l l a i n - v i c e c h a r a c t e r to be found i n medieval and e a r l y E l i z a b e t h a n drama, who, his  i n l i k e fashion, r e a d i l y revealed  hidden f e e l i n g s t o the t h e a t r e audience?  Brander  Matthews sees the s o l i l o q u i e s o f Iago and R i c h a r d I I I as r a t h e r crude dramatic necessary ing  d e v i c e s f o r conveying  t o the p l o t t o the audience.  information  Regarding the open-  speech o f R i c h a r d I I I , he w r i t e s : The e x p o s i t i o n i s accomplished by an opening s o l i l o q u y o f R i c h a r d ' s , f o l l o w e d almost immed i a t e l y by t h r e e o r f o u r o t h e r speeches o f h i s , f r a n k l y d i r e c t e d t o the s p e c t a t o r s , i n which he d e c l a r e s h i m s e l f f o r the v i l l a i n he i s and  39  p r o c l a i m s h i s e v i l purposes. There i s no p s y c h o l o g i c a l v e r a c i t y i n these s e l f revelatory soliloquies. I t i s inconceivable t h a t R i c h a r d should so completely admit t o h i m s e l f t h a t he i s a v i l l a i n and confess t h a t he i s " s u b t l e , f a l s e and t r e a c h e r o u s . " To make him say t h i s to. the audience i s t o put i n h i s mouth, not any o p i n i o n t h a t he might p o s s i b l y h o l d o f h i m s e l f , but the o p i n i o n o f every o u t s i d e commentator on h i s character.32 We must agree with much o f what i s s t a t e d here. view t h a t t h e s o l i l o q u y seems j u s t i f i e d . Richard's  i s a necessary  Matthews'  dramatic  device  How e l s e i s v i t a l i n f o r m a t i o n about  c h a r a c t e r t o be given?  I t can, o f course, be done  p a r t l y through c o n v e r s a t i o n , but t h e d i r e c t address o f f e r s the best and most economical method.  The form o f d i r e c t  speech d o u b t l e s s d e r i v e s from e a r l i e r drama where the chara c t e r s were probably  i n even c l o s e r communication with t h e  audience, i n a p h y s i c a l sense, than i n Shakespeare's t h e a t r e . A l l e g o r i c a l f i g u r e s i n m o r a l i t y p l a y s were l i k e l y t o t u r n d i r e c t l y t o t h e audience t o p o i n t out a m o r a l . example, occurs  i n John S k e l t o n ' s Magnificence  This, f o r where Adver-  syte f r a n k l y addresses h i s remarks t o the s p e c t a t o r s i n commenting on M a g n i f i c e n c e ' s  downfall.  Such f i g u r e s q u i t e o f t e n  remarked upon t h e i r own c h a r a c t e r s and a c t i o n s and no doubt t h i s k i n d o f s e l f - r e v e l a t i o n c a r r i e d over i n t o E l i z a b e t h a n drama, m a n i f e s t i n g i t s e l f p a r t i c u l a r l y i n v i l l a i n s .  The  p h y s i c a l a s p e c t s o f t h e medieval and E l i z a b e t h a n stages were such t h a t a c t o r and audience were i n c l o s e c o n t a c t w i t h one another.  Indeed, we have a l r e a d y seen t h a t some o f the  32Brander Matthews, Shakespeare as a P l a y w r i g h t , New York, S c r i b n e r ' s , 1913, pp.89-90.  40  s p e c t a t o r s were q u i t e l i k e l y t o s i t upon t h e stage Under these speech form.  itself.  c o n d i t i o n s , t h e s o l i l o q u y / would be a n a t u r a l M.C.', Bradbrook comments:  The simpler k i n d s o f d i r e c t address u s u a l l y r e c o g n i z e the presence o f t h e audience e x p l i c i t l y . The h a b i t was i n h e r i t e d from t h e m o r a l i t i e s and i n t e r l u d e s , where t h e s p e c t a t o r s were o f t e n taken i n t o the p l a y (e.g. The Pardoner and the Frere.).33 To admit a l l these t h i n g s i s t o admit much t h a t i s v i t a l t o our understanding  of Elizabethan v i l l a i n s .  t h a t the words o f R i c h a r d ' s  But t o deduce  opening s o l i l o q u y  a r e not i n  c h a r a c t e r , t h a t he does not h o l d t h e o p i n i o n o f h i m s e l f t h a t he puts forward,  o r t h a t t h e speech i s merely put i n t o  h i s mouth by Shakespeare, would seem t o me deductions r e f l e c t only p a r t l y the s o l i l o q u y ? s ; s i g n i f i c a n c e . it  which  Surely  i s t r u e t h a t t h e i n f o r m a t i o n which R i c h a r d g i v e s us here  i s arproduct mind.  o f h i s own p e r v a s i v e w i t and keen i n t e l l e c t u a l  When Iago o r Edmund o r R i c h a r d I I I compares h i m s e l f  t o an a c t o r , t h i s r e p r e s e n t s v a l u a b l e i n s i g h t i n t o t h e way h i s mind works.  To say t h a t Iago and R i c h a r d a r e mere con-  v e n t i o n a l v i l l a i n s , and t h a t t h e i r s o l i l o q u i e s are o n l y d r a matic "techniques"  i s t o say n o t h i n g a t a l l about t h e  detached and i r o n i c i n s i g h t which these f i g u r e s possess not o n l y i n t o o t h e r people's c h a r a c t e r s , but as w e l l , i n t o t h e i r own.  I n a f i n e commentary on Richard's  opening speech,  Derek T r a v e r s i suggests t h e c r e d i b i l i t y o f R i c h a r d ' s Although a c e r t a i n s t i l t e d q u a l i t y s u r v i v e s i n the movement o f the verse (there i s a sense, common i n E l i z a b e t h a n stage v i l l a i n s and heroes, 33Bradbrook, Themes and Conventions, p.112.  remarks:  41  o f the speaker p l a y i n g up t o a d r a m a t i c a l l y a c c e p t a b l e p i c t u r e o f h i m s e l f ) , the g e n e r a l e f f e c t i s remarkably c o n c i s e and p o i n t e d . . . . The speaker i s humanized, transformed from the abstract incarnation of a t r a d i t i o n a l vice e x p l o i t e d f o r melodramatic e f f e c t i n t o something l i k e a person . . . he r e t a i n s i n the c o o l , pungent r u n o f h i s comments a d e f i n i t e human  plausibility.34  Richard  (pp. 1 8 1 - 1 8 2 )  I I I , Iago and Edmund a r e thus k e e n l y aware o f them-  s e l v e s as a c t o r s ; they "put on" the f a c e o f f r i e n d s h i p , and wear the " v i s a g e s o f duty." honest man, R i c h a r d ,  Iago p l a y s t h e p a r t o f the  the r o l e o f B i b l e scholar, while Edmund  performs the p a r t o f l o y a l son and f a i t h f u l b r o t h e r . A l l these r o l e s t h e y perform i n much the same way, i t would appear, t h a t R o s a l i n d  assumes the p a r t o f a man.  i s an important d i s t i n c t i o n t o be made h e r e .  Yet there  The r o l e s t h a t  R o s a l i n d p l a y s as seeming man and a c t u a l woman a r e kept q u i t e separate;  one i s always aware o f both p l a y e r and mask  o r , as J.'. Summers notes o f V i o l a ' s a c t i n g , o f t h e " b i o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e " between the two.  Here the d i s g u i s e i s  p h y s i c a l , a mask t o be put on, and o f f , a t w i l l . ences between man and mask i n Richard so e a s i l y f o r m u l a t e d .  Richard,  The d i f f e r -  I I I , however, are n o t  Iago and Edmund do not merely  p l a y the v i l l a i n , they a r e v i l l a i n s .  As i t were, they seem  to grow i n t o t h e mask, so t h a t t h e v i z a r d o f v i l l a i n y event u a l l y becomes a permanent f i x t u r e .  P l a y i n g the p a r t o f the  h y p o c r i t e poses no problems f o r them s i n c e t h e i r v e r y nature is itself hypocritical.  O c c a s i o n a l l y , i t i s t r u e , the mask  34D. T r a v e r s i , "Shakespeare, the Young D r a m a t i s t , " A Guide t o E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , ed. B o r i s Ford, I I , London, Penquin, 1955, pp.179-200.  42  s l i p s and another p a r t o f the c h a r a c t e r , represented byconscience,  reveals i t s e l f .  7, Scene i i i ,  o f Richard  Richard I l l ' s  soliloquy.- i n A c t  I I I (194ff.) and Edmund's famous  "Some good I mean t o do,/Despite o f mine own n a t u r e " Lear, A c t V, Scene i i i ,  (King  243-244), a r e both cases i n p o i n t .  C l a u d i u s ' s e l f - c r i t i c a l s o l i l o q u i e s and comments are even b e t t e r examples o f t h i s k i n d o f i n n e r d i v i s i o n which does suggest a s p l i t between man and mask.  But on the whole I  t h i n k i t f a i r t o say t h a t Shakespeare's v i l l a i n s a r e compuls i v e a c t o r s , and one never f e e l s t h a t t h e mask i s ever r e a l l y removed.  Although Iago's v i l l a i n i e s a r e r e v e a l e d , he h i m s e l f  remains a v i l l a i n .  The d i s t i n c t i o n between such a c h a r a c t e r  as R i c h a r d I I I and Macbeth l i e s p r e c i s e l y i n t h i s s o r t o f t h i n g ; t h a t Macbeth can " p l a y " the murderer but can never be, o r f u l l y i d e n t i f y with^the  r o l e , as R i c h a r d c a n .  With the r o l e - p l a y i n g o f Macbeth and o t h e r o f Shakespeare's t r a g i c heroes I w i l l be concerned l a t e r .  At t h i s  p o i n t however, I should l i k e t o move on t o another group o f a c t o r s , and f o r t h i s purpose I must r e v e r t b r i e f l y t o my e a r l i e r comments on E l e a n o r , Duchess o f G l o u c e s t e r .  43  Chapter V.  The  Player-King  What i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g about s o l i l o q u y ( I I Henry VI, I , i i , i s the way  Eleanor's  6lff.) to which I r e f e r r e d ,  i n which she i m p l i c i t l y compares h e r s e l f t o  an  actor: And b e i n g a woman, I w i l l not be s l a c k To p l a y my p a r t i n Fortune's pageant.  ( I , i i , 66-67) T h a t . i s , she  i s determined to p l a y her p a r t i n the drama o f  h i s t o r y , i n "Fortune's pageant."  In doing t h i s she i s put-  t i n g h e r s e l f alongside other characters — peare's— who  not o n l y Shakes-  a l s o f e e l themselves to be p l a y i n g a r o l e i n  h i s t o r y ' s show.  But u n l i k e E l e a n o r , whose p a r t i s s e l f -  d i r e c t e d , they are " c a s t " i n t h e i r r o l e s ; the burden o f p l a y i n g i s imposed upon them. i s t h e i r duty t o do  so.  They must perform because i t  In t h i s c l a s s o f a c t o r s , whose r o l e s  are played out b e f o r e the p u b l i c but whose d e c i s i o n t o form was  not,  speaking g e n e r a l l y , t h e i r own,  Henry VI, Queen E l i z a b e t h , R i c h a r d ways, and  Henry V.  II —  I would i n c l u d e  an a c t o r i n v a r i o u s  Shakespeare's main i n t e r e s t i n these  c h a r a c t e r s i s t o be found i n h i s e x p l o r a t i o n s o f the t i o n s t h a t e x i s t between man and  per-  and mask, between the  distinc-  player  the k i n g l y r o l e . The  i d e a or image o f the k i n g as a c t o r , and  partic-  u l a r l y as a c t o r i n the g r i p o f f a t e , appears i n  contexts  o t h e r than those o f Shakespeare's h i s t o r y p l a y s .  By way  preface  l e t me  c o n s i d e r a few o f these  instances.  of  kk  The  sense o f h i s t o r i c a l t r a g e d y which predominates  in.The M i r r o r f o r M a g i s t r a t e s , De  as w e l l as  Casibus Virorum I l l u s t r i u m and  i s t h a t o f Fortune w h i m s i c a l l y The  Boccaccio's  Lydgate*s F a l l o f P r i n c e s ,  t u r n i n g her wheel o f  destiny.  c o l l e c t i o n o f poems known as The M i r r o r f o r M a g i s t r a t e s ,  e d i t e d by Thomas Baldwin and case i n p o i n t .  first  which t e l l o f famous h i s t o r i c a l  their lives.  person.  in 1559, is a  T h i s work c o n s i s t s o f v a r i o u s poems, r e l a t e d  by d i f f e r e n t authors, f i g u r e s and  appearing f i r s t  The  poems are p r e s e n t e d i n the  Each o f the u n f o r t u n a t e s  t a l e o f b r i e f and  f a d i n g g l o r y and  t e l l s h i s woeful  o f the g r i e f  and.bitter-  ness brought on by the b r e v i t y o f F o r t u n e * s s m i l e s and own  their  crimes, which are punished by God's r e t r i b u t i v e j u s t i c e .  More than o c c a s i o n a l l y , the Fortune motif, i s l i n k e d to a metaphor drawn from the stage. ing  Lord R i c h a r d N e v e l l , i n t e l l -  h i s s t o r y , d e s c r i b e s h i s l i f e as b e i n g  comparable to t h a t  o f a l u c k l e s s a c t o r p e r f o r m i n g i n a pageant upon "Fortune's stage:" Among the heavy heape o f happy knyghtes Whom Fortune s t a l d e upon her s t a i l e s s e stage O f t hoyst on hye, o f t p i g h t i n wretched p l i g h t e s Behold me Baldwin Lord R i c h a r d Edward IV,  i n The  "I have p l a y e d my l i k e Eleanor's  Tragedy o f Edward F o u r t h , pageant:  now  am  36ibid.,  op.cit.;  p.239.  asserts that  I p a s t , "36 which i s r a t h e r  phrase, "I s h a l l not be  35Campbell,  Nevell.35  p.205.  s l a c k to p l a y my  part  i n Fortune's pageant."  The d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t  Eleanor  chooses what p a r t she i n t e n d s t o p l a y , whereas t h e tone o f Edward's words.suggests t h a t h i s r o l e i s d i r e c t e d by f a t e . The  tune he dances t o i s not h i s own. T h i s k i n d o f i n v o l u n t a r y r o l e - p l a y i n g i s suggested  a g a i n and a g a i n i n The M i r r o r f o r M a g i s t r a t e s .  The Tragedy  o f L o c r i n e , a p l a y i n c l u d e d i n t h e Shakespeare Apocrypha. a l s o i n c l u d e s the same s o r t o f image.  Brutus,  the o l d k i n g ,  p r e p a r e s t o pass on the crown t o h i s son L o c r i n e : Then now, my sonne, t h y p a r t i s on t h e stage, For thou must beare the person o f a king.37  ( I , i , 187-139) In the same.way, R i c h a r d  I I passes on the cares and burdens  o f the k i n g l y s t a t e t o B o l i n g b r o k e , t o do t o h i s son, Henry V.  as Bolingbroke  i s later  But perhaps i t would be w e l l t o  b e g i n my d i s c u s s i o n o f Shakespeare's k i n g s with the f i r s t one  he r e p r e s e n t s  on t h e stage, Henry V I .  As Edward IV i n The M i r r o r f o r M a g i s t r a t e s  must  p l a y h i s p a r t as k i n g i n the short and b i t t e r "pageant" o f h i s t o r y , so, t o o , Henry VI i s " c a s t " i n h i s r o l e ; he does not  choose the p a r t .  He sees h i m s e l f as a v i c t i m o f f a t e ,  and o f Fortune: No sooner was I c r e p t out o f my c r a d l e But I was made a k i n g a t nine months o l d . ( I I Henry V I , IV, i x , T h i s he s t r e s s e s twice I I I , i , 76), w h i l e  3-4)  l a t e r on ( I I I Henry V I , I , i , 111;  i n A c t IV, Scene v i o f t h i s p l a y , he i s ,  l i k e Romeo, Fortune's f o o l : 37Tucker-Brooke, o p . c i t . , p.41»  46  T h e r e f o r e , t h a t I may conquer Fortune's s p i t e By l i v i n g low, where Fortune cannot h u r t me, I here r e s i g n my  government t o t h e e . (17, v i , 19-24)  A weak and i n e f f e c t u a l k i n g , somewhat a f t e r the s t y l e o f R i c h a r d I I , though l e s s o f a poseur and more r e a l i s t i c the r e a l weaknesses o f h i s own  about  c h a r a c t e r , Henry c o n t i n u a l l y  r e f l e c t s upon the d i s c r e p a n c i e s between the appearance o f k i n g s h i p , the g l i t t e r and  ceremony, and the r e a l i t y t h a t the  a c t o r must p l a y out, the heartbreak and the tragedy upon the man i  who  performs  o f I I I Henry YI, he  and  the k i n g ' s r o l e .  attendant  In Act I I I , Scene  speaks w i t h the keepers who  d e t a i n him,  c o n t r a s t s the o u t e r crown t h a t k i n g s wear, the one  diamonds and p r e c i o u s stones, with the crown t h a t he wear, although o t h e r men  may  —  of  cannot  content.  2.Keep. But i f thou be a k i n g , where i s t h y crown? K.Hen. My crown i s i n my h e a r t , not on my head, Not decked w i t h diamonds and I n d i a n stones, Not t o be seen. My crown i s c a l l e d c o n t e n t . A crown i t i s t h a t seldom k i n g s enjoy. ( I l l Henry V I . I l l , i , 61-65) I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o compare the f u t u r e R i c h a r d I l l ' s  own  a t t i t u d e t o t h i s k i n g l y crown o f content, which he hopes t o wear. And, F a t h e r , do but t h i n k How sweet a t h i n g i t i s t o wear a crown, W i t h i n whose c i r c u i t i s E l y s i u m And a l l t h a t poets f e i g n o f b l i s s and j o y . Why do we l i n g e r thus? ( I l l Henry V I . I , i i , The  28-32)  i r o n i c e f f e c t here d e r i v e s not o n l y from the f a c t t h a t  the two  a t t i t u d e s are completely opposed - Henry wishes t o  47  abjure the k i n g ' s r o l e , w h i l e R i c h a r d wants t o assume i t  —  but t h a t the "golden round" R i c h a r d e v e n t u a l l y wins f o r hims e l f t u r n s merely t o dust and ashes, and the dreams o f E l y s i u m become exchanged f o r the nightmares Field.  o f h e l l b e f o r e Bosworth  The k i n g ' s r o l e i s indeed but f e i g n e d b l i s s and j o y .  There i s a s i m i l a r u n w i t t i n g i r o n y i n E l e a n o r ' s speech t o her husband i n I I Henry VI  (I, i i , I f f . ) .  She t o o , l i k e R i c h a r d  and h i s f a t h e r , e n v i s i o n s the crown as a symbol o f great j o y : What s e e s t thou t h e r e ? £ she asks h e r husband 7\ King Henry's diadem, Enchased w i t h a l l the honours o f the world? I f so, gaze on, and g r o v e l on t h y f a c e , U n t i l t h y head be c i r c l e d w i t h the same. Put f o r t h t h y hand, reach a t the g l o r i o u s g o l d . (II  Henry VI, I , i i ,  But Henry's golden crown b r i n g s him no j o y and no  7-11)  content.  The most famous o f Henry VI's s o l i l o q u i e s on the woeful  role  t h a t the k i n g must p l a y o c c u r s i n I I I Henry VI, Act I I , Scene v.  There Henry compares h i s own  peasant,  l o t w i t h t h a t o f the humble  as• Henry V e a r l i e r does b e f o r e A g i n c o u r t .  the k i n g may  Although  wear the f i n e s t robes, and eat the b e s t o f goods,  and possess a l l the advantages o f wealth and power over h i s poor s u b j e c t s , i t i s r e a l l y they who ject.  are k i n g s and he the sub-  F o r they are f r e e from f e a r , s u b j e c t o n l y t o t h e i r  own  d e s i r e s , w h i l e the k i n g i s s u b j e c t to the burden o f the r o l e , and the t r e a c h e r i e s o f such u n d e r s t u d i e s as R i c h a r d and E l e a n o r . Henry muses s a d l y upon these t h i n g s : Ah, what a l i f e were t h i s ! How sweet! How l o v e l y ! Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade To shepherds l o o k i n g on t h e i r s i l l y sheep Than doth a r i c h embroidered canopy To k i n g s t h a t f e a r t h e i r s u b j e c t s ' t r e a c h e r y ? Oh, yes, i t doth, a t h o u s a n d f o l d i t doth.  And t o conclude, t h e shepherd's homely curds, H i s c o l d t h i n d r i n k out o f h i s l e a t h e r b o t t l e , H i s wonted s l e e p under a f r e s h t r e e ' s shade, A l l which secure and sweetly he enjoys, I s f a r beyond a p r i n c e ' s d e l i c a t e s , H i s v i a n d s s p a r k l i n g i n a golden cup, H i s body couched i n a c u r i o u s bed, When c a r e , m i s t r u s t , and t r e a s o n w a i t s on him. ( I l l Henry VI. I I , v, U-54) In t h e l i f e o f R i c h a r d  I I I , t h e v i l l a i n k i n g , we see t h a t t h e  p u b l i c r o l e , t h e r i c h and m a g n i f i c e n t h i d e an i n n e r e v i l .  show o f majesty, may  I n t h e case o f Henry VI, t h e o u t e r show,  the form o f ceremony, which i n a good k i n g should r e f l e c t an i n n e r s t r e n g t h t h a t Henry l a c k s , h i d e s o n l y s u f f e r i n g ; and despair.  Like Richard  I I o n l y more aware o f h i s own f a i l i n g s ,  he i s a k i n g i n name o n l y , a shadow without a substance, a p l a y e r who cannot measure up t o t h e r o l e . J u s t as Henry V I i s a pageant performer, a poor a c t o r i n t h e r o l e o f the k i n g , so, t o o , i n R i c h a r d I I I , Queen E l i z a b e t h i s d e s c r i b e d as a "poor shadow," an i n e f f e c t u a l a c t r e s s i n t h e drama o f h i s t o r y .  L i k e Henry VI, she i s no  match f o r R i c h a r d  Queen Margaret d e s c r i b e s  I I I the actor.  her:  I c a l l e d thee then v a i n f l o u r i s h o f my f o r t u n e . I c a l l e d thee then poor shadow, p a i n t e d Queen, The p r e s e n t a t i o n o f but what I was, The f l a t t e r i n g index o f a d i r e f u l pageant, A dream o f what thou wert, a b r e a t h , a bubble, A sign o f dignity, a garish f l a g To be t h e aim o f every dangerous shot, A queen i n j e s t o n l y t o f i l l t h e scene. (Richard I I I . TV, i v , 82-91) Like Hastings,  R i v e r s , Vaughan and Grey, Queen E l i z a b e t h  becomes a beholder o f "the t r a g i c p l a y " d i r e c t e d by R i c h a r d I I I . She  i s an a c t o r who i s f o r c e d t o p l a y h e r p a r t i n Fortune's  pageant. she  L i k e R i c h a r d N e v e l l i n The M i r r o r f o r M a g i s t r a t e s .  i s one whom "Fortune s t a l d e upon h e r s t a i l e s s e  stage."  4-y  In ray d i s c u s s i o n o f R i c h a r d have mentioned M i d d l e t o n  I I I as a v i l l a i n I  Murray's comment with regard t o the  r e l a t i v e l y l a r g e number o f stage a l l u s i o n s i n R i c h a r d I I I , He suggested t h a t one o f the reasons f o r t h i s probably l a y i n Shakespeare's p r e s e n t a t i o n o f R i c h a r d  as an a c t o r - h y p o c r i t e .  T h i s seems a reasonable  explanation  Richard  dominate h i s p l a y and, as a s o r t o f  I I I does indeed  i n view o f the f a c t t h a t  d i r e c t o r , guides the a c t i o n s o f both h i s p a r t n e r s and h i s enemies.  Along with  i n crime  such o t h e r a c t o r s as h i s f a t h e r  the Duke o f York, S u f f o l k , . a n d  Eleanor,  Richard  I I I may a l s o  be p a r t o f the reason why t h e r e are i n t h e Henry VI p l a y group a f a i r l y Gloucester's  impressive  speech i n I I Henry VI (Act I I I , Scene i ) i s  i n t e r e s t i n g l y phrased. and  number o f stage r e f e r e n c e s .  (He speaks o f S u f f o l k , York,  Beaufort  Buckingham who wish him dead.) I know t h e i r complot i s t o have my l i f e , And i f my death might make t h i s i s l a n d happy And prove t h e p e r i o d o f t h e i r tyranny, I would expend i t with a l l w i l l i n g n e s s . But mine i s made the prologue t o t h e i r p l a y ; For thousands more, t h a t y e t suspect no p e r i l , W i l l not conclude t h e i r p l o t t e d tragedy. (Ill,  The  i , 147-153)  speech i s important, f o r i t comments on the p o l i t i c a l  dis-  cord which has p r e v a i l e d d u r i n g the r e i g n o f Henry VI up t o that point.  F u r t h e r i t prophesies  and Henry's own deaths, and R i c h a r d  ensuing woes, Humphrey's I l l ' s bloody and s u c c e s s f u l  p l o t s ; i t l o o k s a t t h e woes behind, h i s t o r i c a l l y t o the u n l a w f u l o f Henry IV.  deposition o f Richard  speaking,  I I , and the uneasy r e i g n  Humphrey e n v i s i o n s t h e sweep o f h i s t o r y as some  v a s t p l a y , o r pageant; a stage where k i n g s and p r i n c e s are  50 the-, a c t o r s , whose opening a c t i s t o be h i s own t r a g i c d e a t h , and whose f o l l o w i n g a c t s a r e t o c o n s i s t o f t h e deaths o f "thousands more" who,  l i k e H a s t i n g s i n R i c h a r d I I I , as y e t  do not s u s p e c t t h e r o l e s t h e y are t o p l a y .  Indeed, Humphrey's  d e a t h i s l a t e r d e s c r i b e d by Warwick as a " s u s p i c i o u s . . . t r a g e d y " ( I I Henry V I , I I I , i i ,  194).  In R i c h a r d I I I , the  death o f K i n g Edward i s d e s c r i b e d as "woe's scene" ( I V , i v , 27), w h i l e i n Macbeth, Duncan's murder o c c u r s upon t h e world's "bloody stage" ( I I , i v , 6).  A s i m i l a r k i n d o f metaphor  o c c u r s i n Woodstock, where Cheyney d e s c r i b e s t h e f o u l  weather  as b e i n g p r o l o g u e t o some t r a g e d y : The l i g h t s o f heaven a r e shut i n p i t c h y c l o u d s And f l a k e s o f f i r e r u n t i l t i n g t h r o u g h t h e s k y L i k e dim o s t e n t s t o some g r e a t t r a g e d y .  (IV, i i ,  66-68)  Woodstock l a t e r c o n t i n u e s the image: God b l e s s good Anne a Beame. I f e a r her d e a t h W i l l be t h e t r a g i c scene t h e sky foreshows us ....38 (IV, i i ,  69-70)  A l l u s i o n s such as t h e s e seem t o serve some k i n d o f s t r u c t u r a l significance.  The scenes a r e , as i t were, s e t o f f and empha-  s i z e d as i m p o r t a n t h i s t o r i c a l moments.  Muriel  Bradbrook's  comments on a remark o f H. T. P r i c e may be p e r t i n e n t h e r e : H. T. P r i c e has g i v e n the name o f " M i r r o r Scenes" t o t h o s e s y m b o l i c moments i n which t h e theme o f t h e p l a y i s d i r e c t l y embodied and f u l l y s t a t e d .... Such scenes have something o f t h e q u a l i t y o f an I n d u c t i o n , o r a p l a y w i t h i n a p l a y , and may be w r i t t e n i n a h e i g h t e n e d s t y l e t o emphasize t h e i r special function.3" 3 % o o d s t o c k , a M o r a l H i s t o r y , ed. A. P. London, Chatto and Windus, i 9 4 6 , p.140. 39Themes and C o n v e n t i o n s , p.125.  Rossiter,  51  The examples I have mentioned above are not m i r r o r scenes i n the sense t h a t they r e f l e c t the p l a y ' s theme. I t h i n k they may  Nevertheless,  be thought o f as important events —  death o f Humphrey, King Edward and Duncan — s i z e d , not by the use o f a heightened l i k e n i n g them t o a c t u a l stage scenes.  the  and are so empha-  s t y l e , but r a t h e r by In t h i s way  our a t t e n -  t i o n i s drawn towards them. Shakespeare p r e s e n t s both Henry ¥1 and Queen E l i z a beth as i n v o l u n t a r y a c t o r s i n the pageant o f h i s t o r y . lar  A  simi-  sense o f u n w i l l i n g r o l e - p l a y i n g c h a r a c t e r i z e s the w e l l -  known speech o f R i c h a r d I I : F o r God's sake l e t us s i t upon the ground And t e l l sad s t o r i e s o f the death o f k i n g s — How some have been deposed, some s l a i n i n war, Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed, Some poisoned by t h e i r wives, some s l e e p i n g k i l l e d , A l l murdered. F o r w i t h i n the h o l l o w crown That rounds the m o r t a l temples o f a k i n g Keeps Death h i s Court, and t h e r e the a n t i c s i t s , S c o f f i n g h i s s t a t e and g r i n n i n g at h i s pomp, A l l o w i n g him a b r e a t h , a l i t t l e scene, To monarchize, be f e a r e d . . . . (Richard I I . I l l , i i , 155-165) The  speech  seems t o r e c a l l , w i t h i t s "sad s t o r i e s o f the  death o f k i n g s " the l i t e r a r y form o f The M i r r o r f o r Magistrates.  As H e n r i e , Duke o f Buckingham must p l a y a " w o f u l l y  . . . s l e n d e r p a r t , " so R i c h a r d i s allowed a "breath, a scene" i n which t o "monarchize."  Elsewhere,  little  l i k e Henry V I ,  he comments on the heavy burden o f k i n g s h i p , comparing the r u l e r ' s sorrows w i t h h i s s u b j e c t s ' q u i e t l i f e : I ' l l g i v e my jewels f o r a set o f beads, My gorgeous p a l a c e f o r a hermitage,  52  My My My My And  gay a p p a r e l f o r an almsman's gown, f i g u r e d g o b l e t s f o r a d i s h o f wood, s c e p t e r f o r a palmer's w a l k i n g s t a f f , s u b j e c t s f o r a p a i r o f carved s a i n t s , my l a r g e kingdom f o r a l i t t l e grave, (Richard I I . I l l , i i i , 14-7-153)  H i s words r e c a l l Henry's e a r l i e r c o n t r a s t o f the k i n g ' s embroidered canopy" with the bush ( I I Henry VI, I I , v ) .  "rich  "sweeter shade" o f the hawthorn Both men  are cognisant  o f the  f a c t t h a t the k i n g ' s gorgeous robes do not guarantee h e a l t h or peace o f mind.  But where Henry knows t h a t he  i s the mere  shadow o f a k i n g , knows t h a t he cannot measure up to the r o l e and  so accepts the  s i t u a t i o n with a f u l l  t i o n o f h i s weaknesses, R i c h a r d knowledge.  Himself  and honest  I I possesses no  an a c t o r , but  such  realizaself-  l a c k i n g the s t r e n g t h  and  substance o f c h a r a c t e r which the r o l e o f k i n g t r u l y demands, Richard  t r a g i c a l l y b e l i e v e s t h a t h i s a c t i n g f u l f i l l s what he  t h i n k s the r o l e demands.  In t h i s , o f course, he  is  deceived,  and p a t h e t i c a l l y so. H i s f a n a t i c f a i t h i n the name o f k i n g — Not a l l the water i n the rough rude sea Can wash the balm o f f from an anointed k i n g . The b r e a t h o f w o r l d l y men cannot depose The deputy e l e c t e d by the L o r d . (Richard I I . I l l , i i , 54-57) is  i n sharp c o n t r a s t t o Henry VI's more r e a l i s t i c No, Thy Thy No  comments:  Harry, Harry, ' t i s no l a n d o f t h i n e . p l a c e i s f i l l e d , t h y s c e p t e r wrung from thee, balm washed o f f wherewith thou wast a n o i n t e d . bending knee w i l l c a l l thee Caesar now, ( I I I Henry VI, I I I , i , 15-18)  Henry knows t h a t the t r u e power o f the k i n g ' s o f f i c e l i e s i n the s t r e n g t h o f the man s i n g e r who  who  p l a y s the r o l e o f k i n g ; i t i s the  must c a r r y the burden o f the  song.  53  E. M. T i l l y a r d w r i t e s o f R i c h a r d I I , R i c h a r d h i m s e l f i s a t r u e k i n g i n appearance, i n h i s command o f t h e t r a p p i n g s o f r o y a l t y , w h i l e being d e f i c i e n t i n the s o l i d v i r t u e s o f the ruler.40 E. M. T i l l y a r d  suggests t h a t one o f t h e main f e a t u r e s o f t h i s  p l a y i s t h e c o n t r a s t between two k i n d s o f w o r l d s . hand t h e r e i s t h e ceremonial,  medieval world  o f R i c h a r d where  means, says E . M. T i l l y a r d , are more important c o n f l i c t i s between t h i s world one  o f Bolingbroke.  On t h e one  than ends.  The  and t h e p r a c t i c a l common sense  I am not sure t h a t one can so e a s i l y  c h a r a c t e r i z e the medieval world  as one which s t r e s s e s means  more than ends; and, on t h e whole, i t seems t o me t h a t  Till-  yard t r i e s t o o hard t o read t h e p l a y as what he c a l l s Shakespeare's v i s i o n o f t h e medieval w o r l d .  S e t t i n g t h i s .aside  however, I t h i n k t h a t t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f h i s argument, t h a t Richard  i s l a r g e l y a ceremonial  k i n g , a r e q u i t e t r u e , and h i s  p o i n t t h a t R i c h a r d possesses t h e appearance, w h i l e l a c k i n g i n the v i r t u e s , o f r o y a l t y , i s w e l l taken. indeed  Although he does  "pose" as a k i n g , h i s behaviour l e a v e s a great d e a l t o  be d e s i r e d , and h i s crimes a r e many.  Una E l l i s - F e r m o r notes  t h a t R i c h a r d assumes " . . . t h e p r i v i l e g e s o f k i n g s h i p disregarding the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s  . . . ."41  while  His attitude  towards Gaunt, and h i s assumption o f Gaunt's e s t a t e , a r e c a l l o u s i n t h e extreme.  H i s comments upon h e a r i n g o f Gaunt's  death a r e i c y c o l d : 4QShakespeare's H i s t o r y P l a y s , London, Chatto and Windus, 1959, pp.245-246. 4lThe F r o n t i e r s o f Drama. London, Methuen, 1946, p.41.  54 r  The r i p e s t f r u i t f i r s t f a l l s , and so doth he. H i s time i s spent, our p i l g r i m a g e must be. So much f o r t h a t . (Richard I I . I I , i , 153-155) Ross and Willoughby  discuss h i s other  crimes:  Ross. The commons hath he p i l l e d w i t h g r i e v o u s t a x e s , And q u i t e l o s t t h e i r h e a r t s . The nobles hath he f i n e d F o r a n c i e n t q u a r r e l s , and q u i t e l o s t t h e i r h e a r t s . W i l l o . And d a i l y new e x a c t i o n s a r e d e v i s e d , As b l a n k s , benevolences, and I wot not what. (Richard I I . I I , i , 246-250) P a r t o f the blame f o r R i c h a r d ' s crimes l i e s w i t h h i s f l a t t e r e r s , as York p o i n t s out ( I I , i , 17-30), but the f a u l t o f a c t i n g i n deed what they suggest  i n word, i s R i c h a r d ' s  alone.  Despite h i s crimes, which he must somehow construe as " r i g h t , " R i c h a r d throughout  t h e p l a y c o n t i n u a l l y " c a s t s " h i m s e l f i n the  r o l e o f the good k i n g .  I n outward appearance a t l e a s t , as  E. M. T i l l y a r d remarks, he has some semblance o f s u c c e s s . But t h a t i t i s o n l y outward i s s t r e s s e d by York's d e s c r i p t i o n o f him when R i c h a r d appears on the w a l l s o f F l i n t c a s t l e : Yet l o o k s he l i k e a k i n g . Behold, h i s eye, As b r i g h t as i s t h e e a g l e ' s , l i g h t e n s f o r t h C o n t r o l l i n g majesty. A l a c k , a l a c k , f o r woe, That any harm should s t a i n so f a i r a show! (Richard I I , I I I , i i i , 68-71) In A c t I , Scene i i i ,  he " p l a y s " t h e p a r t o f the m e r c i f u l r u l e r ,  as he r e p e a l s p a r t o f t h e term o f B o l i n g b r o k e ' s banishment. O b v i o u s l y e n j o y i n g h i s r o y a l p r e r o g a t i v e , he c a s u a l l y reduces the sentence  to s i x years.  Bolingbroke's  the b r e a t h o f k i n g s , " ( I , i i i ,  comment, "such i s  215) t a k e s us forward, r a t h e r  i r o n i c a l l y , t o R i c h a r d ' s l a t e r speech about Death's c o u r t , and the " a n t i c " who a l l o w s t h e k i n g "a b r e a t h , a l i t t l e  scene"  55  (III, i i i ,  1 6 4 ) . Elsewhere he i d e n t i f i e s h i m s e l f with the  g l o r i o u s image o f the sun, and 3 6 f f . ) .  The  a c t o r who  invokes God's a i d ( I I I , i i ,  c e n t r a l image o f R i c h a r d the poor p l a y e r , the  m i s t a k e n l y b e l i e v e s t h a t h i s a c t i n g i s i n accord  w i t h r e a l i t y , o c c u r s i n the scene o f R i c h a r d ' s h u m i l i a t i n g r i d e through  London.  York d e s c r i b e s the  ride:  As i n a t h e a t e r the eyes o f men A f t e r a w e l l - g r a c e d a c t o r l e a v e s the stage Are i d l y bent on him t h a t e n t e r s next, T h i n k i n g h i s p r a t t l e t o be t e d i o u s , Even so, o r w i t h much more contempt, men's eyes Did scowl on g e n t l e R i c h a r d . (V, i i , The  22-28)  image o f R i c h a r d as poor a c t o r i s c e r t a i n l y more than  f o r t u i t o u s ; t h i s i s , i n f a c t , what he i s . L a c k i n g the i n n e r solid  substance  o f k i n g s h i p , the h i g h v i r t u o u s c h a r a c t e r  which the r o l e demands, s t r i p p e d now  o f even t h a t e x t e r n a l  show o r shadow o f ceremony which he was  a b l e t o assume, he i s  indeed a poor, d e s p i s e d p l a y e r , a f i g u r e i n a "woeful  pageant"  (IV, i , 3 2 1 ) . I have mentioned t h a t R i c h a r d , u n l i k e Henry VI, i s never f u l l y cognisant o f h i s s i n s . scene w i l l  Perhaps the d e p o s i t i o n  serve t o q u a l i f y t h i s o p i n i o n a l i t t l e ,  f o r here  R i c h a r d does seem t o come t o r e a l i z e something o f the extent o f h i s crimes. is,  Here, R i c h a r d I I ' s g l a s s shows him as he  a mockery k i n g o f snow: I ' l l read enough When I do see the v e r y book indeed Where a l l my s i n s are w r i t , and t h a t ' s myself. Give me the g l a s s , and t h e r e i n w i l l I r e a d . No deeper w r i n k l e s y e t ? Hath sorrow s t r u c k  truly  56  So many blows upon t h i s f a c e o f mine And made no deeper wounds? 0 f l a t t e r i n g g l a s s , L i k e t o my f o l l o w e r s i n p r o s p e r i t y , Thou dost b e g u i l e me! Was t h i s f a c e t h e f a c e That every day under h i s household r o o f Did keep t e n thousand men? Was t h i s t h e f a c e That, l i k e the sun, d i d make b e h o l d e r s wink? Was t h i s t h e f a c e t h a t f a c e d so many f o l l i e s , And was a t l a s t o u t f a c e d by Bolingbroke? A b r i t t l e g l o r y shineth i n t h i s face — As b r i t t l e as t h e g l o r y i s the f a c e . (Richard I I , IV, i , 273-288) There i s a c u r i o u s a l l u s i o n i n t h i s speech t o a l i n e i n Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, where t h e a p p a r i t i o n o f Helen appears b e f o r e Faustus. He speaks t o h e r : Was t h i s t h e f a c e t h a t launched a thousand s h i p s , And burnt t h e t o p l e s s towers o f Ilium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a k i s s . 4 2 (Scene X I I I ,  90-92)  Both Faustus and R i c h a r d confuse appearance and r e a l i t y ; both b e l i e v e i n t h e " r e a l i t y " o f t h e " f a c e " b e f o r e them.  Faustus  b e l i e v e s t h e i l l u s i o n o f Helen's f a c e i s s u f f i c i e n t t o bestow i m m o r t a l i t y upon him;  w h i l e R i c h a r d had b e l i e v e d i n the  s t r e n g t h o f o u t e r show, o f t h e k i n g ' s " f a c e , " as a guarantee o f power.  Both men b e l i e v e i n what i s e s s e n t i a l l y a v i s i o n ,  or a p a s s i n g show.  The p a r t i c u l a r  i n s i s t e n c e on t h e word f a c e  t h a t occurs not o n l y i n t h e above speech o f R i c h a r d , but indeed throughout t h e p l a y , has been noted by such commentators as R i c h a r d A l t i c k i n h i s a r t i c l e on R i c h a r d 11.43  As R i c h a r d  p u t s f a i t h i n t h e "face", so too he b e l i e v e s i n t h e power t h a t r e s i d e s i n t h e "name" o f k i n g s h i p .  But h i s appeal  i s futile.  I s not t h e King's name twenty thousand names? Arm, arm, my name! A puny s u b j e c t s t r i k e s At t h y great g l o r y . (Richard I I , I I I , i i ,  85-87)  42parks and B e a t t y , o p . c i t . , p.415. 43Richard A l t i c k , "Symphonic Imagery i n R i c h a r d I I , " PMLA, 1947, p.339-365.  57 L a t e r he wishes t o abjure t h i s "name," which has brought him o n l y p a i n and sorrow: Oh, t h a t I were as great As i s my g r i e f , o r l e s s e r than my name! (Richard I I , I I I , i i ,  136-137)  Marlowe's Edward I I , a weak and s e l f - i n d u l g e n t k i n g l i k e Richard,  comments t r u l y on t h e nature  o f h i s own r o l e .  Lack-  i n g ceremony, i t s e l f a shadow, he becomes the shadow o f a shadow, a p l a y e r l a c k i n g even a name, "a mockery k i n g o f snow." But what a r e k i n g s when regiment i s gone But p e r f e c t shadows i n a sunshine day? 44  26-27)  (Edward I I , 7, i ,  L i k e R i c h a r d , Lear a l s o b e l i e v e s t h a t the "name" o f k i n g i s s u f f i c i e n t t o guarantee h i s happiness. and  D i v i d i n g up the power  a u t h o r i t y o f h i s kingdom between G o n e r i l and Regan, i n  e f f e c t deposing h i m s e l f , he r e t a i n s t h e "name and a l l the a d d i t i o n s t o a k i n g " (King Lear, I , i , 138).  Placing h i s f a i t h  i n the shadows and ceremonies o f k i n g s h i p — k n i g h t s , he h i m s e l f becomes a shadow-king. to Lear's  h i s retinue of The F o o l ' s  comment  question, r i n g s t r u e :  L e a r . Who i s i t t h a t can t e l l me who I am? F o o l . Lear's shadow. (King Lear, I , i v ,  250-251)  As R i c h a r d I I i s a "mockery k i n g o f snow", so Lear, by h i s own w i l l , becomes a shadow.  As t h e p l a y p r o g r e s s e s ,  t o r e a l i z e the v a n i t y o f name and t i t l e a l o n e . mactic  Lear  comes  In that  cli-  scene on t h e heath he sees the v a n i t y not o n l y o f  k i n g l y ceremony, but indeed t h e v a n i t y o f a l l ceremony. t h e . d i s g u i s e o f c l o t h e s a l l men are the same:  44parks  and B e a t t y , o p . c i t . ,  p.530.  Under  58  I s man no more than t h i s ? . . . . Thou owest t h e worm no s i l k , the beast no h i d e , t h e sheep no wool, t h e c a t no perfume. H a l Here's t h r e e on 's a r e s o p h i s t i c a t e d . Thou a r t t h e t h i n g i t s e l f . Unaccommodated man i s no more but such a poor, bare, f o r k e d animal as thou a r t . O f f , o f f , you lendingsI (King L e a r . I l l , i v , 106-112) We a r e reminded o f Henry V s words: H i s ceremonies l a i d by, i n h i s nakedness he appears but as a man, . . . . (Henry V. 17, i , 108) In t h e end t h e r e i s but one t h i n g t h a t R i c h a r d i s t r u l y k i n g of —  grief. You may my g l o r i e s and my s t a t e depose. But not my g r i e f s . S t i l l am I k i n g o f t h o s e . (Richard I I . 17, i , 192-193)  Although deposed and cast i n p r i s o n , R i c h a r d continues h i s p l a y a c t i n g , but w i t h a d i f f e r e n c e .  Deprived o f even t h a t  semblance o f a u t h o r i t y which he thought  he possessed, he now  p l a y s h i s r o l e s e n t i r e l y i n h i s i m a g i n a t i o n , and c r e a t e s fant a s t i c shows i n h i s mind. But j u s t how f a n t a s t i c a r e they? I have been s t u d y i n g how I may compare T h i s p r i s o n where I l i v e unto t h e w o r l d . And f o r because the world i s populous, And here i s not a c r e a t u r e but myself, I cannot do i t , y e t I ' l l hammer i t o u t . Thus p l a y I i n one person many people, And none contented. Sometimes am I King, Then t r e a s o n s make me wish myself a beggar, And so I am. Then c r u s h i n g penury Persuades me I was b e t t e r when a k i n g . Then am I kinged a g a i n . And by and by Think t h a t I am unkinged by B o l i n g b r o k e , And s t r a i g h t am n o t h i n g . (Richard I I , 7, v, 1-38) In c r e a t i n g these ' F i c t i o n s " he i s , p a r a d o x i c a l l y — unwittingly —  and  c l o s e r t o r e a l i z i n g the t r u t h o f h i s own  ineffectual role-playing.  I n h i s mind's eye he c o n j u r e s up  59  what a r e t o h i m mere p i c t u r e s ,  v i s i o n s o f h i m s e l f as a  p l a y e r ; y e t what i s i t t h a t he " p l a y s ? " r o l e s he p e r f o r m e d , i n r e a l l i f e :  Nothing  stage  but the  t h e K i n g he was, t h e b e g g a r  he w i s h e d t o b e , t h e p o o r p l a y e r he becomes i n t h e d e p o s i t i o n scene,  unkinged But  play?  by Bolingbroke.  perhaps Richard I I i s not the o n l y a c t o r i n h i s  F o r was n o t B o l i n g b r o k e  implicitly  "well-graced a c t o r " i n h i s r i d e through with Richard? seems t o t a k e  compared t o t h e  t h e s t r e e t s o f London  A f e w l i n e s b e f o r e , Y o r k d e s c r i b e s what he as B o l i n g b r o k e s 1  conscious  role-playing:  W h i l s t h e , f r o m t h e one s i d e t o t h e o t h e r t u r n i n g , Bareheaded, lower than h i s proud steed's neck. B e s p o k e them t h u s ; " I t h a n k y o u , c o u n t r y men." ( R i c h a r d I I . V, i i , 18-20) Earlier, lace,  R i c h a r d h i m s e l f d e s c r i b e s h i s a c t i n g b e f o r e t h e popu-  just before Bolingbroke  goes i n t o  exile:  How he d i d seem t o d i v e i n t o t h e i r h e a r t s W i t h humble and f a m i l i a r c o u r t e s y , What r e v e r e n c e he d i d t h r o w away o n s l a v e s , Wooing p o o r c r a f t s m e n w i t h t h e c r a f t o f s m i l e s And p a t i e n t u n d e r b e a r i n g o f h i s f o r t u n e , As 'twere t o b a n i s h t h e i r a f f e c t s w i t h h i m . O f f g o e s h i s b o n n e t t o a n o y s t e r wench . . . . ( R i c h a r d I I . I , i v , 25-31) Leonard  Dean  comments:  . . . Bolingbroke. i s a l s o d e s c r i b e d as busy p l a y a c t i n g , p a y i n g " c o u r t s h i p t o t h e common p e o p l e ; . . . wooing poor craftsmen w i t h t h e c r a f t o f s m i l e s . " R i c h a r d a c c e p t s such b e h a v i o u r a s a m a t t e r o f c o u r s e ; i t i s s i m p l y a f a c t t h a t must b e f a c e d and answered with force o r guile.45 T h e s e two s p e e c h e s , certainly  t h e one b y Y o r k , t h e o t h e r b y R i c h a r d ,  seem t o s u g g e s t  that Bolingbroke  i s an a c t o r  after  4 5 L . F . Dean, " R i c h a r d I I : The S t a t e and t h e Image o f t h e T h e a t r e , " S h a k e s p e a r e : Modern E s s a y s i n C r i t i c i s m , e d . L . F. Dean, New Y o r k , O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 5 7 , p . 1 6 3 . From PMLA, L X V I I , 1 9 5 2 , pp.211-218.  60  the s t y l e o f R i c h a r d I I I and  Iago.  o f s m i l e s " r e c a l l s the "enforced (Richard I I I , I I I , v, 9).  Even the phrase  s m i l e s " put on by Buckingham  However, i n R i c h a r d ' s d e s c r i p t i o n  t h e r e i s a k i n d o f s n e e r i n g and  s a r d o n i c tone which  t h a t R i c h a r d i s d e l i b e r a t e l y over-emphasizing a p p a r e n t l y e x c e s s i v e deference  suggests  Bolingbroke's  to the commoners.  i s more than l i k e l y t h a t R i c h a r d ' s  Indeed'it  comments have been p a r t l y  i n s p i r e d by the s u b t l e h i n t s o f h i s f l a t t e r e r s . perhaps some evidence  "craft  There i s  f o r t h i s , since Richard's  speech opens  O u r s e l f and Bushy, Bagot here, and Green Observed h i s c o u r t s h i p to the common people — (Richard I I , I , i v , 23-24) Bolingbroke  l a t e r c o n f r o n t s Bushy and  Green, a c c u s i n g them  o f e s t r a n g i n g him from R i c h a r d : M y s e l f , a p r i n c e by f o r t u n e o f my b i r t h , Near to the K i n g i n b l o o d , and near i n l o v e T i l l you d i d make him m i s i n t e r p r e t me, (Richard I I , I I I , i , 15-17) What i s , I think, demonstrable i s t h a t Bolingbroke  does not  d e l i b e r a t e l y , and with the c a r e f u l l y considered h y p o c r i s y o f R i c h a r d I I I , set out t o ascend the throne. an o p p o r t u n i s t , and advantage.  He  i s , of  course,  e x p l o i t s R i c h a r d ' s weaknesses to h i s  own  C o n s i d e r i n g R i c h a r d ' s i n e f f e c t i v e n e s s as a r u l e r ,  and the many g r i e v a n c e s expressed  by the people, t h e r e i s  some j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r B o l i n g b r o k e ' s  assumption o f the  role,  d e s p i t e R i c h a r d ' s b e l i e f i n the d i v i n e r i g h t o f k i n g s ; a r i g h t , which, as we  have seen, counts as naught u n l e s s backed up  a human s t r e n g t h o f c h a r a c t e r .  In s p i t e o f a l l t h i s , B o l i n g -  broke nowhere says he d e s i r e s the crown and p a r t l y l e d , against h i s w i l l ,  by  i s , as i t were,  i n t o t a k i n g the p a r t .  Addressed  61  by York as King, he c r i e s : In God's name, I ' l l ascend t h e r e g a l - t h r o n e , (Richard I I , IV, i , 113) He i s k e e n l y aware, as was R i c h a r d , t h a t t h e r o l e o f k i n g e n t a i l s much g r i e f and sorrow, and he assumes t h e k i n g l y robes w i t h no s m a l l sense o f apprehension i s p u t t i n g on h i m s e l f .  f o r the burden he  To R i c h a r d he says:  P a r t o f your cares you g i v e me w i t h your  crown.  (Richard I I . IV, i , 194) L a t e r , l i k e h i s son and Henry VI, Bolingbroke i s t o r e a l i z e the f u l l extent o f t h e t r u t h o f h i s words h e r e . efficient  Strong and  r u l e r as he i s , he too f e e l s t h e heavy burden o f  the r o l e , t h e d i s t i n c t i o n s between h i m s e l f and the o f f i c e , and i s aware o f t h e i r o n i c c o n t r a s t between t h e o u t e r ceremony and t h e inner, hidden i n q u i e t u d e .  Once more h i s s u b j e c t s a r e  more " k i n g " than he: How many thousands o f my poorest s u b j e c t s Are a t t h i s hour a s l e e p ? Why r a t h e r , Sleep, l i e s t thou i n smoky c r i b s , Upon uneasy p a l l e t s s t r e t c h i n g thee, And hushed with b u z z i n g n i g h t f l i e s t o t h y / slumber, Than i n t h e perfumed chambers o f t h e g r e a t , Under t h e canopies o f c o s t l y s t a t e And l u l l e d w i t h sound o f sweetest melody? Uneasy l i e s the head t h a t wears a crown. ( I I Henry IV, I I I , i , 4-31) We are reminded o f Henry V I s T  c o n t r a s t of. the " r i c h  embroidered  canopy" with t h e sweet "hawthorn'- bush"; and o f R i c h a r d I I ' s comparison o f h i s "gorgeous p a l a c e " w i t h a  "hermitage."  R i c h a r d I I and Henry V I , as we have seen, do but p l a y t h e i r p a r t s ; t h e y merely simulate the r o l e o f k i n g .  62  Henry V, on the o t h e r hand, performs h i s a l l o t t e d r o l e s w i t h a devoted c o n s c i e n t i o u s n e s s r e f l e c t at once the kingship. before Una  He  and  s t r e n g t h o f c h a r a c t e r which  shadow, as w e l l as the  substance, o f  i s the a s t u t e p o l i t i c i a n , the k i n g l y s o l d i e r  H a r f l e u r , the gauche wooer o f K a t h e r i n e ,  and  so  on.  E l l i s - F e r m o r comments on the v e r s a t i l i t y o f h i s a c t i n g  abilities: . . . we see the diplomacy, the s o l d i e r s h i p , the v i g i l a n t a s t u t e eye upon the moods o f people and barons, the e x c e l l e n t a c t i n g o f a p a r t i n c o u r t and camp and c o u n c i l room . . . .46 In l i v i n g up t o the r o l e o f k i n g , Henry f i n d s t h a t he must perform a v a r i e t y o f p a r t s : and  so on.  s o l d i e r , statesman, p o l i t i c i a n  These are the r o l e s t h a t Richard  cannot p l a y , i n the  sense o f g i v i n g substance t o the  But Henry V does not p l a y these p a r t s — and  as Una  I I and Henry VI  Ellis-Fermor's reference  a c t i n g " seems t o suggest —  as R i c h a r d  part. I I I does,  t o Henry's " e x c e l l e n t  i n order to  H a l ' s speech i n I Henry IV  deceive.  (I, i i ,  218-240), i n  which he a f f i r m s t h a t he w i l l e v e n t u a l l y break o f f with F a l s t a f f and  assume the k i n g ' s  r o l e , has been considered  many t o be h i g h l y h y p o c r i t i c a l behaviour. t h i s o p i n i o n might seem a l l too t r u e .  On the f a c e o f i t ,  But the s o l i l o q u y  r e v e a l s hone o f the c y n i c a l , g l o a t i n g q u a l i t y which a s s o c i a t e with R i c h a r d  comment on t h e i r double-faced  In Henry's speech t h e r e  the r o l e t h a t i s t o be p l a y e d . 46Th  e  we  I l l ' s o r Iago's s o l i l o q u i e s i n which  t h e y d i s c u s s t h e i r p a r t s and behaviour.  by  The  i s no p e r s o n a l  glee a t  s o l i l o q u y seems r a t h e r  F r o n t i e r s o f Drama, pp.45-46.  63 t o be a g e n e r a l e x p o s i t i o n o f what the k i n g l y l i f e  entails;  man  separate.  and o f f i c e , youth and m a t u r i t y ,  are t o be kept  M u r i e l Bradbrook's remarks are worth quoting  here:  H i s n o t o r i o u s f i r s t s o l i l o q u y does not p r o c l a i m h i s i n t e n t i o n o f h a v i n g h i s f l i n g and r e p e n t i n g at l e i s u r e : i t announces a p o l i c y o f moral d i s g u i s e , a k i n t o the p h y s i c a l d i s g u i s e which the r u l e r so o f t e n assumes i n E l i z a b e t h a n drama . . . * f o r the purpose o f a t t a i n i n g knowledge, as i n the case o f the Duke o f Vienna, Henry V b e f o r e Aginc o u r t , Edward IV a t B r a d f o r d , and the whole c l a s s o f c h a r a c t e r s a k i n t o him.47 To be ing  sure, i t cannot be denied  the r o l e o f the p r o d i g a l son,  staff. and (II,  t h a t H a l i s p l a y i n g , o r assumi n h i s r e l a t i o n s with  But p l a y i n g does not n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e  Falstaff — iv) —  Fal-  hypocrisy,  i n the p l a y w i t h i n the p l a y scene o f I Henry IV  i s given an o p p o r t u n i t y  H i s f a i l u r e to do so i s h i s own  t o see the f u t u r e Henry.  f a u l t , f o r Henry, as w e l l  o t h e r s , makes F a l s t a f f * s f a i l i n g s p e r f e c t l y c l e a r t o  as  him.  J . Lawlor speaks o f . ... F a l s t a f f * s c o n t i n u i n g c o n v i c t i o n . . . t h a t whatever the masks t h e y adopt, inwardly men do not change. R e v e l r y behind locked doors i s h i s whole and innocent n o t i o n o f enthroned kingship.4° F a l s t a f f * s f a i l u r e to penetrate  the mask i s due,  not to Henry's  impenetrable h y p o c r i s y , but r a t h e r t o F a l s t a f f * s l a c k o f insight, h i s unwillingness not t o accept M.  t o accept  reality.  I see no  reason  C. Bradbrook's comment t h a t Hal i s p l a y i n g i n  d i s g u i s e , as before A g i n c o u r t ,  t o o b t a i n knowledge o f h i s sub-  jects.  o f prelude  But a l l t h i s i s by way  theme, Henry V  imperial  himself.  47shakespeare 4%ie  t o the  and E l i z a b e t h a n Poetry, p.195.  T r a g i c Sense i n Shakespeare,  p.37  64  It hasr often been pointed out that Henry i s proba;  bly Shakespeare's picture of the perfect r u l e r .  Una E l l i s -  Fermor49 suggests that the series of p o r t r a i t s of kings l o g i c a l l y terminates i n Henry V , the mirror of a l l C h r i s t i a n kings.  It has been further noted, again by Una E l l i s - F e r m o r ,  that Henry i s somehow too perfect,  that i n him the d i s t i n c -  tions between man and o f f i c e — though he comments upon them at length — r e a l l y do not e x i s t .  There i s no Henry behind  the r o l e ; only a k i n g . He i s s o l i d and f l a w l e s s . There i s no attribute i n him that i s not part of t h i s f i g u r e , no desire, no i n t e r e s t , no habit even that i s not harmonized with i t . He i s never o f f the platform; even when alone i n a moment of weariness and of intense anxiety, he sees with absolute clearness the f u t i ^ l i t y of p r i v i l e g e and the burden of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , he s t i l l argues h i s case i n general terms, a k i n g ' s l i f e weighed against a peasant's, peasant against k i n g . Wo expression of personal desire escapes him . . . though he makes almost the same comparison as Henry V I , he i s detached a l i k e from king and shepherd, commenting upon them . . . h i s brain automatically d e l i v e r s a public speech . . . . It i s i n vain that we look f o r the personality of Henry behind the king; there i s nothing else there. 50 This seems to be a rather forbidding p o r t r a i t . the extent that Henry i s an excellent  It i s true to  r u l e r , and both h i s  words and deeds are at a l l times appropriate to the p o l i t i c a l occasion.  As I have suggested,  the role the king must play  includes performances as s o l d i e r , statesman, lover; i n short Henry f i t s Ophelia's description of Hamlet: The c o u r t i e r ' s , s o l d i e r ' s , scholar's eye, tongue, The expectancy and rose of the f a i r state, 49una E l l i s - F e r m o r , o p . c i t . ,  50jbid.  t  P.45.  Chapter  III.  sword —  65  The g l a s s o f f a s h i o n and the mold o f form, The observed o f a l l o b s e r v e r s — (Hamlet, I I I , i , 159-162) What S i r P h i l i p Sidney r e p r e s e n t s i n r e a l l i f e , Henry V r e p r e sents i n a r t . success.  A l l these r o l e s he performs w i t h admirable  But t o imply, as I t h i n k Una E l l i s - F e r m o r does,  t h a t Henry i s merely a "marvellous, n e c e s s a r y man,"  and t h a t  t h e r e i s no p e r s o n a l warmth o f c h a r a c t e r i n any o f h i s a c t i o n s , such as would suggest he i s both man  and k i n g , seems t o me  not i n a c c o r d w i t h the f a c t s o f the p l a y .  There i s s u r e l y  n o t h i n g automatic o r s u p e r f i c i a l about the great s o l i l o q u y on Ceremony.  I t i s s i n c e r e and deeply f e l t , and t h e r e i s no  hint of cynicism i n i t , part.  e i t h e r on Shakespeare's o r  Here i s a genuine comment by Henry the man  the King's woeful r o l e .  Henry's upon Henry  F o r Henry i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y aware,  and not i n j u s t a g e n e r a l sense, o f the d i s c r e p a n c y between p u b l i c and p r i v a t e f e e l i n g , between the man  and the o f f i c e .  I t i s t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n which marks not o n l y the ceremony s o l i l o q u y but a l s o the great speeches o f R i c h a r d I I , Henry IV and Henry V I . soldiers. the  In d i s g u i s e , Henry V converses w i t h h i s  H i s assumption o f the s o l d i e r ' s r o l e here,  fits  speech: . . . I t h i n k the K i n g i s but a man, as I am. The v i o l e t s m e l l s t o him as i t doth t o me, a l l h i s senses have but human c o n d i t i o n s . H i s ceremonies l a i d by, i n h i s nakedness he appears but a man, and though h i s a f f e c t i o n s are h i g h e r mounted than o u r s , y e t when they stoop, t h e y stoop with the l i k e wing. (Henry V, IV, i , 105-112)  These  sentiments r e c a l l R i c h a r d I I ' s words: Throw away r e s p e c t , T r a d i t i o n , form, and ceremonious  duty,  66  For you have but mistook me I l i v e with bread l i k e you, Taste g r i e f , need f r i e n d s .  a l l t h i s while. f e e l want,  (Richard I I . I l l ,  ii,  172-176)  Both Henry's and Richard's words f o c u s the tragedy o f the kingly role.  Although the k i n g has o n l y the same n a t u r a l  senses as a l l men, task.  The  he i s c a l l e d upon to a c t an  extraordinary  d u t i e s o f k i n g s h i p are imposed on the man,  i s the man  who  and i t  must bear the burden.  I t i s t r u e t h a t we  never see Henry d i r e c t l y  i n g from the burden o f the r o l e , as we  suffer-  do R i c h a r d I I and  Henry VI; nor does he p l e a d f o r sympathy, as R i c h a r d I I does i n t h a t speech o f h i s j u s t quoted.  We  Henry's comments on the King as a man  must remember t h a t ' are g i v e n i n c o g n i t o ;  h a supports the burden alone and w i t h apparent c o n t r o l . Despite t h i s outward c o n t r o l , I do not f e e l t h a t Henry's speeches on the woes o f k i n g s h i p are t h e r e f o r e g l i b and meani n g l e s s , mere mouthings o f a k i n g who n o t h i n g as a p e r s o n .  f e e l s , and  suggests t h a t he too has f e l t  misery o f which he  express,  B e s i d e s , the s o l i l o q u y ; on ceremony i s  not e n t i r e l y a detached and d e p e r s o n a l i z e d speaks, and  can  comment.  Henry  something o f the  talks:  I am a k i n g t h a t f i n d thee, and I know ' T i s not the balm, the s c e p t e r , and the b a l l , The sword, the mace, the crown i m p e r i a l , The i n t e r t i s s u e d robe o f g o l d and p e a r l , The f a r c e d t i t l e running 'fore the k i n g Hot  a l l these,  Can  sleep so soundly  as the wretched s l a v e , (Henry V. IV, i , 276-285)  67  The l a s t l i n e s o f the speech, r e l e v a n c e to, Henry's p o s i t i o n .  indeed, have an immediate Sleep, the r e s t o r a t i v e o f  n a t u r e , the balm o f t r o u b l e d minds, which Macbeth, Lear, and Edward I I a l l l a c k , i s enjoyed by the wretched s l a v e : The s l a v e , a member o f the c o u n t r y ' s peace, Enjoys i t , but i n gross b r a i n l i t t l e wots What watch the King keeps t o m a i n t a i n the peace, Whose hours the peasant best advantages. (Henry V, IV, i , 29&-301) F o r Henry i s h i m s e l f , a t t h a t moment o f p e r s o n a l a n x i e t y , keeping watch t o m a i n t a i n the peace, g i v i n g h i s s o l d i e r s " c h e e r f u l semblance and sweet majesty" p l u c k comfort from h i s l o o k s .  M.  so t h a t each man  may  C. Bradbrook comments on  the s o l i l o q u y , l i n k i n g i t i n form as w e l l as s p i r i t t o Henry VI's words a t Towton: In Henry V, as i n Henry VI, the one scene t h a t l i v e s f u l l y , w i t h the depths o f Shakespeare's a r t , i s the t a b l e a u o f the King set a g a i n s t the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f h i s people and l e f t t o meditate on the p r i c e o f g r e a t n e s s . Henry V a t A g i n c o u r t l o o k s back t o Henry VI a t Towton . . . . The l i k e ness bet\>reen the lament o f the p i t i f u l son o f Henry V and h i s f a t h e r ' s s t e r n e r musings i s a p r o o f o f the c o n t i n u i t y u n d e r l y i n g i t . 5 1 Henry as a man  i s warm and a f f e c t i o n a t e w i t h h i s c l o s e f r i e n d s ;  i n t h e i r company he i s i n f o r m a l l y g r a c i o u s . ham  " o l d h e a r t " and l a t e r "good o l d k n i g h t . "  k i n d l y and own  He c a l l s E r p i n g -  s i n c e r e l y t o F l u e l l e n and  Welsh b l o o d .  speaks  jokes with him about h i s  Again he i n s p i r e s h i s men  w i t h words o f warmth and  He  before Agincourt  companionship:  We few, we happy few, we band o f b r o t h e r s . F o r he today t h a t sheds h i s b l o o d w i t h me 51Shakespeare and E l i z a b e t h a n P o e t r y , p.210.  68  S h a l l be my b r o t h e r . Be he ne'er so v i l e , T h i s day s h a l l g e n t l e h i s c o n d i t i o n . (Henry V. IV, i i i , 60-63) These a r e a l l e x p r e s s i o n s o f comfort which a r e , o f course, expected o f Henry as a l e a d e r o f men; one c o u l d perhaps say; t h a t such behaviour  c o n s t i t u t e s h i s duty as a k i n g .  own p e r s o n a l i t y i s v i s i b l e , t o o .  But h i s  I t i s probably true that  t h e r e i s a c e r t a i n coldness about Henry's war:speeches and t h a t we a r e not p e r f e c t l y aware o f Henry t h e man's f e e l i n g s towards t h e words he speaks as k i n g and s o l d i e r .  But even  t h e r e , f o r example i n Henry's speech b e f o r e H a r f l e u r , t h e r e i s some i n d i c a t i o n o f h i s p e r s o n a l a t t i t u d e .  He suggests  t h a t t h e name o f s o l d i e r i s one which f i t s b e s t i n h i s imagination;  he i s not a s o l d i e r by n a t u r e :  F o r as I am a s o l d i e r — A name t h a t i n my thoughts becomes me b e s t  —  (Henry V. I l l , i i i , 5-6) Una..; E l l i s - F e r m o r i s p a r t i c u l a r l y c r i t i c a l to  God on t h e eve o f A g i n c o u r t .  o f Henry's p r a y e r  I t e s p e c i a l l y she sees as  an expedient o r n e c e s s a r y a c t , a r o l e merely p l a y e d . she says, an a s t u t e b a r g a i n , a p i e c e o f shrewd  It is,  diplomacy  between one k i n g and another — 0 God o f b a t t l e s , s t e e l my s o l d i e r s ' h e a r t s ! Possess them not w i t h f e a r , take from them now The sense o f r e c k o n i n g i f t h e opposed numbers Pluck t h e i r h e a r t s from them. Not today, 0 L o r d , Oh, not today, t h i n k not upon t h e f a u l t My f a t h e r made i n compassing t h e crown! 1 R i c h a r d ' s body have i n t e r r e d new, And on i t have bestowed more c o n t r i t e t e a r s Than from i t i s s u e d f o r c e d drops o f b l o o d . F i v e hundred poor I have i n y e a r l y pay, Who twice a day t h e i r w i t h e r e d hands h o l d up Toward Heaven, t o pardon b l o o d . . . . .  69  In t h i s speech, as Una conducting  E l l i s - F e r m o r sees i t , Henry i s merely  a ". . . b a r g a i n with h i s God,  l i k e a pedlar.  H i s r e l i g i o n and h i s l o v e f o r h i s people a l i k e c a r r y with them a t i n g e o f expediency, a h i n t o f the g l i b speaker."52  But  s u r e l y t h i s i s not  a p r a y e r , an earnest  platform  so; the speech i s r a t h e r  s u p p l i c a t i o n to God.  In i t , Henry  a f f i r m s h u m i l i t y r a t h e r than shrewdness. All and King.  He  t h i s i s by way  o f j u s t i f y i n g Henry as both  i s a good k i n g because he i s a good man,  man  not  because he i s a g l i b a c t o r . And  thus the image o f the k i n g as r o l e - p l a y e r seems  c e n t r a l i n Shakespeare's thought.  Indeed the i m p l i c a t i o n s  o f the analogy are p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e  in  suggesting  what i s i n v o l v e d i n b e i n g , o r p l a y i n g , the k i n g ' s r o l e .  "As  i n a t h e a t r e , " the k i n g performs b e f o r e the p u b l i c gaze; he p r e s e n t s a f a c e to h i s s p e c t a t o r - s u b j e c t s which o f t e n h i d e s his  own  suffering.  But yet he must p l a y out the r o l e , f o r  the burden i s h i s and h i s a l o n e . k i n g and the t r a g i c a c t o r i s t h i s :  The  d i s t i n c t i o n between the  t h a t where i n an a c t u a l  p l a y , the a c t o r s are t r u l y c o u n t e r f e i t e r s and the o n l y a simulated one, real.  the r o l e the k i n g must p l a y i s o n l y too  When the k i n g ' s tragedy  i s indeed  irrevocable.  s l e n d e r p a r t , " "a l i t t l e  5 0p.cit., 2  tragedy  The  i s performed, the  king's l i f e  sceneJ"  p.47.  catastrophe  i s t r u l y a "wofully  70  Chapter V I .  The  The  T r a g i c Hero  group o f a c t o r s I wish to d i s c u s s next c o n s i s t s  o f Shakespeare*s t r a g i c heroes, Macbeth, Hamlet, Brutus Othello.  These men  upon, indeed ular role. mistakenly  have much i n common.  Each one  and  i s called  r e q u i r e d as i f i t were a duty, t o p l a y a p a r t i c In each case, the a c t —  murder, though i t may  and t r a g i c a l l y be termed " s a c r i f i c e " by the  former, i s c a r e f u l l y staged  as a s o r t o f r i t u a l .  p l a y s the murderer and k i l l s Duncan i n h i s bed;  per-  Macbeth Hamlet assumes  the avenger*s r o l e and murders C l a u d i u s , although the deed can. h a r d l y be d e s c r i b e d as d e l i b e r a t e l y staged; the  Brutua  plays  s a c r i f i c e r * s r o l e , a c t i n g outthe murder o f Caesar as a  p u b l i c r i t u a l , w h i l e O t h e l l o performs h i s r o l e as avenger, c a r r y i n g out the murder o f Desdemona as a form o f W i t h i n the framework o f the  "grand" r o l e , t h e r e are  l e s s e r ones, the necessary deceptions and the o t h e r s . must seem mad  sacrifice. the  on the p a r t o f Macbeth  Macbeth must p l a y the host t o Duncan; Hamlet  t o C l a u d i u s ; B r u t u s must p l a y the l o y a l  t o Caesar and O t h e l l o must seem courteous t o h i s w i f e p l o t t i n g her death.  friend while  Each o f the heroes i s p a i n f u l l y aware  o f h i s p l a y - a c t i n g and  each must q u i t e c o n s c i o u s l y l e a r n t o  perform h i s p a r t . C l e a r l y t h e r e are v a r i a t i o n s w i t h i n t h i s r a t h e r general pattern. one  by h i m s e l f and  Brutus and O t h e l l o are both deceived,  the  C a s s i u s , the o t h e r by Iago, i n t o t h i n k i n g  the r o l e s they p l a y are j u s t ones.  Nothing o f course c o u l d  be f u r t h e r from the t r u t h , and O t h e l l o ' s f i n a l  realization  71  o f what he has t r u l y p e r f o r m e d , i s indeed t r a g i c .  Macbeth,  on t h e o t h e r hand, i s under no such m i s c o n c e p t i o n .  He  accepts  t h e r o l e o f murderer knowing f u l l w e l l what i t s p r o b a b l e consequences w i l l be f o r h i m s e l f .  What he does d e c e i v e  himself  i n , i s i n t h i n k i n g t h a t Duncan's murder w i l l be t h e " e n d - a l l . " But he soon l e a r n s t h a t , once t h e mask i s o n , i t i s h a r d t o take o f f .  And i n b o t h Macbeth and Hamlet, p a t t e r n s o f c l o t h i n g  imagery a r e used t o support t h e main concept o f t h e hero a s a c t o r ; t h i s i s n o t so i n J u l i u s Caesar and O t h e l l o . D e s p i t e t h e s e d i f f e r e n c e s , one f e a t u r e o f Shakespeare's p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the t r a g i c hero stands out.  Macbeth,  Hamlet, B r u t u s and O t h e l l o a r e a l l u n c o m f o r t a b l y aware o f t h e i r role-playing.  Each i s c o g n i s a n t  of the f a c t , i n greater or  l e s s e r degree, t h a t t h e r o l e t h e y p l a y i s an e v i l one.  A part  o f them r e b e l s a g a i n s t p u t t i n g on t h e v i l l a i n ' s mask and p e r f o r m i n g a v i l l a i n ' s deed.  I t i s t h i s inner tension, t h i s inner  s t r u g g l e between t h e burden imposed b y t h e r o l e and t h e f e e l i n g , o r , i n t h e case o f Macbeth and Hamlet, knowledge o f t h e a c t u a l e v i l t h a t t h e deed i n v o l v e s , which Shakespeare seems bent on presenting. I mentioned e a r l i e r t h a t R i c h a r d I I I i s an a c t o r who p l a y s h i s v a r i o u s r o l e s w i t h a v i e w t o w i n n i n g t h e crown. There i s a s i m i l a r i t y , i n r e s p e c t o f t h i s p u r p o s e f u l p l a y a c t i n g , between h i m s e l f and Macbeth.  As R i c h a r d p l o t s h i s course  o f a c t i o n b e h i n d a mask o f s m i l e s , so Macbeth, t o g e t h e r  with  h i s w i f e , p u t s on t h e mask o f f r i e n d s h i p t o Duncan w h i l e t h e monarch's death i s d e v i s e d .  Macbeth q u i t e d e l i b e r a t e l y h i d e s  h i s f e e l i n g s under a c o v e r o f a f f a b i l i t y and p l a y s t h e l o y a l  72 kinsman's r o l e .  Lady Macbeth, h e r mind f i x i n g  immediately  upon Duncan's murder even a t t h e i n s t a n t o f r e c e i v i n g h e r husband's l e t t e r , suggests t o him upon h i s r e t u r n t h a t they must play t h e i r parts c a r e f u l l y .  As h e r f i r s t words i n d i c a t e , how-  ever, Macbeth i s none too e f f e c t i v e as an a c t o r : Your f a c e , my Thane, i s as a book where men May read strange m a t t e r s . To b e g u i l e t h e time, Look l i k e the time, b e a r welcome i n your eye, Your hand, your tongue. Look l i k e t h e innocent f l o w e r But be t h e serpent under ' t . He t h a t ' s coming Must be p r o v i d e d f o r . (Macbeth. I , v,  63-68)  Macbeth p r e p a r e s h i m s e l f f o r t h e grand r o l e , w h i l e p l a y i n g t h e lesser: I am s e t t l e d and bend up Each c o r p o r a l agent t o t h i s t e r r i b l e f e a t . Away, and mock the time w i t h f a i r e s t show F a l s e face must hide what t h e f a l s e h e a r t doth know. (Macbeth, I , V i i , 79-82) In s i m i l a r f a s h i o n , Lady Macbeth t a k e s on t h e r o l e o f murderess (I,  iv,  41-55).  L a t e r when t h e deed i s done, both o f them con-  t i n u e the a c t i n g : Lady M. .... , Come on, Gentle my l o r d , s l e e k o ' e r your rugged l o o k s , Be b r i g h t and j o v i a l among your guests t o n i g h t . Macb. So s h a l l I , l o v e , and so, I pray, be you. Let your remembrance apply t o Banquo, Present him eminence, both w i t h eye and tongue, Unsafe t h e w h i l e , t h a t we Must l a v e our honors i n these f l a t t e r i n g streams And make our f a c e s v i z a r d s t o our h e a r t s , D i s g u i s i n g what t h e y a r e . (Macbeth, I I I , i i , 27-34) The use o f " v i z a r d " as t h e a t r i c a l mask, i s i n t e r e s t i n g , and we remember R i c h a r d 28).  Ill's  " v i r t u o u s v i z a r d " (Richard I I I , I I , i i ,  But " d i s g u i s i n g what t h e y a r e " seems ambiguous.  I t can  mean, d i s g u i s i n g t h e f a c t o f o u r v i l l a i n y , o r d i s g u i s i n g our i n n e r knowledge (at l e a s t Macbeth's) t h a t t h e r o l e o f murderer  73  is vile. 4).  But  L a t e r on Macbeth " p l a y s " the humble host  i f he f i n d s i t hard to p l a y the d e c e i v e r , and  overplays it  (III, i v ,  the p a r t o f the d i s t r a u g h t kinsman, how  i s f o r him t o p l a y the murderer.  And  he  much harder  here, I t h i n k ,  we  b e g i n t o come c l o s e r t o the r e a l d i f f e r e n c e s between R i c h a r d I I I and Macbeth. Richard  I I I and  Iago are d e d i c a t e d  t o t h e i r course o f v i l l a i n y .  Richard  whole-heartedly  i s not caught up by  any  i n t e r n a l s t r u g g l e as t o the moral r i g h t o r wrong o f h i s a c t i o n s . I t i s t r u e t h a t both R i c h a r d t h e i r deeds, but one  and  Iago comment on the e v i l  of  never f e e l s t h a t they are moved by what  they say, and t h e y are o n l y , i n e f f e c t , b e i n g c y n i c a l . on the o t h e r hand, i s t o r n between good and  evil.  Macbeth,  With a  t e r r i f y i n g l u c i d i t y , he r e a l i z e s the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the o f murder he i s contemplating,  i n the  done when t i s done • . ." ( I , v i i , f  act  s o l i l o q u y " I f 'twere  Iff.).  l e n g t h upon Duncan's noble q u a l i t i e s :  He  comments at  "Duncan/Hath borne h i s  f a c u l t i e s so meek, hath been/So c l e a r i n h i s great o f f i c e .  . ."  (I, v i i ,  the  16).  T h i s seems somewhat l i k e Iago's comments on  f i d e l i t y o f O t h e l l o , o r Edmund's on the honesty o f h i s In a l l these cases p r a i s e i s g i v e n someone who deceived  or destroyed.  speeches i s a s n e e r i n g ,  But  make him pause t o c o n s i d e r h i s a c t i o n s .  He does not  Edmund's  a f f e c t Iago, o r  Macbeth's s o l i l o q u y ,  s i n c e r e d i v i s i o n w i t h i n the  sneer a t Duncan nor c a l l him  moved by the k i n g l i n e s s and  be  n e i t h e r the nobleness o f  O t h e l l o nor the p u r i t y o f Desdemona i n any way  however, r e v e a l s a deep and  i s about to  the tone o f Iago's and  j i b i n g one;  brother.  fool.  man.  Rather he i s  innocence o f Duncan; these  are  74  t h i n g s which mean something t o him, i n s t i n c t i v e l y , as does R i c h a r d  and he  cannot proceed  I I I , to h i s murderous deed.  In e f f e c t then, t h e r e are two Macbeths: e v i l , the other good.  The  t h a t i t r a t h e r complicates  the  one  p a r t i c u l a r importance o f t h i s i s his play-acting.  Not  o n l y must he  put on a f a c e t o the world, t o "seem" the f r i e n d , but he must a l s o put on a f a c e t o h i m s e l f , must mask the b e t t e r p a r t o f his  nature.  He has t o d e l i b e r a t e l y assume the v i l l a i n s r o l e  and  convince h i m s e l f t h a t he  T  is a villain.  the r o l e o f v i l l a i n i s second nature and all.  To Richard  s c a r c e l y a r o l e at  But Macbeth i s a poor p l a y e r ; he h e s i t a t e s and  lates.  But f i n a l l y the deed i s done and  his  bed.  own  But  III  vacil-  Duncan murdered i n  once the deed i s f i n i s h e d , Macbeth f i n d s  t o h i s h o r r o r t h a t the mask o f v i l l a i n y becomes p a r t o f  him.  More and more, as h i s crimes i n c r e a s e , he becomes, r a t h e r than merely p l a y i n g , the v i l l a i n , 65 and Macbeth, III:, i v , The  ( c f . Richard  I I I , TV, i i ,  136.)  uneasiness t h a t Macbeth f e e l s i n h i s r o l e o f  u n l a w f u l k i n g i s suggested i n the c l o t h i n g imagery o f the play.  C.E.  represented  Spurgeon remarks t h a t Macbeth i s ". . . c o n s t a n t l y s y m b o l i c a l l y as the wearer o f robes not  belonging  t o him."53 Kenneth Muir notes t h a t "the famous i t e r a t i v e image  T e l l s Us,  53c.E. Spurgeon, Shakespeare's Imagery and What I t Cambridge, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958, p.189.  75  of  a man  of  p i c t o r i a l a n t i t h e s i s , c o n t r a s t i n g the man and h i s c l o t h e s  .  .  i n i l l - f i t t i n g garments may be regarded as a k i n d  . ."54  Cleanth Brooks adds t h a t  . . . Macbeth l o a t h e s p l a y i n g the p a r t o f the hypoc r i t e — and a c t u a l l y does not p l a y i t too w e l l . . . . the s e r i e s o f garment metaphors which run through the p l a y i s p a r a l l e l e d by a s e r i e s o f maski n g o r c l o a k i n g images which . . . show themselves to be . . . v a r i a n t s o f the garments which h i d e none too w e l l h i s d i s g r a c e f u l s e l f . He i s cons c i o u s l y h i d i n g t h a t s e l f throughout the play.55 The k i n d o f image t o which these c r i t i c s r e f e r appears a t the o u t s e t o f the p l a y . of  Macbeth, greeted with the t i t l e  o f Thane  Cawdor, asks: The Thane o f Cawdor l i v e s . In borrowed robes?  Why do you d r e s s me (Macbeth, I , i i i , 108-109)  A few l i n e s l a t e r , Banquo  comments:  New honours come upon him, L i k e our strange garments, cleave not t o t h e i r mold But with the a i d o f u s e . (Macbeth. I , i i i , 144-146) One o f the most s i g n i f i c a n t o f these i s t h e comparison made by Angus, when he comments on Macbeth. Noxtf does he f e e l h i s t i t l e Hang loose about him, l i k e a g i a n t ' s robe Upon a dwarfish t h i e f . (Macbeth, Y, i i , 20-22) A l l these images h e l p t o support the i d e a t h a t Macbeth i s u n f i t t e d t o the r o l e s he assumes; e i t h e r as murderer-usurper, or  as k i n g .  The robes he wears are borrowed ones, not t r u l y  54Kenneth Muir, "Shakespeare and R h e t o r i c , " Shakespeare Jafarbuch, XC, H e i d e l b e r g , Q u e l l e & Meyer, 1954, p.62. 55cieanth Brooks, The Well-Wrought Urn, New York, Harcourt Brace, 1947, pp.32-33.  76  his.  Even the golden opinionswhich he has honorably won  at f i r s t ,  like  "strange garments."  feel,  A l a n Downer w r i t e s w e l l  on Macbeth, the "unhappy h y p o c r i t e " : Macbeth i s an unhappy h y p o c r i t e who d e c l a r e s b e f o r e the murder o f Duncan, " F a l s e f a c e must h i d e what the f a l s e h e a r t doth know," . . , The image i s . . . r e a l i z e d , made v i s u a l i n the a c t i o n o f the p l a y . The f i r s t f o u r scenes are v a r i o u s moments d u r i n g and after a battle. In them Macbeth w i l l n a t u r a l l y be wearing h i s w a r r i o r ' s costume, h i s armor, as much a symbol o f h i s nature and achievements as i s Duncan's crown . . . . Under p r e s s u r e from h i s w i f e , however, he r e s o l v e s t o s e i z e the k i n g s h i p , t o cover the w a r r i o r ' s garments and the golden o p i n i o n s t h a t went w i t h them w i t h the c l o t h i n g t h a t was p r o p e r l y Duncan's.56 Downer c o n c l u d e s : In Macbeth, the costume change i s r e l a t e d t o the i t e r a t e d image t o make concrete Macbeth's s t a t e o f mind. . . . (p.3D The p o e t i c image o f the borrowed robe may,  indeed, be made  t h e a t r i c a l l y e f f e c t i v e , suggests Downer: When Macbeth e n t e r s he i s wearing h i s d r e s s i n g gown, and i f the a c t o r i s wise i t w i l l be such a gown as c a l l s a t t e n t i o n t o i t s e l f , f o r a t t h i s p o i n t the change i n costume, the d i s g u i s i n g o f the armor, d r a m a t i z e s both the change i n Macbeth's nature and the i t e r a t e d image. (p.29) Perhaps, t o add t o A ,-S. Downer's commentary, the a c t o r c o u l d wear robes too l a r g e f o r him, thus g i v i n g added p o i n t and d r a matic emphasis t o Angus' comparison o f Macbeth t o a dwarf.  In  t h i s r e g a r d , C.F.; Spurgeon w r i t e s : 56 Downer, "The L i f e o f Our Design: The Funct i o n o f Imagery i n the P o e t i c Drama," Shakespeare: Modern E s s a y s i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. L.F. Dean, New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957, pp.28-29. (From The Hudson Review. I I , No.2, Summer 1949, pp.242-260.) A l a n  s  #  77  Few simple t h i n g s have such a c u r i o u s l y h u m i l i a t i n g and degrading e f f e c t as the s p e c t a c l e o f a n o t a b l y s m a l l man enveloped i n a coat f a r too b i g f o r him . . . i t i s by means o f t h i s homely p i c t u r e t h a t Shakespeare shows us h i s imaginat i v e view o f the hero, and expresses the f a c t t h a t the honours f o r which the murders were committed a r e , a f t e r a l l , o f v e r y l i t t l e worth  to him.57,  I do not q u i t e see the l i n k C a r o l i n e Spurgeon makes between the  c l o t h i n g image and the f a c t t h a t Macbeth's l i s t o f murders  are  o f " l i t t l e worth t o him."  C e r t a i n l y though, the p i c t u r e  of Macbeth as a dwarf i n a g i a n t ' s robe i s humorous, perhaps even l u d i c r o u s , and expresses the f a c t t h a t Macbeth p l a y s the King's r o l e , r a t h e r i n a d e q u a t e l y . a  He does indeed make h i m s e l f  s m a l l man when he murders Duncan.  One might say t h a t he i s ,  l i k e N a t h a n i e l attempting t o p l a y Alexander i n t h e pageant o f Love's Labour's L o s t , "a l i t t l e  o'erparted."  And so Macbeth p l a y s out h i s p a r t s .  I n the depths  of d e s p a i r , alone, he i s brought word o f h i s w i f e ' s d e a t h . His  famous speech now t a k e s on new  significance:  L i f e ' s but a w a l k i n g shadow, a poor p l a y e r That s t r u t s and f r e t s h i s hour upon the stage And t h e n i s heard no more. I t i s a t a l e T o l d by an i d i o t , f u l l o f sound and f u r y S i g n i f y i n g nothing. (Macbeth. ¥, i i ,  24-28)  John Lawlor's comments a p t l y sum up a l l t h a t I could wish t o say  on Macbeth, the a c t o r : We thus reach the m a s t e r - c o n c e p t i o n t h a t informs the whole. The c e n t r a l i s o l a t i o n o f Macbeth,  57spurgeon, o p . c i t . , pp.324-325.  78  prompted and rehearsed i n h i s p a r t and launched upon h i s c a r e e r by Lady Macbeth, seems t o have touched o f f i n Shakespeare's deepest i m a g i n a t i o n the c e n t r a l i s o l a t i o n o f the a c t o r , alone a g a i n s t a p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous world o f o b s e r v e r s , w i t h h i s b r i e f span o f time i n which t o succeed o r f a i l , and the a c t o r ' s sharp awareness, s p e c t a t o r f a s h i o n , o f the l i m i t a t i o n s o f h i s a r t . So the sense o f a f a i l i n g performance grows as the expect a t i o n s roused by the "happy p r o l o g u e s to t h e s w e l l i n g a c t o f the i m p e r i a l theme" begin t o be falsified. So, t o o , Macbeth descends i n the s c a l e o f p u b l i c s p e c t a c l e from a dominant a c t o r p l a y i n g a King's r o l e t o a bear t i e d to the stake, a process p a r a l l e l i n g h i s p u t t i n g - o f f o f humanity, the s c o r n f u l r e f u s a l t o " p l a y the Roman f o o l . " 5 ° U n l i k e Macbeth, who quite v o l u n t a r i l y —  a c c e p t s the p a r t o f murderer  though he p l a y s i t i n an i n v o l u n t a r y  manner, Hamlet i s r e q u i r e d t o p l a y the avenger's r o l e .  The  burden i s imposed upon him from without; he i s "prompted" t o h i s revenge,by Heaven and H e l l , and the ghost, but he laments the r o l e : The time i s out o f j o i n t . Oh, cursed s p i t e That ever I was born t o set i t r i g h t ! (Hamlet, I, v, 189-190) But he t u r n s out t o be, l i k e Macbeth, a r a t h e r poor p l a y e r . We might suspect t h i s from the b e g i n n i n g , f o r Hamlet suggests t h a t p l a y i n g i s something f o r e i g n t o h i s nature; he cannot "seem": Seems, madam! Nay, i t i s . I know not "seems." ' T i s not alone my i n k y c l o a k , good mother, Nor customary s u i t s o f solemn b l a c k , Nor the d e j e c t e d h a v i o u r o f the v i s a g e , Together w i t h a l l forms, moods, shapes o f g r i e f That can denote me t r u l y . These indeed seem, F o r t h e y are a c t i o n s t h a t a man might p l a y . (Hamlet, I , i i , 5#Lawlor, o p . c i t . , p.142.  — 76-84)  79  But Hamlet i s too modest, f o r he can indeed  "play."  He f e i g n s  the r o l e o f madman and p l a y s the l o y a l s u b j e c t t o the k i n g . But the p a r t he cannot accept  i s t h a t o f avenger, and i t i s  t h i s grand r o l e t h a t Hamlet never r e a l l y comes to himself with.  The  c e n t r a l image o f Hamlet as  actor occurs i n h i s soliloquy,  identify  ineffectual  o f Act I I , Scene i i .  Hamlet compares h i m s e l f to the p r o f e s s i o n a l a c t o r  Here who,  although p o s s e s s i n g o n l y a f e i g n e d motive f o r p a s s i o n , can y e t a c t out h i s r o l e e f f e c t i v e l y i n a way  denied t o Hamlet who  has  indeed the "motive and the cue f o r p a s s i o n " : Oh, what a rogue and peasant s l a v e am I I Is i t not monstrous t h a t t h i s p l a y e r here, But i n a f i c t i o n , i n a dream o f p a s s i o n , Could f o r c e h i s s o u l so t o h i s own c o n c e i t That from her working a l l h i s v i s a g e wanned, Tears i n h i s eyes, d i s t r a c t i o n i n s aspect, A broken v o i c e , and h i s whole f u n c t i o n s u i t i n g With forms t o h i s c o n c e i t ? And a l l f o r n o t h i n g ! For Hecuba! T  What would he do Had he the motive and the cue f o r p a s s i o n That I have? He would drown the stage w i t h t e a r s And c l e a v e the g e n e r a l ear w i t h h o r r i d speech, (Hamlet, I I , i i , 576-589) Hamlet, r e q u i r e d i n deed to take on the t r a g i c r o l e i n e a r n e s t , i s unable t o do so.  Hieronimo i n The  Spanish  Tragedy, l i k e  Hamlet prompted to h i s revenge, p o s s e s s i n g , too, the motive and the cue f o r p a s s i o n , " a c t s " out h i s r o l e v i a the medium of a r t .  I n "Soliman and Perseda" he becomes the r e a l a c t o r  o f revenge and the dream o f p a s s i o n p a r a d o x i c a l l y becomes the v e h i c l e f o r r e a l i t y as, i n Hamlet, "The Mousetrap," i t s e l f a f i c t i o n , embodies the t r u t h o f C l a u d i u s  1  crimes.  80  H e s i t a n t t o the l a s t , r e l u c t a n t t o be the avenger, Hamlet d e s p e r a t e l y a c t s out t h e r i t u a l murder o f C l a u d i u s , the revenge.  The f i n a l scene o f t h e p l a y i s indeed a p u b l i c :  s p e c t a c l e , p l a y e d out b e f o r e o u r s e l v e s and t h e  court:  You t h a t l o o k p a l e and t r e m b l e a t t h i s chance, That a r e but mutes o r a u d i e n c e t o t h i s a c t , (Hamlet. V, i i , And  345-346)  y e t i t h a r d l y seems a r i t u a l a t a l l , f o r Hamlet k i l l s  C l a u d i u s as much i n r e s p o n s e t o h i s mother's d e a t h , as i n revenge f o r h i s f a t h e r ' s murder.  The  c a r e f u l l y worked out  revenge a t the end o f Tourneur's The Revengers! Tragedy p r o v i d e s a sharp c o n t r a s t t o Hamlet's h a s t y d e s p a t c h o f t h e k i n g . I n T o u r n e u r , t h e revengers, v i s a g e d i n masks, d e l i b e r a t e l y a c t out t h e i r deed t h r o u g h the r i t u a l o f a r t i n the same way Hieronimo a c h i e v e s h i s revenge t h r o u g h "Soliman and  that  Perseda."  Hamlet's murder o f C l a u d i u s seems almost a mockery o f r i t u a l , a revenge c a r r i e d out by c a s u a l a c c i d e n t , not d e s i g n . c o n f u s i o n o f t h e r i t u a l o f revenge r e f l e c t s Hamlet's  This inability,  professed throughout the p l a y , to f u l l y i d e n t i f y w i t h the avenger's r o l e .  At t h e l a s t , the p o o r p l a y e r b u t fumbles h i s  biggest part. Hamlet's i n a b i l i t y t o c a r r y t h r o u g h w i t h t h e r o l e imposed on him i s p a r a l l e l e d by C l a u d i u s ' own as a v i l l a i n .  poor performance  L i k e Macbeth, he i s t e r r i b l y aware o f h i s  villainy: The h a r l o t ' s cheek, b e a u t i f i e d w i t h p l a s t e r i n g a r t , I s not more u g l y t o t h e t h i n g t h a t h e l p s i t Than i s my deed t o my most p a i n t e d word. Oh, heavy b u r d e n ! (Hamlet. I l l , i , 51-54)  81  S i m i l a r l y Bosola i n Webster's Duchess o f M a l f i i s a v i l l a i n who he  somehow f a i l s t o f i t the p a r t .  L i k e Macbeth and  i s aware o f the b e t t e r s i d e o f h i s n a t u r e .  Claudius,  Recalling  Ferdinand's i l l u m i n a t i n g comparison o f Bosola t o an a c t o r i n a play  —  For thee, (as we observe i n T r a g e d i e s That a good A c t o r many times i s c u r s s ' d For p l a y i n g a v i l l a i n e ' s p a r t ) I hate thee f o r 't.->9  (IV, i i , 307-309) Una  Ellis-Fermor writes: Our i n t e r e s t i n the f i g u r e o f Bosola, f o r example, i s not mainly because, i n the s e r v i c e o f Ferdinand's mania, he murders the Duchess and b r i n g s about u n w i t t i n g l y the death o f Antonio, but because o f the strange d i s c r e p a n c y between the man he appears, the man he would be and the-man t h a t , unknown t o h i m s e l f , he r e a l l y i s . Our i n t e r e s t i s i n t e n s e , f i r s t because we are watching the slow permeation o f h i s outer consciousness by t h i s i n n e r s e l f , the slow summation o f a l l h i s f i n d i n g s i n the knowledge of himself: An A c t o r i n the maine o f a l l , Much a g a i n s t mine owne good n a t u r e . . . In c o n t r a s t t o Macbeth, who  .60  a c c e p t s h i s r o l e as mur-  d e r e r aware t h a t the p a r t he p l a y s i s e v i l , Brutus and  Othello  are both convinced t h a t t h e i r r o l e s as s a c r i f i c e r s are  justi-  f i e d by,  i n the one  o t h e r , the  case, the  "tyranny" o f Caesar and  i n the  " i n f i d e l i t y " o f Desdemona. Tempted by C a s s i u s , who  makes a t e l l i n g appeal \to  B r u t u s ' p r i d e i n the e x p l o i t s o f h i s f o r e f a t h e r s , t r a g i c a l l y s e l f - d e c e i v e d i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t Caesar i s , o r w i l l become, a tyrant  (II, i ,  18-34),  Brutus a c c e p t s the r o l e o f s a c r i f i c i a l  agent,  59webster, Works of, ed. Lucas, Methuen,  I I , p.101.  60una Ellis-Fermor, The Jacobean Drama, London,* 1958,  p.176.  82  Let us be s a c r i f i c e r s , but not b u t c h e r s , C a i u s . ( J u l i u s Caesar, I I , i , 166) But he do.es not accept the p a r t without an i n n e r s t r u g g l e , a c o n f l i c t p a r a l l e l i n g t h a t which moves Macbeth.  Both must  assume the r o l e , and the i r o n y i n B r u t u s ' case i s t h a t the r o l e i s unnecessary. H i s s o l i l o q u y . : Between the a c t i n g o f a d r e a d f u l t h i n g And the f i r s t motion, a l l the i n t e r i m i s L i k e a phantasma o r a hideous dream. The Genius and the m o r t a l instruments Are then i n c o u n c i l , and the s t a t e o f man, L i k e t o a l i t t l e kingdom, s u f f e r s then The nature o f an i n s u r r e c t i o n . ( J u l i u s Caesar, I I , i , 63-69) r e c a l l s Macbeth's: My thought, whose murder yet i s but f a n t a s t i c a l , Shakes so my s i n g l e s t a t e o f man t h a t f u n c t i o n I s smothered i n surmise, and n o t h i n g i s But what i s n o t . (Macbeth, I , i i i , The  s t a t e o f man,  139-142)  which should be dominated by reason and be  i n harmony w i t h i t s e l f and i t s e a r t h l y r u l e r , the K i n g , must be subverted.  Macbeth', o f course, knows t h a t he i s s u b s t i -  t u t i n g e v i l f o r good, but Brutus f a i l s t o p e r c e i v e the f i c a n c e o f the i n n e r s t r u g g l e .  I f the r o l e o f  agent i s both n e c e s s a r y and good, why s u f f e r the nature o f an i n s u r r e c t i o n ?  signi-  sacrificial  need the s t a t e o f  man  H i s words here seem t o  r e f l e c t a subconscious r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the r o l e i s wrong, but t r a g i c a l l y t h i s i n t u i t i v e knowledge does not p e n e t r a t e t o h i s c o n s c i o u s mind, so he proceeds w i t h the p a r t he has assumed.  Confirmed i n ignorance, he f a i l s t o q u e s t i o n the  necessity that  "good purposes" must put on the mask o f  and does not see the c o n t r a d i c t i o n  involved:  smiles,  83  0 Conspiracy, Shamest thou t o show t h y dangerous brow by n i g h t , When e v i l s are most f r e e ? Oh, then by day Where w i l t thou f i n d a cavern dark enough To mask t h y monstrous v i s a g e ? Seek none, C o n s p i r a c y , Hide i t i n s m i l e s and a f f a b i l i t y . ( J u l i u s Caesar. I I , i , 77-82) L a t e r , l i k e Lady Macbeth i n s t r u c t i n g h e r husband t o p l a y the l o y a l h o s t , he d i r e c t s the murderers t o p l a y t h e i r p a r t s : Good gentlemen, l o o k f r e s h and m e r r i l y . Let not our l o o k s put on our purposes, But bear i t as our Roman a c t o r s do, With u n t i r e d s p i r i t s and f o r m a l constancy. ( J u l i u s Caesar. I I , i , 224-227) Although he does not know i t ,  Brutus  1  m e t t l e i s indeed b e i n g  "wrought from t h a t i t i s d i s p o s e d . " ( I , i i , And  313)  so the c e n t r a l deed i s performed, and the r i t u a l  s a c r i f i c e o f Caesar p l a y e d o u t .  Indeed i t i s so s t a g e - l i k e  t h a t i t i s j o k i n g l y d e s c r i b e d as i f i t r e a l l y were a p l a y a c t : Cass. Stoop then, and wash. How many ages hence S h a l l t h i s our l o f t y scene be a c t e d over In s t a t e s unborn and a c c e n t s y e t unknown! Bru. How many times s h a l l Caesar b l e e d i n s p o r t , That now on Pompey's b a s i s l i e s a l o n g No w o r t h i e r than the d u s t ! ( J u l i u s Caesar, I I I , i , 111-116) With a c u r i o u s l y macabre joke about Caesar's h a v i n g been spared the m i s e r i e s o f o l d age, which r e c a l l s B r u t u s ' e a r l i e r pun "like"  (II, i i ,  on  128), he frames the a c t i o n as a s p e c t a t o r ,  i n v i t i n g the s a c r i f i c e r s t o continue the r o l e - p l a y i n g : Grant t h a t , and then i s death a b e n e f i t . So are we Caesar's f r i e n d s t h a t have a b r i d g e d H i s time o f f e a r i n g death. Stoop, Romans, stoop, And l e t us bathe our hands i n Caesar's b l o o d Up t o the elbows, and besmear our swords. Then walk we f o r t h , even t o the market p l a c e , And waving our r e d weapons o'er our heads, L e t ' s a l l c r y "Peace, freedom, and l i b e r t y ! " ( J u l i u s Caesar, I I I , i , 103-110)  84  Brutusi, deceived i n t o a b e l i e f i n Caesar's tyranny, ;  o f t h e heavy i r o n y i n h i s words.  i s unaware  The whole e f f e c t o f t h i s  s p e c t a c l e may be compared t o t h e murder scene i n O t h e l l o . J u s t as O t h e l l o , convinced  o f h i s wife's i n f i d e l i t y , d e l i b e r -  a t e l y stages, her death a s a revenge r i t e , o f Caesar's tyrannous ambitions,  so Brutus,  convinced  a c t s out t h e murder as r i t u a l .  In both cases t h e r e i s a b i t t e r Sophoclean i r o n y which i n t h e c o n t r a s t between what t h e p l a y o r r i t u a l represent in  lies  i s thought t o  to. the a c t o r d i r e c t i n g i t , and what i t r e a l l y i s ,  fact. I t i s p r e c i s e l y because Brutus a c t s i n what he mis-  t a k e n l y b e l i e v e s t o be t h e g e n e r a l good, t h a t Antony can speak, at t h e l a s t ,  on h i s b e h a l f :  A l l t h e c o n s p i r a t o r s , save o n l y he, Did t h a t they d i d i n envy o f g r e a t Caesar. He o n l y , i n a g e n e r a l honest thought And common good t o a l l , made one o f them. ( J u l i u s Caesar. 7, v, 69-72) Of both Brutus and O t h e l l o , Brents S t i r l i n g  writes:  The E l i z a b e t h a n tragedy o f Brutus, l i k e t h a t o f O t h e l l o , i s marked by an i n t e g r i t y o f conduct which l e a d s t h e p r o t a g o n i s t i n t o e v i l and r e a s s u r e s him i n h i s error.61 J u s t as Brutus a c t s i n t h e mistaken b e l i e f t h a t Caesar was a t y r a n t , so O t h e l l o p l a y s out h i s r o l e a s avenger i n t h e b e l i e f t h a t Desdemona i s u n f a i t h f u l . 6 l B r e n t s S t i r l i n g , "Or e l s e were t h i s a savage s p e c t a c l e , " Shakespeare: Modern E s s a y s i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. L.F, Dean, New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957, p.204. (From U n i t y i n Shakespearian Tragedy: t h e I n t e r p l a y o f Theme and C h a r a c t e r , Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1956, pp.40-54.  t  85  Deceived by the apparent t r u t h o f Iago's mask i n t o a d i s b e l i e f o f the a c t u a l t r u t h o f Desdemona's f i d e l i t y , a c c e p t s the p a r t o f avenger.  he  In a p r e c i s e and r i t u a l i s t i c  manner he assumes the r o l e : A r i s e , b l a c k Vengeance, from t h y h o l l o w c e l l ! Y i e l d up, 0 Love, t h y crown and h e a r t e d throne To tyrannous h a t e ! S w e l l , bosom, w i t h t h y f r a u g h t , For ' t i s o f a s p i c s ' tongues! Now, by yond marble Heaven, In the due reverence o f a sacred vow I here engage my words. (Othello. I l l , i i i , We  447-4-62)  remember Macbeth's: I am s e t t l e d , and bend up Each c o r p o r a l agent t o t h i s t e r r i b l e f e a t . (Macbeth, I , v i i ,  and  79-80)  Hamlet's: Oh, f i e ! Hold, h o l d , my h e a r t , And you, my sinews, grow not i n s t a n t o l d But bear me s t i f f l y up. Remember t h e e ! (Hamlet, I , v,  93-95)  and B r u t u s ' exchange o f vows with the o t h e r a s s a s s i n s . Commenting on t h i s scene from O t h e l l o , I r v i n g Ribner writes: There i s an awful s o l e m n i t y i n t h i s scene. Othello i n h i s d e l u s i o n would convert h i s s i n f u l vengeance i n t o the guise o f a l a w f u l j u s t i c e , h i s h a t r e d i n t o duty, and he does so by c l o a k i n g h i s a c t i o n i n the appearance o f f o r m a l r i t u a l . His delusion p a r a l l e l s t h a t o f the e a r l i e r Brutus i n h i s d e s i r e t o carve Caesar as a d i s h f i t f o r the gods, t o make a solemn s a c r i f i c e out o f a b r u t a l murder. From t h i s p o i n t onward O t h e l l o w i l l see w i t h the v i s i o n o f Iago, t o whom he i s u n i t e d . T r u t h w i l l appear as f a l s e h o o d , love and l o y a l t y as l u s t and b e t r a y a l . Always i n h i s d e l u s i o n O t h e l l o w i l l see h i m s e l f as the i n s t r u ment o f j u s t i c e e x e c u t i n g h i s duty i n a solemn r i t u a l  86  although h i s court-room w i l l be a b r o t h e l and h i s , a c t o f j u s t i c e the d e s t r u c t i o n o f l o v e and t r u t h . 6 2 Confirmed  i n h i s t r a g i c ignorance, O t h e l l o a c t s out what he  b e l i e v e s t o be the t r u t h o f Desdemona's a d u l t e r y . f a k i n g the p a r t o f a customer, brothel.  Deliberately  he pretends he i s v i s i t i n g a  To him the f i c t i o n o f h i s p l a y i s based on t r u t h ;  Desdemona i s a whore. f a n c y " (IV, i i ,  To Desdemona, the scene i s a " h o r r i b l e  26); t o h e r , O t h e l l o ' s p l a y appears a mockery.  L i k e Hamlet and Macbeth, O t h e l l o f i n d s h i s main r o l e d i f f i c u l t t o pursue; he f i n d s i t hard t o p l a y o r seem. hardness t o dissemble!" he c r i e s ( O t h e l l o . I l l ,  "Oh,  i v , 34).  B e s i d e s t h i s i n a b i l i t y t o be a n a t u r a l h y p o c r i t e , which he shares w i t h Hamlet and Macbeth, O t h e l l o i s unable t o suppress h i s l o v e f o r Desdemona.  In e f f e c t , he seems t o r e t a i n a sub-  conscious sense o f her innocence, w h i l e remaining f u l l y v i n c e d o f her g u i l t .  What he cannot understand i s how  so f a i r c o u l d be so f o u l .  conanyone  The tense balance between h i s  f e e l i n g s both towards and away from h i s w i f e are suggested i n such phrases as Who  —  0 thou weed. a r t so l o v e l y f a i r and s m e l l ' s t so sweet  That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne'er been born. ( O t h e l l o , TV, i i ,  67-70)  In the r i t u a l murder scene, he g i v e s poignant e x p r e s s i o n t o the i n n e r c o n f l i c t t h a t g r i p s him.  He i s a man  caught between  a l o v e which, although c o n s c i o u s l y abjured, cannot be r e j e c t e d , and the duty o f revenge.  fully  Duty wins, but the s t r u g g l e  i s intense: 6 2 i r v i n g R i b n e r , P a t t e r n s i n Shakespearian London, Methuen, I960, p.lOWl  Tragedy,  87  iAh, balmy b r e a t h , t h a t dost almost persuade J u s t i c e t o break her sword I ( O t h e l l o , V, And  i i , 16-17)  so the deed i s done i n the name o f J u s t i c e . I t i s the cause, i t i s the cause, my s o u l . Yet she must d i e e l s e s h e ' l l b e t r a y more men, ( O t h e l l o , V,  A f t e r her death O t h e l l o again a s s e r t s the  i i ,  1-6)  justness of h i s act,  Oh, I were damned beneath a l l depth i n H e l l But t h a t I d i d proceed upon j u s t grounds To t h i s e x t r e m i t y . ( O t h e l l o , V,  i i , 137-139)  O t h e l l o then, l i k e Brutus, proceeds upon the course o f impersonal s a c r i f i c e .  I t i s t h i s " i n t e g r i t y o f conduct" to which  B . S t i r l i n g r e f e r s ; an i n t e g r i t y and marked by O t h e l l o ' s was  s u i c i d e and  great o f h e a r t . "  strength of  character  summed up by C a s s i o ,  "For  (V, i i , 361)  In much the  same way  t h a t O t h e l l o c a r r i e s out  r i t u a l s a c r i f i c e o f Desdemona, so Leontes, convinced by inner passion,  he  t h a t Hermione i s u n f a i t h f u l , a c t s out  vengeance i n the t r i a l  scene.  One  his an  his  o f h i s remarks, indeed,  l o o k s forward p r o p h e t i c a l l y to h i s unhappy r o l e as  sacrificial  agent: Thy mother p l a y s , and I P l a y too, but so d i s g r a c e d W i l l h i s s me t o my grave.  a p a r t whose i s s u e  (The Winter's T a l e , I , i i , 186-188) To Leontes, the t r i a l w i l l embody the t r u t h o f Hermione's g u i l t and be the means o f s e c u r i n g j u s t i c e . H i s words — Let us be c l e a r e d Of being tyrannous, s i n c e we so openly Proceed i n j u s t i c e . . . . (The Winter's T a l e , I I I , i i , 4-6) r e c a l l O t h e l l o ' s ". . . 1 d i d proceed upon j u s t grounds ..."  88  (V, i i , 138).  To Hermione the t r i a l appears a mockery, a  " h o r r i b l e f a n c y " ( O t h e l l o , IV, i i , 26). the  "My  life  stands i n  l e v e l o f your dreams," she c r i e s to Leontes (The Winter's  T a l e , I I I , i i , 82). he r e p l i e s  He speaks more t r u l y than he knows when  —  Your a c t i o n s are my  dreams. (The Winter's T a l e , I I I , i i , S3)  The awakening o f O t h e l l o and Leontes from t h e i r dreams i s indeed t e r r i b l e t o b e h o l d . In  my d i s c u s s i o n o f Macbeth, I noted how  the c l o t h i n g  image was used t o suggest a d i s c r e p a n c y between the hero and the to  r o l e he assumes as k i n g .  s i t r a t h e r u n e a s i l y upon the s h o u l d e r s o f the hero i s a l s o  found i n C o r i o l a n u s . to  The image o f the r o l e t h a t seems  L i k e Hamlet, C o r i o l a n u s i s c a l l e d upon  p l a y a p a r t i c u l a r r o l e which he cannot p r o p e r l y  Required t o be the humble man  fill.  b e f o r e the populace, C o r i o l a n u s  t r i e s t o beg o f f : Men.  I t then remains That you do speak to the p e o p l e . Cor. I do beseech you Let me o ' e r l e a p t h a t custom, f o r I cannot Put on the gown, stand naked and e n t r e a t them,  ( C o r i o l a n u s , I I , i i , 138-144)  He i s p r e v a i l e d upon however, and dons the robe o f h u m i l i t y . But c l e a r l y i t i r k s him and throughout the scene t h a t f o l l o w s , he r e f e r s t o i t , Pray you now, i f i t may stand w i t h the tune Of your v o i c e s t h a t I may be Consul, I have here the customary gown. ( C o r i o l a n u s , I I , i i , 91-93) When the two  c i t i z e n s leave.he muses on the p a r t he i s a t  present p l a y i n g ; a g a i n the gown o f h u m i l i t y f i g u r e s p r o m i n e n t l y  89  i n h i s thoughts: Why i n t h i s w o l v i s h toge should I stand here, To beg o f Hob and Dick t h a t do appear T h e i r n e e d l e s s vouches? (Coriolanus. I I , i i i , A f t e r the o r d e a l i s complete, C o r i o l a n u s  asks S i c i n i u s ,  I change these garments?" ( I I , i i i ,  154).  a l s o make p e r t i n e n t comments on the  clothes that  wears ( I I , i i i ,  161;  229).  To C o r i o l a n u s  inner t r u t h .  Dedicated t o "honour" —  be a mixture o f p r i d e and  "May  Brutus and S i c i n i u s Coriolanus  the wearing o f  gown o f h u m i l i t y s i g n i f i e s a b e t r a y a l o f h i s own own  122-124)  the  nature, h i s  which t u r n s out  to  a d e s i r e t o p l e a s e h i s mother, a  composition o f which C o r i o l a n u s  remains t r a g i c a l l y unaware  r i g i d l y determined to be o n l y a good s o l d i e r , he  —  steadfastly  r e f u s e s t o p l a y any p a r t which would compromise h i s f a n a t i c principles. t o the  A c t i n g to him  i s mere h y p o c r i s y .  H i s response  customary p r o c e s s o f h u m i l i a t i o n i s to regard the  action  as a r o l e , a p a r t , which, i f p l a y e d , would f a l s i f y h i s d e s i r e "Not his  to be other than one  t h i n g " (IV, v i i , 42).  He  expresses  f e e l i n g s i n t h e a t r i c a l metaphor: It i s a part That I s h a l l b l u s h i n a c t i n g , and might w e l l Be taken from the p e o p l e . ( C o r i o l a n u s . I I , i i , 148-149)  H i s mother "prompts" him  i n the  role:  Because now i t l i e s you on t o speak To the people — not by your own i n s t r u c t i o n , Nor by the matter which your h e a r t prompts you, But w i t h such words t h a t are but r o t e d i n Your tongue, though but b a s t a r d s and s y l l a b l e s Of no allowance t o your bosom's t r u t h . (Coriolanus, I I I , i i , 5 2 - 5 7 ) L a t e r she d i r e c t s him, o f the  role,  c a r e f u l l y i n s t r u c t i n g him  i n the  actions  90  I p r i t h e e now, my son, Go t o them, with t h i s bonnet i n t h y hand, And thus f a r h a v i n g s t r e t c h e d i t , here be w i t h them, Thy knee b u s s i n g the stones — f o r i n such b u s i n e s s A c t i o n i s eloquence, and the eyes o f the i g n o r a n t More l e a r n e d than the e a r s — waving t h y head, Thou a r t t h e i r s o l d i e r ,  Or say t o them . . . . (Coriolanus. I l l ,  C o r i o l a n u s r e l u c t a n t l y succumbs  ii,  72-81)  —  You have put me now t o such a p a r t which never I s h a l l d i s c h a r g e t o the l i f e . ( C o r i o l a n u s . I l l , i i , 105-106) Cominius h a l f - j o k i n g l y r e p l i e s , completing the t h e a t r i c a l metaphor:  "Come, come, w e ' l l prompt you."  And so C o r i o l a n u s  assumes the robe o f h u m i l i t y ; but i t does not f i t  too w e l l ,  as Maurice Charney n o t e s : There i s a r e a l d i s c o r d a n c e between h i s i n n e r h a t r e d o f the people and h i s outward s i g n s o f h u m i l i t y . Costume i s used i r o n i c a l l y t o show t h a t C o r i o l a n u s i s not the man he seems: he i s merely d r e s s e d humbly, but not humble i n s p i r i t . There i s a p h y s i c a l uncomfortableness i n wearing the gown t h a t approaches a moral s t a t e , and i t i s up t o the a c t o r to convey t h i s d i s c o m f o r t by the p r o p e r g e s t u r e . . . The b a s i s o f the imagery here l i e s i n the v i s u a l e f f e c t o f the costume and the v e r b a l images o f "The n a p l e s s v e s t u r e o f h u m i l i t y " ( I I , i , 250) and " t h i s w o l v i s h t o g e " ( I I , i i i , 122) support what we a c t u a l l y see on the stage.63 C o r i o l a n u s , then, cannot p l a y the a c t i o n s t h a t a man might p l a y ; he cannot "seem" t o any man.  He must be t r u e t o h i s own n a t u r e ;  as Menenius remarks: He would not f l a t t e r Neptune f o r h i s t r i d e n t Or Jove f o r ' s power to thunder. H i s h e a r t ' s h i s mouth — What h i s b r e a s t f o r g e s , t h a t h i s tongue must v e n t . ( C o r i o l a n u s . I l l , i , 256-258) 63Maurice Charney, "The Dramatic Use o f Imagery i n Shakespeare's C o r i o l a n u s , " ELH, X X I I I , B a l t i m o r e , John Hopkins Pr e s s, Sept ember 1956, p.190.  91 I r o n i c a l l y , C o r i o l a n u s ' scrupulous p l a y - a c t i n g o f any k i n d , t o him the simple  desire to avoid  equivalent o f  h y p o c r i s y , i s i t s e l f an u n w i t t i n g p i e c e o f r o l e - p l a y i n g . I n t h i n k i n g h i m s e l f t o be the p l a i n modest man, he p l a y s t h e proud man's p a r t ; he i s , i n f a c t , proud o f not b e i n g proud. And when Volumnia suggests t h a t he p l a y the rough and ready s o l d i e r ' s r o l e t o win back the crowd's a p p r o v a l — them Thou a r t t h e i r s o l d i e r " —  she l i t t l e  "say t o  knows how c l o s e  her words come t o an a c t u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f C o r i o l a n u s ' true r o l e - p l a y i n g . part a l l h i s l i f e ,  F o r he has been performing although  blunt, plain-spoken, it  without  knowing i t .  the w a r r i o r ' s Being the  u n f l a t t e r i n g s o l d i e r i s h i s whole  i s , as he t h i n k s , h i s whole nature.  i n which he has been schooled  life;  And y e t i t i s . a r o l e  by h i s mother s i n c e b i r t h .  Again he speaks more t r u l y than he knows when rounding  on h i s  mother, he asks Why d i d you wish me m i l d e r ? Would you have me F a l s e t o my nature? Rather say I p l a y The man I am. (Coriolanus, I I I , i i ,  14-16)  He has indeed been " p l a y i n g " the man he t h i n k s he i s . The  o n l y weak l i n k i n the w a r r i o r ' s costume he has  assumed, and which he f e e l s t o r e f l e c t the man he i s , i s h i s mother.  She breaks through the hard e x t e r i o r armor, which he  wears i n both a p h y s i c a l and a mental sense, and i n the c l i mactic  events o f A c t V, Scene v i i i ,  Coriolanus i s forced to  put o f f t h e avenger's r o l e and assume the p a r t o f the weak son. U n w i t t i n g l y he r e v e a l s the t r u t h o f what happens t o him.  92  L i k e a d u l l a c t o r now I have f o r g o t my p a r t and I am out Even t o a f u l l d i s g r a c e . ( C o r i o l a n u s . V, i i i ,  40-42)  Una E l l i s - F e r m o r * s comments are w e l l worth quoting at t h i s point: The v e r y imagery o f C o r i o l a n u s , i n the l a t t e r p a r t o f h i s c a r e e r , t u r n s i n s t i n c t i v e l y t o the stage f o r i t s sources, c u l m i n a t i n g i n the sound psychol o g i c a l t r u t h o f t h e commonplace image, 'Like a d u l l a c t o r now, I have f o r g o t my p a r t , And I am out, even t o a f u l l d i s g r a c e . ' (V, i i i , T h i s i s , i n f a c t , though he h a r d l y means i t when he speaks, p r e c i s e l y what has happened t o him.64 It  45-46)  i s i n t h i s l a c k o f self-knowledge, t h i s i n a b i l i t y t o see  h i m s e l f as he r e a l l y i s — own a c t i n g  an u n w i l l i n g a c t o r unaware o f h i s  t h a t t h e core o f C o r i o l a n u s ' tragedy 64-The Jacobean Drama, p.257, note  1.  lies.  93  Chapter V I I . In to  Conclusion such a g e n e r a l study as t h i s i t i s r a t h e r hard  a r r i v e a t a s i n g l e c o n c l u s i o n which w i l l cover a l l the  m a t e r i a l under c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Keeping t h i s i n mind, i t seemed b e s t t o summarize each s e c t i o n and suggest c o n c l u s i o n s t o the i n d i v i d u a l p a r t s . My remarks on dramatic i l l u s i o n and the purpose drama attempted  t o i n d i c a t e the author's own  feelings  the nature o f dramatic a r t and what i t s purpose  of  about  should be.  As t o the former, i t seems t o me t h a t Shakespeare i s not e s p e c i a l l y concerned w i t h s u s t a i n i n g a complete  i l l u s i o n of  r e a l i t y , and, indeed, c o n s i d e r s the matter o f r e a l i s t i c  stage  p r e s e n t a t i o n a s r o f a somewhat p e r i p h e r a l concern f o r the d r a matist.  Whether one can r e a l i s t i c a l l y p o r t r a y the c l a s h o f  armies, o r r e p r e s e n t s h i p s , b e a r s , h o r s e s o r even moonlight, upon the stage, i s o f no s i g n i f i c a n t consequence: i n t h i s k i n d are but shadows."  "the b e s t  The audience's i m a g i n a t i o n i s  a l l t h a t i s r e q u i r e d t o overcome what are e s s e n t i a l l y problems o f p h y s i c a l stage t e c h n i q u e .  Even the bumbling  amateur a c t o r s need not prove d i s a s t r o u s i f the  efforts of audience  possesses s u f f i c i e n t grace and good humour t o a l l o w f o r t h e i r f a u l t s , and l a c k o f stage p r o p e r t i e s .  The t r u e r e a l i t y o f a  p l a y l i e s not so much i n whether you can p r e s e n t r e a l moonl i g h t on the stage o r no; t h i s c o n s t i t u t e s but a minor p a r t o f drama.  Rather, the worth and v a l u e o f a p l a y r e s t s i n  the substance which u n d e r l i e s the shadow, o r v i s i o n t h a t i s  94 presented  t o us.  What i s important,  what i s r e a l , i s the  p l a y ' s i n h e r e n t i d e a worked out i n a c t i o n ; the c l a s h o f a c t e r with c h a r a c t e r , o f c h a r a c t e r with i t s e l f and the o f c h a r a c t e r with  conflict  fate.  So f a r indeed t a i n dramatic  char-  i s Shakespeare from attempting  to  sus-  i l l u s i o n , t h a t he o f t e n d e l i b e r a t e l y breaks i t ,  reminding us, the audience, t h a t we  are watching a p l a y .  This  he does p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the comedies, e s p e c i a l l y , as has been noted, Love's Labour's Lost and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and with q u i t e obvious s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s .  In the r e f e r e n c e s t o  the  " c e l l a r a g e " i n Hamlet and the  and  C l e o p a t r a , the i l l u s i o n i s broken w i t h much g r e a t e r  s u b t l e t y and  "squeaking boy"  i n Antony  c e r t a i n l y much l e s s s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s .  Indeed  any o v e r t r e f e r e n c e t o the stage, o r a c t i n g , however f l e e t i n g the a l l u s i o n may  be, must remind the audience o f t h e i r p o s i -  t i o n as s p e c t a t o r s .  Shakespeare f r e e l y uses dance and masque  form, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the comedies, t o emphasize the c a l nature  o f the p l a y as a whole.  The  prologues  and  a l s o serve to set o f f the p l a y as an a r t i s t i c u n i t y .  theatriepilogues Certainly  Shakespeare's a r t , and the a r t o f the E l i z a b e t h a n s i n g e n e r a l , was  not one which denied  modern drama and prose.65  i t s a r t i f i c i a l i t y i n contrast to y -t f o r a l l t h i s j u g g l i n g with e  the  audience's sense o f i l l u s i o n , the t r u t h which i s r e f l e c t e d i n the f i c t i o n remains u n a f f e c t e d ; Gentles, perchance you wonder a t t h i s show, But wonder on, t i l l t r u t h make a l l t h i n g s p l a i n . (A Midsummer Night's Dream. V, i , 128-129) 65See R. M. Jordan's a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "The L i m i t s o f I l l u s i o n " i n C r i t i c i s m , I I , No. 3, Summer I960, pp.278-305 f o r a p r o v o c a t i v e study o f medieval, e i g h t e e n t h century and modern a t t i t u d e s towards the " r e a l i t y " o f a r t .  95  The  drama's purpose then i s t o embody t r u t h , to  r e f l e c t the a c t i o n s o f man.  The  i d e a o f the p l a y as  mirror  i s , as noted, a common E l i z a b e t h a n concept which has i t s counterpart  i n medieval and  c l a s s i c a l thought.  What i s most  i n t e r e s t i n g about i t i s the n o t i o n t h a t a r t , although a f i c t i o n a l form, can r e f l e c t t r u t h .  itself  T h i s i s a paradox w e l l  worth more i n t e n s i v e study than has been given h e r e . i t to say t h a t the p l a y - w i t h i n - t h e - p l a y  i n Shakespeare performs  e x a c t l y that f u n c t i o n , the r e v e l a t i o n o f t r u t h . o n l y o f such i n n e r p l a y s as "The  " p l a y " a c t i o n o f I Henry IV  o f R o s a l i n d and Orlando i n As You  daughters.  Othello^thought  not  t  Dream, but  also  ( I I , i v ) , the p l a y wedding L i k e I t , and  scene i n King Lear which g r o t e s q u e l y o f L e a r ' s two  T h i s i s so  Mousetrap" i n Hamlet and  "Pyramus and T h i s b e " i n A Midsummer Night's o f the  Suffice  Conversely,  the mock t r i a l  r e v e a l s the i n g r a t i t u d e the b r o t h e l scene i n  by O t h e l l o t o r e f l e c t the t r u t h o f Desdemona's  i n f i d e l i t y , images the t r u t h o f O t h e l l o ' s u n w i t t i n g l y t r a g i c error.  In the r e a c t i o n s o f the audience t o "Pyramus and  Thisbe"  and the nine w o r t h i e s pageant i n Love's Labour's L o s t ^ t h e m i r r o r o f t r u t h i s h e l d up t o us i n a r a t h e r d i r e c t way.  The  i n c l u s i o n o f o u r s e l v e s , by a s s o c i a t i o n , w i t h i n the framework o f the p l a y , makes us wonder j u s t where A r t ends and begins.  "reality'.'  L i f e i t s e l f becomes l i k e a p l a y . Moving from Shakespeare's a t t i t u d e s towards dramatic  i l l u s i o n and h i s use o f the p l a y as a m i r r o r , the w r i t e r thought next to i n d i c a t e something o f the extent to which metaphor drawn from the t h e a t r e i s used i n r e l a t i o n to c h a r a c t e r . the d i s c u s s i o n o f what was  In  termed the game o r p l a y o f l o v e ,  96  I r e m a r k e d how though not who, are  like  as  disguise a cloak  V i o l a and  Rosalind,  Berowne, who  way.  think  i n g b o t h o b s e r v e r and In Viola  and  and put  contrast  Rosalind, on  and  mask i s r e a l l y  use  cal manifestation too, the  I noted the  to  one  r o l e but  are  o f the  idea of  the  villains  had  vizards  by  and  the  quite  an and play-  liter-  I I I , Iago  for evil.  Here  role-playing a  audience.  But  villains  Here,  saying  t h i s no  expound more  often  assume  undoubtedly o f a i d to  girls' but  that i t  Ill's soliloquies,  Shakespeare's heroines  of theatre  villains;  others, should  parts.  It i s  i s i n h e l p i n g h i s boy  a r i s e from  the  important  s u r e l y Shakespeare i s  situations that  the  logi-  deceitfulness of nature.  B r a n d e r M a t t h e w s and  t o keep t h e s e f a c t s i n mind:  a s he  up  convention i n r e l a t i o n to the  to take the  much i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e  end  Richard  s i g n i f i c a n c e o r worth o f R i c h a r d  a c t o r s who  in  Benedict  p h y s i c a l and  of dramatic technique t h a t  a male d i s g u i s e , a p o i n t  guisings,  man  o f anr.inner  t h a n i t d o e s to. remark t h a t  boy  the  t h e i r masks a s  t h e i r v i l l a i n i e s to the explains  play  like  such mask-wearers as Edgar, P o r t i a ,  concept, expressed by  i s a point  some, l i k e  and  others,  pageant  are  whose masks a r e  a part  o f the  those  participant.  o f f , there  Edmund, who  There are  there  t h e y can  are  play a variety of roles,  become a p a r t  And  deception,  I n t h i s game t h e r e  participants.  L y s a n d e r , who  unself-conscious  ally  for evil.  b o t h o b s e r v e r s and  H e l e n a and  i s used f o r purposes o f  as  such d i s -  a c t o r s overcome  nature.  97  The s e c t i o n on t h e k i n g as p l a y e r sought t o suggest the a t t i t u d e s and f e e l i n g s o f Shakespeare's k i n g s towards the p a r t t h e y must assume, and dwelt i n p a r t i c u l a r on t h e d i s t i n c t i o n s between man and r o l e , the f a c t t h a t the f i n e robes o f ceremony o f t e n serve t o cover s u f f e r i n g and an i n n e r d e s p a i r , which r e f l e c t s an i n a b i l i t y , p a r t i c u l a r l y on the p a r t o f Henry V I , t o measure up t o the r o l e .  What seemed t o me most  i n t e r e s t i n g about the t r a g i c heroes was the way i n which most o f them assumed t h e i r r o l e s as avengers o r s a c r i f i c e r s , as a s o r t o f duty.  U n w i t t i n g l y , o f course, t h e y a r e a l s o t a k i n g  on a t r a g i c r o l e , f o r t h e i r d u t i e s , o f t e n pursued i n good f a i t h , as i n the case o f Brutus and O t h e l l o , l e a d t o b i t t e r and t r a g i c  ends. One may f u r t h e r remark t h a t the metaphor o f the  t h e a t r e a f f e c t s not o n l y Shakespeare's c o n c e p t i o n o f c h a r a c t e r but i s a l s o r e f l e c t e d i n the c l o t h i n g imagery o f Macbeth and C o r i o l a n u s ; and, indeed, i s t o be seen i n h i s language and h i s view o f l i f e  itself.  In an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d  " W i l l i a m Shakespeare:  E p i l o g u e " ( i n Shakespearean G l e a n i n g s , Oxford,  An  1944, pp.35-51),  S i r Edmund Chambers remarks t h a t C a r o l i n e Spurgeon, i n h e r book on Shakespeare's imagery, notes o n l y t h r e e stage r e f e r e n c e s . On the c o n t r a r y , Chamber's o p i n i o n i s t h a t " . . . t h e p l a y s are pervaded by t h e a t r i c a l imagery" (p.43), and h i s s u g g e s t i o n i s s u r e l y borne out by an i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h e p l a y s themselves. Many o f these can be found through a concordance check under  98  such t i t l e s as stage, t h e a t e r , p l a y e r , audience and so on. Others i n s i n u a t e themselves more s u b t l e y i n t o the t e x t and are r e v e a l e d i n a t h e a t r i c a l t u r n o f phrase. Chambers who, allusions,  I quote from  a f t e r c i t i n g some o f the more d e f i n i t e stage  continues:  These are a l l examples, by no means e x h a u s t i v e , o f d e f i n i t e t h e a t r i c a l images. But even where t h a t i s not p r e s e n t , stage terms seem i n a s u b t l e way t o have a f f e c t e d Shakespeare's d i c t i o n . What h i s c h a r a c t e r s have t o say and do i s t h e i r " p a r t . " They are "prompted" t o speak o r i n t e r v e n e . . . . (p.47) He notes i n p a r t i c u l a r the use o f the verb " p l a y " i n the sense o f perform: Shakespeare's c h a r a c t e r s a l s o p l a y the dog, the cur, the s p a n i e l , the sheep, the s p i d e r , the s e r vant, the p o r t e r , the cook . . . . There i s no end to i t . (p.48) There i s indeed no end t o i t .  F o r example the word "cue" i s  o f t e n used i n a t e c h n i c a l stage sense; as i n The Merry Wives o f Windsorbin the exchange  o f d i a l o g u e between M i s t r e s s Page  and M i s t r e s s F o r d : M. F o r d . M i s t r e s s Page, remember you your cue. M. Page. I warrant t h e e .  I f I do not a c t i t , h i s s  (The Merry Wives o f Windsor, I I I , i i i ,  me.  38-40)  L a t e r , F a l s t a f f reminds us o f the a l l u s i o n when he speaks o f ". . . the prologue o f our comedy." ( I l l , v, 75)  Othello  d e c l i n e s t o f i g h t , when accused by B r a b a n t i o o f s t e a l i n g  Des-  demona: Were i t my cue t o f i g h t , I should have known i t Without a prompter. ( O t h e l l o , I , i i , 83-84)  99  Elsewhere, Romeo r e f e r s t o the prologue (Romeo and  J u l i e t , I , i v , 6-7).  and  the prompter  I have a l r e a d y noted  M.  Murry*SJ  comment on t h e a t r i c a l metaphor i n R i c h a r d I I I , and  added my  own  observations  to the s i g n i f i c a n t r e f e r e n c e s to  the a c t o r which o c c u r i n C o r i o l a n u s . n a t u r a l l y expresses is  I t i s as i f Shakespeare  h i m s e l f through t h e a t r i c a l metaphor; i t  c o n g e n i a l to h i s way  of seeing things.  Indeed, a t times, he views l i f e passing v i s i o n .  i t s e l f as a p l a y o r  Often he images the e a r t h as a stage, whose  p l a y e r s are o u r s e l v e s and whose a u d i t o r s are the Gods.  Such  a l l u s i o n s occur i n As You L i k e I t , The Merchant o f  Venice,  Macbeth, C o r i o l a n u s , P e r i c l e s , The  The most  famous o f these  i s Prospero's  Winter's T a l e .  speech i n The  Tempest:  Our r e v e l s now are ended. These our a c t o r s , As I f o r e t o l d you, were a l l s p i r i t s , and Are melted i n t o a i r , i n t o t h i n a i r . And, l i k e the b a s e l e s s f a b r i c o f t h i s v i s i o n , The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous p a l a c e s , The solemn temples, the g r e a t globe i t s e l f — Yea, a l l which i t i n h e r i t — shall dissolve And, l i k e t h i s i n s u b s t a n t i a l pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such s t u f f As dreams are made on, and our l i t t l e l i f e Is rounded w i t h a s l e e p .  (IV, i , 147-157)  The  thought here i s not d i s s i m i l a r to t h a t expressed  end o f Chaucer's T r o i l u s and o f t h a t poem, " . . .  Creseyde.  As  R;.  a t the  Jordan remarks  the p e r s p e c t i v e o f the poet a t l e n g t h  d i s p l a c e d t h a t o f the n a r r a t o r , so i s the poet's p e r s p e c t i v e d i s p l a c e d at the v e r y c o n c l u s i o n o f the poem . . . Thus " r e a l " r e a l i t y i s i t s e l f rendered  fictive."66  66j dan, o p . c i t . , pp.304-305 or  s  Q  i t i s here, i n  100  The Tempest.  Our p e r s p e c t i v e , which encompasses the f i c t i o n  o f the masque and the " r e a l "  s p e c t a t o r s Ferdinand  and Miranda,  themselves a p a r t o f the l a r g e r f i c t i o n The Tempest, i s i t s e l f d i s p l a c e d and "rendered f i c t i v e . " i n the p l a y o f l i f e , a shadow, r e f l e c t s  We too become as f i g u r e s  the v i s i o n o f r e a l i t y .  but a shadow, the l i f e  The p l a y , i t s e l f  o f man.  101  BIBLIOGRAPHY (Primary Sources) Beaumont, F r a n c i s and John F l e t c h e r , Works o f F r a n c i s Beaumont and John F l e t c h e r ( V o l . V I ) , ed. A. W a l l e r , Cambridge, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1908. Campbell, L. B. (ed.), The M i r r o r f o r M a g i s t r a t e s . U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1938. Day,  R.  Cambridge,  John, I s l e o f G u l l s , Shakespeare A s s o c i a t i o n F a c s i m i l e , Ko. 12, London, Humphrey M i l f o r d , 1936.  Gascoigne, George, The Complete Works o f George Gascoigne (2 V o l s . ) , ed. J . W. C u n l i f f e , Cambridge, Univers i t y Press, 1910. Leishman, J . B. (ed.), The Three Parnassus P l a y s . London, I v o r N i c h o l s o n and Watson L t d . , 1949. M c l l w r a i t h , A. K. ( e d . ) , F i v e S t u a r t T r a g e d i e s , World's C l a s s i c s , London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1959. , Five Elizabethan Tragedies, C l a s s i c s , London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , Parks, E. and R. C. B e a t t y ( e d s . ) , The E n g l i s h Drama. York, W. W. Norton and Co. Inc., 1935.  World's 1959, New  R o s s i t e r , A. P. (ed.), Woodstock, a M o r a l H i s t o r y . London, Chatto and Windus, 194o• Shakespeare, W i l l i a m , Complete Works o f Shakespeare, ed. G. B. H a r r i s o n , New York, H a r c o u r t , Brace and Co., 1952. Sidney, S i r P h i l i p , The Defense o f Poesy, ed. A. S. Cook, Boston, Ginn and Co., 1890. Skelton,  John, M a g n i f i c e n c e , E a r l y E n g l i s h Texts S o c i e t y , R. L. Ramsay, London, Kegan P a u l , 1908.  ed.  Tucker-Brooke, C. F. ( e d . ) , The Shakespeare Apocrypha. Oxford, Clarendon P r e s s , 1908. Webster, John, Complete Works o f John Webster, (2 V o l s . ) , F. L. Lucas, London, Chatto and Windus, 1927.  ed.  102  BIBLIOGRAPHY (Secondary:  Books and A r t i c l e s )  A l t i c k , R i c h a r d , "Symphonic Imagery i n R i c h a r d I I , " PMLA, L X I I , No. 2 (June 1947), pp.339-365. Barber, C. L., Shakespeare's F e s t i v e Comedy, P r i n c e t o n , P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1959. B e t h e l l , S. L., Shakespeare and the Popular. Dramatic T r a d i t i o n , London, S t a p l e s P r e s s , 1948. Bradbrook, M. C., Shakespeare and E l i z a b e t h a n P o e t r y , London, Chatto and Windus, 1951. , Themes and Conventions o f E l i z a b e t h a n Tragedy, Cambridge, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , I960, Brooks, C l e a n t h , The Well-Wrought Brace and Co., 1947.  Urn. New  York, H a r c o u r t ,  Brown, John, Shakespeare and h i s Comedies. London, Methuen and Co. L t d . , 1957. Chambers, Edmund, S i r , " W i l l i a m Shakespeare: an Epilogue,," Shakespearean G l e a n i n g s . Oxford, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1944, pp.35-51. Charney, Maurice, "The Dramatic Use o f Imagery i n Shakespeare's C o r i o l a n u s , " ELH, X X I I I , No. 3, (Sept. 1956), pp.183-193. Downer, A l a n S., "The L i f e o f our Design: The F u n c t i o n o f Imagery i n the P o e t i c Drama," Shakespeare: Modern Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. L. F. Dean, New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957, pp.19-36. (From The Hudson Review, I I , No. 2, Summer 1 9 4 9 , pp. 242-260) E l l i s - F e r m o r , Una M.', The F r o n t i e r s o f Drama. London, Methuen and Co. L t d . , 1958. , The Jacobean Drama, London, Methuen and Co. L t d . , 1958. Heilman, R. B., T h i s Great Stage, L o u i s i a n a S t a t e Univers i t y P r e s s , 1948. Lawlor, John, The T r a g i c Sense i n Shakespeare, London, Chatto and Windus, I960. Matthews, Brander, Shakespeare as a P l a y w r i g h t , New Chas. S c r i b n e r ' s Sons, 1913.  York,  103  Muir, Kenneth, "Shakespeare and R h e t o r i c , " Shakespeare Jahrbuch (XC j , H e i d e l b e r g , Q u e l l e & Meyer.  im:—  Murry, J . M., Shakespeare. London, Jonathan Cape, 1959. Ribner, I r v i n g , P a t t e r n s i n Shakespearian Tragedy. London, Methuen, I960. Spurgeon, C a r o l i n e , Shakespeare's Imagery and What I t T e l l s Us, Cambridge, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958. S t i r l i n g , B r e n t s , "Or E l s e Were T h i s A Savage S p e c t a c l e , " Shakespeare: Modern Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. L. F. Dean, New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957, pp.204-215. (From U n i t y i n Shakespearian Tragedy: the I n t e r p l a y o f Theme and C h a r a c t e r , Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1956, pp.40-54.) Summers, Joseph, "The Masks o f T w e l f t h N i g h t , " Shakespeare: Modern Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. L. F. Dean, New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957, pp.128-137. (From The U n i v e r s i t y o f Kansas C i t y Review, X X l l , Autumn 1955, pp.25-32. T h a l e r , Alwin, "Shakespeare on S t y l e , Imagination and P o e t r y , " PMLA, L H (Dec. 1938), pp.1019-1036. T i l l y a r d , E.M.W., Shakespeare's H i s t o r y P l a y s , London, Chatto and Windus, 1959. T r a v e r s i , Derek, Shakespeare, the L a s t Phase, U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1953.  Stanford,  , "Shakespeare: t h e Young D r a m a t i s t , " A Guide t o E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e ; the Age o f Shakespeare, ed. B. F o r d , London, Penguin Books, 1955, pp.179-200. Watkins, Ronald, Moonlight a t the Globe. London, M i c h a e l Joseph, 1946. Wilson, J . D., What Happens i n Hamlet. Cambridge, Pre s s, 1956.  University  

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