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Shakespeare’s Names v laurie maguire
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Shakespeare’s Names v laurie maguire
Great Clarendon Street, Oxford ox2 6dp Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide in Oxford New York Auckland Cape Town Dar es Salaam Hong Kong Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi New Delhi Shanghai Taipei Toronto With offices in Argentina Austria Brazil Chile Czech Republic France Greece Guatemala Hungary Italy Japan Poland Portugal Singapore South Korea Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine Vietnam Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York ß Laurie Maguire 2007 The moral rights of the author have been asserted Database right Oxford University Press (maker) First published 2007 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover and you must impose the same condition on any acquirer British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Data available Typeset by SPI Publisher Services, Pondicherry, India Printed in Great Britain on acid-free paper by Biddles Ltd., King’s Lynn, Norfolk ISBN 978–0–19–921997–1 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
For the aptly named Peter Friend bonum nomen, bonum omen
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My interest in onomastics began in 1975 when my ‘O’ level English teacher, Robert S. Fyall, gave me a copy of The Guinness Book of Names. Little did he know that he was initiating a thirty-year project. Since then I have accumulated debts to colleagues, friends, and students in North America and Britain; my acknowledgements here are poor recompense for all the time that they have spent and the knowledge they have shared. Colleagues in literary theory and Renaissance humanism stimulated and helped with language theory and history. I am grateful to Marlene Briggs, Dympna Callaghan, Don Childs, A. E. B. Coldiron, Anthony Dawson, Stefan Hollstein, Ben Morgan, and Neil Rhodes. Conversations with Gwen Guth extended my coverage of Canadian novels and poems; Gwen was also unfailingly generous in her response to queries and pleas for help. Diana Brydon and Irena Makaryk’s seminar on Canadian Shakespeare at the Shakespeare Association of America provided helpful feedback on Chapter 2. My research on Helen of Troy was roadtested in lectures and papers in Oxford, Cambridge, New Orleans, Columbus, Stratford, Bristol, and Geneva. The audiences on all these occasions provided valuable responses: I am grateful in particular to Stephen Orgel, Randall Nakayama, Kay Stanton, Robert Logan, Catherine Richardson, Jim Shaw, Tiffany Stern, Lukas Erne, Chris Cannon, and Ewan Fernie. For discussions about anonymity in Chapter 4 I am grateful to my colleagues Ben Morgan and Emma Smith.
At Magdalen College I have been singularly fortunate in my colleague Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. Robert repeatedly, voluntarily, shouldered more than his share of administrative and pedagogical duties to enable me to complete work on this project. He also asked timely questions, located references, and was an endless source of intellectual stimulus (as well as supplier of comestible stimulants). My debt to him is enormous and, I fear, unrepayable. The President and Fellows of Magdalen College granted me leave to complete this project, and I am grateful to them, and to the English Faculty at Oxford, for this sabbatical time. A fellowship from the Folger Shakespeare Library and a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded the beginning of this project; the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded the Wnal term of leave. To these institutions and organizations I am profoundly grateful. Friends and colleagues have offered conversation and information on classical, textual, theoretical, theatrical, and historical subjects: Sharon Achinstein, John Barnard, Tom Berger, James Binns, Mark Bland, David Carlson, Ralph Cohen, Valentine Cunningham, Frances Dolan, Sos Eltis, Barbara Hodgdon, Russell Jackson, David Kastan, Chris Kyle, Andrew McNeillie, David Norbrook, Richard O’Brien, Elizabeth Schafer, Laura Swift, Oliver Taplin, Gary Taylor, George Walton Williams, Blair Worden, and Paul Yachnin. I have been especially lucky in having Dympna Callaghan for conversation, correction, and encouragement throughout this project. Her immense knowledge of literary theory and Renaissance literature, and her generosity in allowing me to avail myself freely of her expertise, have helped me at every stage. My colleagues in Renaissance drama at Oxford have been endlessly helpful with ideas and companionship. I am fortunate to have conversations with Katherine Duncan-Jones, Elisabeth Dutton, and Emma Smith on a regular basis; their eagle eyes, experience of drama, and intellectual energies have saved me from myself many times. Gillian Woods provided exemplary research and secretarial
assistance in the final stages of this book and proved a happy collaborator when her own work on Catholicism, published elsewhere, took an onomastic turn. Sam Thomson generously and efficiently helped with last-minute checking; I am most grateful to him for his assistance. All errors that remain are my own. I am indebted to the two anonymous readers for Oxford University Press who offered astute suggestions during the preparation of this book. In the non-Renaissance sphere my gratitude is due to Kristine Krug, Rebecca Whiting, Martine Stewart, and Sarah Pantin. I have enjoyed superb library facilities at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC (with particular thanks to Betsy Walsh and Georgianna Ziegler at the Folger), in Stratford (my gratitude to Susan Brock at the Shakespeare Centre Library and Jim Shaw at the Shakespeare Institute), and in Oxford where I am particularly grateful to Sue Usher and her staff at the English Faculty Library, Christine Ferdinand, Sally Spiers, and Hilary Pattison at Magdalen College Library, and the staff of the Bodleian Library. Portions of Chapter 2 first appeared in Lois Potter and Arthur Kinney (eds.), Shakespeare: Text and Theater (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1999). Material on Comedy of Errors appeared in an earlier form in Robert S. Miola (ed.), Comedy of Errors: Critical Essays (New York: Garland, 1997). One section of Chapter 4 appeared previously in Gloriana’s Face, ed. S. P. Cerasano and Marion Wynne-Davies (Brighton: Harvester, 1992). I am grateful to the publishers for permission to reprint and revise this material. Peter Friend has patiently borne my physical and mental absences from domestic life. To him this book is dedicated, with gratitude: ‘my friend, j Not barely style`d but created so’ (Sejanus 1.1.360–1).
‘Must a name mean something?’ Alice asked doubtfully. ‘Of course it must’, Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh: ‘my name means the shape I am.’ Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
abbreviations and conventions
Introduction 1. On Names
2. The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
3. The Mythological Name: Helen
4. The Diminutive Name: Kate
5. The Place Name: Ephesus
notes works cited index
185 215 243
abbreviations and conventions
ARIEL ELH JEGP NLH RSC SEL STC TLN YES
A Review of International English Literature English Literary History Journal of English and Germanic Philology New Literary History Royal Shakespeare Company Studies in English Literature Short-Title Catalogue Through Line Numbering The Year’s Work in English Studies
In all old-spelling quotations I have silently apdated v/u, i/j, and long s, and I have silently expanded contractions.
Introduction So the Lord God formed of the earth every beast of the Weld, and every foule of the heaven; and brought them unto the man to see how he would call them: for howsoever the man named the living creature, so was the name thereof. The man therefore gave names unto all cattell, and the foule of the heaven, and to every beast of the Weld. (Genesis 2: 19–20)
Ursula Le Guin’s short story, ‘She Unnames Them’ (1985), oVers a feminist sequel to Adam’s naming of the animals in Eden, in which an unnamed Eve (the ‘she’ of the title) unnames the animals and removes the ordering, but ultimately hierarchical and divisive, impositions of language. The story begins with the view that names are not linked to identity. Most of the animals accept namelessness ‘with the perfect indiVerence with which they had so long accepted and ignored their names’ (my emphasis). The kinetic appropriateness of the metaphors used to describe the animals’ acceptance of namelessness indicates that the animals’ identity is an ever-Wxe`d mark, unrelated to linguistic identiWcation. Thus, ‘whales and dolphins, seals and sea-otters consented with particular grace and alacrity, sliding into anonymity as into their element’; the names of the Wsh ‘dispersed from them in silence throughout the ocean like faint, dark blurs of cuttleWsh ink, and drifted oV on the currents without a trace’; the insects’ names
departed ‘in vast clouds and swarms of ephemeral syllables buzzing and stinging and humming and Xitting’; the dogs parted with ‘Linnean qualiWers that had trailed along behind them for two hundred years like tin cans tied to a tail’. The animals in Eden are ontologically themselves regardless of name. If the animals are not attached to their linguistic labels, however, someone else is: they ‘agreed enthusiastically to give their names back to the people to whom—as they put it—they belonged’. The narrator’s parenthetical distancing tactic (‘—as they put it—’) shows the animals’ misunderstanding of her point in unnaming, for linguistic transference is at odds with anonymity. When the yaks return their name to its ‘donor’, or the domestic animals return their name to those to whom it ‘belonged’, names are seen (a` l’Aristotle) as inherently attaching to someone: if a noun exists, there must be a nominee. What kind of names are the animals asked to part with? The names that Adam assigned to the animals in Eden were (in Le Guin’s interpretation) not individual, personal names but generic names of species. It is these that the animals now relinquish (‘anybody who wanted to be called Rover, or Froufrou, or Polly, or even Birdie in the personal sense, was perfectly free to do so’). Obviously, personal names are important, and the story is self-consciously littered with them: ‘the poet named Eliot’ (who is cited on cats’ names), ‘Dean’ Swift, Plato, Linnaeus, Adam. Le Guin then raises the question of whether these names are, like the animals’ generic names, merely ‘useful to others’, or whether they ‘Wt very well’: in other words, whether personal names, like nouns, are ad placitum (arbitrary and conventional) or ex congruo (motivated and mimetic). The terms are Bacon’s but the questions and categories go back as far as Plato’s Cratylus, ‘the earliest extant attempt to discuss the origin of language’ (H. N. Fowler in Plato, Cratylus 4).1 Cratylus argues for essentialist nomination, asserting that ‘[n]ames have by nature a truth’; they are an integral part of our identity (Oedipus, ‘swollen-footed’, has indeed the swollen foot which his name reXects). For his interlocutor Hermogenes, however, ‘there is no
name given to anything by nature: all is convention and habit of the users’ (Plato, Cratylus 391a–b, 384d). These binary positions dominate the twenty-two centuries of language philosophy since Plato, for the question of onomastics, as Plato well knew, cannot be separated from the larger issue of language. The interface between onomastics and semiotics is seen when Le Guin’s narrator returns her name to Adam. ‘You and your father lent me this—gave it to me, actually. It’s been really useful, but it doesn’t exactly seem to Wt very well lately’. Given that the narrator acknowledges that she must do to herself what she has done to the animals—abolish diVerence and hierarchy by abolishing divisive linguistic labelling—the gift she is returning must be the label ‘helpmeet’, ‘woman’, ‘wife’ (the biblical Eve did not receive her name until after the fall). However, it is not clear that this is not a postlapsarian story, and the conclusion, in which ‘she’ leaves Adam, raises the possibility that her personal name is also redundant.2 Genesis tells us that ‘The man called his wives name Hevah (meaning ‘‘The life-giving one’’) because she was ye mother of al living’ (Genesis 3: 20). An Eve separated from Adam, single and celibate, choosing non-motherhood, will no longer be Eve, the mother of all living. The marital diYculty between the world’s Wrst husband and wife is a diYculty of language, of communication. ‘She’ acknowledges that ‘[o]ne of my reasons for doing what I did was that talk was getting us nowhere’. Adam only half-listens as ‘she’ announces the return of her husband’s and father-in-law’s linguistic label. ‘Put it down over there, OK?’ he says before continuing ‘with what he was doing’. Adam is oblivious both to his wife’s identity and to her speech, and this deWciency introduces the last part of the story which concentrates on the nexus between name and language. When ‘she’ tries to explain that she is leaving with the animals, ‘she’ hesitates over the choice of noun: ‘ ‘‘I’m going now. With the—. . . . With them, you know.’’ . . . I had only just then realized how hard it would have been to explain myself. I could not chatter away as I used to do, taking it all for granted. My words now must be as slow, as new, as single, as tentative
as the steps I took going down the path away from the house.’ ‘She’ is now free to revalue language and herself. Namelessness enables her to do both for she has wrested control of language and names from the Wrst patriarch, the Wrst logothete and nomothete. This is a book about the importance of names in Shakespeare’s plays; it is also a book about the ways in which language (of which names are a subdivision) relates to material objects. Le Guin’s revisionist, feminist, anti-nominalist story is an appropriate starting point for it brings together in one page what this book explores and links throughout Wve chapters: onomastics, language, identity, cultural inheritance. My premise is simple: names matter; and names are matter—material entities capable of assuming lives and voices of their own. Peter Holland illustrates both these points succinctly in a discussion of Theseus and Egeus in Midsummer Night’s Dream: Naming Hermia’s father Egeus cannot be a completely innocent act; it was not up to Shakespeare to decide how much of this baggage should be present—it is simply carried into the play with the name for the audience, or, now, critic, to use. . . . The name cannot choose whether to be allusive. Conjuring up Egeus in the play is to invoke his history. (Holland, ‘Theseus’ Shadows’ 146)
Onomastics, as we shall see, provides an introduction to the lexical and the local (awareness of etymology, associations, puns on names) and to the intertextual and historical (characters’ encounters with the cultural baggage of the name they bear: Helen, Theseus, Troilus, Cressida, Henry) and to the theoretical, and feminist (control of language equals control of names equals control of people). And, as Le Guin’s short story illustrates, these areas frequently overlap. My methodology in this book throughout is formalist; in a series of case studies I oVer close analysis of the associations and use of names in a range of Shakespeare plays, and in a range of performances. This is primarily a book for language lovers rather than philosophers or historicists but it does not ignore the concerns of the last two groups: it may eschew a philosophical focus but it
highlights the philosophical implications; it may skirt historicist priorities but it is steeped in historicist concerns. It has serious philosophical and historicist points to make about how language does and does not work, and what it can and cannot do in sixteenthand seventeenth-century society, but I have chosen to make these points through textual and theatrical analysis rather than in the abstract. Nonetheless the works of philosophers, theorists, anthropologists, and linguists have been very important to my thinking, and their Wngerprints are everywhere. Chapter 1 takes its cue from Montaigne’s essay ‘On Names’ in which Montaigne introduces his eclectic musings with a culinary analogy: ‘No matter how varied the greenstuVs we put in, we include them all under the name of salad. So too here: while surveying names I am going to make up a mixed dish from a variety of items’ (Montaigne, Complete 308). The salad I assemble in Chapter 1 is a historical one: I survey the debate about the problematic relation between names and the named world from Genesis on. Like Montaigne’s salad, the chapter’s ingredients are diverse: myth, the Bible, Greek literature, psychological analysis, literary theory, social anthropology, etymology, baptismal trends, puns, diVerent cultures’ and periods’ social practice as regards the bestowing and interpreting of names, and English literature in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Shakespeare’s plays are my destination but the path to them takes many deliberate detours. And what comes after Shakespeare is as culturally interesting as what led up to him, for the general interest in names has never gone away; hence the reader will also Wnd illustrative material from contemporary journalism, Wlm, and cartoons where these provide accessible depictions of classical points. Chapter 2 turns to the patronym in Romeo and Juliet. I show how the play embodies problems speciWc not to Verona or to sixteenthcentury England, to young love or ancient grudge, but to language generally: the separation of signiWer and signiWed. Thucydides tells us that in the Peloponnesian War words changed meaning (cited in White 3). His observation applies equally to the civil feud in Verona:
no longer identifying patronymics (if ever they were, if ever surnames can be just labels) ‘Montague’ and ‘Capulet’, fetishized into onomastic icons of enmity, have become determinants and discriminators of allegiance, and rallying cries to battle. As a later dramatist concerned with language and identity writes: ‘I’ll use the words you taught me. If they don’t mean anything anymore, teach me others. Or let me be silent’ (Beckett, Endgame 32). In Chapter 3, I consider the mythological name, Helen, and its abbreviation, Nell, in a diverse group of plays: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, All’s Well that Ends Well, and the Henry 4/5 plays. In early modern England, I argue, Helen had one primary referent— Helen of Troy—and to name your daughter (or a character) was tantamount to calling your child (or character) Adolf today. Other historical and literary models for ‘Helen’ did exist and were much closer to Shakespeare in time—St Helena, the virtuous mother of the Emperor Constantine, for example, who was a popular Wgure in the Middle Ages (she was allegedly British, and associated with the coming of Christianity to the Roman Empire) and some authors, like William Camden in his Remains (1605), viewed the name as ‘tied’ to this Helen. But for most Elizabethans there seems to have been a one-to-one correspondence of the name Helen with the Spartan ‘strumpet’; Shakespeare, however, tried to rehabilitate the name, interrogating the circumstances in which female reputation is lost and mythology made. In Chapter 4, I investigate the problems of personal and theatrical identity as refracted in the diminutive name, Kate, in The Taming of the Shrew. Performance studies feature throughout this book (in Chapter 2, I analyse an inXuential bilingual production of Romeo and Juliet, in Chapter 5, I oVer illustrative material about women and Ephesus from a range of recent performances) but in Chapter 4 my entire discussion is prompted by a production of The Taming of the Shrew in 2006. Focusing on this production’s stress on role-playing I consider the diVerence between role and character in drama and relate it to the phenomenological philosophy of Maurice Natanson. Natanson argues that anonymity is our dominant social
condition. His deWnition of anonymity is not literal: when characters are seen primarily in terms of their social role rather than in terms of their individual personhood, he argues, we enter the world of anonymity. In looking at the slippage between Katherine and Kate, and the roles the character enacts, I argue that her diminutive introduces a playworld in which multiple names and roles make individuals slip from view as individuals, operating only as functions (an issue particularly relevant to a play which feminist criticism has argued is about gender and performativity). In Chapter 5, I develop the question of gender when I turn my attention to the place name, considering the implications of Ephesus in relation to women in The Comedy of Errors. In altering his source, Plautus’ Menaechmi, Shakespeare changed the setting from Epidamnus to Ephesus. Why? I suggest that the complex history of Ephesus in relation to two kinds of female—the independent Amazon woman and the submissive Pauline wife—is crucial to Shakespeare’s portrayal of women in The Comedy of Errors (women who are also resonantly named). It is diYcult to write without using names. Note the discomfort with which I deck my opening analysis of Le Guin’s story in inverted commas (‘she’); note how much easier (and how untrue to Le Guin) it would be to call the protagonist ‘Eve’. Note Romeo’s dilemma: if Juliet wishes him to shed his name, how can he comply with her request to identify himself ? ‘By a name j I know not how to tell thee who I am’ (2.2.54). Note Milton’s awareness that the fallen angels at the opening of Paradise Lost are nameless (their names have been ‘blottted out and ras’d’), and that, in referring to Moloch, Belial, Mammon, and Beelzebub, the poet uses names the devils have not yet received (Leonard 69). And note the names we choose to use in our critical discourse: ‘Kate’ rather than ‘Katherine’ in Taming of the Shrew, ‘Claudius’ rather than ‘the King’ in Hamlet, ‘Bertram’ rather than ‘the Count’ in All’s Well that Ends Well. It is not that these labels are wrong but that they carry interpretative weight. David Lodge writes that it is ‘not customary for novelists to
explain the connotations of the names they give to their characters: such suggestions are supposed to work subliminally on the reader’s consciousness’ (Art 37). We as critics may be onomastically nonchalant in our choice, but the subliminal associations which David Lodge describes are already, subtly, powerfully at work on our readers. In the same chapter Lodge says that in Wction ‘names are never neutral. They always signify, even if it is only ordinariness’ (Art 37). What is true of the novel is even more true of drama: where the audience has so little time to become acquainted with a character, the name must pull its weight. Let us now turn to drama and consider the ways names ‘work’ (Ch. 1) and their subliminal associations for audiences and readers of Shakespeare (Chs. 2 to 5).
1 On Names ‘[A] girl you have not yet been introduced to . . . now comes forward from the shadows of the side aisle, where she has been lurking, to join the others at the altar rail. Let her be called Violet, no, Veronica, no Violet, improbable a name as that is for Catholic girls of Irish extraction, customarily named after saints and Wgures of Catholic legend, for I like the connotations of Violet—shrinking, penitential, melancholy.’ (David Lodge, How Far Can You Go? 15)
‘I always thought it was a mistake calling you Hamlet. I mean, what kind of name is that for a young boy? . . . I wanted to call you George.’ (Margaret Atwood, Gertrude Talks Back 16)
Names and Identity All societies have ceremonies to name a new member, and one of the Wrst phrases we learn in a foreign language, as in our native tongue, is how to identify ourselves.1 Namelessness is the ultimate in ignominy, as the root of the word attests: in-(g)nomen, no name. Non-Roman citizens (and women) were legally nameless, denied the identifying ‘tria nomina’ of the Roman male citizen (Pulgram 151). The savages of Mount Atlas in Barbary attract regular comment by authors from ancient Greece to the Renaissance because they lack the two essentials of personhood: they are nameless and dreamless (Camden 29).2 Names, like dreams, mark an individual as unique, as indiv-id-ual.
The Bastard’s elevation in status in King John enables him to imagine insulting others by mistaking their names: ‘An if his name be George, I’ll call him ‘‘Peter’’, j For new-made honour doth forget men’s names’ (1.1.186–7). Names are necessary for renown—‘how should a man uphold or remember the deeds of those men that have no names?’ asks Edward Lyford in 1655 (a1r); half a century earlier Shakespeare had characterized Caius Martius (soon to be agnominated Coriolanus) as unable to reward the poor man who sheltered him in Corioles because he has forgotten his benefactor’s name (1.10.89–90). One of God’s most condign punishments, as John Donne points out (Essays 44), is the erasure of name: How often doth God curse with abolishing the Name? Thou shalt destroy their Name, Deut 7.24. And, I will destroy their Name de sub caelo Deut 9.14. And, Non seminabitur de Nomine tuo Nah. 1.14. With which curse also the civill Ephesian Law punished the burner of the Temple, that none should name him.
Institutions often follow God’s example, abolishing the name and substituting a number (cf. Weidhorn, ‘Relation’ 303), a practice manipulated playfully by Noel Coward in 1930 when his friend T. E. Lawrence joined the RAF under the pseudonym Ross (an attempt to escape fame). Coward wrote to him: ‘Dear 338171 (May I call you 338?) (Lawrence 443). Only an Odysseus can manipulate namelessness to personal advantage. In Book 9 of The Odyssey the Cyclops Polyphemus imprisons Odysseus and his companions and eats two of the men for dinner. Odysseus strikes a bargain with Polyphemus: Odysseus will reveal his name if the Cyclops promises to delay eating him till last. This agreed, Odysseus tells him that his name is no one (me tis in Greek, translated variously as Noman or Nemo in English texts). Odysseus sharpens a stick to use as a weapon against Polyphemus and, when the Cyclops is intoxicated with strong Greek wine, Odysseus blinds him. The other Cyclops respond to Polyphemus’ howls of pain, asking who is hurting him. ‘Noman’ comes the reply.
Not unreasonably, Polyphemus’ fellows ignore the Cyclops’ screams, and Odysseus and his men escape. Given that one of the recurrent formulaic epithets to describe Odysseus is ‘wily’, Odysseus here becomes his name twice over: he congratulates himself on his metis (cunning) in having adopted the identity of me tis (no one).3 Names mark an individual as unique. Talthybius, the messenger who reports the catastrophe of Euripides’ The Women of Troy, is unusual in Greek tragedy in two respects: he involves himself in the action (he cleans the corpse of Astyanax and prepares the ground for his burial) and he is named. One cannot help but feel that the two items are related: his dramatic importance is acknowledged with a name. Marlowe’s Jew of Malta features two rival friars who appear in only one scene, Act 4, Scene 1. The editor of the New Mermaids edition, T. W. Craik, objects to those editors who identify the friars in speech preWxes as Jacomo and Barnardine (they are identiWed in dialogue) on the grounds that this ‘seems to impose more personality on them than the nature of the play makes desirable’ (Marlowe, Jew p. xix). The friars are not individuals (individuus: undivided, numerically one, single); they are a comic duo whose dramatic function lies in their cupiditous rivalry. But if naming causes ontological trouble for editors, anonymity causes problems for actors and critics. Imogen Stubbs confessed to disappointment that her Wrst Stratford role (the jailer’s daughter in Two Noble Kinsmen) did not even have a name (53). Like Craik, she equated a name with individuality. (Had the play been called The Jailer’s Daughter, however, her attitude might have been quite diVerent. Few actresses express disappointment on being cast as the anonymous—but eponymous—Duchess of MalW.) Helen Cooper views John in ‘The Miller’s Tale’ ‘as a peripheral character: neither he nor Alison is named when they are Wrst introduced, as the young men are’ (99), and Ellen Pollak considers the Baron in The Rape of the Lock ‘relatively insigniWcant . . . a shadow. . . he doesn’t even have a proper name’ (66).4 G. K. Hunter detects a falling-oV in Macbeth: ‘In the last Act-and-a-half the name ‘‘Macbeth’’ is little used; he is ‘‘the tyrant’’, ‘‘the conWdent tyrant’’; [There is a] loss of personal identity’ (Hunter,
ed. Macbeth 26). This interpretative response to lack of names also applies to incomplete names. Ian Watt observes that, apart from his autobiographical narrators, all Defoe’s characters ‘are strictly secondary; and almost without exception, they lack the most elementary requirements of completeness, a full name’ (323).
In the Beginning: Name versus Thing Derek Walcott argues that ‘for somebody not to know the meaning of . . . his or her name is to be nameless, not to have an identity’ (238). Vindice in Thomas Middleton’s Revenger’s Tragedy fulWls Walcott’s desideratum for onomastic understanding: l u s s u r i o s o Thy name? I have forgot it. vi n d i ce Vindice my lord. l u s s u r i o s o ’Tis a good name, that. vi n d i ce Ay, a revenger. (4.2.169–70)
In knowing the meaning of his name Vindice has identity as a revenger, an identity which he acts out—or fulWls. This question of priority in the relationship between name and behaviour is vexed. Which comes Wrst: the name, which determines the identity? Must a Bernard be ‘brave as a bear’? must a Theophilus be a ‘lover of God’? Must a Spielmann or Szpilman be a piano player, as in this dialogue from the Wlm The Pianist: —What’s your name? —Szpilman [¼ player]. —A good name for a pianist.
(Szpilman, The Pianist, 2002)5
Or does identity precede the name, and the name merely reXect it? ‘Septimus’ is unlikely to be other than a seventh son; ‘Coriolanus’ communicates Martius’ identity as the conqueror of Corioles; occupational surnames—Wsher, cartwright, fuller, potter—originally designated their bearer’s profession. In Greek myth, Paris, the Trojan prince, has, like the later Coriolanus, an additional name which reXects his achievements:
When I Was hardly grown to man’s stature I regained Our herds by killing an enemy. For that I received the name I proudly bear. (Ovid, Heroides 160)
[Paris’s other name, Alexander, means ‘the defender’.] According to the theory which aYrmatively answers the Wrst of the two questions above (do names determine identity?) reference is not arbitrary but causal: Amanda will be lovable. Cinthio, whose novella in the Hecatommithi (1565) provided the source of Othello, blames Brabantio for the tragedy because of the ill-omened name with which he burdened his daughter: Desdemona (unlucky). ‘The name is the Wrst gift from the father to the child and therefore he should give a splendid and auspicious one, as if in this way he could augur for them happiness and distinction’ (Kahane 233). As William Jenkin wrote in 1652, ‘Our baptismal names ought to bee such as may prove remembrances of duty. . . ’Tis good to impose such names as expresse our baptismal promise. A good name is as a thread tyed about the Wnger, to make us mindful of the errand we came into the world to do for our Master’ (quoted in Bardsley 47). Jenkin’s causal premise is illustrated in many poems, novels, and biographies. It is the premise behind Tristram Shandy: His [Walter Shandy’s] opinion, in this matter, was, That there was a strange kind of magic bias, which good or bad names, as he called them, irresistibly impressed upon our characters and conduct. . . . How many Caesars and Pompeys, he would say, by mere inspiration of the names, have been rendered worthy of them? And how many, he would add, are there, who might have done exceedingly well in the world, had not their characters and spirits been totally depressed and Nicodemused into nothing? (Sterne 77)6
Onomastic predestination is most obvious in allegorical texts, from medieval morality plays to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, but the realist novel is not exempt. In Joseph Andrews the eponymous hero writes to his sister: ‘I hope I shall copy your example, and that of Joseph, my name’s sake, and maintain my virtue against all
temptations’ (Fielding, Joseph 64). In Richardson’s Clarissa, Mark Kinkead-Weekes detects a link between Lovelace’s name and his ‘view of life and relationships [as] remarkably loveless (as his own name was pronounced at the time)’ (216). And the view that names determine behaviour survives in contemporary life: in 2004 a 75-year-old British woman named Florence Nightingale explained that ‘she’d tried to help people throughout her life, in part because she wanted to live up to her namesake’ (Angel 10). In the beginning was the word. An alternative belief system holds that in the beginning was the thing; names simply reXect and label a pre-existing identity. Thus Socrates (as depicted by Plato): ‘A name is an imitation, just as a picture is’ (Cratylus 430–1, Fowler 159). Thus Cato the Elder: ‘rem tene, verba sequentur’ (take hold of things and words will follow) (Howell 131). Thus Thomas More: ‘a word is only an image representing to you the imagination of my mind’ (Dialogue 117). Thus Francis Bacon: ‘words are but the images of matter’ (Advancement 26).7 For Shakespeare’s Juliet, ‘a rose j By any other word [Q2; name Q1] would smell as sweet’ (2.2.43–4). Webster’s Duke Ferdinand incredulously asks his sister, the Duchess of MalW, ‘Is it true thou art but a bare name, j And no essential thing?’ (3.2.85–90). In 1580 Sir Philip Sidney complained to his brother that Oxford tuition concentrated on words at the expense of things (cited by Shepherd in Sidney Apology 5, 35). Montaigne wrote that ‘there are names and there are things. A name is a spoken sound which designates a thing and acts as a sign for it. The name is not part of that thing nor part of its substance: it is a foreign body attached to that thing; it is quite outside it’ (‘On Glory’ in Complete 702). Mount Everest existed before anyone called it Mount Everest (Zink 486). The epithet is man-made, but it matches the God-made world. This is the position put forward in Genesis 2: 19–20: So the Lord God formed of the earth every beast of the Weld, and every foule of the heaven; and brought them unto the man to see how he would
call them: for howsoever the man named the living creature, so was the name thereof. The man therefore gave names unto all cattell, and the foule of the heaven, and to every beast of the Weld.
In Milton’s expansion of Genesis, Paradise Lost, Adam’s narrative recollection of his Wrst moments focuses on his attempts to match the word to the world: ‘to speak I tried, and forthwith spake, j My tongue obeyed and readily could name j What e’er I saw’ (8.271– 3).8 Nonetheless, the passage from Genesis is not as clear as early modern exegetes would have liked, for it can be made to support either an arbitrary and conventional or a motivated and mimetic theory of naming. In other words, Adam assigned names arbitrarily, and it is convention—the way we agree to use words—which gives them their ‘meaning’: Mount Everest may have existed before anyone named it, but Tibetans know it as Chomolangma (Mother of the Universe) and the Nepalese call it Sagarmatha (forehead of the sky). Or Adam gave the animals the names that suited their personality and thus language reXects meaning. One way to deal with this diYculty is to argue that there is no diVerence between naming and being before the fall. Language and reality, epistemology and ontology, are not yet diVerentiated. God is identiWed with language in John 1: 1: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ Whether Adamic language creates or labels identity, in either case the correlation between name and thing is perfect. It is only with Babel that language and meaning become separated. All civilizations have some version of the story of Babel, in which linguistic diversity and concomitant failure to communicate is inXicted on mankind as a punishment. Before this, discourse was straightforward not just because a single tongue was used, but because this Ursprache contained a perfect Wt between the word and the thing (Steiner, passim; Haugen 33–5). The lost ability to match name to thing Vico called onomathesia (1129–32; Novak ‘Friday’ 111). Francis Lodwick’s Description of a Country Not Named (British Library
Sloane MS 913) presents a society where the citizens speak a perfect language (Salmon 83–5). Sigurd Burckhardt writes, ‘the Fall was a fall from the Eden of proper names into the world of common nouns’ (3). He is punning on the literal sense of proper (from the Latin proprius) as ‘one’s own’ (from which our word ‘property’ derives: something which is one’s own); in Eden names Wtted the object, they were its own. Theologians point out that, despite its narrative appeal, Genesis is hermeneutically one of the most diYcult books of the Bible. Renaissance exegetes rose to the challenge: over forty commentaries on Genesis, ranging from 300 to 1,000 pages, in English and in Latin, were printed between 1525 and 1633 (see Arnold Williams, and cf. Corcoran and J. M. Evans) in which the Wnest metaphysical minds of the day—Babington, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli—wrestled with the question of language. What was mankind’s Wrst language? Could the animals speak? (Eve does not express surprise on encountering a talking snake.) Did Adam suit the animals’ names to their nature or was his naming itself an act of creation? Was this the founding of the Hebrew language? Was naming the animals a divine ploy to make Adam notice the absence of a human helpmeet so that he ‘might have a greater desire thereunto’ (Willet, C6v)? Did God create Adam with onomastic ontological knowledge, or give it to him soon after his creation, or was the naming procedure itself a test? In D. J. Enright’s twentieth-century comic poem, Paradise Illustrated, naming is a test which Adam fails (and Eve subsequently passes): ‘Fido’, said Adam, thinking hard, As the animals went past him one by one, ‘Bambi’, ‘Harpy’, ‘Pooh’, ‘Incitatus’, ‘Acidosis’, ‘Apparat’, ‘KraVt-Ebing’, ‘Indo-China’, ‘Schnorkel’, ‘Buggins’, ‘Bollock’— ‘Bullock will do’, said the Lord God. ‘I like it. The rest are rubbish. You must try again tomorrow.’
Onomancy Those early modern commentators and thinkers who believed in the causal theory of naming (that name creates identity) were attracted by the power this attached to onomancy. As Bacon explained: ‘if man could recover the names of animals [i.e. the lost Adamic power of naming] he would once more command them’ (Works iii. 222). The nominator is dominator.9 Henry Ainsworth comments, ‘This sheweth Gods bounty, in giving man dominion over al earthly creatures, Psal. 8. for the giving of names, is a signe of soveraigntie, Num 32.38.41.Gen 35.18 & 26.18’ (C1v). It was an easy step for commentators to link Adam’s onomastic ‘dominion over al earthly creatures’ to the moment in Genesis 3: 20 when, after the fall, Adam gives another earthly creature, hitherto known only as ‘woman’, the personal name ‘Eve’. Nicholas Gibbens turns his exposition of this passage into admonition: Herein also the man beginneth in godlie sort to practise that authoritie which God had given him over his wife, in calling her as it were by his own name, which is a token among men, of their preheminence: and the woman in receiving it declareth her obedience. Which godlie example the more ancient it is, the more worthie to be followed both of man and wife, & especiallie to be observed in this degenerate and declining age, in which the duties of marriage societie are seldome and but slenderlie regarded. (Y4r)
In Notes Upon Every Chapter of Genesis Gervase Babington is more temperately didactic about sixteenth-century marital relations, but both Babington and Gibbens agree that naming, like language, represents power: the power to create and, consequently, to control.10 In The Faerie Queene, Spenser’s religious (and structuralist11) allegory, reality resides in res, as Gary Waller points out, and ‘the Wnal value of verbes is always outside the poem. . . . It is as if Spenser sensed how language could no longer function as marks of a divine order but was revealed as signs of power’ (187, 212). Language and power are inextricably linked: most conquerors attempt to impose their language on the conquered. Nowhere is
this more evident than in the history of conquest known as British colonialism, which is, at one level, a history of control through naming. In Robinson Crusoe Crusoe obsessively names areas, features, and structures on the (‘my’) island, and when he meets (and names) Friday ‘I taught him to say Master, and then let him know, that was to be my name’ (Defoe 150).12 The central activity of Brian Friel’s Translations is the ‘standardization’ (Anglicization) of Gaelic place names in Ireland by the British Ordnance Survey team in 1833. In Aime´ Ce´saire’s postcolonialist revision of Shakespeare’s Tempest, Caliban is not named Caliban but X. He has rejected the power that Prospero has over him as namer, a rejection foreshadowed by Shakespeare’s Caliban: ‘You taught me language, and my proWt on’t j Is, I know how to curse’ (1.2.363–4). (In Coetzee’s Foe the linguistic power of the colonizer over the conquered is literalized in the amputation of Friday’s tongue.) The relation between language and power applies to domination of species and sex as well as of nation. Ursula Le Guin’s narrator in ‘She Unnames Them’ realizes this when she comments on the absence of barrier between the newly nameless animals and herself: ‘They seemed far closer than when their names had stood between myself and them. . . . [M]y fear of them and their fear of me became one same fear. . . . [T]he hunter could not be told from the hunted, nor the eater from the food.’ Nomination creates division. Mary Daly made this point in a more polemical way in 1973 when she wrote, Women have had the power of naming stolen from us. We have not been free to use our own power to name ourselves, the world, or God. The old naming was not the product of dialogue—a fact inadvertently admitted in the Genesis story of Adam’s naming the animals and the woman. Women are now realising that the universal imposing of names by men has been false because partial. That is, inadequate words have been taken as adequate. (Daly 8)
Shakespeare’s Katherine of France makes the same point without language (or without the English language) when she three times stalls Henry 5’s attempts at dialogue in English: ‘I cannot tell wat is dat’; ‘I cannot tell’; ‘I do not know dat’ (Henry 5 5.2.177; 195; 211).
Forcing him into French is a way of wresting back some of the power she is about to lose as bartered princess of a conquered nation. He ‘Englishes’ her politically but she ‘Frenches’ him linguistically.13 The relation between language and identity, and the development from iteration of name to creation of identity applies even when the reiterated word is a common noun rather than a proper name. In The Merchant of Venice the development takes place in a single sentence in Shylock’s subtle (and perhaps unconscious) gradation from past tense to present: he tells Antonio ‘Thou call’st me dog before thou had’st a cause, j But since I am a dog, beware my fangs’ (3.3.6–7). In Dekker, Ford, and Rowley’s Witch of Edmonton, the old, deformed, and poor Elizabeth Sawyer turns to witchcraft under repeated accusations that she is a witch. As she herself acknowledges, ‘’Tis all one, j To be a witch as to be counted one’ (2.1.117–18). The name creates the behaviour. If names create identity (or are deemed to do so), the logical corollary is that by changing the name one can change identity. This is the psychological thinking which motivates people to change their name by deed poll, or newly independent countries to rename themselves. In ancient Greek society servants were given new names when they changed master (Harris and Taylor 4). But the process of resignifying is not always consistent or straightforward. In the Orwellian world of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia the local oYcials, the syphogrants, have been subject to linguistic reorganization (their new title is phylarch), yet the narrator, Hythloday (whose name means nonsense), persistently uses the older name throughout his narrative without oVering any explanation for this retention. In fact the text elsewhere expresses scepticism that ‘one could change the real nature of things just by changing their names’ (Logan and Adams 71).14 In Henry 8 the Wrst gentleman corrects the third gentleman when the latter refers to the renamed Whitehall (formerly York Place) by its previous name. The third gentleman responds, ‘I know it j But ’tis so lately alter’d that the old name j Is fresh about me’ (4.2.98–9). But having more time does not always
enable us to acclimatize to a new name. In All’s Well that Ends Well editors and critics refuse Bertram his new title of Count Rossillion (although this is the only form by which he is known in the play’s source, Giletta of Narbona), consistently calling him (as I have just done) Bertram.15 Despite the Bastard’s promotion in King John, editors still label the newly named Sir Richard Plantagenet ‘Bastard’ in speech preWxes and stage directions (as does the play’s compositor in the First Folio—a practice for which the Bastard himself provides some authority in 2.1). Twenty years after the publication of the Oxford Shakespeare, reviewers still protest about the change of FalstaV to Oldcastle (Vickers, ‘By other hands’ 11). We talk of ‘the former Yugoslavia’; ‘the Artist formerly known as ‘‘Prince’’ ’; a street in Oxford bears the plaque ‘Pusey Street (formerly Alfred Street)’. Label and identity may be more symbiotically linked for personal names than theories of the arbitrary nature of the sign would allow.16 In the Institutes (published about ad 95) Quintilian states that ‘the best words are essentially suggested by the subject matter [literally: Wt their things (‘‘rebus cohaerunt’’)] and are discovered by their own intrinsic light’ (8. Proem, Butler iii. 189). For Richard Mulcaster in 1582 ‘the word being knowen . . . the thing is half known’ (167). Hobbes cautions: ‘Seeing then that truth consisteth in the right ordering of names in our aYrmations, a man seeking precise truth, had need to remember what every name he uses stands for; and to place it accordingly; or else he will Wnd himself entangled in words (105). Derrida writes that ‘the name is not supposed to signify anything, yet it does begin to signify’ (Derrida, ‘Signeponge’ 192, cited in Hawkes 139 n. 20). Shakespeare’s Cassius is puzzled by this paradox: Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that ‘Caesar’? Why should that name be sounded more than yours? Write them together, yours is as fair a name; Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well; Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with ’em, ‘Brutus’ will start a spirit as soon as ‘Caesar’. ( JC 1.2.142–7)
But, as Frank Kermode points out, ‘it won’t; Caesar proves to be the magically eVective name’ (197). Brutus is a name whose power is exhausted. In republican Rome it lacks the power and authority of the Brutus who banished the Tarquins in the very early days of Rome’s history.
Names and Language The above examples slide between proper names and common nouns. The slippage is endemic to language because proper names belong to a taxonomy of referring expressions; thus, the questions raised by the dyad of name/identity are also posed by language/meaning, the common denominator being the dyad word/thing (or, to use the terms in which the debate was cast from antiquity to the Enlightenment, res/verbum). Plato acknowledges that not all words are names, but names, being little sentences, are words (Sophist cited in Fine 292, 290).17 For Aristotle a name was a word which belongs to someone or something (Harris and Taylor 20). In De Magistro Augustine writes, ‘All things that are words are also names’ (121), and his anecdote in The Confessions about how he acquired language uses ‘name’ and ‘word’ interchangeably (29). The death of Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens intertwines names and language: Timon’s last words are ‘let . . . language end!’ (5.1.220), and his epitaph reads ‘seek not my name’ (5.4.71).18 Thomas Cooper’s Thesaurus Linguae (1584) explains nomen as ‘A name is a nowne’, and Ramus’ Latin Grammar answers the question ‘what is a word?’ with ‘It is a note by which everything is called’ (2). Rhetorical Wgures are explained in terms of names: for Puttenham onomatopoeia is the ‘New namer’, antonomasia is the ‘Surnamer’, metonymy the ‘Misnamer’ and catachresis ‘give[s] names to many things which lacke names, as when we say, the water run’ (Puttenham 180–2, cited in Ferry, Art 66). In 1609 John Wynborne in The New Age of Old Names asked rhetorically ‘What
bee termes, but names?’ (B3v), and in 1655 Edward Lyford compared those who did not know the meaning of their names to those who spoke nonsense, not knowing the meaning of words (A2v). Bishop Sprat, who attempted to improve the English language on behalf of the Royal Society in 1667, uses name synonymously with word: he instructs members to deliver ‘so many things almost in an equal number of words’ and complains that the Royal Society ‘did not regard the credit of names but things’ (113, 105; my emphasis). In the eighteenth century Laurence Sterne’s great novel about naming (apre`s Locke) focuses on two related items: the accidental baptism of the hero as Tristram (with its connotations of sadness, rather than his father’s intended choice of Trismagistus, meaning thrice great) and the characters’ failures in communication (from Tristram’s inability to tell a linear story to Uncle Toby’s conversational monomania). For Genette, ‘naming is really the linguistic act par excellence’ (11). The debate about names is thus consistently linked to the debate about language (indeed, ancient Greek had only one word, onoma, to designate both personal name and grammatical noun, and hence it was natural for Plato to conclude that persons and objects received their names in the same way (Hare 33)19). The close relation between names and words is visible in the number of early modern dictionaries, word lists, and other reference books which include glosses of proper names, either as an appendix or interspersed throughout the alphabetical listings. Names, like words, required translation or explication. The Geneva Bible of 1560 adds ‘A Briefe Table of the Interpretation of the proper names which are chieXy found in the olde Testament’ (this ‘Briefe Table’ contains over one thousand personal names). William Patten’s Calendar of Scripture (1575) translates biblical names into English, including the names of men and women as well as ‘Nations, Countries . . . Idols, Cities, Hills, Rivers’, as does Thomas Wilson’s Dictionary of 1612. Edward Phillips’ New World of English Words, or A General Dictionary (1658) contains ‘the Interpretations of Such Hard
Words as are derived from other Languages . . . To Which are added The SigniWcations of Proper Names’. Francis Gregory’s Onomastikon Brahn (1651) includes among its glossaries classical and mythological names, as does Henry Cockeram’s English Dictionary (1632). Edward Cocker’s The Young Clerk’s Tutor Enlarged (6th edition 1670), is not a dictionary so much as a guidebook to behaviour and letterwriting, but it sees Wt to include in its ‘usefull Collection’ a twenty-three page listing of male and female names in Latin and English (119–42). The same author’s English Dictionary (1704; published posthumously) adds an appendix—An Historical Poetical dictionary: containing The Proper Names of Men, Women, Rivers, Countrys . . . With the Etymological Explication and Derivation of them—while the anonymous Gazophylacium Anglicanum containing the Derivation of English Words, Proper and Common (1689) includes at the end a separate Etymologicon Onomasticon, or An Etymological Explication of the Proper Names of Men and Women. Although Renaissance dictionaries separate common nouns and proper names, today’s dictionaries do not for it is sometimes diYcult to know the diVerence between a noun and a name. Pandar, Lothario, Romeo, Walter Mitty, Jezebel, Zoilus, Luddite, Judas retain their majuscule when used as types (‘keeping up with the Joneses’; Luddites; ‘Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography’ (Oscar Wilde; cited in John M. Carroll 116)), thereby revealing their origins as a proper name.20 However, these words’ capacity to be used as a plural renders them more noun than proper name. (As a rule of thumb, proper names cannot be plural although there are a few notable exceptions: the United States of America, the Bahamas, the New York Times, for example; John M. Carroll 169.) At the other extreme, doll, spa, lido, sandwich, mackintosh, tar, amp, volt, ohm, cardigan, limerick, tobacco, turkey, and china (note the minuscules) are rarely associated with the people or places from which they derive, and Stentor and Mausoleus have been morphologically metamorphosed (stentorian, mausoleum). Ernst Pulgram highlights the diYculty in distinguishing
names from nouns with a rhetorical question: ‘If a woman is called Violet, this is undoubtedly her proper name. But is Violet a common noun, or is it the proper name of that little Xower?’ (157). A general, albeit paradoxical, answer is that proper names become nouns when their semantic content is reactivated: when a Potter becomes a potter, the name once again has ‘meaning’. Colin Burrow draws our attention to ‘James I’s wonderfully named mason, Nicholas Stone’ (Spenser 1). His delight centres on the happy coincidence of name and profession, rather like the character in Edward Albee’s play, Tiny Alice: ju lian You . . . you are the butler, are you not, but . . . b u t l e r Butler. My name is Butler. ju lian (Innocent pleasure) How extraordinary! b u t l e r (Putting it aside) No, not really. Appropriate: Butler . . . butler. If my name were Carpenter, and I were a butler . . . or if I were a carpenter, and my name were Butler . . . ju lian But still . . . b u t l e r . . . it would not be so appropriate. (Act 1, scene 2, p. 30)
But the arbitrary coincidence celebrated by Burrow was once a causal connection, and, for Nicholas Stone, still was. Stone’s family were so surnamed because they were stonemasons (the appellation could be abbreviated to either Stone or Mason); and the Butlers were butlers (originally a servant in charge of the wine cellar, from the French bouteillier). The return of proper names to nouns involves a further paradox for this reconnection of the linguistic sign with the reality it reXects (or creates) is a striking act of unnaming (Clarkson 61). To share one’s name with a noun is to reduce one’s individuality because as extensive meaning increases, intensive meaning decreases: Potter ¼ me becomes potter ¼ anyone who makes pots (Pulgram 170).21 In literature this process is most obvious with type and allegorical names, such as we associate with medieval morality drama (Mercy, Mankind, Iniquity), but meaningful individual names test
the boundaries. Marvin Carlson points out that Sir Fopling Flutter, Lord Foppington, and Sir Novelty Fashion are not individuals but generic fops (290). As an illustration of the slippery overlap between proper name and common noun, let us consider an example from Titus Andronicus. Searching for a suitable onomastic analogue for the wicked Tamora in Titus Andronicus, Lavinia settles on Tamora’s own name as being the truest expression of her wickedness: ‘Ay, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous Tamora, j For no name Wts thy nature but thy own!’ (2.3.118–19).22 The Assyrian synonym is not an adequate onomastic precedent for Tamora and her cruelty; Tamora is herself, she is her name.23 But Semiramis has been invoked earlier in the play in a positive context when Aaron describes Tamora as ‘this queen, j This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph, j This siren’ (2.1.21–3). In this sentence the beautiful Semiramis is simply a synonym for goddess, nymph, siren (fatal to others but not to Aaron). What to Aaron is an equivalent noun (syno-nym: same name) with a connotative function (the name as word) is to Lavinia a proper name with a uniquely denotative function (the name as thing, as essence). And the meaning, here as elsewhere in language, is not germane to the word but is partly created (and understood) by context. Semiramis is a type of beauty if you are Aaron but a type of cruelty if you are Lavinia. A pippin refers to an apple if you are reading Merry Wives of Windsor (‘there’s pippins and cheese to come’; 1.2.12–13) but Charlemagne if you are reading Love’s Labour’s Lost (‘when King Pippen of France was a little boy’; 4.1.120).24 The overlap between names and language is given a comic reductio ad absurdum by Feste: viola they that dally nicely with words may quickly make them wanton. f e s t e I would therefore my sister had had no name, sir. v i o l a Why, man? f e s t e Why, sir, her name’s a word and to dally with that word might make my sister wanton. (Twelfth Night 3.1.12–17)
Feste here highlights in jest and en passant what philosophers examine in earnest and at length: the relationship between names and language. No book on Shakespeare’s onomastic discourse can avoid situating the debate about names and identity in the history of debates about language and meaning. Any explanatory excursus is necessarily lengthy, covering twenty-two centuries of linguistic theory, but I hope to have indicated the key positions in the summaries and citations above. This chapter must now turn its attention to names in early modern England.
Early Modern Naming In the sixteenth century it was customary for godparents to select the name for a newborn. Baptism was a ceremony for children and godparents rather than for children and parents—the mother was rarely present, having not yet been ‘churched’ after childbirth. Whether the godparents chose the name in consultation with the parents is not clear: Scott Smith-Bannister Wnds the evidence ambiguous (25–30, esp. 28) although David Cressy states that ‘parents and godparents usually agreed in advance what the child should be called’ (161). In the Middle Ages the child was traditionally baptized with the name of ‘its principal godparent of the same sex’ (Singman and McLean 41). For the sixteenth century Marc’hadour talks more generally of a baptismal sponsor as being responsible for choosing the name, a sponsor whom he says was ‘often one of the grandparents’ (559). Practice was no doubt variable: Shakespeare’s twins were called Judith and Hamnet, after their godparents Judith and Hamnet Sadler, and sixteenthcentury children still frequently bore their godparent’s name. Parents might therefore indirectly choose a child’s name by their choice of godparent. However, Shakespeare’s plays speciWcally give the godparent the responsibility of naming on four occasions. In King Lear Regan asks Gloucester:
What, did my father’s godson seek your life? He whom my father named, your Edgar? (2.1.107–8)25
In Love’s Labour’s Lost Berowne satirizes the achievements of researchers, belittling astronomers: These earthly godfathers of heaven’s lights, That give a name to every Wxed star Have no more proWt of their shining nights Than those that walk and wot not what they are. Too much to know is to know nought but fame; And every godfather can give a name. (1.1.88–93)
In Richard 3 George, Duke of Clarence reveals his imprisonment as the result of Edward’s superstitious belief that ‘G’ shall cause his death. Richard responds to Clarence’s explanation (‘my name is George’) with the sympathetic ‘that fault is none of yours; j He should for that commit your godfathers’ (1.1.46–8). In Henry 8 the infant Elizabeth is baptized in the play’s last scene. Henry enters and asks ‘What is her name?’ to which Cranmer, the godfather replies, ‘Elizabeth’ (5.5.9–10). It is diYcult to know whether this last dialogue is a ritual, with the king taking over the role which the Book of Common Prayer allots to the priest (see 5.4.48 n., McMullan 428), or whether it represents a genuine request for information. The historical Henry knew all too well the name of his new daughter, for he had originally intended to call her Mary, replacing her half-sister Mary in name as well as in lineage (Bassnett 18) but Shakespeare need not have known that royal practice diVered from that of the common man (if indeed it did: it is possible for Henry to have considered and rejected Mary as a name but still not to have known the eventual name before the christening). All four plays’ references to godparents as providers of names may simply be a shorthand, of course, referring to the godparents’ ceremonial function at christenings,26 but there are suYcient references in the period to suggest that godparents regularly named children and that parents were not always delighted by their choice. Simonds d’Ewes (1602–50) tells us that his father was given the
name of his deceased elder brother Paul because of the ‘idle altercation and striving of his godfathers at the font for the name . . . for whilst his godfathers were in the heat of their unseasonable strife, the minister, upon enquiry understanding he was born upon the 25th day of January, being the day allotted for the Apostle Paul’s conversion that year, 1567, he gave him that name’ (i. 8). Sir Henry Sidney reports with embarrassment to William Cecil that his latest son—born in 1569 while his father was Deputy Governor of Ireland—has been called Thomas after his uncle the Earl of Sussex, despite Sidney’s instructions ‘that if it were a boy it should have been William, if a wench, Cecil’ (Duncan-Jones 50). The onomastic inXuence of godparents changed during the seventeenth century, with parents assuming more responsibility for their children’s names (perhaps an indication of the evolving nuclear unit) but the lines of crossover in baptismal practice are not clear (Smith-Bannister 26 V.). Simonds d’Ewes concludes his account of his father’s baptismal Wasco with the moral ‘It therefore becomes parents to take upon them the naming of their children, and it becomes witnesses in common civility to leave that power wholly to them’ (i. 8), and in 1622 William Gouge is quite clear that ‘it belongeth to Parents to give the name to their childe’ (522). However, in 1599 a father’s attempt to name his son ‘Doe well’ was thwarted at the font by the minister who disapproved of the name and substituted ‘John’, and in 1696 a Mr Clemens who christened a child ‘Job’ upset the baby’s father so much that the neighbours prevailed upon a second minister to rebaptize the child Thomas (Smith-Bannister 28, 11). As late as 1762 the family of Goldsmith’s Wctional Vicar of WakeWeld could represent both practices. The vicar’s wife chose the name of the couple’s Wrst daughter—a romance name, Olivia, from the books she had been reading during pregnancy—but the godmother insisted on choosing the name of their second daughter, Sophia. The vicar laments that he now had two romance names in the family but ‘solemnly protest[s] that [he] had no hand in it’ (3). In Tristram Shandy, Goldsmith’s contemporary,
Laurence Sterne, debates the ethics of overriding a godfather’s choice of an unsuitable name such as Judas (78). Not for Goldsmith’s Vicar or Sterne’s Mr Shandy the ontologically autonomous outlook of Cervantes’ Don Quixote: ‘yet will we give those very names we Wnd in Books . . . which are to be disposed of publicly in the Open Market; and when we have purchased them, they are our own’ (ch. 73, ii, 928). Sterne also oVers a comic variant of the strife described by Simonds d’Ewes. Political relations between Switzerland and France are cemented with the promise that Switzerland shall stand godfather to France’s next child; the republic ‘as godmother, claims her right in this case, of naming the child’. France agrees, expecting that Switzerland will choose a name ‘agreeable to us’, for example ‘Francis, or Henry, or Lewis’ (298) but Switzerland chooses Shadrach, Mesech, and Abednego. France consequently declares war. Whether a Wrst name originated with parent or godparent, it signiWed. The signiWcance was not conWned to semantics or etymology; as Le´vi-Strauss points out, a name is an identifying mark (181). The early modern Wrst name identiWed the bearer as human; unlike today, animals were not normally given human names (Thomas 96), and although Petruccio’s naming of his spaniel ‘Troilus’ is appropriate in terms of canine loyalty, it is inappropriate in terms of an early modern hierarchy of species.27 A Wrst name also identiWed gender (androgynous names are a recent development),28 and it identiWed status. The children of peers were distinguished by two Wrst names; gentlemen often received surnames as Wrst names (Smith-Bannister 129, 89–95), although this was a recent development: Sidney, Howard, Neville, and Percy are now accepted Wrst names but in 1605 William Camden reported concern about the ‘great inconvenience’ which might arise from this new practice of turning aristocratic surnames into Wrst names (E4v, p. 32). William Gouge opines that contractions and diminutives such as Jack, Tom, Will, and Hal are ‘unseemly: servants are usually so-called’ (283). Thus FalstaV is ‘Jack FalstaV’ or ‘Sir John FalstaV’, and Hal is ‘Prince
Henry’ or ‘Hal’: ‘Sir Jack’ or ‘Prince Hal’ would be an oxymoron and ‘King Hal’ a terrible faux pas, one that FalstaV commits in public when he addresses the new monarch as both ‘King Hal’ and ‘my sweet boy’ (5.5.41, 43). Diminutives with regal titles could be used aVectionately—‘good King Harry’ or ‘good Queen Bess’, for example—especially once a monarch was dead, but these would never be used as signatures by a monarch or modes of address from a subject to him/her. (Similarly, one might talk of the Princess of Wales as ‘Lady Di’ but would never have addressed her as such.) The monarch could use diminutives, however, as in ‘God for Harry, England, and St George!’ (H5 3.1.34). The name also identiWed the bearer as Christian. Gouge lists and explains ‘some sorts and kinds of names, as be Wt, and beseeming Christians’. His list has four categories: names which have some ‘good’ etymological ‘signiWcation’ (e.g. ‘John’ meaning ‘the grace of God’); names which have ‘in times before us beene given to persons of good note, whose life is worthy our imitation’; names ‘of our owne ancestors and predecessors, to preserve a memorie of the familie’; and ‘usuall names of the country, which custome hath made familiar, as Henry, Edward, Robert, William and such like among us’ (522–3). The interest in ‘Wt’ names, in the relation of name to character, spawned a number of early modern volumes designed to help parents and godparents choose an inspiring and appropriate name for a newborn, and to help others live up to (if good) or refute (if bad) the meanings of their names: John Penkethman’s Onomatophylacium, or The Christian Names of Men and Women (1626), Lyford’s True Interpretation (1655), Anon’s Gazophylacium (1689). Even if one did not consult such volumes the consequences of onomastic choices were accessible everywhere. Camden relates a story of two French ambassadors who visited Spain to choose one of two Spanish princesses, the beautiful Urraca or the less beautiful Blanche, as bride for the French King, Louis VIII. Everyone expected the choice to be Uracca.
But the Ambassadours enquiring each of their names, tooke oVence ate Urraca, and made choyce of the Lady Blanche, saying, That her name would be better received in France than the other, as signifying faire and beautifull . . . So that the great Philosopher Plato might seeme, not without cause, to advise men to be carefull in giving faire and happie names . . . Bonum nomen, bonum omen. (30–1)
The Latin tag goes back to antiquity but was Englished into an early modern proverb, ‘Names and nature do oft agree’ (Tilley N32 and cf. Tilley N24). There is, as this proverb shows, much more to proper names than localized, lexical puns or etymology. As Foucault wrote (of author’s names): ‘One cannot turn a proper name into a pure and simple reference. It has other than indicative functions: more than an indication, a gesture, a Wnger pointed at someone, it is the equivalent of a description’ (‘Author’ 145–6).29 All societies attach importance to names, but it makes particular sense that a theocentric society—which seeks meaning in the quotidian—should read names as signs. Nor was onomancy conWned to people: bonum nomen, bonum omen held true for ships too, as we see in Webster’s The Devil’s Law-Case: r o m e l i o Is there any ill omen in giving names to ships? Ariosto Did you not call one, The Storm’s DeWance; Another, The Scourge of the Sea; and the third, The Great Leviathan? romelio Very right, Sir. ar iost o Very devilish names All three of them: and surely I think they were cursed In their very cradles. (2.3.51–6)
There is a diVerence between an auspicious name and an arrogant name. Ariosto complains that the latter tempts fate. Elizabeth M. Brennan’s survey of ships’ names reveals the understandable popularity of Bonaventure and the success of Drake and Hawkins’ Garland, Hope, Foresight, Concord, and Amity. Hawkins’ Voyage into the South Sea (1622) ‘gave examples of vessels whose badly chosen names, such as ‘‘The Revenge’’ and ‘‘Thunderbolt’’, brought them
ill fortune. Hawkins’s own ship, ‘‘The Repentance’’, had bad luck, and in William Kidley’s poem Hawkins (1624), the hero is represented as protesting against this choice of name, made by his mother’ (Webster, Devil’s Law-Case, 2.3.49–57 n., p. 51).
Etymologies The early modern interest in etymology (whether actual or fanciful in derivation) was inherited from ancient Greece where, as in Renaissance England, it converged with the period’s passion for wordplay. Greek tragedy regularly punned on the supposed association of Helen with the root hele, meaning ‘destruction’: Who was the unknown seer whose voice . . . made choice Of a child’s name, and deftly linked Symbol with truth, and name with deed, Naming, inspired, the glittering bride Of spears, for whom men killed and died, Helen the Spoiler? On whose lips Was born that Wt and fatal name . . . ? (Aeschylus, Agamemnon 66)
To the early modern English tongue the meaning of Helen equated to its Wrst syllable hell, or, if you were Faustus, deWantly oppositional in this as in so much else, to heaven: ‘Come Helen, come, give me my soul again. j Here will I dwell, for heaven be in these lips’ (Marlowe, Dr Faustus A-text, 5.1.95–6). Holofernes in Love’s Labour’s Lost, who Xuctuates between synonymizing and etymologizing, muses on Ovidius Naso: ‘And why indeed ‘‘Naso’’, but for smelling out the odoriferous Xowers of fancy?’ (4.2.123). His explanation may be wrong but his etymological instincts are correct: Naso was a nickname, assigned because of the prominence of Ovid’s nose. Several early modern works focus in part or in whole on the etymology of names. William Camden’s Remains (1605) devotes over
half the book (148 of 294 pages) to an analysis of onomastic customs in other cultures, to the history of surnames, to a list of male and female names and to puns on Wrst names and surnames. It is a seventeenth-century forerunner of the Guinness Book of Names (indeed, the latter draws its material heavily from the former). Richard Verstegan’s A Restitution of Decayed Intelligence in Antiquities, which appeared the same year as Camden’s Remains (printed in Antwerp), provides a witty account of onomastic etymology. Verstegan the philologist is evident in his discussion of Barnard (the ‘true ortography’ of which is ‘Bearn¼hart’), a name designed to inspire in the named the admired qualities of the warlike bear: [o]f which beast to have the lyke harte or the lyke cowrage, the parents would somtyme give unto the child the name of Bearn-hart/ that is, Beareshart/ for n/ as well as s/ is in our ancient speech at the end of nownes the signe of the plural number, as we yet in divers things do retaine it, as when wee say, children/ bretheren/ Oxen/ and the lyke. (Hh4v, p. 248)
Verstegan the sceptical humorist emerges in his deconstruction of others’ analysis of the etymology of Robert (bert from vert ¼ beard, or from German wert ¼ worth; Rob from red, mistaken for the colour): For as children when their names are Wrst given can not bee praised for their woorth or woorthynes, because it can not in them so soon appeer, no more may they bee called after the colour of their beards when they have none. . . . [Therefore] moste ridiculous it is to say. . . that Robert/ is to say Red-beard/ as though the bearers in old tyme of that name, either had no names until they had beards, or els when they gat beards they gat new names according to the colour of them. (Hh2r–v, pp. 243–4)30
Verstegan here mocks the absurd extremity of essentialist nomination. The egregiously logical narrator of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a latter-day Verstegan: on being told the etymology of his name (‘Christopher . . . means carrying Christ . . . and it was the name given to St Christopher because he carried Jesus Christ across a river’) he is puzzled: ‘This makes you wonder what he was called before he carried Christ across the river’ (21).
The interest in naming created a fashion for authors playfully ‘translating’ the literal content of their names. Middleton’s Ghost of Lucrece (1600) includes a prefatory Latin poem by ‘Thomas Medius & Gravis Tonus’ [Middle and Tone] (STC 17885.5); in Heywood’s Philocothonista (1625) the author signs his prefatory poem as ‘Tho: Faenie-Lignum’ [Hay-Wood] (STC 13356). ‘De Fluctibus’ [Of Waves] in a foreign publication of 1638 is Robert Fludd; ‘Gulielmus De Insula’ [William of the Island] (1619) is William Lisle (STC 6206, a2r; in Michael Dalton’s The Country Justice); ‘Paganus Piscator’ [rural angler] (1656; in Piscatoris Poemata) is Fisher Payne (STC Wing F1034); ‘Authore Adamo Regio’ (1617; in Nostodia by members of the University of Edinburgh) is the author Adam King (STC 7487); and ‘Mr. Scintilla’ (1651; in The Historical Narrative of the First Fourteen Years of King James) is the stationer and author Michael Sparke (STC Wing S4818; see Franklin Williams 318). John Marston signed the preface to The Scourge of Villainy (1598) as W. Kinsayder (101). Kinse means to cut, and so a kinsayder—like a satirist—is a cutter; but it also means a speciWc form of cutting—castration—and since stone was a slang word for testicles, the relevance of Marston (marstone)’s pseudonym is clear (Ruthven 23). The fashion for translating one’s name through puns was not conWned to authors. In 1599 the printer Richard Field printed a long text in Spanish: Catholico Reformado (STC 19741). It was written by Guillermo Perquino (William Perkins) and translated into Castilian by Guillermo Massa´n (I do not know if this name is also an alias). The title page proclaimed in Spanish that the book was printed ‘En casa de Ricardo del campo’,31 an imprint Field had used already for the Spanish New Testament he printed in 1596 (STC 2959). Field was a specialist in foreign language printing (he had been apprenticed to the French refugee printer Thomas Vautrollier, whose widow he married in 1588, just a year after Field was made free of the Stationers’ Company, and a year after Vautrollier’s death); his foreign-language output includes texts in Latin, French, Spanish, and Welsh. He frequently oVered bilingual versions of his name, or
adopted the language of the text he was printing for all title-page details except his name.32 Field was a Stratford man, the printer of Shakespeare’s Wrst forays into poetry, ‘Venus and Adonis’ and ‘The Rape of Lucrece’; Shakespeare and Field were contemporaries (Field was born in 1561, Shakespeare in 1564; Field died in 1624) and the professional/personal association between the two has long been a source of interest to biographers. Shakespeare includes Field in Cymbeline where the disguised Imogen identiWes her (Wctitious) late master as Richard du Champ (4.2.375).33 Field’s career shows that the Cymbeline reference is not simply a one-way joke, a tribute to a friend, but a knowing response to Spanish texts in which that friend had already translated his name (or to French and Latin texts in which that friend had translated everything but his name).34 In its least taxing form of onomastic play, English names are simply Latinized (Robertus Smithus, Alexander Douglasius in STC 7487), or anagrammatized (Ryhen Pameach for Henry Peacham in STC P944). This latter fashion is invoked in Jonson’s Epicoene in a list of current trends: ‘Who will . . . make anagrams of our names, and invite us to the cockpit, and kiss our hands all the play-time?’ (4.3.43–6). Richard Field playfully oVers pseudo-Welsh on the titlepage of a Welsh translation of John Jewel’s Apologia Ecclesia Anglicanae: his imprint reads ‘Richard Field a’i printiodd ynn Llunden’ (STC 14595). At its most impenetrable, translations of names border on cryptic crossword-style clues. Willobie His Avisa (STC 25755) is written by ‘Vigilantius Dormitanus’; the ‘author’ may be two Oxford fellows Robert Wakeman and Edward Napper, conjectures Leslie Hotson (cited in Franklin Williams 318). The fashion was encouraged among university students by the poetic tradition of Vacation Exercises, as in Milton’s ‘At a Vacation Exercise in the College’ which begins as a Latin speech with jokes, bilingual puns (Hale 45) and ‘personal references to members of the audience’ (Carey 76).35 But it has a much longer tradition. The New Testament is full of onomastic puns: ‘And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek
Petros] and on this rock [Greek petra] I will build my church’ (Matthew 16: 18). Such puns are called ‘allusions’ by Camden, who collects nine pages of them. The allusions he cites are at times so strained that they make Subtle’s sign for Abel Drugger, the tobacconist in Jonson’s Alchemist, seem far from preposterous: He Wrst shall have a bell, that’s Abel; And, by it, standing one whose name is Dee, In a rug gown; there’s D and Rug, that’s Drug; And right anenst him, a Dog snarling, ‘er’: There’s Drugger, Abel Drugger. That’s his sign.
In fact, Jonson’s comedy, here as elsewhere, simply satirizes the recognizable: the rebus of the Jacobean printer Henry Bell (1606–38) features a hen, a sprig of rye, and a bell (McKerrow, Printers 386, 388).36 The device of another printer, Lenoir, featured a moor’s head (Marc’hadour 545). Camden describes ‘an Hare by a sheafe of rie in the Sunne’ as the rebus for Harrison, and ‘a Maggotpie vppon a goate for Pigot’ (Camden V2v, p. 148). Bishop Fisher’s coat of arms was a dolphin (a Wsh) plus three ears of corn, and Archbishop Morton’s emblem was a mulberry tree (mor in Latin) growing from a barrel (ton) (Marc’hadour 541–2; Camden V2v, p. 148). Such visual/textual puns are widespread and are not conWned to ephemeral texts. My guidebook to Florence explains that in the church of Santa Maria Novella, built by the Dominicans from 1279 to 1357, ‘the frescoes in the Spanish Chapel show the Dominicans as whippets—domini canes or hounds of God’ (Catling 110).
Poetymologies Early modern authors self-consciously refer to the meaning of names in direct allusion, in Latin translations and polylingual puns, in transliteration, wordplay and apheresis, in etymological questions and answers, in anecdotes about the eVect of name on
behaviour. Astrophil and Stella—star-lover and star—are Sidney’s appropriate Wctional names for himself and his inamorata, Lady Penelope Rich, whose real-life identity is acknowledged in a concentrated sequence of puns in sonnet 37. Montaigne invokes his own name in a pun on ‘mountain’ (Neill 402), Shakespeare puns repeatedly on his own given name in his sonnet 135, and Robert Greene manipulates Shakespeare’s surname to impugn him as the ‘onely Shake-scene in a countrey’ (F1v). Erasmus punningly dedicates Praise of Folly (Moriae Encomium) to Sir Thomas More, ‘Grieve-ll’ in Caelica 84 is the author, Fulke Greville’s, self-referential wordplay, and John Donne wittily advertises the disastrous economic result of his secret marriage to his wife, Anne: ‘John Donne, Anne Donne, Un-done’ (Walton 14). Decades later, in more serious mode in ‘A Hymn to God the Father’, Donne asks God to forgive his sins but worries that ‘When thou hast done [Wnished], thou hast not done’ [Wnished and Donne] because the poet has yet more capacity for sin; the poem moves to a triumphant and peaceful conclusion in which God removes Donne’s fear and ‘having done that, Thou hast done’ (‘Hymn to God’, lines 5–6, 17 in Poetical Works). Poignantly, Ben Jonson invokes the name of his Wrstborn son in ‘On My First Sonne’ (Epigrams 43) when he apostrophizes the dead 7-year-old as ‘thou child of my right hand’ (which is the literal meaning of the Hebrew ‘Benjamin’). Milton repeatedly plays with names throughout his poetry. In Paradise Lost Satan, whose name in Hebrew means ‘antagonist’, boasts: ‘Satan (for I glory in the name, j Antagonist of heaven’s almighty king)’ (PL 10, 386–7). The protagonist of Tourneur’s Atheist’s Tragedy is resonantly named D’Amville. The Puritan preacher in the same play, in reality a chandler in disguise, boasts the moniker Languebeau SnuV; when he exits the play in humiliation to return to his life as a chandler (‘you may give j The world more light with that’, he is told), he self-reXexively comments ‘Thus the SnuVe is put out’ (5.2.64–5, 67).
Jonson never misses an opportunity for onomancy (see Barton, Jonson 170–93). In Cynthia’s Revels Crites asks the page his name. On being told it is Cos (Latin for whetstone), he exclaims ‘Cos! how happily hath fortune furnish’d him with a whetstone’ (Cynthia’s Revels p. 164), a joke repeated by Mercy in the next act (170). In The Alchemist Subtle and Kastril have the following conversation: s u b t l e ’Pray God your sister prove but pliant. kastr il Why, Her name is so. . . . Knew you not that? subtle No, faith, sir. Yet . . . I guessed it. (4.4.89–92)
Jonson even resorts to back formations, turning a Greek word into a proper name so that he can hint at the derivation of an English adjective from the Greek, as in Cynthia’s Revels 2.1: ‘His name is Hedon, a gallant wholly consecrated to his pleasures’ (p. 165). We are entitled to assume that hedonistic derives from Hedon. However, no such classical or mythological character exists: hedonistic comes from the Greek noun hedone meaning pleasure. Angel Day’s The English Secretary (1599) calls attention to the apheretic ‘secret’ in the title: ‘in respect of such Secrecie, trust and assuraunce required at the humors of him who serveth in such place, the name was Wrst given to be called a Secretarie’ (102). In support of his case Day points out that our most private studies take place in a ‘Closet’ (103). Thus, he concludes, for secretary and for closet, ‘both Name and oYce agree’. But the doyen of manipulation in making name and nature agree (what Ruthven calls poetymology) is Edmund Spenser. In The Faerie Queene Spenser makes his reader work. He consistently delays naming characters, providing instead details which enable us to build up a picture of their personality (a technique inherited from medieval allegory; Burrow, Spenser 45). Only when we have assessed and assembled the character are we told his/her name in a poetic punch line which forces us
to appreciate the congruence of name and identity.37 Nor is this technique unknown in modern Wction: in Doris Lessing’s BrieWng for a Descent into Hell we meet a character identiWed as ‘Male Unknown’ and ‘it is not until much later in the novel that we can name him as Charles Watkins. He grows into his name as he, and we, discover who he is’ (Docherty 60). This technique works as well on stage as on the page: it was also a characteristic of Aristophanes (Olson 306) and of Middleton (Barton, Names 81).38 By the Caroline period John Ford could prepare a dramatis personae list for his tragedy The Broken Heart and title it ‘The speakers’ names, Wtted to their qualities’. He explains each name (Ithocles is Honour of loveliness; Orgilus is Angry). So interested is he in etymology that he provides an interpretation for the name of a character who does not appear in the play (because he is dead before it begins): Thrasus (Fierceness). This is very much a poetymologist’s list and not, as advertised, a practical list of ‘the speakers’ names’ (my italics). Shakespeare’s characters share the period’s interest in onomastic relevance. Even the pugnacious Pistol allows himself to be distracted by an etymological consideration on meeting Harry Le Roy: ‘Le Roy? a Cornish name. Art thou of Cornish crew?’ (H5 4.1.49–50). In 2 Henry 4 FalstaV requests Pistol’s exit with a reference to the multiple meanings of his anachronistic name: ‘Discharge yourself of our company Pistol’ (2H4 2.4.106).39 In As You Like It both Celia and Rosalind choose relevant disguise names (‘something that hath a reference to my state’; AYLI 1.3.127), Aliena (‘the estranged one’) and Ganymede ( Jove’s epicene page), as does Imogen in Cymbeline, whose ontologically suitable servant’s alias (Fidele) is remarked approvingly by Lucius: ‘Thy name well Wts thy faith; thy faith thy name’ (Cymbeline 4.2.381). In Richard 2 the dying Gaunt discourses at length on the aptness of his name to his gaunt appearance, causing Richard’s bemused reaction: ‘Can sick men play so nicely with their names?’ (R2 2.1.84). In 2 Henry 6 York wishes for SuVolk’s death with a pun—‘For SuVolk’s duke, may he
be suVocate’ (1.1.124). York’s wish is not fulWlled, but SuVolk does indeed die because of an onomastic play on words: his death is by Walter, rather than (as he had securely expected because of a prophecy at birth) by the homonym water. (Cf. Sir Walter Ralegh who called himself The Ocean.) In Hamlet Laertes greets Lamord (whose name means ‘death’) with the punning exclamation ‘Upon my life, Lamord!’ (4.7.91, my emphasis). Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale introduces himself in Act 4, telling us not only his name but its meaning: ‘My father nam’d me Autolycus, who being, as I am, litter’d under Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up of unconsider’d triXes’ (4.3.24–6).40 For the heroines of Shakespeare’s late plays, name and condition oft agree: Perdita’s name depicts her state as one ‘lost for ever’ (Winter’s Tale 3.3.33); Marina is so named ‘for she was born at sea’ (Pericles 3.3.13), and Prospero’s daughter is ‘Admir’d Miranda, j Indeed the top of admiration’ (Tempest 3.1.37–8). But as in life, literary characters may fulWl or refute onomastic determinism. Although the names of Benvolio, Malvolio, Feste, Philharmonus, Posthumus, and others match their disposition and occupations, Shakespeare’s drama eschews onomastic predestination. Instead, Shakespeare shows characters struggling with onomastic inheritance, trying through deeds to thwart or merit the associations of their label. Thus, antiphrastic characters, like the brave Francis Feeble, the garrulous (when drunk) Silence, the tardy Speed, and Samson StockWsh—not a Wshmonger but a fruiterer— are, as Anne Barton argues, ‘celebrations of human freedom, selfconscious assertions that even Wctional characters can defy their names’ (Jonson 182).
Onomastic Legibility We no longer assign names with the expectation that the name’s origin will reXect or inXuence the bearer: Kirk Douglas need not be a Scotsman who lives near a church (‘kirk’) and a dark blue river (Gaelic ‘douglas’). None the less, the popularity of book titles such
as Names to Give Your Baby, complete with lists of etymologies, biblical and literary precedents, and historical fashions, suggests a degree of residual if temporary onomancy, and parents’ acknowledgement that they chose a name because they liked its associations (with relatives, friends, or celebrities) is simply a diluted variant of etymology (the name still has an origin). But some cultures still come very close to Renaissance attitudes to names. Petrie and Johnson report that in ‘the Iroquois tribes of North America . . . the naming process clearly constitutes a message to children about the characters they are expected to develop. Children in Iroquois tribes are not only to assume the same character traits as their namesakes but also to assume their social position within the community upon the death of the namesake’ (Petrie and Johnson 2). Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake (2004) illustrates the diVerence between American and Bengali naming practices. In Bengal everyone has one name for family use and a ‘good name, a bhalonam, for identiWcation in the outside world. . . . Good names tend to represent digniWed and enlightened qualities’ (Lahiri 26). Lahiri’s Indian experience overlaps with Amerindian experience in another way. Lahiri’s narrator explains, ‘Names can wait. In India parents take their time. It wasn’t unusual for years to pass before the right name, the best possible name, was determined (ibid. 25). The same is true of certain Amerindian tribes. I quote from John Barth’s colloquial prose in Lost in the Funhouse: ‘The American Indians, he declared now, had the right idea. They never named a boy right oV. What they did, they watched to Wnd out who he was. They’d look for the right sign to tell them what to call him’ (17). In both these examples we see the name not as arbitrary sign but as deliberate design. If our naming practices are no longer demonstrably motivated, our reading practices still are, at least if Reader’s Digest columns of apt names and professions (Les Plack, a dentist; Mr Flood, a urologist; Shearer’s, a barber’s shop), or advertising slogans (‘Jonathan Crisp. Crisp by Name, Crisp by Nature’) are anything to go by.
Critics and reviewers regularly comment on the chance relevance of people’s names. In the wake of Richard Curtis’ Wlm, Love Actually (2003) in which the Prime Minister falls in love with his tea lady, a journalist interviewed tea ladies in high places, one of whom was ‘the splendidly named Patricia Beveridge’ (Patton 8). Reviewing a recent RSC All’s Well that Ends Well, Christopher Gray analysed the bed trick enabled by the character Diana, who was played by ‘the aptly named Shelley Conn’.41 The reviewer of a documentary Wlm about Addenbrooke’s Hospital pounced with delight on the reassuring names of two consultant surgeons, Christopher Constant and Peter Friend (Allison Pearson 21). When we consider that Vanbrugh’s The Relapse presents ‘Syringe, a surgeon’ (9) and Sylvia Plath’s hospitalized narrator in The Bell Jar links names and profession—‘one of them had a queer name that sounded like Doctor Syphilis, so I began to look out for suspicious, fake names, and sure enough, a dark-haired fellow. . . came up and said ‘‘I’m Doctor Pancreas’’ ’ (Plath 172)—art is simply imitating life. Sterne warns the reader that ‘was your son called Judas,—the sordid and treacherous idea, so inseparable from the name, would have accompanied him through his life like his shadow’ (78). In 2001 a Brazilian father was prevented by the authorities from naming his son Osama bin Laden; nine years earlier he had been prevented from naming a son Saddam Hussein (Dillner 9). Legal intervention was deemed necessary because these names have ‘meaning’ in the form of a one-to-one association. Thus, the belief that names are legible is still prevalent, albeit subliminally or sporadically. Our attitude is that of Julian in Albee’s Tiny Alice (‘innocent pleasure’) rather than early modern onomastic superstition but our semantic associations are the same. No society distributes names randomly or unsystematically; if a name were merely an identifying tag, useful solely for its exchange value, such care would not be considered necessary. This is even more true of literature where authors regularly register their concern in selecting names, or leave evidence of their care in
doing so. Aristotle observed that tragedians use real or historical names, comedians Wctitious names (Poetics, trans. Butcher 9). In ‘The Miller’s Tale’ Chaucer’s evident ‘care for local detail extends to his use of proper names: Absalon is recorded as a town name, but not within the university, in the fourteenth century; St Nicholas was the patron saint of scholars’ (Helen Cooper 98). Henry Fielding seems to have scrutinized the subscriber list to Gilbert Burnet’s folio volume, History of his Own Time (1724), of which he had a copy, where he found the names Thomas Jones, H. Partridge, and ‘several Westerns’ (Watt 335). Henry James combed the London Times for appropriate Anglo-American names (Levin 57–8). For Zola, a valuable source of what he called the ‘science’ of name selection was the Paris directory over which he would ‘often spend days together’. He was, he said, a ‘fatalist in the matter of names, believing Wrmly that a mysterious correlation exists between the man and the name he bears’ (Carlson 286). Beckett explained that the characters Shower and Looker who Winnie imagines observing her in Happy Days ‘are derived from German ‘‘schauen’’ & ‘‘kuchen’’ (to look). They represent the onlooker (audience) wanting to know the meaning of things’ (Beckett, No Author 95). Pamela (from the Greek, meaning ‘all sweetness’) may be a familiar and popular twentieth-century name (it features in the top Wfty Wrst names for girls in the United States and in England and Wales; Dunkling 45–6) but when Samuel Richardson chose it for his heroine it was so unusual that few knew how to pronounce it: ‘a very strange name, Pameˇla or Pame¯la: some pronounced it one way and some the other’ (Fielding, Joseph 305). This remark is from Fielding’s satiric sequel, of course, but Richardson himself had called attention to the name: ‘Pamela—did you say?—A queer sort of Name! I’ve heard of it somewhere! Is it a Christian or a Pagan Name?’ and he had changed its accepted pronunciation to Pameˇla (cited in Watt 325). As a printer Richardson had recently set part of Sidney’s Arcadia for the 1724/5 edition of Sidney’s works and he clearly had Sidney’s heroine in mind when christening his own (in
Part II Pamela refers to her Musidorus; Watt 325). Similar care was taken with Clarissa, a popular romance name, and here, as in Pamela, Richardson’s skill was to make the reader forget the romance associations and ‘think of [the name’s] bearer as a problematic but convincingly real person’ (Watt 330). Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, a Yorkshireman, explains the origin of his name in the Wrst paragraph of his narrative: his mother’s family name was Robinson, his father (‘a foreigner of Bremen’) was called Kreutznaer, ‘but by the usual corruption of words in England, we are now called, nay, we call ourselves and write our name, Crusoe’. Critics often remark the oddness of an ordinary, representative, middleclass hero having such an unusual name: ‘What other Crusoes has one ever heard of ? Has one ever met a Crusoe? Are there Crusoes in the phone book?’ (Varney 11). They speculate on the sonic associations of ‘Kreutz’ and ‘Crus’ which ‘invite the ear to ‘‘cross’’ and so anticipate the Christian theme’ (ibid.). But what do we make of the discovery that Defoe’s classmates at school included a boy named Cruso? (Backscheider 48). ‘Is Robinson simply named after the boy at the next desk?’ (Varney 11). The two positions (Crusoe as thematically relevant and biographically coincidental) are not incompatible. As David Lodge points out, ‘We don’t expect our neighbour Mr Shepherd to look after sheep, or mentally associate him with that occupation. If he is a character in a novel, however, pastoral and perhaps biblical associations will inevitably come into play’ (Art 36).42 Naming is character creation in parvo. For Wellek and Warren (219) ‘each appellation is a kind of vivifying, animizing, individuating’. As Harry Levin says ‘the persona begins with the name’ (55). Even in these post-structuralist times where, following Lacan’s deconstruction of the subject, the uniWed persona with mimetically real consciousness no longer exists, the name has not lost its function. Although Peter Barry writes that ‘we can hardly accept novelistic characters as people but must hold them in abeyance’, he continues ‘and see them as assemblages of signiWers clustering round a proper name’ (Barry 113).
The Humanist World of Words The sixteenth-century interest in names was to some extent a constituent part of humanism, which asserted the primacy of the word (Spitzer 21; Waller 186). This was, Robert Weimann explains, expanding Spitzer’s and Waller’s point, a by-product of the reformation: in a Catholic world signiWcation was ‘Wxed’ by the church whereas in a reformed world, meaning, and the means of meaning, had to be negotiated anew (25–30). And it was also tied to metaphors of language as money—for humanists both language and money were systems with an exchange value—for if the value of money could Xuctuate, so too could the value of language. The Wrst topic—the humanist interest in language’s power—is evident throughout the Shakespeare canon in the specialized form of the pun (as Goldman points out (37), the pun ‘restores to us— under certain very narrow conditions’—the Adamic power of naming) and malapropism, where deformed becomes Deformed the thief in Much Ado and enfranchised creates Frances in Love’s Labour’s Lost. The second topic—the meaning of language in a reformed world— takes us back to Genesis and the parallel problems of language in a fallen world. Richard 2 is the play where Shakespeare investigates this topic at greatest length. The play is heavily indebted to the language of Genesis, often taken directly from the Geneva Bible: tropes of paradise, Eden, gardening, Adam, Eve, earth, a second fall, exile, banishment, loss of language, serpents, adders’ tongues, deceit, trickery, sibling bloodshed, Cain and Abel, curses, barrenness, cursed man, inheritance, fertility, oaths, Xattery, slander, lies, falsehood, swearing, forswearing, and childbirth occur and recur (Maveety). Richard 2 takes place in a fallen world (in an action replay of Genesis, Richard 2 has shed the blood of a kinsman, and his land, a garden which he should have tended, is cursed for this sin).43 In this new and unfamiliar world characters attempt to negotiate postlapsarian language and the instability engendered by its Xuctuating values. The Duchess of Gloucester relabels Gaunt’s ‘patience’ as ‘despair’ (1.2.33–4, 29),
explaining that what in ‘mean men’ is ‘patience’ is ‘pale cold cowardice in noble breasts’. Bolingbroke is encouraged to interpret ‘exile’ as a ‘travel that thou tak’st for pleasure’ but he protests that this is not creation through naming but a misnomer: ‘My heart will sigh when I miscall it so’ (1.3.261–2). Richard 2 reposes conWdence in the power of the king’s name (‘Is not the king’s name twenty thousand names? j Arm, arm my name!’), but this conWdence is misplaced; later bereft of royal title, he feels deprived of identity: ‘I have no name, no title, j No, not that name was given me at the fount j But ’tis usurped. Alack, the heavy day! j That I have worn so many winters out, j And know not by what name to call myself ’ (4.1.254–8). In the last moments of his decline he muses on how to Wt the name to the world: ‘I have been studying how I may compare j This prison where I live unto the world’ (5.5.1–2) but concludes ‘I cannot do it’ (5.5.5).44 In the fallen world names and things do not match. The tension in the play is not just between a medieval monarch who believes in the divine right of kings (Richard) and an early modern politician who believes in rule by merit (Bolingbroke) but between a monarch who believes that his speech embodies the seamless Wt of the prelapsarian sign and a would-be monarch who knows that postlapsarian meaning is malleable, and manipulates this knowledge to his advantage: ‘As I was banished, I was banished Hereford, j But as I come, I come for Lancaster’ (2.3.112–13).45 The third constituent of early modern onomastic interest is the link between language and money as systems of ‘arbitrary signs which only the ignorant consider to be natural’ (Norbrook 24).46 For Thomas Blount language was a ‘sterling’ exchanged by society (A4v); Thomas Cooper’s dictionary of words exploited the dual meanings of ‘treasury’; and for Hobbes words were ‘wise men’s counters, they do but reckon by them’ (106). Robert Cawdrey talked about the problems of ‘counterfeyting the Kings English’ (A3r). Montaigne wrote ‘Our controversies are verbal ones. . . . The question is about words: it is paid in the same coin’ (‘On Experience’ in Complete 1213). The Wscal receives sustained investigation in Shakespeare’s most language-conscious play, Love’s Labour’s Lost, which
experiments with various types of linguistic exchange: Holofernes’ endless chains of synonymity (‘a jewel in the ear of coelo, the sky, the welkin, the heaven; and anon falleth like a crab on the face of terra, the soil, the land, the earth’; 4.2.5–7); Armado’s neologisms (associated with coinage—‘a mint of phrases’; ‘Wre-new words’; 1.1.165, 1.1.178); Dull’s false translation (haud credo j old grey doe for pricket; 4.2), and the lords’ attention to words at the expense of meaning, whether in cacozelic rhetoric (‘taVeta phrases’; 5.2.406) or in vows (vows being society’s attempt to Wx the relation between signiWer and signiWed). The lords’ semiotic carelessness is replayed in wooing as in study: ‘we j Following the signs, wooed but the sign of she’ (5.2.469–70). For Costard the clown remuneration and guerdon may be Wne words but all that matters is the object(s) they represent: three farthings and one shilling. In 1.1 Costard displays no conWdence in synonymous words or phrases as tokens of exchange for his identity. As William Carroll points out (17–18), only with the (his) proper name does the relation between word and object become reliable for him: k i n g (reading Armado’s letter) —‘that low-spirited swain, that base minnow of thy mirth’— c o s t a r d Me? k i n g ‘that unlettered small-knowing soul’— c o s t a r d Me? k i n g ‘that shallow vassal’— c o s t a r d Still me? k i n g ‘which, as I remember, hight Costard’— c o s t a r d O! me. (1.1.247–57)
Language regularly slides into names in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Mote the noun is also Mote the character; ‘costard’ is variously, and sometimes simultaneously, a head, an apple, and the clown; juvenal is both a young fellow and a Roman satirist (and possibly also Thomas Nashe); enfranchise becomes Frances; Joan is similarly present only in language as a type of the lowlife female. Nonetheless, despite the play’s interest in names, and Costard’s conWdence in
their reliability as signiWers, the only communication that is unequivocally understood in the play, by all on stage, is silence: me r c a d e The King your father— pr incess Dead, for my life! me r c a d e Even so. My tale is told. (5.2.719–20).
In Othello word and meaning are examined through name as a synonym for reputation. Cassio’s professional demotion is linked to loss of personal name: Othello moves from the closeness of the given name (‘How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?’) to the distance of the surname (‘Cassio, I love thee, j But never more be oYcer of mine’; 2.3.188, 248–9, my emphases). Robert N. Watson argues that Iago’s revenge tactic is to annihilate both personal name and positional name (father, husband, wife, lieutenant, general, governor): ‘Brabantio declares in anguish he no longer has a daughter, Cassio that he has lost his name and rank, Desdemona that she has lost her lord, and Othello that his occupation is gone, that he has no wife, and Wnally that he is no longer ‘‘Othello’’ ’ (339–40).47 Cinthio might blame Brabantio for the tragedy because of the portentous name Desdemona but we might more validly blame Shakespeare for giving the unnamed ensign of the source the name Iago (the name of Spain’s patron saint, famous for conquering the Moors).48 Iago’s role, as destroyer of Othello, the Moor of Venice, is thus cued by his name; word matches thing, his behaviour supports the sign.49 This is true too of Iago’s profession which is also to uphold the sign—as ensign-bearer he carries the troop’s sign or standard (Lucking, ‘Othello’ 113). But, as architect and manipulator of the plot, Iago’s role is that of of de-signer: he sabotages Othello’s trust in the relation between name and identity—‘Her name that was as fresh j As Dian’s visage, is now begrimed and black’ (3.3.386). In Act 4 Desdemona too examines the Wssure Iago has created between name and identity:
d e s d e m o n a Am I that name, Iago? i a g o What name, fair lady? d e s d e m o n a Such as she says. (4.2.118)
In the world of Othello conWdence in reference is ruptured: ‘Men should be what they seem’ (3.3.128) becomes ‘I think my wife be honest, and think she is not’ (3.3.384).50 The play ends not with Othello but with ‘he that was Othello’ (5.2.284). In this last respect, ‘Nobody’ in Desdemona’s death-bed identiWcation of ‘who hath done this?’ (5.2.123–4) becomes a synonym for Othello (Gross 843). Similarly, the later Coriolanus, lacking his agnomen, becomes ‘a kind of nothing, titleless’ (5.1.13). Personal name, personal identity; professional name, professional identity: lose one part of the symbiosis and you lose the other. Shakespeare’s concern, like Derrida’s, is ‘to problematize the proper name and proper (literal) meaning, the proper in general’ (‘Of Grammatology’, p. lxxxiv). In the chapters which follow I investigate the ramiWcations of proper names in Shakespeare’s plays. My interest throughout is in names’ relation to language and the named world rather than in Levin’s name-as-character, although since names are not pure referents (they carry cultural baggage) the question of character is relevant. John Velz tells us that ‘much yet remains to be said about onomastics in Shakespeare’ (36). His statement will be no less true at the end of this book than at the beginning, but in the plays covered here I hope to indicate some of the larger theoretical, cultural, and literary questions which the subject of onomastics poses in Shakespeare.
2 The Patronym: Montague and Capulet (Romeo and Juliet)
‘Norman, Ken and Sidney signalled Prod And Seamus (call me Sean) was sure-Wre Pape’. (Seamus Heaney, ‘Whatever you say say nothing’ ll. 69–70)
‘[I]nside or between languages, human communication equals translation. A study of translation is a study of language’. (George Steiner, After Babel 47)
Names ‘What’s in a name?’ asks Juliet in the play’s most famous soliloquy (2.2.43), contemplating the relation between onomastics and ontology, words and things, signiWer and signiWed. ‘That which we call a rose j By any other word [Q2; name Q1] would smell as sweet’ (2.2.43–4), she responds to her own question, the textual variants ironically illustrating the very point she is making: that identity is independent of label.1 But the language debate begins much earlier. The play opens with puns on collier j choler j collar (1.1.1–5), the pun being a rhetorical form based on the sounds of words divorced from
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
meaning. In 1.2 Benvolio oVers to rename a Rose (who, signiWcantly, as James Calderwood points out (Shakespearean Metadrama 88), exists only as a name in the play): he encourages Romeo to attend the Capulet feast to observe ‘admired beauties of Verona’ (1.2.84), an exercise in aesthetic collation that will translate Romeo’s disdainful inamorata from beautiful to ugly (‘Compare her face with some that I shall show, j And I will make thee think thy swan a crow’; 1.2.86–7). It is signiWcant, as both Kiernan Ryan and Manfred Weidhorn (‘Rose’) have pointed out, that the protagonists are nameless when they meet and fall in love; their subsequent identiWcation by family labels brings with it emotional and cultural baggage. As if trying to recreate the liberating and unprejudiced anonymity of their Wrst meeting, Juliet muses on a Romeo who is not a Montague. But her speech is fraught with diYculties, not just because of verbal and syntactical variants between Q1 and Q2, but because of the extreme nature of her vision, which posits a Romeo who is not simply not a Montague but also not a Romeo. Thus she moves from the prejudicial power of the patronymic to the limitations of the label, and rejects both. The name of Montague is not problematic per se; it is so only because Juliet bears the name of Capulet. Therefore one of the two lovers must relinquish a surname if their love is to be feasible.2 It is this choice which structures the Wrst few lines of Juliet’s soliloquy: Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet. (2.2.34–6)
However, Juliet’s proposed alternative is not the namelessness implied by these lines, but another name. Even as Juliet is disassociating Romeo from Montague (‘Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. j What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot j Nor arm nor face, nor any other part j Belonging to a man’; 2.2.39–42),3 even as she is avowing that names are irrelevant (‘What’s in a name?’), she is also paradoxically asserting their importance (‘be some other name’; my
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
emphasis), even as she did in her rhetorical question ‘wherefore art thou Romeo?’ As Derrida points out, she does not say ‘Why are you called Romeo?’; she says ‘ ‘‘why are you Romeo?’’ . . . his name is his essence’ (‘Aphorism’ 426; cf. Belsey ‘Name’ passim). Romeo’s response—to tear the written word of Romeo—shows his awareness of this Platonic point: since he is his name, his oVer is synonymous with suicide, as his frantic rephrasing of the oVer in 3.3 acknowledges: In what vile part of this anatomy Doth my name lodge? Tell me that I may sack The hateful mansion. friar Hold thy desperate hand.
In another onomastically obsessed play, the poet Cinna is murdered simply for bearing the same name as Cinna the conspirator: c i n n a I am not Cinna the conspirator. f o ur t h plebeian It is no matter, his name’s Cinna. Pluck but his name out of his heart. ( Julius Caesar 3.3.32–4; my emphasis)4
Problem: to pluck the name out of the heart is to kill the individual. The name is a physical self and, like the physical self, can give and receive wounds. Juliet’s grief-stricken tirade against her husband is characterized as a physical act against his name: ‘what tongue shall smooth thy name j When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it’ (3.2.98–9; my emphasis).5 It was the name of Rosaline that both attracted and wounded Romeo as appears from his announcement to the Friar in 2.3.46: ‘I have forgot that name and that name’s woe.’ Existence is predicated on a name, any name, as Romeo’s statement in the orchard indicates. ‘Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d’ (2.2.50) he says, oVering to trade one oVence-giving name for another. But when Juliet asks who is there, Romeo realizes his predicament: even if he does not call himself Romeo he still has to Wnd some identifying label to answer Juliet’s question about who he is (Lucking, ‘ ‘‘Balcony’’ Scene’ 8). Derrida unpacks the paradox as follows: ‘Romeo is Romeo, and Romeo is not Romeo. He is
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
himself only in abandoning his name, he is himself only in his name. . . . [H]e would not be what he is, a stranger to his name, without this name’ (‘Aphorism’ 427).6 The orchard scene continues to demonstrate the simultaneous Wssure between, and self-identiWcation of, names and identity, words and things, language and communication. Juliet wishes to deny what she has spoken; by the rules of courtship and formal speech, such denial is not contradiction or mendacity but ‘compliment’. In confessing that she would have spoken diVerently had she known she was overheard (2.1.102–4), she acknowledges the diVerence between public and private codes of speech. Her insistent factual questions and statements about Romeo’s safety (‘How cam’st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore? . . . j If they do see thee, they will murder thee . . . j I would not for the world they saw thee here . . . j By whose direction found’st thou out this place?’; 2.2.62, 70, 74, 79) do not receive the satisfaction of a straight answer. Romeo’s responses are intoxicatingly metaphoric; and metaphor, in this situation, serves only to evade and frustrate communication (‘With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls . . . j [T]here lies more peril in thine eye j Than twenty of their swords . . . j I have night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes . . . By love, that Wrst did prompt me to enquire’; lines 64, 71–2, 75, 80).7 Language communicates and satisWes; it also does the opposite. Jonson wrote that ‘Language most shewes a man: speake that I may see thee’ (Timber 625). Mercutio anticipates this point less succinctly: as Romeo greets him with energetic wordplay in 2.4, Mercutio enthuses ‘Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? Now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art thou what thou art by art as well as by nature’ (lines 88–91).8 Whereas Juliet felt Romeo had an identity independent of language and of name, here Mercutio recognizes the putative ‘true’ Romeo through his speech. Although Mercutio’s position seems incompatible with Juliet’s, both, it seems, are correct: our identity is both separable and inseparable from language. And although the scene began with
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
Juliet sceptically exploring the relation between words and meaning (in a soliloquy which of course, relies on words to express her scepticism), it ends with a trust in words and their meaning: ‘Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘‘Ay’’, j And I will take thy word’ (2.2.90–1). Having asked Romeo not to swear his love because lovers’ oaths are meaningless (‘At lovers’ perjuries, j They say, Jove laughs’; 2.2.92–3), she immediately asks Romeo to take the one vow she will trust: the holy vow of marriage. It is surely no accident of structure that the two scenes that frame the lovers’ marriage, 2.2 and 3.5, ponder the question of language, the relationship between personal names and selfhood, nouns and quiddity. Marriage is, in Christian tradition, the gaining of an identity while losing an identity, the two-in-one of Ephesians. It is also, in traditional patriarchal societies, the moment when the woman abandons her family name to take that of her husband. In Romeo and Juliet, however, both Romeo and Juliet are viewed as capable of shedding their name in marriage (‘refuse thy name; j Or if thou wilt not . . . I’ll no longer be a Capulet’; 2.2.34–6). This is not onomastic reciprocity or equality so much as accommodation—a motif we see again in the language exchange of 3.5. Whereas in the orchard scene Romeo and Juliet oVer to abandon their names, in 3.5, the aubade, they abandon their adherence to ornithological signiWers (lark/nightingale) with Romeo adopting Juliet’s term and she his (see below for further discussion of this motif ). Love, it seems, means learning to speak the language of the beloved. But between 2.2 and 3.5 Juliet’s attitude to language has developed. In 2.2 she experimentally muses on language; in 3.5 she conWdently uses it, appearing as experienced an equivocator as any in Shakespeare: ju li e t Villain and he [Romeo] be many miles asunder. God pardon him! I do, with all my heart, And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart. l a d y c a p u l e t That is because the traitor murderer lives. ju li e t Ay, madam, from the reach of these my hands . . .
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
Indeed, I never shall be satisWed With Romeo, till I behold him—dead— Is my poor heart, so for a kinsman vexed. (3.5.81–95)
In the orchard scene when Romeo evades communication with metaphoric answers, his equivocation playfully indicates his exhilaration; in 3.5 Juliet’s equivocation is a survival strategy, concealing marital loyalty. Equivocation, like language in general, can be poetic and duplicitous.
Language Romeo and Juliet, as has long been realized, is a generic paradox (a tragedy that begins as a comedy), a generic oxymoron (a city tragedy, a romantic tragedy). It is a play of contradiction, contrast, of clashes: Petrarchan lyricism with a Roman comedic plot structure (young lovers versus parents); artiWcial cliche´s of courtly love (Romeo on Rosaline) versus experimental metaphoric daring ( Juliet on Romeo); brash commercialism versus spiritual outpouring; narrative choric ecphrasis in the unexpected form of a sonnet versus the witty conceits of the lovers in the same verse form; images of books and reading versus empirical lived experience; a plot of aleatory chance within a pre-scripted narrative (arranged marriage, family feuds; see Whittier); a play where upstairs is juxtaposed with downstairs (Ralph Berry, Social Class 40; in no other Shakespearean tragedy do the servants and their household duties receive so much stage time); a play where chronological, linear time is contrasted with cyclical, festive time (Philippa Berry); a play where Juliet’s domestic conWnement (home, garden, family tomb) is contrasted with her unbounded imagination, which reaches to the solar system for images;9 a play where the lovers declare their love in the very language they have just rejected as inadequate; a play where ‘womb’ rhymes with its conceptual opposite ‘tomb’ (2.3.9–10; Garber 126).
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
These clashes and inversions Wnd speciWc and localized representation in language: the play’s dominant linguistic mode is oxymoron. ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow’ (2.1.184); ‘The sweetest honey j Is loathsome in its own deliciousness’ (2.6.11–12); ‘They are but beggars that can count their worth’ (2.6.32); Romeo acknowledges that the street brawl has ‘much to do with hate, but more with love’ (1.1.175); Juliet ‘speaks, yet she says nothing’ (2.2.12); Friar Lawrence’s herbs are both poisonous and medicinal (2.3.23–4); Capulet jokes that ‘it is so very late that we j May call it early’ (3.4.34–5); Escalus believes that ‘Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill’ (3.1.197); when Romeo slays Tybalt, Juliet calls her husband a ‘Beautiful tyrant! Wend angelical! . . . A damned saint, an honourable villain!’ (3.2.75–9); to Romeo merciful banishment is death; in Mantua he Wnds poison is cordial and gold is poison. Thus, the drama’s extended paradoxes have local lexical equivalents. Language, it seems, can do what the plot cannot: reconcile opposites. This is true, however, only in a localized and Xeeting way, for, as Friar Lawrence knows, Wre and powder, as they kiss, consume. Romeo and Juliet is, as critics acknowledge, a tragedy of language,10 alert to the aporetic ambiguities and material power of words. In the opening scene Sampson and Gregory shelter beneath the legal protection of verbal ambiguity, the diVerence between biting one’s thumb, and biting one’s thumb ‘at us’ (much virtue in a prepositional phrase; 1.1.44). Romeo and Mercutio quibble over the interpretation of ‘burn daylight’ (1.4.43); Friar Lawrence becomes impatient at Romeo’s chiasmic persiXage (‘One hath wounded me j That’s by me wounded’), retorting ‘riddling confession Wnds but riddling shrift’ (2.3.50–1; 56); Mercutio characterizes Benvolio as a quarreller, ‘as hot a Jack . . . as any in Italy’ (3.1.11–12), whereas Tybalt is distinguished as a ‘duellist’ (2.4.24); Mercutio loves to hear himself talk, but his words are meaningless (2.4.147– 9); Paris prematurely calls Juliet ‘wife’ (‘That may be, sir, when I may be a wife’, she corrects; 4.1.19). By the second half of the play, words
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
have assumed the power of weapons. ‘Calling death ‘‘banished’’, j Thou cutt’st my head oV with a golden axe’, weeps a desperate Romeo to the friar (3.3.21–2). Juliet falls down at the mention of Romeo ‘As if that name, j Shot from the deadly level of a gun, j Did murther her’ (3.3.102–3). But words, at least in their onomastic sense—Montague, Capulet— have had murderous power since 1.1 (‘Draw thy tool, here comes two of the house of Montagues’; 1. 1. 31–2), and, by implication, since before the beginning of the play. It is the lovers’ attempt to negotiate an identity independent of family name which leads to Juliet’s antinominalist soliloquy. However, the connection she debates between name and identity is but a subset of the larger (and equally problematic) relation between words and things, and the solution she proposes—anonymity—is no more practical than that oVered by Swift’s Laputans, which lies at the other extreme: ‘Since words are only Names for Things, it would be more convenient for all Men to carry about them, such Things as were necessary to express the particular Business they are to discourse on’ (Swift, Gulliver 175). Linguists have long recognized the paradoxes inherent in human speech.11 We speak to communicate, and to leave unspoken; thus, language reveals but it also conceals (it is, in fact, this capacity for mendacity that distinguishes us from beasts and, in part, ensures our survival). Language is power—both interlingually, where accents and pronunciation diVerentiate class, and intralingually, where conquerors impose their language on the conquered people—but so is its opposite, silence.12 Language is an issue of identity (in the case of conquest, national identity), but, although it represents selfhood, it also represents society. We create community and culture through language, yet language is reciprocally the creator of community and culture: in short, we act on language and it acts on us. Often, the more impoverished a culture, the richer its language.13 Language has the power to say and also to unsay, to name and unname. To learn a language is to absorb it, but also to change it, to contribute to it.
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
Problems of linguistic communication are intensiWed in time of strife. Thucydides states that in the Peloponnesian War words lost their meaning: recklessness became patriotism, obstinacy became courage, an ‘irresponsible gamble’ became ‘a brave and comradely venture’. ‘In justifying their actions, they [the leaders] reversed the customary descriptive meanings of words’ (White 3). Spenser makes a similar observation about semiotic instability in Book 5 of The Faerie Queene: For that which all men then did vertue call Is now cald vice; and that which vice was hight Is now hight vertue, and so us’d of all. (FQ 5, Proem, 4)
A later (Wctional) work on war makes an analogous point. In The Ghost Road Pat Barker’s World War I hero observes: words didn’t mean anything any more. Patriotism honour courage vomit vomit vomit. Only the names meant anything. Mons, Loos, the Somme, Arras, Verdun, Ypres. But now. . . I realize there’s another group of words that still mean something. Little words that trip through sentences unregarded: us, them, we, they, here, there. These are the words of power, and long after we’re gone, they’ll lie about in the language, like the unexploded grenades in these Welds, and any-one of them will take your hand oV. (257)
Swift had earlier linked war and linguistic change. Stylistic ‘corruption’ (as he views it) has made me of late years very impatient for a peace, which I believe would save the lives of many brave words, as well as men. The war has introduced abundance of polysyllables, which will never be able to live many more campaigns; Speculations, operations, preliminaries, ambassadors, palisadoes, communication, circumvallations, battalions, as numerous as they are, if they attack us too frequently in our CoVeehouses, we shall certainly put them to Xight. (Swift, Prose 35)
Language is a subset of communication, which relies additionally on gestures and silence;14 as we saw in Chapter 1 names are a subset of language. One of the Wrst phrases we learn in a foreign language,
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
as in our native tongue, is how to identify ourselves, and every culture has a ritual to name a new person, an occasion of celebration and optimism. Brian Friel’s play about (national) language and (national) identity, Translations (1980), unites these two aspects, self-identiWcation and baptism, in onstage and oVstage action. The play begins with Sarah (a woman with a ‘speech defect . . . so bad that all her life she has been considered locally to be dumb’) struggling to articulate her name: ‘My. . . my. . . My name . . . My name is . . . My name is Sarah’; the oVstage action concerns the baptism of Nellie Ruadh’s baby. These two motifs punctuate the main action, the British Ordnance Survey’s Anglicization or renaming of Irish place names in 1833: ‘A hundred christenings! A thousand baptisms! Welcome to Eden. . . . We name a thing and—bang!—it leaps into existence! Each name a perfect equation with its reality’ (11, 45).15 Writing, the reiWcation of language, is a powerful act of naming, as Theseus acknowledges in Midsummer Night’s Dream: ‘[T]he poet’s pen . . . gives to aery nothing j A local habitation and a name’ (5.1.15–17). The metaphysical paradoxes of language are obviously equally true of naming, for, like words in general, a name can reXect or refuse mimesis (Deane 108). It is thus impossible to talk of naming in Romeo and Juliet without invoking language, and vice versa; indeed, as saw in Ch. 1, the two subjects are often treated metonymically or synecdochically (names as a paradigm of language).
Translation The slipperiness of language become even more pronounced when one enters the realm of translation. Translation is the turning of one language into another, but it is never a question of simple equivalence. Translation is interpretation and adaptation. The Elizabethans were unselfconsciously aware of this. Thomas Drant prefaced his translation of Horace, A Medicinable Moral, that is, the two bookes of Horace his Satyres (1566) with the following explanation:
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
I have interfarced (to remove his obscuritie, and sometymes to better his matter) much of myne owne devysinge. I have peeced his reason, eekede, and mended his similitudes, mollyWed his hardnes, prolonged his cortall kynd of speches, changed, & much altered his wordes, but not his sentence: or at leaste (I dare say) not his purpose. (aiiir–v)
What the Restoration called ‘adaptation’, and what we call ‘(re)appropriation’ Drant called ‘translation’. And for Drant, as for his age, translation was a creative act, a dialogue between the past and the present, a cultural linking, an intertextual moment (see Bate, Ovid 31). However, in the spirit of paradox which inheres in all levels of the language debate, translation was also perWdious, the ‘revealing of deep matters to others’, and was associated etymologically with treason: traduttore j tradittore (Edwards 5). In 2 Henry 6 Jack Cade targets Lord Say as a traitor because he can speak French (4.2.166–7). FalstaV plots to ‘English’ Mrs Ford, to translate her from her husband’s bed to his own, and Pistol comments that FalstaV has ‘studied her well (Q1; F: will], and translated her will, out of honesty into English’ (MWW 1.3.49–50; see Parker, Margins 116–22). Betrayal is how Brian Friel’s Translations presents the central activity of its plot: the ‘standardization’ and Anglicization of Gaelic place names in Ireland by the Ordnance Survey team. ‘It’s a bloody military operation’, says Manus to his brother Owen who is now employed as the Gaelic–English translator to the English army. ‘What’s ‘‘incorrect’’ about the place-names we have here?’ That translation represents a loss of culture, a severance from the past, a rewriting of identity is made clear in the English army’s onomastic error: they ignorantly call Owen ‘Roland’. Owen laughs it oV: ‘Isn’t it ridiculous? They seemed to get it wrong from the very beginning—or else they can’t pronounce Owen . . . Owen—Roland— what the hell. It’s only a name. It’s the same me, isn’t it?’ (32–3). As the play makes clear, it is not the same Owen at all; Owen the linguistic translator has inadvertently become Owen the cultural traitor. By Act 2 Owen is defending the linguistic-cartographic project to the English lieutenant, Yolland, who is experiencing moral doubts. Owen
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
reassures him, ‘We’re making a six-inch map of the country. Is there something sinister in that? And we’re taking place-names that are riddled with confusion and . . . ’. ‘Who’s confused? Are the people confused?’ interrupts Yolland. ‘ . . . and we’re standardising those names as accurately and as sensitively as we can.’16 But Yolland is insistent: ‘Something is being eroded’. Owen’s response is a long speech explaining the confusing cultural history behind the name ‘Tobair Vhree’, pointing out that parish inhabitants neither remember nor understand the etymology of the name, which is hence already ‘eroded’ beyond recognition (43–4). For the modern translator of Shakespeare the linguistic contradictions in translation (Wdelity to or betrayal/erosion of an original) coalesce in a position of theatrical rather than semantic logic. If a translation is not ‘conducive to performance, it remains essentially unfaithful to the original’, writes Jean-Michel De´prats. Aligning himself with Drant and against Friel, he argues that ‘when translating into French, one should be trying less to manipulate the existing forms and usual turns of phrase than attempting to create new ones. And this to serve the demands of the original language rather than those of the language we are translating into’. He concludes: ‘we are less concerned with translating for the theatre . . . than with translating theatre’ (347, 353, 355). Thus, by indirections the translator Wnds directions out. Not just a representation or a reproduction of meaning, translation is, as the Elizabethans well knew, a discovery. Translation has cultural as well as semantic resonance, translatio, the carrying of material across cultures, and foreign directors often have remarkable success in discovering Shakespeare. One need think only of the original and imaginative Japanese productions of Ninagawa (Macbeth (1990), Tempest (1991), Midsummer Night’s Dream (1993), King Lear (1999), Pericles (2003), Titus Andronicus (2006)) and of Seazer (see his King Lear by the Banyu Inryoko Company for the Tokyo Globe (1991)) or of the Canadian Robert Le Page’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at London’s National Theatre (1992–3). Controversial though this last was, with its atmosphere of
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
Kottian, Freudian nightmare, its sexual threat, its rape (of the First Fairy by Puck), its on-stage copulation between Titania and Bottom, its set of water and mud, this production had at least the virtue (to some critics, myself included, a dubious virtue) of preventing audiences from viewing the events in the wood as a poetic Comedy of Errors populated by Arthur Rackham-style fairies.17 Le Page defended his approach: ‘The British have always done Shakespeare but for them to restage Shakespeare is to set it in a diVerent time. . . . It’s like a recipe: you Wnd a perfect time period and work within that. But that is not necessarily reappropriating Shakespeare’ (35). Le Page’s ‘reappropriation’ is Drant’s ‘translation’. And nowhere was the nexus between appropriation and translation more obvious than in the bilingual (French/English) Romeo & Juliette, co-directed by Robert Le Page and Gordon McCall in Canada in 1989–90. To this production I now turn.
Romeo & Juliette The Shakespeare-on-the-Saskatchewan festival, directed by Gordon McCall, was approaching its Wfth birthday (1989), and McCall was looking for an anniversary production. Toying with the notion of a bilingual Shakespeare (McCall had already initiated several successful bilingual dramas) McCall contacted Robert Le Page, the francophone director in Que´bec and founder of The´aˆtre Re´pe`re (1980). Peter Brook had inXuenced both men’s directorial styles; thus, despite cultural and artistic diVerences, there was, as McCall explains, ‘a mutual Xuency in the language of the theatre’ (37). The directors assembled a cast of twelve (six anglophones and six francophones) for Romeo & Juliette. The ‘ancient grudge’ (Prologue 3) of the Capulets and Montagues was presented not as a speciWc feud, not as a linguistic confrontation (although it was certainly that), but more pervasively as a ‘clash between two cultures who have never understood each other’ (Crook). The set’s long asphalt road, a ribbon of the trans-Canada Highway (the connection
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
between eastern and western Canada), separated the estates of two prairie farmers: the francophone Capulets and the anglophone Montagues. The Capulet dialogue (about 20% of the play) had been translated into (non-modern) French by award-winning Que´bec playwright Jean-Marc Dalpe´. In a grim representation of what bilingualism means in Canada, the Capulets automatically spoke English to anglophones; the anglophones, by contrast, were consistently monolingual, apart from Mercutio, who oVered Tybalt a few incendiary French taunts, and Romeo, who falteringly tried to communicate with Juliette, and, after his marriage, with his new kinsman Tybalt, in French. Although the production was set in 1989–90 (the years in which it played), modernization was not the point. Le Page explains, ‘Directing is just Wnding where the winds are and then positioning yourself to say ‘‘Well I think we should go there’’. You don’t decide where the wind blows’ (31–2). As we have seen, the winds in Romeo and Juliet blow on the topic of language, communication, and translation. And in Canada, language, communication, and translation connote oYcial bilingualism and ongoing debates about the status of the province of Que´bec. Canada has a four-hundred-year history of French–English disagreement. The Wrst European to reach Canada and advertise his discovery in Europe was (ironically) an Italian in the service of the British: John Cabot in 1497. The Frenchman Jacques Cartier reached the Gaspe´ Peninsula in 1543, and planted a cross; in 1604 and 1608 the French founded settlements in what are now Nova Scotia and Que´bec. In the seventeenth century the English made a claim on Canada through Cabot, and provoked a century of French–English hostility. The antagonism over land seemed decisively concluded by the fall of Que´bec to the British in 1760; British rule was oYcially established in 1763. However, the French had inhabited the country for one and a half centuries, and the British were but newly arrived; the French were francophone Roman Catholic and the British were anglophone Protestant. Cultural hostility was inevitable. The
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
British unknowingly created the milder francophone–anglophone unease of the present by ghettoizing the French in Que´bec. Thus Canada’s constitution today, with its oYcial policy of bilingualism designed to acknowledge the founding role of the French in the nation’s white history, seems undemocratically to privilege a linguistic minority and a single province: Que´bec. In 1987 the Canadian government put the province of Que´bec on the political agenda. The Meech Lake accord, a document on constitutional reform dealt with eight principal matters, but the one that caused most controversy, received most media coverage, and eventually collapsed the accord in 1990, was the question of Que´bec as a ‘distinct society’ whose government was committed to ‘preserv[ing] and promot[ing]’ the province’s francophone identity (Robertson, Dunsmuir). Romeo & Juliette was thus conceived in an atmosphere of speciWc cultural tension, although the directors’ aim was not to use the play for contemporary statement but to allow it to speak ‘with its own political, social and cultural voice’ (St Pierre). The production opened in Saskatchewan in 1989, and its success led to a tour of three Ontario cities the following summer. It opened in Ottawa, the nation’s bilingual capital, in a venue pregnant with possibility or irony (depending on one’s point of view): Victoria Island, a small island lying in the middle of the river that separates Ontario from Que´bec. Within twenty-four hours the case was conWrmed for irony: the Meech Lake accord oYcially collapsed. As English- and Frenchspeaking Canada failed to reach constitutional agreement over cultural diVerence, the Capulet and Montague parents grieved for children who were sacriWced to an ‘ancient grudge’. The production’s opening music—from the movie Paris, Texas— wittily established the cultural yoking of two contraries.18 As might be expected, some of the most resonant dramatic moments stemmed from characters switching languages within a single speech. Tybalt’s challenge to Romeo in 3.1 initially read (in Dalpe´’s translation) ‘Romeo, tout l’amour que je porte pur vouse s’exprime le mieux ainsi: vous eˆtes une vile´nie’. Altered in the course of
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
rehearsal, this last phrase became ‘thou art a villain’: Tybalt’s bilingualism painfully facilitated communication in the interests of severing social harmony. Romeo’s conciliatory four-line response in determined French was rendered even more poignant by this context. The audience saw two characters adopting foreign languages for the contrasting purposes of inXaming and pacifying. This pattern characterized the ensuing exchange. Tybalt’s French lines concluded in a command delivered in clear English, lest he be misunderstood—‘therefore, turn and draw’—and Romeo’s Wveline English response was punctuated with French phrases on ‘good Capulet—which name I tender j As dearly as mine own’ (3.1.71–2). Usually however, speeches in two languages served to taunt, as in Sampson’s lines in 1.1. To Gre´goire’s advice ‘Dis ‘‘better’’, v’la` qui approche un parent de mon maıˆtre,’ Sampson responded ‘Oui, bien ‘‘better’’, monsieur’, the harsh unnaturalness of his bilingual collocation calling attention to itself and its incendiary purpose. Elsewhere, adoption of the French language expanded playful moments in Shakespeare’s text, charging simple teasing with repressed malignancy. Mercutio used exaggerated French to curse ‘such phantastims, these new tuners of accent! . . . these strange Xies, these fashionmongers, these ‘‘pardon moi’’. . . . O, their bones, their bones!’, amplifying the linguistic satire already implicit in Shakespeare’s ‘pardon me’ and bones [‘bons’], and made more pointed in the continuation ‘Signor Romeo, bonjour. There’s a French salutation to your French slop’ (2.4.28–45; my emphases). Elsewhere the contiguity of French and English made one alert to the bilingual potential of Shakespeare’s text as, for example, when Juliette’s lament (in Dalpe´’s text) ‘Ah dieu’ was followed by Romeo’s farewell (in Shakespeare’s text): ‘Adieu’ (3.5.54–9). Such bilingual punning is rooted in the text. The lovesick Romeo is found under a sycamore (sick amour) tree, and Capulet acknowledges Juliet as the ‘hopeful lady of my earth’ (1.2.15; ‘Wlle de terre’ is, as Steevens Wrst pointed out, the French term for heiress; Plays ed. Johnson 1.2.15 n.). Pierre
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
Iselin (263, 272) Wnds Latin–English puns on the Capulet name in phrases like ‘By my head—here comes the Capulets’ (3.1.35; see also 4.2.16), and notes that such etymological paronomasia is characteristic of all the personal names in the play, which possess a quasi-Jonsonian legibility: Romeo (pilgrim (from French Roumieux)), Mont-ague (Mount high), Capulet (little head), Escalus (ladder and scales), Juliet (born in July), Paris (like his Trojan namesake, one of two suitors in a love saga which aVects an entire city). Mercutio, Benvolio, Potpan, Susan Grindstone, Simon Catling (a lute-string), Hugh Rebeck (a violin), and James Soundpost have yet more obvious legibility. The Le Page/McCall production followed the dramatist’s example in attaching resonance to names: Paris was able to speak Xuent English but he was clearly a francophone, as his name suggests.19 The two languages on stage in Romeo & Juliette, and characters’ use of one or other or both, attuned the audience to code-switching within a single language. Two characters in Romeo and Juliet experiment with diVerent idioms and/or language: the satiric Mercutio and the romantic Romeo. Mercutio tries to appeal to Romeo in language that he will understand (and hence, to which he will respond): I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes, By her high forehead and her scarlet lip, By her Wne foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh, And the demesnes that there adjacent lie . . . (2.1.17–20)
Mercutio’s parodic lovesick inventorying shows that he does not take this new language of Petrarchan idiom seriously; in fact, we know from preceding and succeeding scenes that it is not language with which he can identify (1.4; 2.3.37–43). More serious, although almost as brief, is the linguistic exchange between Romeo and Juliet the morning after the wedding night, when the couple debate the time of day.20 In defence of her point that ‘it is not yet near day’, Juliet identiWes the birdsong as that of the nightingale. Romeo maintains that ‘it was the lark, the herald of the morn, j No nightingale’. When Juliet insists that it is the nightingale and night
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
(and hence unnecessary for Romeo to depart) her husband yields: ‘I am content, so thou wilt have it so’ (3.5.18). He is not merely content to stay however, but to adopt Juliet’s language: I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye, ’Tis but the pale reXex of Cynthia’s brow; Nor that is not the lark whose notes do beat The vaulty heaven so high above our heads . . . Juliet wills it so (3.5.19–24)
In response to his volte-face Juliet now cedes: It is the lark that sings so out of tune, Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps. (3.5.27–8)
Marianne Novy comments that this scene uses ‘a verbal transformation of the world—a creation of a private world through words—as a metaphor for a relationship’ (108–9). I agree that the scene is a positive metaphor for a relationship, but see the metaphor as bilingualism. Romeo and Juliet agree to speak each other’s language. Although Romeo knows it is the lark that sings, he is ‘content’ to change languages, identifying the bird as the nightingale, whereupon Juliet reciprocally adopts her husband’s language. As each cedes to the other, they provide an example of linguistic reciprocity.21 Thus the motif that began as nominalism (or anti-nominalism) in the garden scene (2.1) of Romeo and Juliet develops into something closer to foreign-language learning or translation in 3.5. That 3.5. is a scene of language exchange is made apparent by its source: John Eliot’s Ortho-Epia Gallica, or Eliot’s Fruits for the French (1593; see Lever 79–90). A series of dialogues (French on one page or column with an English translation facing), Ortho-Epia takes studentreaders through daily situations—shopping, drinking, walking, thieving, book-buying, travelling, reading French literature—introducing them, as language manuals still do, to basic functional vocabulary and dialogue, and to cultural aspects of the foreign country whose language the student is in the process of acquiring. The last chapter introduces the student to the poetry of Du Bartas, and provides a
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
lyrical quatrain about the lark in the ‘vaulty heaven’ (R& J 3.5.22; ‘la voute du Ciel’, Ortho-Epia, t1v, p. 146), followed by a change of ornithological subject: Harke, harke, tis some other bird that sings now. Tis a blacke-bird or a Nightingale. The Nightingale sings not but evening and morning Where is she I pray thee? Tis a Nightingale I heard her record. Seest thou not her sitting on a sprig? O how sweetly she sings without any stop, and ceaseth not! (t3r, p. 149; Lever 82–3)22
Love, as I mentioned earlier, means learning to speak the language of the beloved. This, at least, is the message from the aubade scene, and, later in the canon, from 1 Henry 4 where the (politically and emotionally) captive Mortimer vows to learn the language of his (nameless) newly-wed wife (‘I will never be a truant, love, j Till I have learn’d thy language’; 3.1.204–5).23 Romeo & Juliette made this point in the context of Canadian cultural history, and Brian Friel makes the same point in the diVerent colonial history of Translations. The Irish Maire and the English Lieutenant Yolland fall in love. Although neither understands the other’s language, they quickly Wnd a way to communicate by reciting place names. Yolland has learned the Irish names he was sent to standardize: ‘Carraig na Ri. Loch na nEan . . . Machaire Mor. Cnoc na Mona . . . Mullach . . . Tor’ (62). Within a day Maire has learned ‘Winfarthing—Barton Bendish—Saxingham Nethergate—Little Walsingham—Norwich— Norfolk. Strange sounds, aren’t they? But nice sounds’ (72). In fact, sounds (signs) have more meaning than do signiWers to the lovers: ma i r e Say anything at all. I love the sound of your speech . . . yo ll an d Say anything at all—I love the sound of your speech.
To the audience this is a repetition. To the characters it is not, for they do not understand each other. Friel brilliantly establishes a convention in the play whereby the actors all speak English,
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
although their characters speak Gaelic or English. Friel, himself bilingual in Gaelic and English, felt the supreme irony of Translations was that he wrote this elegiac lament for the Irish language in English (Dantanus 201).24 However, the actors’ monolingual representation of two languages deepened the play’s resonance. Not just about a moment in Ireland’s past, the period when Gaelic speakers became English speakers, the play belongs also to the present, a period when two cultures who share a language—Northern Ireland and Britain, Northern Ireland and the Irish republic, Northern Ireland Catholic and Northern Ireland Protestant—fail to communicate. This returns us to translation in its interlingual and intralingual senses, for, as George Steiner observes in the epigraph to this chapter, ‘human communication equals translation’.25 In Romeo & Juliette the lovers’ dialogue in the aubade scene took place in English; as the lovers exchanged language—lark, nightingale— the production showed that bilingualism is a motif for monolingual societies too. This was illustrated, sadly, in the McCall/Le Page collaboration in another way. McCall’s conWdent memory of the way in which the directors’ ‘mutual Xuency in the language of theatre’ compensated for cultural barriers was not shared by Le Page. Although McCall worked alone with the francophone actors, he did not permit Le Page the reciprocal privilege of working alone with the anglophone actors. Throughout there were diVerent ways of working ‘at every level, in every detail’; the actors even belonged to diVerent unions. Consequently Le Page felt that artistic/cross-cultural fertilization was frustrated. McCall’s presence when Le Page worked with the English-speaking actors was, in Le Page’s view, intended to prevent the possibility of contradiction. ‘But you have to allow people to contradict your work because that’s when it thickens and become multilayered’. Although Le Page anticipated that it would be ‘very exciting, the idea of working with both sides’, in the end, he said, ‘I felt cheated’ (32).
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
Unnaming, Renaming Canadian literature has long concerned itself with acts of naming and unnaming. Not only is the narrator of Thomas Haliburton’s The Clockmaker (1836) nameless, he conspicuously refuses to name himself, in episodes which highlight his anonymity. Addressed by an innkeeper’s wife (‘Would you like, Mr —’) he realizes that ‘Here there was a pause, a hiatus, evidently intended for me to Wll up with my name. But that no person knows; nor do I intend they shall’ (30). Like Romeo, however, the narrator Wnds that true anonymity is impossible, at least when registering in a hotel: ‘At Medley’s Hotel, in Halifax I was known as the stranger in No. 1’ (30). Robert Kroetsch articulates the narrative paradox: ‘He names himself by giving a name that leaves him nameless’ (42). A century later Sinclair Ross’ As for Me and My House plays with the same tension between name and namelessness. The novel is in the form of a personal diary, but Mrs Bentley, the author of the diary, never reveals her Wrst name. Given her recurrent interest in names, from those of livestock to that of her husband and of their adopted son, her strategy of namelessness is surprising, but Kroetsch points out the underlying logic: ‘She names her world in great detail in order to keep herself nameless’ (46). Kroetsch identiWes an Adamic concern with naming as a key feature of American and Canadian literature. Rejecting the onomastic inheritance of the British, North American writers begin at the beginning, linguistically. Unlike American writing, however (Melville’s ‘Call me Ishmael’26), Canadian writing shuns onomastic assertion. Not just anonymous, Canadian literature is also atoponymous. Mrs Bentley lives in a town called Horizon (‘a no-place that is tantalizingly visible but always out of reach: a version of namelessness’; Kroetsch 44), and the named identity of Haliburton’s narrator as ‘the stranger in No. 1’ belongs, as Kroetsch observes, to a past place, Medley’s Hotel in Halifax, rather than to his current residence, Pugwash’s Inn.
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
Underlying this namelessness is interrogation of the sign and what lies behind it, an interrogation also visible in contemporary Canadian poetry. In a 1978 poem Raymond Filip puns: ‘I am the language that is lost. j The name that is changed. . . . j I am the Canadian Mosaic: a melting pot on ice. j I am always the next generation. . . . j You were Commonwealth, j I am common loss’ (New 240). In 1982 Lola Lemire Tostevin uses bilingual poetry to move towards ‘unspeaking’: ‘ ‘‘tu de´parles’’ j my mother says j je de´parle j yes j I unspeak . . . baby lulled by a lie byaliebyaliebyaliebyaliebyalie’ (New 265). Unnaming, unswearing, unspeaking, deconstructing the sign, renaming the rose are at the heart of Romeo and Juliet, and in responding to these concerns Le Page and McCall presented a production that belongs Wrmly in a Canadian literary and historical tradition. According to one history, Canada began with a linguistic misunderstanding. Jacques Cartier sailed up what we now call the St Lawrence river to the Amerindian settlement named Hochelaga and asked where he was. The native Canadians used the word kanata (settlement), which Cartier mistook for a placename (Ashley 1). Filip and Tostevin turn linguistic misunderstanding into poetic richness: the pun. The pun is a sign not simply detached from its signiWer but reattached to multiple signiWers. Thus, like the paradoxes and oxymoron in Romeo and Juliet, it is a linguistic model of coexistence, for Verona and for Canada. But what comes easily to the languagesensitive poet is inevitably more diYcult for others. Dr Johnson described language as the dress of thought, a sartorial motif also employed by Juliet when she begs Romeo ‘DoV thy name’ (2.2.47). However, as Mashay Bernstein points out, changing language or name is not ‘as benign as changing clothes’ (267). It signals the relinquishing of cultural memory, identity, history, the past, the familiar, and the crossing of tribal boundaries. Romeo and Juliet are prepared to give up such inherited identities in exogamous marriage, but their kinsmen are not. Arthur Brooke’s (didactic) version of the tragedy (itself a translation of Bandello but lacking Shakespeare’s awareness of language and its problems) concludes by
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
assigning punishments. Shakespeare’s conclusion focuses on language: ‘Go hence to have more talk of these sad things; j Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished: j For never was a story of more woe j Than this of Juliet and her Romeo’ (5.3.307–10). The couple’s marriage and tragic deaths will be translated into narrative. In comedy, narrative is not a problem. In Comedy of Errors Egeon’s lengthy biographical monologue is (to the onstage characters) at worst, a mild irritant, and, at best, an invitation to empathize; in either case the monologue is invited and the play has time to indulge the narrative. In Pericles, where the characters respond to misfortune by recounting their woes, the act of narration assuages suVering: ‘My Dionyza, shall we rest us here, j And by relating tales of others’ griefs, j See if ’twill teach us to forget our own?’ (1.4.1–3). Even in its most shorthand form, as in the reduction of Marina’s life to three nouns (a tempest, a birth, a death; 5.3.33–4), language is never problematic, and names unite families as quickly and easily as in Romeo and Juliet they divide them: ‘Is it no more to be your daughter than j To say my mother’s name was Thaisa?’ (Pericles 5.1.209–10).27 In Much Ado about Nothing Dogberry’s linguistic imprecision becomes, paradoxically, a direct route to truth: ‘Write down Prince John a villain’; ‘forget not that I am an ass’ (4.2.41; 4.2.77–8). In tragedy language is dangerous, and equivocation undoes us. To Cordelia ‘nothing’ (1.1.87) is a declaration of honesty, to Lear an instance of ingratitude. For Desdemona insistent questions about Cassio’s reinstatement represent connubial intimacy, for Othello marital inWdelity. In Hamlet stable family relationships collapse linguistically (‘aunt-mother’, ‘uncle-father’; 2.2.376) just as in Romeo and Juliet ‘my only hate’ becomes ‘my only love’ (1.5.138), ‘enemy’ becomes ‘husband’ and ‘foe’ becomes ‘wife’. It may seem disconcerting then that Romeo and Juliet, like Hamlet, gives the last word to language but, as the grieving families prepare for narrative at the end of 5.3, the play registers a new civic attitude to names. ‘Never was a story of more woe j Than this of Juliet and her Romeo’ (my emphasis) says Escalus, identifying the young
The Patronym: Montague and Capulet
couple not patronymically as Capulet or Montague but as persons independent of family. The personal name still signiWes, of course— a woman born in July, a pilgrim—but the signiWcation is local and individual rather than historical and multiple. A play that began with ‘two households’ ends positively (given the baggage attached to the two households) with two individuals. Umberto Eco concludes The Name of the Rose with a quotation from the twelfth-century Benedictine Bernard of Morley: ‘stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus’. This is Bernard’s consoling addition to the traditional ubi sunt lament: that departed things leave pure names behind them. Chomsky writes that ‘languages do not seem to have a category of pure names, in the logician’s sense’.28 There is, as Romeo and Juliet shows, no such thing as a ‘pure name’ (if, by a pure name we mean one that does not signify), but in the play’s concluding focus on the personal rather than the patronymic, Shakespeare and Verona take a step closer to onomastic purity.
3 The Mythological Name: Helen (Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well, Troilus and Cressida, Henry 4)
‘What was her name? It was Thelma. Thelma, was it? Not the kind of name to launch a thousand ships’. (Peter Barry, Beginning Theory 238)
‘O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!’ (MND 3.2.137)
Helen and Helena The Xexibility of early modern orthography, which facilitated interpretative Xuidity and ambivalence (bareness/barrenness in the sonnets, for example1) as well as enabling compositorial justiWcation (kindnes/kindnesse), also aVected the morphology of names. Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew is both Katherine and Katherina, as is Mathias’s mother in Marlowe’s Jew of Malta. Desdemona in Othello is also Desdemon; Cressida is as often Cressid in early modern literature (see Ch. 4 n. 2); and Helen in Bacon, Chapman,
The Mythological Name: Helen
Greene, Heywood, Marlowe, Milton, Sidney, Shakespeare, and Spenser is regularly, interchangeably, Helena. The diVerence between the trochaic and anapaestic forms of Helen, like that between the tri- and quatrosyllabic forms of Katherine/a and Desdemon/a is often one of metrical convenience rather than exact denotation.2 Helen and Helena are variant forms of one name; Helen and Helena are the same character. The Queen of Corinth in Sidney’s Arcadia is both Helen and Helena.3 Hermia’s childhood friend in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is both Helen and Helena.4 In Marlowe’s Dr Faustus we read: Come, Helen, give me my soul again Here will I dwell, for heaven is [A text: be] in these lips, And all is dross that is not Helena. (5.1.98–100)
In Dido, Queen of Carthage, the eponymous Queen asks for news of ‘Helen, she that caus’d this war’ and is told ‘Helena betrayed Deiphobus’ (2.1.292, 298). The narrative poem The First Rape of Fair Helen (1595, attributed to John Trussell) regularly interchanges the two forms: my parentes mutually did mone, the too long absence of their Hellena, Wherto at length when that I had attained, Passions anew poore passion’d Hellen pained.
As these last three quotations illustrate, the character we know invariantly in the twenty-Wrst century as Helen of Troy was, like other Renaissance Helens, also a Helena. Thus Spenser in The Shepherd’s Calendar glosses the abducted ‘lasse’ of the July eclogue as ‘Helena the wyf of Menelaus’ (Shorter Poems, 147). ‘Like other Renaissance Helens’? In fact, there was no other referent for Helen/a. There was a one-to-one correspondence between signiWer and signiWed; Helen meant only one Helen— Helen of Troy. When Theseus in Midsummer Night’s Dream denigrates the stereotypical lovers’ rose-tinted vision, he accuses the
The Mythological Name: Helen
lover of seeing ‘Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt’ (5.1.11). There is no need to qualify the name, as we do, for to add the geographical epithet ‘of Troy’ would be tautological. Thus, in Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio taunts Romeo for believing his beloved to be more beautiful than Laura, Dido, Cleopatra, Helen, Hero, and Thisbe (2.4.39–42). In As You Like It Orlando blazons Rosalind as having ‘Helen’s cheek, but not her heart, j Cleopatra’s majesty, j Atalanta’s better part, j Sad Lucretia’s modesty’ (3.2.145–8); and in sonnet 53 the young man is compared to both Adonis and Helen: ‘Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit j Is poorly imitated after you; j On Helen’s cheek all art of beauty set, j And you in Grecian tires are painted new’ (ll. 5–8). Nashe writes ‘Dust hath closed Helen’s eye’ (in ‘Adieu, farewell’, l.19). On no occasion does the reference to Helen require explanatory expansion.5 Marlowe’s Dido upbraids Aeneas: Hast thou forgot how many kings Were up in arms, for making thee my love? How Carthage did rebel, Iarbus storm, And all the world call me a second Helen For being entangled by a stranger’s looks? (5.1.141–5)
She reiterates her shame just three lines later: ‘And I be call’d a second Helena!’ (148). The ‘Wrst’ Helen(a) is the only Helen: Helen of Troy. Other historical or mythological Helens—the virtuous St Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, for example, whose church in Bishopsgate made her part of the Elizabethan cultural landscape—never displaced the Lacedemonian or Spartan (as Helen of Troy was also called), and this despite a pre-Reformation predilection for hagionymy.6 Camden’s glossary of names in his Remains (1605) does oVer St Helena as the name’s primary referent; but his view is unusual and does not seem to be shared by literary texts, even when the association is speciWcally invited, as in the case of the pilgrim Helen in All’s Well that Ends Well. (For an analysis of St Helena in Shakespeare’s texts see Jean Roberts, Wild 145.) When the Shakespeare canon invokes St Helen, she requires appositive
The Mythological Name: Helen
explanation: ‘Helen, the mother of great Constantine’ (1 Henry 6 1.2.142).7 The false etymology of the ancient Greeks that saw in Helen the root ‘hele’ [¼ destroyer] prevailed in Renaissance England, leading to regular punning on Helen/hell/heaven. In Peele’s Edward 1 Mortimer plays on the name of his beloved: ‘Hell in thy name, but heaven is in thy looks’ (1097).8 In whatever form it appeared Helen’s name spelled disaster, a ‘goodly apple rotten at the core’ (Pippin 1519). Little wonder that Renaissance pamphlets implicitly counselled against christening one’s daughter Helen: to bear a name associated with sexuality, adultery, and the downfall of ancient civilization (the Wrst two causing the last) was simply too much for a girl to bear.10 In the twentieth and twenty-Wrst centuries Helen has shed its negative associations,11 but other names from our own recent history function as narrowly and as ominously. In the Philippines, where the pool of surnames was limited by Spain in the nineteenth century to a small number of generic Spanish names, Filipinos are adventurous in their choice of Wrst names in an attempt to assert their individuality. Hitler Manila (‘being called Hitler stops people mistaking me for somebody else’), called his two sons Himmler and Hess. Manila carefully points out that he doesn’t share any of the dictator’s philosophies (Hookway 8), but the fact that he has to dissociate himself from his namesake illustrates the Wxed union of some signiWers and signiWeds. Nick Angel (10) speculates that the paciWsm of a Midlands warehouse supervisor called Genghis Khan is a deliberate reaction to his name and a childhood he describes as a ‘nightmare’. Such Wxity of signiWer and signiWed is most visible when proper names become common nouns: in As You Like It Troilus has become ‘one of the patterns of love’ (4.1.99–100). In The School for Scandal Joseph Surface says ‘it doesn’t follow that one is to be an absolute Joseph either’ (4.3.247). He refers to the Joseph of Genesis 39: 7–12 who ‘rejected the advances of Potiphar’s wife’ (Sheridan
The Mythological Name: Helen
4.3.248 n., p. 99); however, the editor points out (99) that ‘in all but Puritan families’ the name referred to Joseph, husband of Mary. Fielding gets mileage out of the discrepancy between this biblical Joseph and Joseph Andrews in ironic similes (Paulson 5). Dido fears being ‘a second Helen’, the indeWnite article indicating the name’s function as noun.12 And as Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein function in today’s culture, so Helen functioned in the Renaissance: a byword for sexual appetite or disaster or both. In this chapter I want to investigate what it means for an author to name a character Helen in Renaissance drama. This necessitates looking at the reception of the Helen of Troy myth in both the ancient world and in the medieval and early modern periods, but before we embark on this survey I want to turn to Shakespeare’s most classically complex Helen play: Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Theseus In Midsummer Night’s Dream Hermia and Lysander try to escape Theseus and the ‘sharp Athenian law’ (1.1.162) but they never reach their destination, and the action takes place merely one league from Theseus’s court. The wood is Athenian territory (Theseus hunts there in Act 5) and its trees and fairy inhabitants are repeatedly linked to Theseus. The Mechanicals meet ‘[a]t the Duke’s oak’ (1.2.110); the fairy king and queen accuse each other of romantic interest in Theseus and Hippolyta (2.1.70–80). The wood is as confusing as any labyrinth (the lovers’ ‘amazement’ reminds us of the noun’s root in ‘maze’) and has at its centre not the Minotaur (a man’s body with a bull’s head) but Bottom (a man’s body with an ass’s head). Bottom’s very name, a weaver’s bobbin, reminds us of the thread with which Theseus found his way out of the Cretan Labyrinth.13 The frame story of Theseus’ nuptials extends beyond the play’s conWnes, reminding us of his past, and pre-echoing his future. The artistic representation of the battle of the centaurs, oVered as part of
The Mythological Name: Helen
the play’s wedding revels, concerns a riot which took place at the wedding of Theseus’ best friend Pirithous (when the centaurs tried to abduct Pirithous’ bride Hippodamia) and Theseus prepares to marry not Antiope (the Amazon queen generally named as Theseus’ bride, relegated in Midsummer Night’s Dream to a past aVair) but the variant candidate Hippolyta: her resonant name is, as Peter Holland points out, a backformation from Hippolytus (Theseus’ son with Antiope). The aural associations with Hippolytus project the story forwards to Hippolytus’ violent and unhappy end, contradicting Oberon’s optative conclusion that Theseus’ ‘issue . . . j Ever shall be fortunate’ (5.1.405–6; P. Holland 144). The luetic eVect of the Theseus references is either infelicitous or deliberate: ‘too extensive . . . to be merely casual recollections’ (D’Orsay Pearson 279). When one considers the name of Hermia’s father—Egeus, also the name of Theseus’ father—Theseus assumes a centrifugal force in the play. The story of Helen is, as we shall see, intertwined with the story of Theseus. Theseus’ story was available to the Renaissance from many sources: Chaucer’s ‘Knight’s Tale’ and shorter poems, Ovid’s Metamorphoses (in Golding’s translation) and Heroides (both translated in 1567), Seneca’s Hippolytus (translated 1581), Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, for example14—but the most extensive account appears in Plutarch’s Life of Theseus, where the dominant narrative concerns Theseus’s track record of abducting, abandoning, and occasionally marrying women: Ariadne, Antiope, Hippolyta, Phaedra, and ‘other stories also about marriages of Theseus which were neither honorable in their beginning nor fortunate in their endings’—the abduction of Anaxo, the rapes of Perigune and her sister, marriage to Periboea, Phereboea, Iope, Aegle, ‘and Wnally, his rape of Helen . . . said to have Wlled Attica with war’ (67). The rape of Helen is examined by Plutarch on three occasions. The second is the lengthiest: Theseus was already Wfty years old, according to Hellanicus, when he took part in the rape of Helen, who was not of marriageable age. Wherefore some writers, thinking to correct this heaviest accusation against him, say
The Mythological Name: Helen
that he did not carry oV Helen himself, but that when Idas and Lynceus had carried her oV, he received her in charge and watched over her and would not surrender her to the Dioscuri [her brothers] when they demanded her; or if you will believe it, that her own father, Tyndareu¨s, entrusted her to Theseus, for fear of Enarsphorus, the son of Hippocoo¨n, who sought to take Helen by force while she was yet a child. (71–3)
Having given the alternatives, Plutarch oVers ‘the most probable account and that which has the most witnesses in its favour’ (73). Theseus and his best friend Pirithous saw Helen and drew lots for marriage to her, agreeing that the winner would help the loser Wnd another wife. ‘Theseus won, and taking the maiden, who was not yet ripe for marriage, conveyed her to Aphidnae. Here he made his mother a companion of the girl, and committed both to Aphidnus, a friend of his, with strict orders to guard them in complete secrecy’ (73). He then returned to Pirithous and the two attempted to steal away Persephone as a bride for Pirithous. Plutarch is a judicious if not neutral narrator but his moral disapprobation of Theseus becomes increasingly clear. The extract above hints at his agreement with those who viewed Theseus’ abduction of Helen as ‘this heaviest accusation against him’, and his scepticism about the likelihood of Tyndareu¨s’ choosing of Theseus as a protector is clear (‘if you will believe it’). By the time he reaches his comparative conclusion about Romulus and Theseus, his narrative openness is that of Trinculo: ‘I do now let loose my opinion, hold it no longer’ (Tempest 2.2.34–5)—Theseus is selWsh and lustful (189–201).15 Theseus’ forgetfulness in raising the white sail as agreed to alert his father to his safe homecoming—an oversight which prompted Egeus to kill himself for grief—is, according to Plutarch, nothing short of ‘parricide, be the plea of the advocate ever so long and his judges ever so lenient’ (197).16 Furthermore ‘the transgressions of Theseus in his rapes of women admit of no plausible excuse. This is true, Wrst, because there were so many. . . . It is true, secondly, because of the reasons for them; for the daughters of Troezenians and Laconians and Amazons were not betrothed to him. . . . [O]ne may
The Mythological Name: Helen
suspect that these deeds of his were done in lustful wantonness’ (197). Plutarch reiterates the abduction of Helen as the worst oVence because Theseus ‘was past his prime and she had not yet reached her prime, but was an unripe child, while he was already of an age too great for even lawful wedlock’ (197). There is a diVerence between what Shakespeare’s Lysander calls ‘love . . . misgraVed in respect of years’ and paedophilia. Trussell’s The First Rape of Fair Helen (1595), presents Theseus’ raptus unequivocally as physical rape of a minor.17 Helen’s nurse consoles her: because she is pre-pubertal Helen cannot get pregnant and therefore no one will know of her shame: Thy bellie cannot manifest thy wrong, Nor make the world a witnes of thy scape, For why? The world will never once mistrust Thy tender yeares to be deWled by lust. (552–8)
In contrast to Theseus, Romulus used abduction to create political alliances. Of the ‘nearly eight hundred women’ he carried oV, he married only one, and ‘distributed the rest among the best of the citizens. . . . In this way he intermixed and blended the two peoples with one another, and supplied his state with a Xowing fountain of strength and good will’ (197–9). This marital stability lasted for over two centuries. Plutarch observes, ‘[I]n two hundred and thirty years no man ventured to leave his wife, nor any woman her husband. . . whereas from the marriages of Theseus the Athenians got no new friends at all, nor even any community of enterprise whatsoever, but enmities, wars, slaughters of citizens’ (199). Plutarch’s litotical Wnal line is unequivocal: ‘the birth of Theseus was not agreeable to the will of the gods’ (201). Plutarch’s condemnation is shared from antiquity to the early modern. When Seneca’s Hippolytus opens, Theseus is in Hades for the abduction of Helen and for the attempted abduction of Persephone. In the Aeneid Virgil places Theseus in Hades with those damned for adultery. Trussell’s First Rape of Fair Helen presents Theseus as ‘disloyal, false and treacherous, j Unkind, unconstant,
The Mythological Name: Helen
and uncourteous: j Luxurious, lustfull, and most lecherous, j Untrue, ungratefull, vile, and vicious. j In wedlocke, friendship and to chastitie’ (97–101). In Chaucer’s ‘Knight’s Tale’ Theseus is ambiguously presented but in the shorter poems (Legend of Good Women, House of Fame, Anelida and Arcite) he is ‘traitorous, pitiless and false’ (Elizabeth Fowler 65). In Elyot’s The Book of the Governor Duke Theseus is ‘tourmented for dissolute and vicious lyving’ (D’Orsay Pearson 288). As Peter Holland notes ‘the mere presence of Theseus in Midsummer Night’s Dream makes the whole of the Theseus myth available’ (‘Shadows’ 151). We may see him preparing for marriage, but we are reminded of his past inWdelities. Titania, Oberon alleges, led Theseus ‘from Perigenia, whom he ravished . . . j And [made] him with fair Aegles break his faith, j With Ariadne and Antiopa’ (2.1.78–80). Helen is conspicuously absent from this list because her abduction is yet to come. But as Laura Johnstone (personal communication) points out, a world ruled by Theseus is a frightening place for a character named Helen. The danger is exacerbated when one considers that the women in Midsummer Night’s Dream, unusually in Shakespeare, leave the city without the beneWt of protective male disguise. Critics stress the presence of Ovid in Midsummer Night’s Dream,18 whether in the theme of metamorphosis, the lyrical Ovidian language, the references to myth (‘Apollo Xies and Daphne holds the chase’), the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe, or the shortlist of entertainments oVered to Theseus in Act 5: ‘the battle with the Centaurs’ and ‘the riot of the tipsy Bacchanals’. As Jonathan Bate observes (Ovid 130–1) almost all Athens seems to be rehearsing Ovid for Theseus’ nuptials. But there is a more diVuse classical tradition in Midsummer Night’s Dream, not speciWcally Ovidian but Greek. And the Theseus mythology, so wonderfully examined by Peter Holland, goes hand in hand with that of Helen. ‘The story shall be chang’d’ proclaims Helen (2.2.230) as she pursues Demetrius. She may think she is revising the story of Apollo and Daphne, turning the female into the pursuer, but Shakespeare is revising the story of Helen of Troy. ‘Helen being chosen . . . ’ begins
The Mythological Name: Helen
Yeats’ ‘Prayer for my Daughter’. Emphatically unchosen, Shakespeare’s Helen internalizes her rejection as ugliness, moving from the conWdent assertion in Act 1 that she is as beautiful as Hermia to the exaggerated despair of Act 2: ‘I am as ugly as a bear; j For beasts that meet me run away for fear’ (2.2.94–5). Immediately Puck’s mistake with the magic love juice restores Helen to her rightful mythic position: adored, worshipped as a goddess, and fought over by two men, who immediately compete in hyperbolic compliments: O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!19 To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne? Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
Much later, in Act 5, with all confusions resolved, Theseus mentions the beauty of Helen of Troy. In the 1981–2 RSC production Harriet Walter’s Helen received an aYrmative sideways glance from her Demetrius (Philip Franks), acknowledging the appropriateness of her name to her beauty. The story of Theseus, as told by Plutarch, is a story of sexual violence (unlike that of Romulus, with whom Theseus is unfavourably compared); it is also a story of poor government (again in contrast to that of Romulus). Shakespeare investigates these two aspects in Midsummer Night’s Dream but he was not the Wrst English poet to do so. Chaucer’s ‘Knight’s Tale’ dwells on Theseus’ attempts to aestheticize violence through ritual, turning conquest into ceremony, dominion into civil domesticity, oVering marriage (whether his own to Hippolyta or Palamon/Arcite’s to Emilia) as a gubernatorial solution.20 In Shakespeare’s later reworking of Chaucer’s tale of Theseus, The Two Noble Kinsmen, he approaches this solution sceptically, presenting marriage as a highly unsatisfactory outcome; matrimony ‘triumphs . . . institutionally. . . not emotionally’ (Mallette 44). In the earlier Midsummer Night’s Dream he is interested less in the formal conclusion of marriage than in the ambiguous nature of consent which precedes it.
The Mythological Name: Helen
Consent The sundered Fairy King and Queen are of most interest in this respect: marital reunion is conditional on female submission (‘give me that boy, and I will go with thee’, demands Oberon at 2.1.143). The condition is obtained by magic (a metaphor, as Jean Roberts points out, for male power; ‘Shades’ 6321) and accompanied by unnecessary humiliation. Oberon relates the (to him) positive outcome of a meeting with Titania: When I had at my pleasure taunted her, And she in mild terms begged my patience, I then did ask of her her changeling child; Which straight she gave me. (4.1.57–60; my emphasis)
The nature of Hippolyta’s consent is similarly compromised. Elizabeth Fowler’s statement about Chaucer’s Amazon queen is applicable to Shakespeare’s: ‘if we wonder what Ypolita thinks of her marriage, knowing what she said under the pressure of Theseus’s sword would hardly satisfy us’ (60). The issue of consent is also to the fore in Hermia’s matrimonial independence. Egeus’ anger is caused less by his daughter’s choice of husband than by her attempt to deny him authority: They would have stol’n away, they would, Demetrius, Thereby to have defeated you and me: You of your wife, and me of my consent, Of my consent that she should be your wife. (4.1.156–9)
Even in the romantic world of reciprocal love we are oVered the negative concept of ‘enforced chastity’ (my emphasis) or the sophistical riddles of Lysander’s attempts to get into Hermia’s bed: ‘One turf shall serve as pillow for us both, j One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth’ (2.2.41–2). Hermia twice has to ask Lysander to ‘lie further oV’ (44, 57). Contemporary productions have long since ceased to play this as prissiness on Hermia’s part, seeing it instead as part of the atmosphere of threat which characterizes the
The Mythological Name: Helen
wood. Even the Fairy Queen requires a protective sentinel and a prophylactic lullaby. Hermia’s attempts to evade premarital sex are the thin end of a wedge which leads to Helen of Troy’s raptus.22 The minatory tone becomes most overt in Demetrius’ threats to the rejected Helena: he progresses from leaving her to the ‘mercy of wild beasts’ (2.1.228) to becoming a beast himself: ‘I shall do thee mischief in the wood’ (2.1.237).23 The (il)logic of this punishment—threatened rape of a woman in whom Demetrius denies all romantic and erotic interest—is part of the discourses of power in the play. We tend to think of rape as a speciWcally sexual crime; in fact it is more signiWcantly a crime of violence. The rapist’s motivation is not sex but power. (This is why old women are as likely to be victims of rape as young women, and why rape is frequently used as a metaphor for invaded and conquered countries.) Rape empowers the rapists by creating a victim, like Helena, who is vulnerable. (See Brownmiller, passim; and on rape as ‘the desire for violence and the violence of desire’ in Shakespeare’s Rape of Lucrece see Fineman 176.) Demetrius’ threat is also part of the disordered universe of the wood in which the seasons, like human emotions and reason, are out of joint.
Sex and Language Titania traces the climatic disorder to the marital quarrel between herself and Oberon. In a long, lyrical passage she describes the disruption in nature. Unseasonal winds, fogs, and Xoods have arrested agriculture; cattle and sheep are dying; humans fall ill; summer is characterized by frost and ice; ‘and this same progeny of evils comes j From our debate, from our dissension; j We are their parents and original’ (2.1.115–17). I suspect she is too generous in assigning blame to herself and Oberon. Her catalogue of environmental and agricultural disasters sounds remarkably like that presented by Burgundy at the end of Henry 5 (5.2.34–67). Burgundy attributes the disasters to war (or, in his diplomatic
The Mythological Name: Helen
euphemism, ‘mangled Peace’; 5.2.34). Shakespeare is ever alert to the side eVects of war, and one can scarcely help but reXect that Midsummer Night’s Dream opens with Theseus’ return from foreign quarrels. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of the play in 2003 presented a world ravished by war and damaged by neglect: statues and balconies were broken and crumbling. Like Henry 5, Theseus conquers politically; he then seeks to cement this conquest sexually. Royal (mortal) marriage is seen as the remedy for ravage; not, as Titania believes, royal (fairy) marriage the cause of disorder.24 Athens is the home of law, and Act 1, Scene 1 is pregnant with legal references and allusions. The ancient laws of Athens are regularly invoked by Theseus, Egeus, and Lysander; Demetrius asks his rival to ‘yield j Thy crazed title to my certain right’ (91–2); Hermia ‘plead[s]’ her ‘case’ (61–3); Lysander defends his entitlement to ‘prosecute my right’ (105); Egeus claims ownership of his daughter ‘and all my right of her j I do estate unto Demetrius’ (97–8).25 In the wood law and love are continually associated: Puck describes the mortal wooing as ‘pleading for a lover’s fee’ (3.2.113); Lysander challenges Demetrius ‘to try whose right, j Of thine or mine, is most in Helena’ (3.2.336–7). The mechanicals are concerned lest their dramatic representation fall foul of the Athenian law: ‘that were enough to hang us all’ (1.2.76–7). The lists which typify characters’ speeches throughout Midsummer Night’s Dream function as if evidence in a court of law. Egeus takes eight lines to itemize Lysander’s incriminating ‘love tokens’ (1.1.28–35). Titania takes thirty-six to list environmental damage (2.1.82–117). Even Peter Quince piles up three persuasive descriptive phrases to convince Bottom to play Pyramus: ‘for Pyramus is a sweet faced man; a proper man as one shall see in a summer’s day; a most lovely gentlemanlike man’ (1.2.85–8).26 Quince oVers a verbal contract to his actors, adopting a pseudo-legalese series of synonyms: ‘Here are your parts, and I am to entreat you, request you, and desire you to con them by tomorrow night’ (1.2.99–101). Convince,
The Mythological Name: Helen
we remember, comes from vincere, to conquer, and the play’s sexual and linguistic conquests are linked. The quarrel between Oberon and Titania is partly fought over semantics, the meaning of the word ‘wanton’, on which changes are subtly rung three times in one scene (2.1). For Titania the adjective refers to the luxuriant generosity of nature: ‘the wanton green’ (2.1.99), ‘the wanton wind’ (129). For her the word is associated with growth, with fecundity, with careless and carefree abundance: ships’ sails, full of wind, look ‘big-bellied’ like the pregnant votaress (2.1.129); the grass in the maze is overgrown.27 Oberon sees the word diVerently: he uses it as a noun, greeting his estranged wife with ‘Tarry, rash wanton!’ (2.1.63). The luxuriance of nature (grass growing, wind blowing) is now Wgured as lack of control, speciWcally sexual control; hence the word comes to mean a lascivious or lewd person (usually a woman). Given that Titania’s transgression is sexual abstinence, as we are told in the previous line (‘I have forsworn his bed and company’), Oberon’s pejorative noun is odd. Peter Holland’s gloss unpacks Oberon’s logic: ‘if Titania is not in Oberon’s bed, she must be in someone else’s’ (p. 157). Her crime must be sexual. The Riverside editor glosses ‘rash wanton’ more generally as ‘impetuous and willful creature’—Titania is out of (Oberon’s) control. Oberon’s choice of a sexual noun to castigate a sexually inactive woman is important: as Laura Johnstone (personal communication) points out women in this play are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Demetrius accuses Helena of sexual impropriety for pursuing a man (2.1.214–16); Oberon accuses Titania of sexual impropriety for avoiding one. Thus Athens and its environs depict legal, sexual, and linguistic contests.
Law and Language If sex and language are related so are language and the law. As ruler Theseus is lawmaker. He may claim in 1.1 that he cannot extenuate the Athenian law but he does so in Act 5 (a typical comedic formula
The Mythological Name: Helen
in which initially insuperable barriers to young love are eventually easily overruled). Although he subtly presents his act as overbearing Egeus’ will, rather than extenuating the Athenian law, this is sophistical: like Gilbert and Sullivan’s Lord Chancellor, Theseus embodies the law. Egeus is silent after Theseus’ legal about-face, at least in the Quarto. In the Folio he is given the lines describing the wedding entertainments which the Quarto assigns to Philostrate, although the Folio attribution may mean no more than that the actor of Egeus doubles as the Master of the Revels (Hodgdon, ‘Gaining a Father’). It is tempting to speculate that his mute reaction indicates musings parallel to those of Bolingbroke in Richard 2 who contemplates royal power when King Richard arbitrarily reduces his banishment from ten years to four: ‘such is the breath of kings’ (Richard 2 1.3.215). Theseus’ word, like Richard’s, has constative force. His style in Act 4 is illocutionary, performing what it pronounces—‘with us j These couples shall eternally be knit’ (4.1.180–1), ‘Three and three, j We’ll hold a feast in great solemnity’ (4.1.184–5)—just as in Act 1 it was repeatedly jussive: ‘go’, ‘stir’, ‘awake’, ‘turn’, ‘look’, ‘question’, ‘know’, ‘examine’, ‘take time’, ‘prepare’, ‘look you arm yourself ’ (1.1.11–11728). Theseus’ power is that of the dictator, one whose word is law, as the root of the noun reminds us: dict-ator. For Bourdieu law is not just about language but about naming: it is the ‘quintessential form of the symbolic power of naming that creates the thing named’ (838). As ruler Theseus is the play’s supreme name-giver, but this does not prevent him scorning onomastic power when it is used creatively by others, such as the poet who ‘gives to aery nothing j A local habitation and a name’ (5.1.16–17). Theseus’ universe permits no rival name-givers. Shakespeare’s, however, does. The mechanicals in the subplot repeatedly confront language and naming as both a problem and a solution (for Puttenham, as we saw in Ch. 1, the rhetorical terms used in poetic language were speciWc forms of naming). Ninus’ tomb becomes Ninny’s tomb and Ninny consequently assumes a
The Mythological Name: Helen
reality as tangible as Dogberry’s thief, Deformed, in Much Ado. The mechanicals plan to prevent female fear through naming: ‘tell them that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver’ and ‘let him name his name, and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner’ (3.1.20–1, 44–6).29 The mechanicals profess their names: Bottom the weaver is named after the Elizabethan word for bobbin (see Willson, combating Stroup); quince is the plural of quoyn, wedges which would be needed for Peter Quince’s profession of carpenter; tailors, like Robin Starveling, were proverbially thin; Snug’s joinery presumably Wts snugly; Francis Flute, the bellows mender, is appropriately named after a wind instrument; and Snout [¼ nozzle or spout] is appropriate for a tinker who mends kettles. What is most striking about the interlude of Pyramus and Thisbe is the mechanicals’ linguistic uncertainties as regards the diVerence between a proper noun and a name. Peter Quince presents Lion, Moonshine, and Wall as character names, not as generic names. The Riverside edition takes its cue from Quince and capitalizes the names accordingly (they are capitalized in both Q1 and F): ‘this grisly beast, which Lion hight by name’, ‘her mantle . . . j Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain,’ ‘Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall . . . j At large discourse’ (5.1.139, 142–3, 150–1). The comments of Theseus and Demetrius, with their use of the deWnite article and numeral adjective—‘the lion’ and ‘one lion’ (152, 153)—return us to the realm of generic nouns. Snout knows initially that he is ‘a wall’ (5.1.156, 157; my emphasis), before bidding us farewell in character (again the Riverside edition, like the Quarto and Folio, registers the change with majuscules):30 Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so; And being done, thus Wall away doth go. (5.1.204–5)
Bottom also Xuctuates: Wve apostrophes to Wall as character (‘O Wall’; 174–6; 182), and one explanatory reference to ‘the wall’ (184). Perhaps this is another example of the power of theatre which the play extols throughout: actor becomes character, even if the
The Mythological Name: Helen
character is inanimate (wall) or inhuman (lion, moonshine). By the end of the interlude, the nobles have picked up the mechanicals’ language—‘Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead’, ‘Ay, and Wall too’—but now it is Bottom’s turn to correct them: ‘No, I assure you, the wall is down’ (348–51). As in his earlier explanatory interruptions about ‘the wall’ (‘I am to spy her through the wall’; 186) Bottom seems to distinguish between identity within the play (Wall) and without (the wall), although his colleagues are not so consistent. For them, naming is fraught. This problem is not conWned to the mechanicals. For an example of the diYculty in distinguishing nouns from proper names, we need look no further than editors of Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play’s last speech uses ‘puck’ as a common noun (the word means mischievous sprite, from Old English puca´). ‘As I am an honest Puck . . . j We will make amends ere long; j Else the Puck a liar call’ (5.1.431, 434–5). The Riverside’s capitalization of Puck follows the example of the mechanicals in elevating a common noun to a proper name, even though the ‘shrewd and knavish sprite’ is identiWed on his Wrst appearance as ‘Robin Goodfellow’ (2.1.33–4), is addressed as ‘Robin’ three times by Oberon (3.2.355; 4.1.46, 80), and calls himself Robin in the play’s last line: ‘Robin shall restore amends.’31 Nonetheless the text invites uncertainty as regards this character’s name. When Oberon addresses Robin as ‘my gentle Puck’ (2.1.148) is he using the noun as a proper name? When Puck apostrophizes himself as ‘Goblin’ (‘Goblin, lead them up and down’; 3.2.399) is he addressing himself generically (the sprite’s equivalent of ‘come on, man’) or personally? The Fairy in 2.1 suggests that the sprite called ‘Robin Goodfellow’ has nicknames (‘those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck’; 2.1.40), but since hobgoblin is a synonym for puck, the Fairy may be using the words as epithets to indicate Robin’s mischievous activities. Quintilian deWned metaphor as a way of ‘providing a name for everything’ (8.6.5, Butler iii. 303). The various plots of Midsummer
The Mythological Name: Helen
Night’s Dream provide names for everything: for law (the Theseus plot), for behaviour (the lovers and the Oberon–Titania plot), for Wctitious characters (the mechanicals plot). The mechanicals’ malapropistic misnamings (Flute’s ‘paramour’ for ‘paragon’ [4.2.112], Bottom’s ‘odious’ for ‘odorous’ [3.1.82]) and solecisms (‘there is not a more fearful wild fowl than your lion living’; 3.1.31–2) are a parodic extension of the play’s concerns. Shakespeare could have found this concern for naming in the Life of Theseus where Plutarch frequently pauses to comment on the ways which characters receive or adopt names (pp. 27–9, 37). But this is not unusual in the ancient world and is a habit rather than a theme for Plutarch. Of more signiWcance to Plutarch is the diYculty in adjudicating between competing myths, as he attempts to ‘purify fable, making her submit to reason’. Before continuing with names we need to investigate the relation between Midsummer Night’s Dream and myth.
‘Love’s Stories Written in Love’s Richest Book’ (MND 2.2.122)
The myth of Helen of Troy is not single but several; her story was told repeatedly, with revisions, throughout the ancient world. It begins on Mount Ida with Paris who, asked to adjudicate the world’s Wrst beauty contest, accepted the bribe (and bride) oVered by Venus—the world’s most beautiful woman—and awarded Venus the golden apple of victory over her rivals Hera and Pallas Athena. On a visit to Sparta, when Helen’s husband, Menelaus, was absent (attending a family funeral in Crete) Paris carried Helen back to Phrygia, thereby causing the ten-year siege, and ultimate destruction, of Troy. Whether Paris abducted Helen or whether she consented is a debate which has long exercised both commentators and creative writers, and is complicated by the fact that the categories of rape, abduction, and consensual adulterous sex were not distinct in the culture of the Medieval and Renaissance writers who analysed Helen’s story (‘raptus’ covers rape and abduction).
The Mythological Name: Helen
The parallels between this narrative and Genesis as myths of origin are obvious. Both pagan and Christian traditions locate the downfall of civilization in a woman, sex, and an apple.32 As in the case of Genesis, we cannot take the Helen story literally.33 Whereas Christianity was to bifurcate the female into the transgressive Eve and the immaculate Mary, classical tradition located both the crime and the compensation in Helen. Her sexuality caused a war; her beauty made it worth it. Helen’s beauty is so important that it overrides temporal realism in the Iliad. We Wrst see her on the battlements in Book 3, identifying the Achaean chiefs for Priam, but it is highly unlikely that in the ninth year of the war Priam would be unable to recognize his enemies (Bergren 19). The scene exists not for Priam to be informed but for Helen to be observed.34 Before her appearance the Trojan elders had been complaining about the war. When Helen appears on the battlements, their attitude changes: ‘surely there is no blame on Trojans and strong-greaved Achaians if for long time they suVer hardship for a woman like this one’ (104). The change is temporary—they conclude ‘Still, though she be such [beautiful], let her go away’— but for one brief moment they have thought that the war is worth it. This sequence typiWes most accounts of Helen. In Aristophanes’ Lysistrata Lampito tells us that Menelaus intended to punish Helen until he saw her breasts (p. 185). In Euripides’ Women of Troy (p. 124) Hecabe advises Menelaus not to allow Helen to travel home to Sparta in the same ship as him; she knows his inclination to punish her will evaporate when he sees her.35 Helen was thus a byword for two things: beauty and sexual transgression. The former never comes under dispute; the second is much debated. The tradition of absolving Helen begins early. In the sixth century bc the Greek-Sicilian Stesichorus oVered a revision of Homer’s story. According to Stesichorus Helen did not accompany Paris to Troy; instead the gods sent an eidolon—a phantom or image of her—and Helen spent the war in Egypt. We do not possess Stesichorus’s palinode although we can access its contents indirectly
The Mythological Name: Helen
from references in Plato’s Phaedrus (§243a–b) and the Republic (§586c). In the Phaedrus Plato tells us that Stesichorus slandered Helen in an acidulous minor epic, for which he was struck blind. His recantatory palinode resulted in him regaining his sight. When he lost his sight for speaking ill of Helen, Stesichorus . . . was sagacious enough to understand the reason; he immediately composed the poem which begins: False is this tale. You never Went in a ship to sea, Nor saw the towers of Troy.
(§243, pp. 44–5)
The gentleman doth protest too much. Stesichorus’ revision is selfserving, the heavy repetitive denials (not a variant of Homer but ‘a thorough repudiation of the Homeric story’; Austin 3) a desperate attempt at optical cure through poetic sycophancy.36 In the Wfth century bc Herodotus recorded an Egyptian variant without the eidolon story: Within the enclosure there is a temple dedicated to Aphrodite the Stranger. I should guess, myself, that it was built in honour of Helen the daughter of Tyndareu¨s, not only because I have heard it said that she passed some time at the court of Proteus, but also, and more particularly, because of the description of Aphrodite as ‘the stranger’, a title never given to this goddess in any of her other temples. I questioned the priests about the story of Helen, and they told me in reply that Paris was on his way home from Sparta with his stolen bride, when somewhere in the Aegean Sea, he met foul weather, which drove his ship to Egypt, until at last, the gale continuing as bad as ever, he found himself on the coast, and managed to get ashore. (170–1)
Herodotus does not seem to have known of the eidolon story but it is signiWcant that his story and that of Stesichorus agree in one important detail: the Trojan war was fought over ‘the name and not the thing’. The disjunction between Seeing and Being, the name and the phenomenon, onoma (words) and pragma (deeds) haunts the Helen story, and was also a burning issue among philosophers of Wfth-century bc Athens. (It is this debate to which Plato’s Cratylus
The Mythological Name: Helen
contributes.) It receives its most extensive dramatic investigation in Euripides’ tragicomedy Helen. Euripides’ Helen mounts a full-scale defence of Helen. Helen has spent the ten years of the Trojan war, plus a further seven years, at the court of Proteus in Egypt. With Proteus’ death she is now vulnerable because Proteus’ son Theoclymenus wishes to marry her. A shipwrecked Menelaus (still attempting to reach Sparta after the war) is washed ashore in rags. He is astonished to see Helen, or what looks like Helen, since he is, he believes, travelling with his wife, the eidolon whom he has secured in a cave on the Egyptian seashore. When Helen asserts her identity, and husband and wife are reunited, Menelaus’ excubant slave arrives with the news that the Helen in the cave has ‘vanished into the air! She just went up and disappeared! Now she’s out of sight, in the sky!’ (154). Before Menelaus can plot their escape from Egypt, the priestess Theonoe discovers them and has to be persuaded not to tell her brother Theoclymenus of Menelaus’ arrival. A plot is hatched: Menelaus will masquerade as a messenger reporting Menelaus’ death and Helen will ask Theoclymenus for ships to hold a memorial service at sea according to Greek custom. With these ships she and Menelaus will escape. Euripides rescripts the Helen story with the husband as legitimate abductor (Segal 606). The ruse is successful and Theoclymenus, outraged at being ‘so miserably outwitted by a woman’ (187) tries to take revenge by killing his sister. Tragedy is averted by fratri ex machina, the Dioscuri, raised by Zeus to godhead, who convert Theoclymenus to clemency and the play to comedy. Even among Euripides’ experimental drama (one thinks of the tragicomic Ion or Iphigenia among the Taurians, for example, or the tragedy without a central character The Women of Troy), the Helen is an unorthodox play.37 It is a recognition play, a romance, a ghost story, and a satyr play; a comedy and a tragedy, or perhaps a parody of a tragedy (Segal); an abstract philosophical play about identity, reality, rationalism, language, name, and myth (even Helen does not know
The Mythological Name: Helen
whether to believe in her own mythology: ‘that is the story of my origin—if it is true’; 136), and a farce, worthy of Ionesco, where a bewildered Menelaus, confronted with a second Helen, muses with only limited intellectual ability on the possibility of two Zeuses, Spartas, Tyndareuses, Lacedaemons, Troys, stopping short of the logical consequence: two Menelauses (Pippin 153).38 It is a play of antitheses—the virgin Theonoe/the wife Helen; seems/is; comedy/ tragedy; mind/body; shadow/substance; name/thing; death/restoration; word/deed; absence/presence; psychological realism/supernatural prestigidination. Euripides makes much more complex use of the Helen eidolon than does Stesichorus. Stesichorus’ purpose was exculpatory, vindicating both himself and Helen. Euripides’ purpose is semiotic, foregrounding an issue which has always been latent in the Helen story: the gap between language and reality, the relation between truth and metaphor. The eidolon makes this explicit. Roman Jakobson views poetic language as an axis, with metaphor at one end and metonymy at the other. The eidolon is crucial to this view for, like language, the double is ‘both likeness and proximity, both metaphor and metonymy’ (Lock 21).39 Like language (at least in connotative theory, where the name is only a word for the thing named and not identical with the thing itself ), the eidolon is the name but not the thing. The Helen is saturated with onotological statements, questions, and uncertainties—‘who are you?—but who are you?’ (152; cf. also 137)—and the dialogues about doubles, perception, and ambiguity relate to language as much as to persons.40 The debate about the doubleness of language is extended through structure for there are two of everything: two Helens, two narratives of Helen’s birth, two tales of the Dioscuri, two Menelauses (the living and the dead), two scenes in which Theoclymenus is deceived, two promises of silence, two scenes in which characters meet and are confused by the real Helen, etc. (Segal 562). Menelaus declines Helen’s invitation to recount his adventures at sea because ‘the distress of telling you
The Mythological Name: Helen
would make me endure it twice’ (160). Of the two diVerent accounts of the Dioscuri Helen asks to be told the ‘truer’ (40). (Not, we note, the truth: nothing in this play is certain, as the chorus observes (144).) Her two brothers are not the sons of Zeus but ‘call[ed] the sons of Zeus’ (144)—their origin, like Helen’s, is open to doubt. The key debate about word and meaning is in the recognition scene between husband and wife. Helen does not at Wrst recognize her husband because his external appearance does not match her remembered reality. However, she is quick to realign his appearance with his name, acknowledging that this fusion has more to do with faith than logic: ‘there is something godlike in recognition’ (152). Menelaus is slower to catch on.41 He cannot allow himself to recognize Helen as his wife because he has left a woman whom he calls Helen in the cave. He clings stubbornly to the eidolon’s name as proof of her reality, even though the woman in front of him ‘appear[s] to be exactly like Helen!’ Helen assures him: ‘I am not a dream, Hecate has not sent me!’ to which Menelaus responds ‘but neither am I the husband of two women’ (153). He cannot move beyond a logic of literalism. Menelaus then recasts a problem of onomastics as one of optics: ‘can there be something wrong with my sight?’ Helen explains that the problem is linguistic, a fracture between word and referent: ‘a name can be in any number of places: a person can only be in one place’ (153). But for Menelaus names are singular as the beginning of the scene illustrates. Arriving destitute in Egypt he conWdently asserts ‘no man could be so uncivilized as to refuse me food— once he heard my name. The Wre of Troy is famous; so is the man who lit it—known all over the world: Menelaus!’ (151). The notion that the name Menelaus might not be heroic, might not be a passport to food in Egypt, that it might have a diVerent meaning in the court of a man who wants to marry Helen, in short that it might not be Wxed in meaning is beyond his conceit.42 The slave is wiser than Menelaus, accepting with cheerful ease the disjunction between name and identity. He is free in thought if not in name:
The Mythological Name: Helen
‘there are slaves who are noble, who have the mind of a free man, if not the name’ (159). The line is subtly witty, ‘as if to show that even a slave could enter into the semiotic debates of his time’ (Austin 166). It is a truth universallyacknowledged that Shakespeare’s acquaintance with Greek myth and drama was mediated by Roman redactions: Seneca, Ovid, Virgil. Yet critics (with embarrassment, with apology, with a submerged sense of inconvenience) repeatedly note Hellenic dramatic inXuence in Shakespeare, an inXuence they are obliged to classify as aYnity. Thus for A. D. Nuttall Shakespeare ‘does on occasion look with Greek eyes’ (220) and so his plays have ‘Greek eVects’ (215).43 For Michael Silk Shakespearean and Greek tragedy have a shared temperament, ‘a common inner logic’ (246). For Emrys Jones ‘Titus is often Greek in feeling . . . Its setting is Roman, but the story it tells is one of Thracian violence’ (106). Repeatedly the argument runs: if Shakespeare did not know Greek tragedy he imagined something very like it. Several Elizabethan dramatists—the classical university-educated men—did know Greek tragedy, of course. Peele translated one of Euripides’ Iphigenia plays (we do not know which) while an undergraduate at Oxford. Jonson alludes to Euripides in Timber (Lucas 111), and cites Euripides’ Helen in The Masque of Beauty, Orestes in The Masque of Blackness, and Orestes or Ion again in the latter. Gascoigne translated Jocasta in 1566 (and see note 37 above for a speech in Supposes, also 1566, which seems to come directly from Euripides’ Helen), and he cites Euripides in A Hundred Sundry Flowers (1573; STC 11635) and The Glass of Government (1575; STC 11643a). Chapman cites Euripides in The Shadow of Night (1594; STC 4990). In Troia Brittannica (1609; STC 13366) Heywood cites the Bacchae, and he invokes Euripides in his Apology for Actors (1612; STC 13309). Sidney uses Euripides’ Hecuba as an example of accomplished plot structure in Apology for Poetry (1595; STC 22534.5). T. W. Baldwin has shown that Euripides was studied at grammar school44 and several critics remark that he was the most popular of the Greek tragedians in Elizabethan times (as regards printed editions of his plays; Baldwin 626, 648; Lucas 97–106; Jones 92) but all are understandably
The Mythological Name: Helen
hesitant to assume that Shakespeare’s acquaintance with, or enthusiasm for, Greek tragedy matched that of his more classically educated contemporaries. Even Emrys Jones who, in 1977, made a very convincing case for Shakespeare’s knowledge of Hecuba (‘Shakespeare’s Titus is in essence nothing else than a male Hecuba’, 101) asserts that he is not trying to prove that Shakespeare used Hecuba (105). Reluctant to argue that Shakespeare’s grammar-school Greek could read Euripides, critics resort to social supposition to argue their case. Charles and Michelle Martindale suggest that ‘Wve minutes conversation with a friend could have given Shakespeare all he needed to know’ (96) as does Nuttall: ‘If we suppose what is simply probable, that he [Shakespeare] talked in pubs to Ben Jonson and others . . . ’ (217). I agree with these suppositions, as it happens, but invoking the Mermaid tavern is not a methodology likely to convince sceptics that Shakespeare knew Greek drama. There are alternative routes to the same destination, however: printing history (information about the market in imported Latin and Greek books in Elizabethan England); references to Euripides and direct quotations from him in numerous Renaissance texts, including those written by Shakespeare’s fellow dramatists; the teaching of Euripides in schools; ownership of Euripides’ texts in sixteenth-century households; and the translation of Euripides’ plays by students and graduates in England. I conWne myself to Euripides because it is the connection between Helen and All’s Well which attracts my attention in this chapter; and because this chapter is about the mythological name (and not Greek drama) I further conWne myself to the minimum amount of evidence necessary to present the case.
How Shakespeare Read his Euripides Let me begin with the range of Euripides texts available in the sixteenth century. Euripides’ plays, either in single editions, collections of two or three, or complete works of eighteen were readily available
The Mythological Name: Helen
in parallel-text (Greek–Latin) editions or in Latin translations. The single-text editions are replete with explanatory notes at the end. The Complete Works prefaces each play with a plot summary and follows it with a general commentary which is in turn followed by a scene-by-scene commentary. Even if one chose not to read a play at all (whether in Greek or Latin) one could acquire a detailed sense of its plot and concerns from the Latin apparatus which surrounds it. The volumes have a helpful comprehensive index. Thus Shakespeare could easily have read Greek drama even had he known no Greek. All the volumes have a clear visual aesthetic of how to present a dramatic text. Tabbed speech preWxes occupy the left-hand column of the verso page, the right-hand column of the recto page. Not only does the reader have a clear sense who is speaking and when but one can see the size and shape of a role at a glance. All the texts I have consulted have a dramatis personae list at the beginning; many include an essay on the life of Euripides. Single-text editions of Hecuba, Orestes, Electra, Andromache, Hippolytus Coronatus, and Medea were popular (printed and reprinted in Basle, Florence, Rome, Paris, Louvain, and Vincenza throughout the century). Italian translations of Hecuba, Jocasta, and Iphigenia in Aulis also appeared in single-volume editions. Erasmus’ translation of Hecuba, often coupled with his translation of Iphigenia in Aulis, was frequently reprinted (Basle, Florence, Paris, Vienna, Venice, Louvain). One volume of three plays (Antwerp 1581) contains Phoenician Women, Hecuba, and Andromache. Complete Works were issued in Basle (1537, 1541, 1544, 1551, 1558, 1562), in Antwerp (1571), in Venice (1503), in Frankfurt (?1558), and in Geneva (1602). (The dates here are far from exhaustive: they simply reXect the editions I have consulted so far.) The 1551 Basle edition was owned and annotated by Ben Jonson (it is described in a bookseller’s catalogue of 1845 but is no longer extant45); the Geneva edition of 1602 was the one owned and annotated by Milton (now in the Bodleian Library).46 It was easy for all these books to make their way to the London stationers’ market. Packed as unbound sheets in barrels, books from
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Basle (for example) made their way down the Rhine to the Low Countries where they were shipped to London (and sometimes to Southampton).47 Port rolls (custom records) show that the market for printing Continental printed books in Latin and Greek matched that for home-printed books in the vernacular.48 A glance at any of the Euripides editions listed above shows why: London printers lacked the expertise and experience to print Latin and Greek texts of this high quality. These editions appear repeatedly in English households and libraries: Elizabeth Leedham-Green lists sixty-two volumes (works, two or more works, individual plays; in Greek, in Latin, in parallel-text editions) in Cambridge inventories of the sixteenth century. Fehrenbach and Leedham-Green Wnd eleven in private libraries of the sixteenth century, and their list is far from exhaustive (see below for Jonson and Milton; see Bowden 15 and 29 for Mildred Burghley’s ownership of Euripides; Baldwin (540) reveals that James VI bought a Complete Works of Euripides c.1576; as beWts one tutored by Buchanan, his volume was not a parallel-text but ‘graece’). Continental printing was superior to that in sixteenth-century England. The type-letters in every Euripides text that I have examined are crisply deWned: the type has been perfectly inked and there is no bleed-through. The Greek letters are as clear as the Roman and the volumes are easy to read. In fact they are a pleasure to read. Nor is the Latin particularly diYcult. Individuals who bought foreign imprints often acquired them with astonishing speed (on one documented occasion but a month after publication; Armstrong 285). There was also an embryonic market in second-hand books. Clearly Ben Jonson, born in 1572, did not acquire his 1551 Euripides immediately on publication, nor Milton, born in 1608, his 1602 edition. And by 1575 there was a home-grown edition of one Euripides play: John Day’s unadorned Greek text of The Women of Troy (STC 10567.5).49 That Englishmen had the opportunity to read Euripides does not mean that they did so. For that we must turn to the evidence of the
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nearly 140 texts between 1540 and 1623—sermons, plays, political treatises, commonplace books—which allude to or quote Euripides. Many of these texts do not conWne themselves to single quotations: two is common, and nine, eleven, twelve, and thirty-six not unknown (see below). The references range from extended analysis through single lines to general allusion. Sometimes a paraphrase is accompanied by the marginal note Eurip. Helen is quoted speciWcally by William Vaughan (an MA, and a law student) in The Golden Grove Moralized (1600; STC 24610). Jonson provides a footnote in his Masque of Beauty (1608; STC 14761) explaining the equation of Phosphore/Hecate/Helena (‘which is Lucifera’) in Euripides’ Helen. Thomas Gataker, pastor of Rotherhithe, was much taken by Euripides’ phantom Helen in two of his sermons in 1619 and 1623 (The Joy of the Just 1619, STC 11665; The Spiritual Watch 1623, STC 11677). George Buchanan provides an extensive analogy based on the phantom Helen in his De Iure Regni apud Scotos Dialogus (1579). (This inXuential and controversial essay on politics is the exception to all other texts I cite here in that it is written in Latin.50) His book was banned by the Scottish Parliament in 1584 but had an extensive publishing history on the Continent. There is no reason to doubt its availability in England: copies of banned English books often occur in private collections (Leedham-Green p. xxiii). References to Euripides’ Helen (as a character) in other texts (e.g. Torquato Tasso’s Householder’s Philosophy of 1588; STC 23703) cite material also available in Orestes and Women of Troy so it is not possible to be precise about the source. Fourteen other Euripides texts are cited and quoted by name— Alcestis, Andromache, Andromeda, Bacchae, Hecuba, Ion, Iphigenia in Aulis, Iphigenia in Tauris, Jocasta, Medea, Orestes, Phoenician Women, Rhesus, Suppliants, Women of Troy—and others by inference.51 Sometimes the quotations explain who Euripides is, although the frequency with which the identiWcation is qualiWed by adjectival compliment suggests that praise rather than need was the motive for biographical explanation. Thus ‘Euripides that learned Greek’
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(Lodowick Lloyd, The Pilgrimage of Princes, 1573; STC 16624), the ‘Laureate Euripides’ (A Poor Knight his Palace of Private Pleasures, 1579; STC 4283), and ‘the eloquent poet Euripides’ (George Downam, Abraham’s Trial, 1602; STC 7102) keep company with ‘Euripides the Greek poet’ (Lodowick Lloyd, The First Part of the Dial of Days 1590; STC 16621), Euripides ‘the tragedy writer’ (William Webb, Discourse of English Poetry, 1586; STC 25172), and ‘the tragicall poet’ (Solinus, translated by Golding, 1587; STC 22896.5). Single texts frequently contain multiple quotations. In 1618 Thomas Gainsford’s Perkin Warbeck (STC 11525) quotes twelve diVerent plays of Euripides; in 1613 Robert Dallington’s commonplace book (Aphorisms 1613; STC 6197) contains nine quotations from Euripides; and N. L’s Wit’s Commonwealth (1598; STC 15686) has eleven quotations. North’s Plutarch (Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, 1579; STC 20066) references Euripides on thirty-six occasions. Sometimes authors indicate the source of their acquaintance with Euripides: Erasmus’ translation is cited by Thomas Lodge (Protogenes 1579; STC 16663); Victorinus Stingel quotes Hecuba in Latin (rather than in Greek) in his Harmony of King David’s Harp (1591; STC 23359). Some authors indicate their extensive acquaintance with Euripidean drama: Ascham (as one might expect) has read every tragedy of Euripides (Report and Discourse 1570; STC 830). John Pickeryng’s Horestes (1567; STC 19917) does not quote Euripides but it does not need to: it is possibly indebted to Euripides’ play of the same name. Many of the texts which quote or refer to Euripides are sources of Shakespeare’s plays: J. C. Solinus (Excellent and Pleasant Work of Julius Solinus, translated by Golding, 1587; STC 22896.5); John Eliot’s OrthoEpia Gallica (1593; STC 7574); North’s Plutarch (STC 20066); Anthony Munday’s Zelauto (1580; STC 18283); Drayton’s Heroical Epistles (1597; STC 7193); and William Painter’s Palace of Pleasure (1566; STC 19121). Several are works to do with theatre or works of literary theory—Robert Allott (Wit’s Theatre 1599; STC 381); John Reynolds (The Overthrow of Stage Plays 1599; STC 20616); Sidney’s Apology for Poetry (1595; STC 22534.5); and Stephen Gosson’s School of Abuse (1579;
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STC 12097.5). Many are works it was unlikely or impossible for Shakespeare not to have read: popular sermons; More’s Utopia (1551; STC 18094); Lyly’s Euphues (1578; STC 17051); works by Gascoigne (cited above); Lodge (Catharos 1591; STC 16654; Euphues Shadow 1592; STC 16656); Elyot (Banquet of Sapience 1564, STC 7634); Spenser (Shepherd’s Calendar 1579; STC 23089); Mulcaster (First Part of the Elementary 1582; STC 18250); Whetstone (Heptameron 1582; STC 25337 and English Mirror 1586; STC 25336); Greene (Mamillia 1583; STC 12269; Farewell to Folly 1591; STC 12241); Webbe (Discourse of English Poetry 1586; STC 25172); Harvey (Pierce’s Supererogation 1593; STC 12903); Drayton (The Barons’ Wars 1603; STC 7189; and Polyolbion 1612; STC 7226); Davies (Microcosmos 1603; STC 6333); Hayward (Henry IV 1599; STC 12995); Chapman (Ovid’s Banquet of Sense 1595; STC 4985); and translations by Holland (Plutarch’s Morals 1603; STC 20063). Thus, from school textbook to the commercial market for Latin editions to regular citations, it was impossible for Shakespeare to escape Euripides. Webster invokes Euripides in the prefatory epistle to The White Devil (1612): To those who report I was a long time in Wnishing this tragedy, I confess I do not write with a goose-quill, winged with two feathers, and if they will needs make it my fault, I must needs answer them with that of Euripides to Alcestides, a tragic writer: Alcestides objecting that Euripides had only in three days composed three verses, whereas himself had written three hundred: ‘Thou tell’st truth’, quoth he, ‘but here’s the diVerence: thine shall only be read for three days, whereas mine shall continue three ages.’
Webster accessed the anecdote in a text of 1607 (Lodowick Lloyd’s Linceus Spectacles) and although the reference is eVective independently of any familiarity with the writers quoted, Webster’s interest in classical tragedy elsewhere in the epistle, and his explanatory ‘a tragic writer’ (denoting Alcestides, the reference to Euripides requiring no explanation) suggests he knew more about Euripides than his name. I think that this is also true of Shakespeare. The availability of parallel-text editions with clear Latin translations and
The Mythological Name: Helen
explanatory apparatus made it easy for anyone with an interest to read Euripides. The way in which Shakespeare develops the Helen’s concerns about name, identity, and language in All’s Well That Ends Well is the subject of the next section.
All’s Well that Ends Well What is striking about Euripides’ Helen is the way its generic and structural quiddities are paralleled in Shakespeare’s Helen play All’s Well That Ends Well. At the beginning Menelaus is like the King of France in All’s Well That Ends Well: feeble, disabled, exhausted. So ravaged is Menelaus—dressed in rags, buVeted by shipwreck—that Helen initially does not recognize him. In the recognition and reunion that follows Menelaus is revived: by language, by love (and by a bath and fresh clothes). The motif is familiar from the dramatic rituals of folklore—the reviviWcation of an impotent king. All’s Well is similarly indebted to folk motifs (the clever wench, the winning of a husband by passing a test, the curing of the king). This last episode in 2.1 is stylistically diVerent from the rest of the play: incantatory couplets present Helen as more mantic than medical. It is unclear whether Helen’s powers are sexual or spiritual (the BBC TV production presents them as both). Similar liminality characterizes Helen’s resurrection of Menelaus in the Helen where she is part theopneust and part full-blooded female. Segal’s description of Euripides’ Helen—‘she stands on the lower rung of a ladder which leads to . . . Prospero’ (582)—applies equally to Shakespeare’s Helen. Although revived, Menelaus, like the King in All’s Well That Ends Well, is a curiously powerless character. Euripides’ Helen is the one with ingenuity, determination, and the ability to turn plans into action. Nonetheless she cannot achieve this without help, and the power in the play resides with women, more speciWcally the alliance of Theonoe and Helen, as the priestess agrees to cooperate in Helen’s scheme to deceive her brother Theoclymenus. One is
The Mythological Name: Helen
reminded of the alliance of women which enables the de´nouement of All’s Well when Helen enlists the help of Diana, her widowed mother, and their neighbour. The roles of Diana and Theonoe are thematically important in parallel ways. In the Helen Theonoe is a virgin priestess, Helen a wife; the positions of Diana and Helen in All’s Well are equivalent. Diana may not be a professional priestess but she bears the name of one, a fact that is underlined at the opening of 4.2: b e r t r a m They told me that your name was Fontibell. d i a n a No, my good lord, Diana. bertram Titled goddess, And worth it, with addition! (4.2.1–3)
Diana’s emphatic correction of Bertram’s onomastic error is presumably designed to have the eVect on Bertram which another Frenchman experienced when he tried to bed a woman with a virginal name of Mary but reformed on hearing her name. Montaigne relates the episode as follows: Item, it is reported, that the foundation of our Lady the great of Poitiers had this beginning; A licentious young man having his dwelling-house where the Church now standeth, had one night gotten a wench to lie with him, who so soone as she came to bed, he demanded her name, who answered, Marie: The young man hearing that name, was suddenly so struck with a motive of religion, and an awefull respect unto that sacred name, of the virgin Marie, the blessed mother of our Saviour and Redeemer, that he did not onely presently put her away from him, but reformed all the remainder of his succeeding life. (Montaigne trans. Florio 301)
Bertram is deaf to such onomastic subtlety (as beWts one who cannot see through a companion named Paroles52). In one respect, however, the name Diana is a repetition of Fontibell, not a correction. Fontibell means ‘beautiful fountain’, and fountains are invariably associated with chaste women, with the goddess Diana (as in Shakespeare’s sonnets 153 and 154), and with the virgin queen Elizabeth, as in Jonson’s Cynthia’s Revels or in Spenser’s Faerie Queene.
The Mythological Name: Helen
Diana is the name of the widow’s daughter (see below), Fontibell possibly her nickname, but both names mean the same. The widow’s daughter is elsewhere called Diana and there is no suggestion in dialogue that this is not her correct name.53 She is called Diana by her neighbour Mariana on her Wrst appearance in 3.5 when she is advised to preserve her chastity against Bertram: ‘Well, Diana, take heed of this French earl. The honour of a maid is her name and no legacy is so rich as honesty’ (3.5.11–13). When she next appears for her conversation with Bertram in 4.2, the scene begins with a curious stage direction: ‘Enter Bertram, and the Maide called j Diana’ (F TLN 2017–18). The unusual explanatory interpolation ‘the Maide called Diana’ suggests to some critics that Diana may be a nickname, and this may motivate the conversation about Fontibell/ Diana with which the scene begins. In 3.5 Shakespeare was either uncertain of the name he would give the Diana character or did not signal his intention clearly in the scene’s opening stage direction: ‘Enter Old Widdow of Florence, her daughter Violenta j and Mariana with j other Citizens’ (F TLN 1603–5). Excluding the Citizens, this direction requires four women, or three if Violenta is in apposition, as the Widow’s daughter. Mariana is the name of the Widow’s neighbour. Helen’s invitation at the end of the scene establishes the number of Florentine women as three: ‘this matron’ (the neighbour Mariana), ‘this gentle maid’ (the Widow’s daughter), plus the Widow whom Helen is addressing (3.5.97). (Both the Widow and the neighbour accept Helen’s invitation in the scene’s last line, the Folio giving the speech preWx ‘Both’.) Violenta in the stage direction is either a ghost character, or the name of the Widow’s daughter, familiarly called ‘Diana’, as we learn in 4.2.54 Analogous stage directions from foul paper texts provide scant help—‘Enter Adriana, Luciana, Courtizan, and a Schoole-/master, call’d Pinch’ in Comedy of Errors (TLN 1321–2), and ‘Enter Lewis the French King, his Sister Bona his j Admirall, call’d Bourbon: Prince Edward, j Queene Margaret, and the Earle of Oxford’ in 3 Henry 6 3.3 (TLN 1721–3)—although Paul Marcotte argues valiantly that in both
The Mythological Name: Helen
instances ‘call’d’ reveals a familiar name. In Venus and Adonis, the phrase ‘call it’ does seem to indicate a renaming: ‘And trembling in her passion, calls it balm’ (27), ‘And calls it heavenly moisture’ (64). This supports Marcotte’s interpretation although dialogue in the plays provides either exiguous or ambiguous evidence— ‘He is call’d Aunchient Pistol’ (Henry 5 3.6.18); ‘this is called Pentapolis, and our King the good Simonides’ (Pericles 2.1.99–100). Pistol may be a nickname, but Pentapolis and Simonides are not, although ‘called’ governs both fact (place and monarch) and opinion (‘good’). Marcotte views the alleged nicknames in Comedy of Errors and 3 Henry 6 as ironic. This leads him to argue that ‘called Diana’ in All’s Well indicates the maid’s availability. Her mother encourages her to view Bertram’s triumphant arrival from the balcony not to warn her against the Frenchman but to whet her sexual appetite (as Pandarus does to Cressida in similar circumstances).55 This, I think, is to ignore the stereotypical sexual binary which Shakespeare sets up with the chaste Diana/Fontibell and the married, sexually desiring Helena. If Bertram’s Wrst conversation with Diana underlines her eponymous chastity, Act 1, Scene 3 reminds us of the opposite associations of Helen. Asked by the Countess to summon ‘my gentlewoman . . . Helen I mean’ (1.3.68–9), Lavache immediately associates Helen with Helen of Troy. Although Sidney’s medically skilled wandering Queen of Corinth seems an obvious prototype for Shakespeare’s Helen, the text here stresses the conventional associations of the name with Helen of Troy. Lavache sings a popular song beginning ‘ ‘‘Was this fair face the cause’’, quoth she, j ‘‘Why the Grecians sacked Troy?’’ ’ (1.3.70–1; see Snyder ‘Shakespeare’s Helens’ and Jean Roberts, Wild 145–8). Helen’s plot quickly challenges Lavache’s stereotyping showing that someone named Helen can be sexual without being wanton, can be desiring and chaste—can, in fact, incorporate elements of both the Diana and the Helen paradigms. The heroine in Shakespeare’s source (Boccaccio’s Decameron via William Painter’s English
The Mythological Name: Helen
translation, The Palace of Pleasure) was named Giletta: the (anti)hero Beltramo. Shakespeare Englished Beltramo as Bertram but he abandoned Giletta in favour of Helen. Given the associations of Helen the choice is neither innocent nor careless. In many respects All’s Well That Ends Well is an inverse Helen play. Helen is shunned, not sought. Bertram goes to war to avoid her, not for love of her. Helen becomes the pursuer, not the pursued, chasing her man to Paris—a city with classical resonance. She places Bertram in the Helen position—desired and pursued—and needless to say, he does not like this emasculation one jot. His plea to the King, who has sanctioned Helen’s choice of Bertram as husband, is a plea to be given back the male power of gazing: ‘in such a business, give me leave to use j The help of mine own eye’ (2.3.107–8). Given the stress on eyes, eyesight, false vision, corrected vision in both Midsummer Night’s Dream and All’s Well That Ends Well, there is something Stesichorean about the recantations of both Demetrius and Bertram. Demetrius declares that his senses are realigned, ‘the object and the pleasure of mine eye j Is only Helena’ (MND 4.1.170–1). When the King in All’s Well says in amazement ‘is there no exorcist j Beguiles the true oYce of mine eyes? Is’t real that I see?’ (5.3.304–6), Helen denies her reality: ‘’tis but the shadow of a wife you see, j The name, and not the thing’ (5.3.307–8). Bertram realigns name and thing: ‘both, both’ (5.3.308). Bertram, like Stesichorus, is self-interested. Although there is something magical about his aYrmative repetition ‘both, both’, he is cornered, not converted. Both Helen and All’s Well feature central male characters (Menelaus, Theoclymenus, Bertram) duped by appearance; both question the relationship between clothing and reality (Parolles’ scarves, Menelaus’s rags); in both, power lies with women; in both the central questions are linguistic and ontological; both move between two worlds, reality and fairytale, and both prick the bubble, with characters ‘waking from delusion’ (cf. Barton in G. B. Evans (ed.), Riverside 503); both are generically experimental problem-plays. Given the prevalence of Euripides in early modern England, the
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fact that Shakespeare wrote a drama very like Euripides’ Helen can be seen not as coincidence but as inXuence.
Cressida If in All’s Well That Ends Well Helen is associated with Helen of Troy, she is also depicted as Cressida: Lafew, her escort to the King, comments ‘I am Cressid’s uncle, j That dare leave two together’ (2.1.97–8). Cressida’s position glosses Helen’s in the play written immediately before All’s Well That Ends Well, Troilus and Cressida. From the outset the women are equated: Pandarus says Cressida is ‘as fair a’ Friday as Helen is on Sunday’ (1.1.76); when Paris’ servant describes Helen in 3.1, Pandarus assumes from the description that he is referring to Cressida. s e r v a n t . . . the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty, love’s invisible soul. p a n d a r u s Who? My cousin Cressida? s e r v a n t No, sir, Helen. Could not you Wnd out that by her attributes? p a n d a r u s It should seem, fellow, thou hast not seen the lady Cressid. (3.1.32–8)
Troilus refers to both women as a ‘pearl’. In the RSC production of 1968, the women were visually indistinguishable, making a mockery of a war fought over one of them, and illustrating the play’s premise that value is subjective. As Baswell and Taylor observe of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde the situations and seductions of Helen and Cressida are parallel (302). Both women are loved by a Greek and a Trojan. Men put Cressida in a position where ‘she must betray someone’: to cleave to Troilus is to betray her father; to go to the Greeks means betraying Troilus. Her options mean ‘she must be Helen either way’ (310). ‘You bring me to do and then you Xout me too’ (4.2.26)—Cressida will be castigated for the position in which men place her. Nowhere is this clearer than in the scene in which Cressida is delivered to the Greek camp. Cressida’s situation replays Helen’s: a
The Mythological Name: Helen
beautiful woman is forced to leave her lover (Menelaus, Troilus) and is carried away by a foreigner (Paris, Diomedes). Although Helen’s complicity in her abduction was unclear, by the early modern period her guilt was a foregone conclusion: one school test of pupils’ debating skill required students to argue pro et contra Helen (cf. Colie 8–9). In Edward 2 Lancaster compares Gaveston to ‘the Greekish strumpet’ who ‘trained to arms j And bloody wars so many valiant knights’ (2.5.15–17). Emilia Lanyer inveighs against Helen for lack of virtue in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, lines 190–2. Shakespeare’s Lucrece accuses Helen as ‘the strumpet that began this stir’ (1471). In Troilus and Cressida Shakespeare writes the scene which all other accounts leave out of the Helen of Troy mythology—the scene of transition between home and abroad. Troilus has apparently abandoned Cressida emotionally: he talks about the relationship in terminative terms; he passively accepts her removal (contrast her passionate refusals to leave), and leaves her with so many comminatory assumptions of her inWdelity that she, not unreasonably, concludes ‘o heavens you love me not’ (4.4.82). On arrival in the Greek camp she is exposed to further trauma—the verbal and osculatory equivalents of gang rape, with a group of soldiers making bawdy jokes and taking turns at kissing her: ‘our general doth salute you with a kiss. j . . . ’Twere better she were kiss’d in general’ (4.5.19–21). As Laura Johnstone (personal communication) points out, the silence of this normally vocally assertive woman for a full twenty to thirty lines after her entrance into the scene is striking. She eventually Wnds her emotional feet, and her tongue, retaliating wittily ‘In kissing do you render or receive? . . . I’ll make my match to live, j The kiss you take is better than you give’ (4.5.36–8). This defensive self-assertiveness, occasioned by the situation in which she Wnds herself, is interpreted by Ulysses as coquetry: There’s language in her eye, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out At every joint and motive of her body. (4.6.55–7)
The Mythological Name: Helen
Cressida turns to her guardian in the Greek camp Diomedes but he abuses his position. CliVord Lyons notes that the storyline of Shakespeare’s Cressida–Diomedes plot is simple: Diomedes will leave her if she will not submit (115). As Chris Cannon observes of the equivalent scene in Chaucer, Cressida’s submission to Diomedes takes place under such ‘conditions of ‘‘force’’ and ‘‘fear’’ that it is hard to distinguish between rape and betrayal’ (87). Shakespeare critics note that Cressida, like Helen, emerges as the victim of a world which condemns her for behaving in the very way it has forced her to behave to survive. Out of such self-protection is reputation lost (cf. ‘upon my back to protect my belly’56)—and legend born. The myth of Helen, Shakespeare suggests, may originate in circumstances that are more complex than words like ‘consent’ or ‘abduction’/‘raptus’/‘rape’ suggest. Shakespeare’s project in the problem comedies seems to me the recuperation of women’s roles in myth.57 Nonetheless Helen herself is presented critically in Troilus and Cressida, or so critics allege. She seems indiVerent to the war conducted in her name; she is idle, languorous, and ‘engages in such banal pastimes as counting the hairs on her brother-in-law’s chin’ (Laura Johnstone, personal communication); far from being a digniWed goddess she is reduced to the homely abbreviation ‘Nell’. (This, of course, may be the point. She is no longer a standard of beauty, a measure of male worth, or an object for exchange, but an individual.) It is not clear to me that the diminutive is pejorative, however reductive it sounds to our ears. Helen is called Nell by Renaissance authors other than Shakespeare. Fletcher, for example, refers to ‘Nell a Greece’ in The Tamer Tamed (2.4.17). The scene between Helen and Paris in Troilus and Cressida is remarkable in the play for its emotional reciprocity and conversational health. The couple converse. Paris shares a joke with Helen (3.1.52–3); they assess Pandarus’ mood (3.1.127–30); Helen volunteers information in response to Paris’s general question about Troilus (3.1.137–40); Helen compliments Paris (3.1.99–100), and he compliments her (3.1.150–4). Paris’
The Mythological Name: Helen
mode of address to Helen is permissive and petitionary rather than peremptory: ‘Let us to Priam’s hall . . . j Sweet Helen, I must woo you j To help unarm our Hector’ (3.1.148, 149–50). Given his position in Troy as Helen’s lord, he might put his requests more into command than entreaty—as do Hector, Troilus, and Diomedes to Andromache and Cressida. Instead, we have a scene of conversational give-and-take remarkable in the play for its straightforward honesty. The manipulative anger of Diomedes, which forces Cressida’s betrayal in Act 5, Scene 2, contrasts with Paris’ treatment of Helen and her evident acquiescence in her sojourn in Troy. Together these scenes raise the question of what consent means in the play and in the early modern world. This is an issue which permeates Midsummer Night’s Dream where the capacity for genuine consent seems extinguished: Hippolyta yields in war, Titania under taunting and magical drugs. Narratives of Helen of Troy talk about ‘the rape of Helen’, but what does rape mean in the early modern period?
Rape/Raptus/Abduction 1 Tamburlaine illustrates the diYculties which that question poses. Zenocrate, engaged to the Prince of Arabia, is kidnapped by Tamburlaine, who unambiguously seeks her to ‘grace his bed’ (1.2.36). Agydas later refers to Zenocrate’s ‘oVensive rape by Tamburlaine’ (3.2.6). Mary Beth Rose writes that Tamburlaine wins Zenocrate ‘by kidnapping and raping her, a little noticed fact’. Her two verbs make it clear that she is using rape in the sense of sexual violation not abduction (which she distinguishes as ‘kidnapping’). She underlines her point by repeating it immediately in a footnote: ‘I have not yet encountered any discussion of the fact that Tamburlaine ‘‘wins’’ Zenocrate by raping her’ (106). But Agydas’ use of the noun ‘rape’ is a variant of ‘rapine’ with the same meaning as in 1.2 where Zenocrate begs the marauding Tamburlaine ‘not to enrich thy followers j By lawless rapine from silly maid’ (1.2.10). Both nouns
The Mythological Name: Helen
come from the Latin rapere, to seize. It is inconvenient for us, although no doubt convenient for the early modern legal system, that rape could mean both abduction and sexual violation. At the end of the play Tamburlaine assures the on-stage audience that he has not violated Zenocrate’s virginity: ‘for all blot of foul inchastity, j I record heaven, her heavenly self is clear’ (5.1.486–7). By this stage, in fact, Zenocrate has fallen in love with her captor and the two prepare to wed. The action is still legally rape however, a category in which female consent (or lack of it) is irrelevant, for the crime is not against the woman’s body but against the owner of the woman’s body—her father or her Wance´, and his lack of agreement deWnes an act of abduction or sexual violation as rape. (If this is what Rose has in mind, she does not make it clear.) Tamburlaine distinguishes between rape (as sexual violation) and abduction, but other early modern texts, literary and legal, philosophical and theological, are as likely to conXate the terms as they are to clarify them; and this semantic obfuscation is paralleled conceptually by the overlapping stages in the spectrum from force to desire. Sir Philip Sidney’s Old Arcadia initially seems clear: ‘although he ravisht her not from herself, yet he ravished her from him that owed her, which was her father’ (406). The Wrst verb apparently refers to Pamela’s body as an entity to be violated, the second to Pamela’s legal status as a property to be stolen. Elsewhere, however, as Jocelyn Catty observes, the Old Arcadia oVers Wve senses of ravishment ‘which it distinguishes and conXates’ (42): rape, attempted rape, illicit consensual sex, the violent eVect of love, and emotional rapture. Spenser’s The Faerie Queene is similarly complicated. Lust lives on ‘ravin and on rape’. The nouns seem to designate separate not synonymous activities with the former denoting abduction, the latter sexual violence. But as in Sidney, the clarity is short-lived: the ‘rape’ of Hellenore by Paridell is deWned as abduction or seduction (3.10.Argument.1; Catty 76). The Wrst few pages of Heywood’s ‘Oenone and Paris’ oVer little speciWcity (see stanzas 4, 12, 16). Legal texts are no more consistent. T.E.’s Laws
The Mythological Name: Helen
Resolution of Women’s Rights (1632), a work frequently dependent on medieval legal authority, makes ‘little if any distinction . . . between seduction and rape; coercion operates within both’ (B. Baines 76). Christian ethics, dating back to Augustine, introduced a division between consent of the mind and consent of the body (the former being a sin) but this mind/body division was complicated by Galenic theory which held that a woman could not conceive unless she experienced orgasm; any rape resulting in pregnancy was ipso facto not a rape. In the Old Arcadia Cecropia argues ‘Do you think Theseus should ever have gotten Antiope with sighing and crossing his arms? He ravished her. . . . But having ravished her, he got a child of her—and I say no more, but that, they say, is not gotten without consent of both sides’ (402). The concept of consent was further problematic. If a woman yielded to threats or force, she technically consented. Busyrane’s tapestry in The Faerie Queene ‘depicts the rapes of women by gods in a way that blurs the issue of consent’ (Catty 81). Angelo in Measure for Measure wants Isabella’s agreement to her own violation. The series of obstacles—doors, bolts—which obligingly ‘yield’ to Tarquin in Shakespeare’s Rape of Lucrece as he makes his symbolic journey from outside to inside, from Ardea to Rome, from guest bedroom to Lucrece’s chamber, not only enact rape but raise the troublingly ambiguous question of Lucrece’s consent (Fineman passim). This was an issue which had long occupied commentators. If Lucrece was innocent, why did she commit suicide? Hence the frequent conclusion that she enjoyed Tarquin’s violence. So morally ambiguous was Lucrece’s story that, like Helen’s, it became a topic for formal disputation (Donaldson 40). Consent was thus a blurred issue in early modern England. With such ambiguity and confusion of ideology as well as language, it is little wonder that some writers were driven to qualify their terms in ways that seem to us tautological. Barbara Baines surveys legal texts across four centuries and explains that ‘when unwilled (involuntary) carnal pleasure is deWned by such phrases as
The Mythological Name: Helen
‘‘consent of the body’’ or ‘‘the will of the body’’, then the phrase ‘‘consent of the mind’’ becomes necessary to represent what the word ‘‘consent’’ alone should signify. ‘‘Consent of the mind’’ is, however, as redundant as ‘‘forcible rape’’ or ‘‘rape with force’’ ’ (91). Consent is a key concept in texts and debates even when it is not explicitly invoked. For example, if coercion and resistance are considered steps in the mating dance, what is the diVerence between rape and consent? What does it mean to consent when the alternative is death and infamy (the alternatives which Tarquin oVers Lucrece when he threatens to kill both Lucrece and a slave, placing them in each other’s arms, thereby bringing shame on Lucrece, Collatine, and Collatine’s family). Shakespeare addresses these questions in The Rape of Lucrece. The Rape of Lucrece begins and ends with consent in the political sense of vote. The Argument tells us that the ‘people were so moved, that with one consent . . . the Tarquins were all exiled’ (43–4); the poem repeats the point in its last two lines: ‘The Romans plausibly did give consent j To Tarquin’s everlasting banishment’ (1854–5). The intervening narrative is about Lucrece’s failure to give consent; in other words, the intervening narrative is about rape. Catherine Belsey suggests that the ‘placing of consent as the rhyme-word of the Wnal couplet in a story about rape might prompt us to give it some weight’ (329). Lucrece may resist Tarquin’s assault through lengthy verbal appeals to logic and honour but none the less the poem problematizes the question of her resistance. The physical impediments to Tarquin’s progress both resist and yield—‘each unwilling portal yields him way’ (309)—and, like other rapists of the 1590s (and beyond) Tarquin ‘consters their denial’ as foreplay: ‘Like little frosts that sometime threat the spring j To add a more rejoicing to the prime’ (331–2).58 Later, the lamenting Lucrece chastises her hand for ‘yielding’ (because her hand failed to deXect Tarquin by scratching him). And yet, as Jocelyn Catty reminds us, Shakespeare rewrites his sources in Livy, Ovid, and Painter to disambiguate the circumstances of Lucrece’s
The Mythological Name: Helen
rape. Whereas Painter and Ovid depict Lucrece as yielding (succumbing to the threat of shame), Shakespeare’s Lucrece is gagged with her own nightgown while Tarquin cools ‘his hot face in the chastest tears j That ever modest eyes with sorrow shed’ (682–3; Catty 66). There can be no ambiguity here: Lucrece is raped (in our modern sense). The issue of consent explored by Rape of Lucrece (1594) and Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595) is raised obliquely in relation to Helen of Troy in 2 Henry 4 (1597–8) and Henry 5 (1599). Given the early modern use of Nell as an abbreviation for Helen, Nell Quickly clearly merits inclusion in this chapter. She is fought over by two suitors, Nym and Pistol; like Helen, she engages in needlework, living (euphemistically) by the prick of her needle;59 when she and Doll Tearsheet face arrest we are told, in an ambiguity of personal pronoun which could apply to either woman, ‘there hath been a man or two kill’d about her’ (2 Henry 4 5.4.6). In fact, in an apt textual crux, Nell the wife is conXated with the whore. ‘News have I that my Doll is dead’ says Pistol in Henry 5 5.1.81, presumably intending his lawful loving wife but giving her the name of the prostitute who accompanies her.60 Of particular interest then is the Hostess’ unusual collocation in Henry 5 2.1 when Nym and Pistol, her rival suitors draw: ‘O welliday, Lady, if he be not hewn now, we shall see willful adultery and murther committed’ (2.1.36–8). The Riverside gloss suggests that ‘the Hostess here perpetrates a double blunder, intending assaultery, her own version of assault and battery’ (2.1.37 n.). This gloss is based on the assumption that ‘wilful adultery’ (¼ consenting adultery) is both a malapropism and a tautology. The Wrst it may be, but the second is only valid in contemporary terms where we take for granted that the OED deWnition of adultery—‘violation of the marriage bed’—refers to voluntary violation. Involuntary violation goes by another name: rape. But in early modern times, as noted above, the question of consent is irrelevant legally, if not emotionally. In T.E.’s Law’s Resolution of Women’s Rights T.E. devotes a section to adultery with and without consent, yet classiWes both as rape (390; Catty
The Mythological Name: Helen
13). Although T.E.’s text is seventeenth-century, much of its legal authority derives from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, and there is no sense that his deWnition here is novel. Like rape and abduction, the concepts of rape and adultery were inextricably intertwined in the early modern period: what the law has joined together critics cannot put asunder. But early modern women, like Nell Quickly, can. For women the two categories— wilful and unwilful adultery—are inevitably distinct. Mistress Quickly, in the linguistically feminized space of the tavern, reappropriates for herself the Adamic power of naming. Cannon sees the legal problem of raptus/rape/abduction as one of renaming: ‘the crucial distinction between an act and the names that might be given it’ (82). For Fineman too the central theme in Rape of Lucrece is naming. The poem begins with Tarquin inXamed not by the sight of Lucrece, or even solely by the description of her, but by ‘that name of ‘‘chaste’’ ’ which ‘set j This bateless edge on his keen appetite’ (8–9; Fineman 172). At the poem’s climax Lucrece fails to name her rapist; when she eventually manages to do so his name is reiterated by Collatine. The poetic focus now moves from speech to inscription: the poem ‘associates the act of naming with writing and speech’, Fineman argues, and examines ‘what happens to a person when he ‘‘begins to talk’’, something the poem ampliWes as an inaugural moment of constitutive subjectifying tradition’ (213). But as we saw in Chapter 2 Collatine utters Tarquin’s name as if tearing it between his teeth; the name is the individual, the name is the inaugural moment of constitutive subjectifying tradition. If the name is equated with the subject, so too is sexual identity, and in the early modern period ‘the violation of the body became an invasion and domination of the inner subject, an absolute depersonalising’ (Wynne-Davies 132). We see this most obviously in a statute change of 1597 which separated abduction from rape. Rape was no longer a crime of property, a crime against male owners, but a crime against the female body. This indirectly introduced a
The Mythological Name: Helen
concept which has become key in rape law and debate ever since: consent.61 Public thought and practice did not change overnight, however: historians document a gradual shift in the seventeenth century towards seeing rape as a crime against the woman rather than against her father or husband and Nazife Bashar goes so far as to say that the ‘same medieval laws applied for the period 1558–1700’ (41). Shakespeare’s work in the 1590s shows a recurrent interest in the issue of consent, and it is hard not to see this as a topical concern. As Marion Wynne-Davies notes, the very fact of new rape legislation ‘after a century’s inactivity reveals a peak of interest in, and concern about, sexual assault’ (131). The concept of consent has long been a key issue in the Helen of Troy myth, where the crucial question from antiquity was: did Helen go willingly or was she abducted? In the 1590s questions about abduction and rape, wilful and unwilful adultery, coercion and desire were in the air. It was a highly appropriate time to re-examine the myth of Helen (and her sister in ambiguity, Lucrece). Nor did the issue cease to preoccupy Shakespeare after the statute change of 1597. In Troilus and Cressida Shakespeare probes the circumstances which lead to consent. He has denied himself the opportunity of investigating these circumstances through Helen, given the domestic bliss in which he, like Chaucer, intends to place her (Cannon 79) but, like Chaucer, he articulates these concerns on Cressida’s behalf ‘since, on Phrygian shores, she is in precisely the condition Helen was in before her raptus’ (Cannon 79). Stesichorus and Euripides recuperate Helen’s story by focusing on the eidolon post-abduction. Shakespeare revises the myth by showing us the double at the moment of sed-/ab-duction. Throughout this play Shakespeare is interested in the discrepancies between belief and behaviour, between words and acts, between sign and referent. We see this most clearly in the Trojan council scene where Hector gives a long, passionate speech explaining his reasons for supporting Helen’s return to Greece. ‘Hector’s opinion j Is this in
The Mythological Name: Helen
way of truth’ (2.2.188–9; my emphasis). His proposed action, however, diVers from his beliefs: ‘yet ne’er the less, j My spritely brethren, I propend to you j In resolution to keep Helen still’ (2.2.189–91). Circumstances often compel people—reasonable, good, well-meaning people—to behave in ways that contradict their beliefs. What is true of politics is also true of gender (and in a play about a war fought for ‘a placket’ the two cannot be separated). Cressida’s behaviour in Act 5, Scene 2, where she feels one way but acts another, is no diVerent from Hector’s in Act 2, Scene 2. What names do we give such behaviour? What is the boundary between consent and force (a fraught question in a period whose literature, as we have seen, frequently presented violence as seduction)? Ernst Pulgram writes, ‘The name of a man is like his shadow. It is not of his substance and not of his soul, but it lives with him and by him’ (149). From early in the sixteenth century Helen’s name narrows in meaning to one Helen, Helen of Troy, and it functions (appropriately, given her revisionist history in Stesichorus and Euripides) as a ghost, a shadow which haunts any woman or dramatic character called Helen. Jean Anouilh’s comment about his modern heroine, Antigone, is applicable to Renaissance Helens: ‘Antigone is young. She would much rather live than die. But there is no help for it. When your name is Antigone, there is only one part you can play’ (9). So too with Helen: when your name is Helen (in the sixteenth century at least) there is only one part you can play. It is this associative onomastic straitjacket from which Shakespeare tries to liberate his Helens.
4 The Diminutive Name: Kate (The Taming of the Shrew)
‘There is something Wctional about all people, something susceptible to anonymity, in the vanishing space beyond generality. . . where pure interiority. . . and pure exteriority. . . coincide.’ (William Flesch, ‘Anonymity’ 475)
‘Anonymity, in general parlance, means the state of being unknown, without identity, a kind of hiddenness.’ (Maurice Natanson, Anonymity 22)
This chapter title is a misnomer as the two epigraphs on anonymity may already have suggested. Although some of what I have to say concerns the diminutive name—the reduction, diminution, or relabelling of Katherine Minola as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew— my argument is about theatre, role-play, and (un)knowability. To that end this is a chapter about anonymity. It is not about the anonymous. Katherine does not lack names or labels. Far from it: she has a plurality of both. Katherine; Katherina; Kate; Kate the curst (‘a title for a maid of all titles the worst’, says Grumio); a ‘shrew’; a ‘devil’; ‘wasp’; ‘wild-cat’; ‘mad Petruchio’s
The Diminutive Name: Kate
wife’; a ‘lovely bride’; ‘a lamb, a dove, a fool’ (‘to him’: that is, in comparison with Petruchio).1 Katherine is not unnameable. But she is, I argue, unknowable; and this unknowability starts with the diminutive name. Katherine is not unusual among Shakespearean characters in being given an abbreviated name. In 2 Henry 6 Margaret of Navarre is once Meg, as are Margaret in Much Ado and Mistress Page in Merry Wives; in 2 Henry 6 Duke Humphrey addresses his wife, Eleanor, as Nell three times in one scene. Katherine of Aragon is called Kate on one occasion in Henry 8; Desdemona is reduced to Desdemon in Othello. But Kate Minola diVers from other dramatic diminutives in being bombarded by her abbreviation (Petruchio uses it eleven times in his Wrst seven lines)2 so that we come to think of it and use it as her ‘real’ name. Following Petruchio’s lead, critics rarely refer to her as Katherine: the play’s acoustic experience is of ‘Kate’ (58 times) rather than ‘Katherine’ (19 times) and it is Petruchio who is responsible for this (all but three of the ‘Kate’ usages are his). None the less, Katherine never relinquishes her full form: ‘Katherine’ re-emerges and coexists with ‘Kate’. It is possible to argue3 that the two names represent two diVerent personalities and are used to cue diVerent behaviours (for example, public/private; submissive/ shrewish; wife-by-rote/independent) but that is not my concern here. I am interested not in what the names indicate or the character(s) they designate but in the character they conceal; for the more names a character has, the more unknowable her identity becomes. Kate is not anonymous; but she enters the realm of anonymity. Let me explain the diVerence between the two terms. The noun ‘anonymity’ Wrst entered the English language in the 1820s, used of an author or his writings. Its meaning there is etymologically literal: the absence of a name. The adjectival form ‘anonymous’ had been in use for over two centuries; it Wrst appears, according to the OED, in Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s Natural History (1601, although the OED quotes from the edition of 1634 ), followed shortly by Samuel Harsnett’s Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostors
The Diminutive Name: Kate
(1603), both works known to Shakespeare. Like the later noun, the adjective is used in its literal sense: ‘Anonymos, Wnding no name to be called by, got therupon the name Anonymos’ (OED a. 1) and three devils in Harsnett are ‘Killico, Hob and a third anonymos’ (OED a. 1b). Emma Smith has discovered three examples which predate the OED citations. In the First Part of the Catalogue of English Printed Books (1595; STC 17669) Andrew Maunsell refers to ‘Books which are without Authors names called Anonymi’ (Letter ‘To the Worshipfull Master, Wardens and Assistants’). In John Bodenham’s England’s Helicon (1600; STC 3191) one poem is attributed to ‘Anonimus’ (R3r), others to ‘Ignoto’. And in A Poetical Rhapsody (1602, STC 6373) poems are attributed to ‘Anomos’ (A4r), ‘Ignoto’, and ‘Incerto’.4 Note that ‘anonymous’ functions in all these instances as a name; reference is not problematized. In texts, in footnotes, and in bibliographies (this book is no exception), ‘anon.’ is a nameable source (cf. Natanson, Anonymity 22); it is not unknowable. Anonymity, on the other hand, is. The bus driver, the shop assistant, the postal clerk with whom we conduct our daily lives are named; but to us they are anonymous, writes Maurice Natanson, just as we, despite being named selves, are anonymous to them (Anonymity 24). Not to know, not to be known: this is the realm of anonymity. I want to take Natanson’s argument one stage further. If anonymity resides in what is hidden behind the name, it also resides in what is hidden behind multiple names. If characterization and personality (in Wction and in life) are a set of actions or attitudes attached to a proper name (Docherty 46), it follows that multiple names destabilize any notion of continuous uniWed identity. At the intersection of dual or plural names is an identity gap, and in the identity gap between diVerent names, we Wnd anonymity. It is in this sense that I invoke Katherine’s anonymity. In her study of unnamed biblical characters Adele Reinhartz observes that anonymity forces us to focus ‘not on what is present within the text but on what is absent from it’ (188).5 Consequently anonymity calls attention to other gaps in the text: in the case of The
The Diminutive Name: Kate
Taming of the Shrew, the lack of soliloquies, motivation, a conclusion to the Christopher Sly induction, and the absence of a Wnal ‘exit’ stage direction for Katherine with Petruchio.6 This, then, is a chapter about lacunae: ontological, textual, theatrical. It is about the gap between Kate and Katherine, between Sly the beggar and Sly the lord; it is about the gap between the deWnite and indeWnite article— the taming of the shrew (an individual), the taming of a shrew (a generic role); and it is about the gap between the theatrical and the real. And where there are gaps there are thresholds, so this is also a chapter about liminality, confusion, and blurred boundaries—in text, life, and theatre. But let’s begin with the diminutive.
Kate On marriage a woman surrenders her name—like her honour, her property, her identity—to her husband, as Peter Stallybrass points out in relation to the alternative readings for Othello, 3.3.386: ‘ ‘‘Her name . . . is now begrim’d’’, [and] ‘‘My name is now begrim’d,’’ make equal sense. Desdemona’s ‘‘name,’’ like her handkerchief is Othello’s’ (137). Petruchio (like the later Hotspur and Henry 5) determines his wife’s sense of identity, not merely in his (conventional) imposition of a surname but in his idiosyncratic manipulation of the Wrst name ‘Katherine’.7 Katherine Minola is referred to by all in the play, including herself, as Katherine.8 On Wrst meeting her, Petruchio, without hesitation, uses the abbreviated form ‘Kate’: ‘Good morrow, Kate, for that’s your name, I hear’ (2.1.182). What weight does a diminutive have in early modern England? In 3 Henry 6 Edward 4 calls his wife and son ‘Bess’ and ‘Ned’, from which Howard and Rackin conclude that ‘Edward seems devoted solely to his domestic pleasures’ (99). ‘Kate’ may be domestic (Henry 8 addresses his Katherine aVectionately as ‘Kate’ in Henry 8, as does Dumaine in Love’s Labour’s Lost; on the contexts in which ‘Kate’ occurs in The Shrew see below)
The Diminutive Name: Kate
but William Gouge views diminutives not as domestic (what Oscar Wilde would later call ‘a notorious domesticity’9) but as downmarket: ‘servants are usually so-called’ (T6r, p. 283). Boose shares Gouge’s interpretation of diminutives, viewing ‘Kate’ in The Shrew as ‘an instant demotion’ from ‘the aristocratic ‘‘Katherine’’ by which she deWnes herself to the distinctly common ‘‘Kate’’ ’ (217).10 Certainly, Katherine seems to view her diminutive as a class insult, returning it with interest: she calls Petruchio a ‘moveable’ (someone who is upwardly mobile) and a ‘swain’ (country bumpkin). Soon after, she uses Gouge’s ‘unseemly’ socially inferior contraction ‘Jack’ as a common noun to describe Petruchio, protesting about her father’s attempts to wed her to a ‘a madcap ruYan and a swearing Jack’, and she is quick to correct Petruchio’s use of the diminutive, rejecting its socially insulting connotation, its attempt to diminish her, and its imposition of an alien identity: Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing: They call me Katherine that do talk of me. (2.1.183–4)
Petruchio ignores this hint, calling her Kate Wfty-eight times throughout the action of the play. Henry 5 follows Petruchio’s example when courting Katherine of France. In Holinshed’s Chronicles Katherine is identiWed by her full name throughout (usually in the form ‘the ladie Katharine’11) but in the course of the wooing episode (5.2.99–374) Henry calls her Kate thirty-one times, while addressing her as Katherine on only six occasions. There is no reference to Lady Percy’s full name in 1 Henry 4 where she is called Kate throughout; but since Kate is an abbreviated form of Katherine, it is logical to assume that ‘Kate’ is Hotspur’s familiar way of addressing his Katherine. (The name later became a stand-alone form, but had not yet done so.12) Hotspur addresses his wife by name eleven times in their two brief encounters. Katherine Percy is doubly rechristened, by dramatist as well as husband. The historical Lady Percy was called Elizabeth; Holinshed calls her Elinor (‘Elianor’), as does Hall (‘Elinor’). Shakespeare
The Diminutive Name: Kate
renames her Kate. ‘I don’t for a moment think there’s any particular signiWcance in Kate,’ writes Northrop Frye (72). Pace Frye, I think that this coincidence in The Shrew, 1 Henry 4, and Henry 5 is a deliberate attempt by the males to re-create the Katherines as Kates: in other words, to tame them by (re)naming them.13 Just as Shakespeare can rename a character he is manipulating (Elizabeth/Elinor Percy), so Petruchio can rename a character he wishes to control. In this The Taming of the Shrew shows its indebtedness to the hierarchical theology of Creation (traditional to shrewtaming literature, yet generally considered absent from Shakespeare’s version): ‘So the Lord God formed of the earth every beast of the Weld, and every foule of the heaven; and brought them unto the man to see how he would call them: for howsoever the man named the living creature, so was the name thereof’ (Genesis 2: 19–20). Petruchio’s wife is, like his ox and ass, part of his household stuV—a creature to name as he pleases, as Katherine herself eventually capitulates when she sanctions his right to rename more than the sun and the moon: ‘What you will have it nam’d, even that it is’ (4.5.21). In The Taming of the Shrew nomenclature and identity are intertwined from the outset with the verbal blunder of Sly’s ancestral claim (‘we came in with Richard Conqueror’; Induction 1.4–5) and the Lord’s theatrical reminiscence of Soto, ‘a farmer’s elder son’, in which the Lord tells the actor ‘I have forgot your name; but sure that part j Was aptly Wtted and naturally perform’d’ (Ind. 1.84; 86–7). In every act the relationship between the name and the thing itself is tested: Call you me daughter?
[Thou] feed’st me with the very name of meat. (4.3.32) [T]his is Xat knavery, to take upon you another man’s name.
In a crucial exchange in Act 5, Vincentio confronts Tranio (in Lucentio’s attire), while Baptista tries to smooth over the fracas: b a p t i s t a You mistake, sir, you mistake, sir. Pray what do you think is his name?
The Diminutive Name: Kate
vincentio His name! as if I knew not his name! I have brought him up ever since he was three years old, and his name is Tranio. (5.1.79–83)
Vincentio clings to the belief that identity and onomastics are Wxed: to be called Tranio must mean to be Tranio.15 The Lord, on the other hand, privileges personality over nomenclature: Soto’s Wctional behaviour is more important than his Wctional name. Petruchio complicates the issue of naming. He begins by insisting on the correlation between name and identity, replacing the old Katherine–shrew equation (‘Katherine the curst’; 1.2.128) with a new formation: ‘a Kate j Conformable as other household Kates’ (2.1.278). In adopting this abbreviation Petruchio may have taken his cue from Baptista’s question: ‘shall I send my daughter Kate to you?’ (2.1.167), the only time Baptista refers to Katherine by the abbreviated form in the course of the play. Bianca once addresses her sister as Kate (‘I prithee, sister Kate, untie my hands’; 2.1.21) and Hortensio calls her ‘Mistress Kate’ in a compassionate moment at 4.3.49. These are the only non-Petruchian uses of Kate in the play, and all seem to relate to moments of domestic sympathy (or, in the case of Bianca’s plea, attempted domestic sympathy). The personal associations of two of these references (‘daughter Kate’, ‘sister Kate’) are worthy of note, for one of Petruchio’s tactics is to inWltrate the Minola family by using terms normally reserved for intimates: he prematurely addresses Katherine as Kate, just as he calls Baptista ‘father’ (2.1.130). Although this latter title is a generic mode of address to older men (compare the greetings to Vincentio in 4.5.45, 60–1), Petruchio’s use jars with the etiquette adopted by others in the scene (2.1.39–40, 46, 74)—including Petruchio himself, who begins formally with ‘Signior Baptista’ (2.1.114) but progresses speedily to ‘father’. (In the 1988 production of the play at Stratford, Ontario, directed by Richard Monette, Colm Feore pronounced ‘father’ with a self-conscious silkiness, accompanied by a slightly embarrassed laugh.16) As in the later meeting with Vincentio, Petruchio uses familiar terms before he is entitled to such closeness. Conveniently, on both occasions marriage enables him to validate
The Diminutive Name: Kate
the title. Petruchio understands the psychological verity that to articulate something is halfway to creating it.17 Not content with the simple act of renaming, Petruchio bombards Katherine with her new name: You lie, in faith, for you are call’d plain Kate, And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst; But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom, Kate of Kate-Hall, my super-dainty Kate, For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate, Take this of me, Kate of my consolation. (2.1.185–90)
Christopher Sly’s new identity is similarly heralded and reinforced by a new name, the repetition of which is instrumental in convincing him of his transformation. In the opening lines of the Induction, Scene 2, the new style of address is stressed by three of the Lord’s servingmen: f i r s t s e r v i n g m a n Will’t please your lordship drink a cup of sack? s e c o n d s e r v i n g m a n Will’t please your honor taste of these conserves? third s e r v i n gm a n What raiment will your honor wear to-day? (Induction 2.2–4; emphasis added)
Sly, like Katherine, initially clings to his old name: ‘I am Christophero Sly, call not me honor nor lordship’ (Induction 2.5–6). Gradually he accepts his new identity, in which he acquires not just an ability to speak blank verse but an interest in the way to address a wife: sly What must I call her? lord Madam. sly Al’ce madam, or Joan madam? lord Madam, and nothing else, so lords call ladies. (Induction 2.108–11)18
As the Lord had earlier recognized when instructing his servants in role-playing, nomenclature is crucial to the successful transformation of identity. Not only is Sly to be called ‘your honor’ and ‘your lordship’, but Bartholomew the page is to be addressed as ‘madam’, and it is the escapade’s change of names which the Lord anticipates
The Diminutive Name: Kate
with most relish: ‘I long to hear him call the drunkard husband’ (Induction 1.133). The Taming of a Shrew expounds the new-name tactic more explicitly when the Lord urges ‘And see you call him Lord, at everie word’ (A2v). However, having insisted on the change to Kate, Petruchio capitulates in the Wnal scene, when he publicly mixes the two styles of address. The banter begins with a barbed comment from the widow which piques Katherine. Petruchio encourages her to retaliate: ‘To her, Kate! . . . A hundred marks, my Kate does put her down’ (5.2.33, 35). Petruchio is here urging in Kate the behaviour he had tried to subdue in Katherine, whose spirited temperament is still recognizable. Petruchio’s two apostrophic Katherines come ninety lines later with the two injunctions to demonstrate uxorial subjugation—the behaviour, apparently (paradoxically) of the ‘Kate’ persona: Katherine, that cap of yours becomes you not, OV with that bable, throw it under-foot. (5.2.121–2) Katherine, I charge thee tell these headstrong women What duty they do owe their lords and husbands. (5.2.130–1)
Kate and Katherine here compete or coexist, a point cued in the sun/moon debate in 4.5, where ‘Kate’ agrees to subservience in a statement which slyly reasserts her version of her name: What you will have it nam’d, even that it is, And so it shall be so for Katherine. (4.5.21–2)
According to the New Critical orthodoxy of the 1950s–1970s, the woman who, in 4.3, demanded ‘leave to speak’, who wanted to be ‘free j Even to the uttermost . . . in words’ (73, 79–80), realizes that Kate can achieve more in this respect than Katherine can. As Northrop Frye pointed out long ago, at the end of the play we see Katherine doing what she did at the start of the play—lecturing Bianca—only this time she has learned how to do it with male approval and hence societal sanction. What Frye observes approvingly, feminist critics note unhappily. Linda Bamber writes: ‘Kate’s compromise is distressing’ (35); Coppe´lia
The Diminutive Name: Kate
Kahn laments that ‘Kate . . . is trapped in her own cleverness. Her only way of maintaining her inner freedom is by outwardly denying it, a psychologically perilous position’ (113). (We might note, en passant, that both these critics—and many others who complain about Katherine’s position—deny the character her most basic request—a full name.) I agree that a Pyrrhic victory is hardly likely to satisfy today’s audiences, male or female, for what proWt it a woman if she gain the world (or food, clothing, sleep, which in the early modern period counted for as much) but lose her soul (or its secular, theatrical equivalents: language, individuality)? If she gain a voice but not her voice? The issue is made opaque by Katherine’s phrasing in 2.1 when she corrects Petruchio’s renaming of her: ‘They call me Katherine that do talk of me’ (2.1.184; my emphasis). Compare this with Christopher Sly’s phrasing when, in parallel circumstances, he corrects the servingmen who address him unfamiliarly: ‘I am Christophero Sly’ (Induction 2.5; my emphasis). There is a world of diVerence between the two: Sly is the authority behind his own named existence, Katherine is not.19 In Shakespeare, as in early modern literature generally, to ‘call’ is an act of agency. Here is Venus: ‘And trembling in her passion, calls it balm’ (27), ‘And calls it heavenly moisture’ (64). Heather Dubrow notes that Venus is trying to change things through language, ‘renaming things’ (22). And to ‘call oneself ’ is an act of selfdetermination: Francis the Wrst of France did much dislike that Charles the v. should call himself King of Naples and Sicily. ( John Selden, Titles of Honour, E4r) An Impostour who durst call himself Duke of York. (Giovanni Francesco Bioni, An History of the Civil Wars of England between the two houses of Lancaster and York, Dd2r) How rich were he j Could call himself lord of such a jewell. The Fair Maid of the West, 5.1, K2v) A Gentleman of this City, j And calls himself Petruchio. Chances, 2.2, E2r)
The Diminutive Name: Kate
One that did call himself Alphonso j Was cast upon my Coast, as is reported. (Congreve, The Mourning Bride, 4.1, G2r)20
‘They call me Katherine’: ‘Katherine’ may be textually anterior to ‘Kate’ but it (she?) is not ontologically primary. This unsettles any neat binary one might wish to propose between the ‘original’ or ‘true’ personality of a Katherine and the imposed personality of a Kate. The diminutive may be an externally imposed name (and identity) but it is not clear that ‘Katherine’ brings us any closer to the character.
Interpreting Identity If names in Wction provide continuity and unity of character (‘elements of personality which are consistently attributed to the occurrence of the proper name’; Docherty 46), Katherine’s multiple nominations serve to make her identity frangible, malleable, and relative. As Coppe´lia Kahn points out (108), the description of Katherine’s behaviour in her Wrst scene—she ‘began to scold, and raise up such a storm j That mortal ears might hardly endure the din’ (1.1.172–3)—does not Wt the character we saw who speaks only twelve lines. Directors are usually driven to provide violent stage business to justify the description. But the point may be that there are labels (verba) and personalities (rei) and the two are not always in accord. Or that roles are relative: in comparison with Bianca’s ‘modest’ and ‘mild’ four lines Katherine’s opinionated twelve lines must seem ‘shrewish’.21 In Act 2 Katherine is a ‘lamb, a dove, a fool’, but only in comparison with Petruchio (‘to him’; 3.2.157) who becomes ‘more shrew than she’ (4.1.81). By the end of the play we have no idea who she ‘is’ (inasmuch as it is possible to talk about the identity of a character whose existence is so deeply, multiply Wctionalized: an actor in a play acting in a play, left in the world of Wction). This familiar critical conundrum is usually expressed in the form of an interrogative binary: is Katherine tamed (and her Wnal speech genuinely submissive) or triumphant (and her Wnal speech
The Diminutive Name: Kate
qualiWed by exaggeration or irony)? But this question of gender is embedded in questions of theatre (role-playing being common to both); the Induction scenes and subsequent interruption(s)22 of Christopher Sly are here crucial in that they underline the play’s status as Wction. The play’s self-reXexive theatricality was a staple of the New Criticism of the mid- to late twentieth century23 but it received its most insightful expression in two major works of feminist criticism—the Wrst books by Juliet Dusinberre and Coppe´lia Kahn, in 1975 and 1981 respectively. The following quotations concentrate on doubleness, on detachment, on disguise. Here is Dusinberre talking about Bianca’s ability to turn on tears as required (a skill of which Kate accuses her at 1.1.78–9) and the boy player’s use of an onion in a handkerchief when playing a stereotyped woman’s part: The boy feigns the woman’s sorrow, and the woman’s sorrow is feigned . . . Disguise makes explicit in women what one writer describes as ‘an ambiguity which corresponded to an ambiguity in the self, divided between surveyor and surveyed’ . . . The woman observes her disguised self. But when the woman is played by a boy, she watches two people, herself disguised and the boy who plays her. (Dusinberre 248)
Kahn’s argument is diVerent but it also invokes theatrical layering. She argues that we watch not the taming of a (or the) shrew, but an expose´ of the way society conditions men to believe that women need taming: ‘this play satirizes not woman herself in the person of the shrew, but the male urge to control woman’ (104). These theatrical observations, made in the service of other arguments, slipped from view in the high feminism of the 1980s which had other issues to foreground. In the introduction to her Cambridge edition of the play (1984), Ann Thompson oVered a political protest: ‘The real problem lies outside the play in the fact that the subjection of women to men, although patently unfair and unjustiWable, is still virtually universal. It is the world which oVends us, not Shakespeare’ (41). Four years later Shirley Nelson Garner voiced a similar social observation: ‘The play seems written to
The Diminutive Name: Kate
please a misogynist audience, especially men who are gratiWed by sexually sadistic pleasures. Since I am outside the community for whom the joke is made and do not share its implicit values, I do not participate in its humor’ (106). But with feminist critical battles no longer requiring such urgent articulation recent criticism has expanded the Weld of enquiry. Emily Detmer uses the concept of Stockholm syndrome, in which captives fall in love with their captor, to illuminate the complex psychology of Katherine’s capitulation. In Stockholm syndrome ‘the victim works to see the world from the abuser’s perspective so that she will know what will keep the abuser happy’; in The Shrew, ‘Kate must bond with her abuser in order to survive’ (287). Natasha Korda situates the play in the nascent commodity culture of the 1580s and 1590s in which the housewife becomes consumer rather than producer, and a producer of cates (delicacies) at that: the shrew, Kate, indulges in excess of language and must be tamed to indulge in excess of things (114).24 Rather than oppose language and things, Lena Orlin links them: she argues that both function as forms of exchange in the play (167, 183–5). Lynda Boose and Jean Howard both analyse the agricultural problems of land enclosure, a problem particularly acute in Warwickshire (whence Christopher Sly, like his creator, hails) to present the play as a ‘middle- and lower-class male viewer’s fused fantasies of erotic reward, Wnancial success and upward social mobility’, fantasies which redound on Kate who ‘resists submission in the arena of gender’ only to be ‘punished by degradation in the arena of class’ (Boose 215, 219). For the viewer of the cognate text, The Taming of a Shrew (in which Sly returns at the conclusion), class and gender are even more intertwined, as Howard observes, for Sly’s conWdent assertion that he ‘know[s] now how to tame a shrew’ reminds us that ‘there is always something lower than a beggar—a beggar’s wife’ (Howard in Greenblatt (ed.), Norton 139). Several recent productions have illustrated the current critical interest in class, foregrounding not shrew-taming but the ways in which people in positions of power misuse that power (Dolan (ed.), Shrew 24;
The Diminutive Name: Kate
Schafer 37–46). This topic has received sustained investigation in Frances Dolan’s work on domestic violence where ‘Katherine’s violence towards characters other than Petruchio is . . . not invariably depicted as something she must not learn to do’ (‘Household’ 209). Dolan concludes: ‘it is too easy to draw sharp lines between innocent victims and evil perpetrators, and to side with the former. Inhabitants of a culture of violence participate in and perpetuate it in ways that blur those distinctions . . . The double position of the wife in the early modern culture of domestic violence troubles the satisfying prospect of resistance’ (ibid. 222). It is Dolan’s notion of blurred distinctions and double positions which I want to explore now. My indirect stimulus is Dusinberre’s haunting extended metaphors of ambiguity, disguise, and selfsurvey, the doubleness of a woman observing herself play her role as a woman.25 But my immediate prompt is a production of the play by the Oxford Shakespeare Company in the summer of 2006. In this open-air production the onstage theatre company was ‘a man down’ (at moments of personnel pressure, sotto voce ad libs, and scripted extra-textual explanations occurred). Consequently Sly was pressed into service in situations of increasing theatrical desperation (for the onstage company) and theatrical challenge (for the real actor): he played Baptista, Grumio, the tailor, the pedant, Vincentio, the jailer, and the widow. This doubling (if that is le mot juste) led to a scene in which Sly had to play four roles simultaneously (5.1): the pedant-impersonatingVincentio confronted by the real Vincentio, interrupted by Baptista, and threatened with incarceration by the jailer. The scene’s increasing theatrical challenges led to a climax of thespian exasperation when Sly-as-Baptista instructs Sly-as-jailer to arrest Sly-aspedant and carry himself oV to prison; Sly-as-Sly momentarily baulked at the impossibility of the request. The OSC had primed us well for this scene: in watching Sly perform throughout, in focusing on the performance(s) we were watching anonymity, the roles, the gap between multiple names.
The Diminutive Name: Kate
Playing Roles and Performing Sincerity Before I turn to 5.1 (and the way it prepares us for 5.2), I want to chronicle the production’s self-reXexive awareness of itself as performance and Sly’s initiation into and journey through the world of theatre. Although he warmed to the unfamiliar and initially alarming experience of acting, he slipped in and out of his role as Sly. Sly-as-Baptista was visibly taken aback by (scared of ?) the virago Katherine when she barked her Wrst lines in his face, ‘I pray you, sir, is it your will j To make a stale of me amongst these mates?’ (1.1.57– 8). Her imperative ‘Father, be quiet’ at 3.2.217 when Baptista has said nothing had Sly checking his script in bewilderment lest he have missed a line, an action he repeated in diVerent circumstances as Sly/Vincentio in 4.5: here, when Petruchio greeted Vincentio as ‘gentle mistress’, Sly scanned his text to correct what he believed to be his misunderstanding of the plot. Instinctive real-life honesty overtook Sly’s theatrical eVort in 4.2 when Tranio asked him (Slyas-pedant) ‘Know you one Vincentio?’. ‘I know him not’, Sly replied, to the company’s on-stage alarm before quickly correcting his blunder:‘BUT—I have heard of him’ (4.2.96–7).26 The stress on the contrasting conjunction and the auxiliary verb turned Shakespeare’s text into an improvised rescue line (a rescue of which Sly was visibly proud). As the tailor in 4.3, Sly had three attempts at his opening line—‘Here is the cap your worship did bespeak’ (4.3.63)—before Wnding an interpretation and accent (and thus, a characterization?) which met the company’s approval. The importance of onomastics to identity was underlined throughout this production in stage business with names. Sly initially hesitated over the unfamiliar names in his script: ‘If you [pause], Hortensio j Or, Signior [See-nee-or] Gremio’ (1.1.95–6). Two lines into his Wrst speech as Baptista, Sly tells the suitors of his resolve not to marry his ‘youngest daughter’ before the ‘elder’. Accompanied by two actresses he had no means of knowing which was which; the actresses tried to assist (a small squeak at
The Diminutive Name: Kate
‘youngest’, a cough at ‘elder’) but the information did not prevent Sly initially moving towards Bianca on his following line ‘If either of you both love Katherina’ (1.1.50–2). Lucentio-as-Cambio persistently responded to his own name when it was addressed to Tranio-asLucentio or voiced by others, even to the point of bounding in from oVstage for an apparently missed cue: pet r uc hi o What is his name? vi n ce n t io Lucentio, gentle sir. (4.5.58) l u c e n t i o [entering in haste]: Yes?
When Baptista addressed Tranio-as-Lucentio at 2.1.102—‘Lucentio is your name?’—he was unable to get beyond the Wrst word. Lucentio’s instinctive response cut the sentence short and Tranio had to correct and complete it: ‘ . . . is MY name’. Act 3, Scene 2 began with Lucentio running forward in response to Baptista’s apostrophe ‘Signior Lucentio, this is the ’pointed day’ (3.2.1) to be hastily replaced by Tranio; the scene concluded in like manner with Lucentio overeagerly responding to Baptista’s instruction that ‘Lucentio . . . shall supply the bridegroom’s place’ (3.2.249). Although Lucentio initially admonishes Biondello (a servant cut in the OSC production) to take care in aligning real names with disguised identity (‘not a jot of Tranio in your mouth, j Tranio is chang’d into Lucentio’; 1.1.236) and although Tranio had reinforced this instruction (‘When I am alone, why, then I am Tranio; j But in all places else your master, Lucentio’; 1.1.243–4)27 the production illustrated that one cannot simply doV one’s name (a predicament encountered by Romeo and Juliet in Ch. 2). Lucentio’s onomastic instincts applied logically in reverse: he failed to respond to Cambio. In 4.4 Tranio (using Biondello’s line) had to call ‘Cambio’ several times before Lucentio realized the summons was for him. But this scene ends with Lucentio’s Wrst reference to himself as Cambio: ‘It shall go hard if Cambio go without her’ (4.4.108). At the point when Lucentio is about to wed Bianca, he starts to think of himself as Cambio.28 He is a slower
The Diminutive Name: Kate
student than Sly but, like the tinker, he Wnds that language, and others’ role-playing, starts to change his sense of who he is. In this production names, like language, had a tendency to unslip from their mooring or attach to another. Sly was charmed by the apheretic discovery of his surname in ‘slide’—‘Let the world Sly-de’ (Induction 1.5–6). He repeated the line (where Shakespeare’s text gives us ‘let the world slip’) at Induction 2.143. Petruchio exploited the onomatopoeic potential of ‘roahhr’ and ‘neeighing’ (1.2.200, 206). Lucentio relished the pun in idly/love-inidleness at 1.1.150–1, took oVence at Hortensio’s ‘pedascule’ (3.1.50), and queried ‘pithy’ (‘full of pith’, explained Hortensio) at 3.1.68—a query motivated by Hortensio’s s/th lisp throughout. Hortensio was enthusiastic about language’s double entendres. At ‘Madam, before you touch [my] instrument’ (3.1.64)29 he hesitated before the noun then trembled as he voiced it. Gremio, a caricature, performed enthusiastic if arthritic hip movements on phrases such as ‘He that runs fastest gets the ring’ (1.1.140) and ‘my deeds shall prove’ (1.2.176), the latter prompting Hortensio’s rebuke (and an interpretation of ‘vent’ unknown to the OED), ‘Gremio, ’tis now no time to vent our love’ (1.2.178). Names and words assumed lives of their own, a shrewish existence, making themselves heard uncontrollably30—words within words inside a play within a play. In fact, the play is not just one play-within-a-play but a series. When Baptista and his daughters enter, Lucentio expresses surprise: ‘What company is this?’. Tranio suggests, improbably, that it is ‘some show to welcome us to town’ (1.1.46, 47) and the two stand aside to watch the performance of the Minolas. In 1.2 Hortensio, Grumio, and Petruchio ‘stand by awhile’ (142) to watch Gremio and Cambio. Hijacking the pedant in Act 4, Tranio tells him ‘In all these circumstances I’ll instruct you; j Go with me to clothe you as becomes you’ (4.2.120–1), a line one imagines being spoken regularly oVstage in the South Bank theatres; in 4.4 the pedant practises his role as Vincentio (2–5). In 5.1 when the two Vincentios
The Diminutive Name: Kate
come to blows Petruchio and Katherine ‘stand aside and see the end of this controversy’ (5.1.61–2).31 The text aVords many more opportunities for inset dramas. In the 1988 Stratford, Ontario production, for example, Hortensio sat down on his suitcase in 4.5, a happy spectator of the trick on Vincentio (‘’A will make the man mad to make a woman of him’; 4.5.36). In the RSC production of 1995–6 (directed by Gale Edwards) Petruchio’s speech in 1.2 (‘Think you a little din can daunt mine ears?’; 199) was delivered as a muchrehearsed audition speech which Grumio watched, and occasionally mimed (wearily familiar with all the accompanying gestures). Supposes is similarly attentive to over-hearings and over-observings, as well as to characters’ performance. Boasting of his success in beguiling the travelling Sicilian, Dulippo stresses his theatrical gestures, facial expressions, pauses, and sighs: ‘I would you had heard mee, and seene the gestures that I enforced to make him beleeve this’ (C6v); ‘I feigning a countenance as thogh I were somewhat pensive and carefull for him, paused a while, and after with a great sigh said . . . ’ (C7r). The Oxford Stage Company seized every opportunity to underline The Shrew’s Wctionality. The onstage company applauded the nervous Sly/Baptista’s Wrst speech in 1.1. In 1.2 Petruchio began his Wrst speech twice, irritated by Sly’s edge-of-stage conversation with the page and servingman. The Induction’s third servingman (here a servingwoman), initially selfconscious and wooden in her lines, grew into her role to the evident unease of her fellows: they felt her description of ‘Daphne roaming through a thorny wood’ (Induction 2.57) overdone and had to restrain her. An oversalivated Hortensio speaking heavily alliterated lines (4.2.29–31) came out of character to apologize for splashing Tranio/Lucentio. In the same scene Sly was accused of showing oV when delivering the pedant’s fulsome thanks (4.2.113–14). Acting the role of Grumio, Sly followed Hortensio’s proposal that Petruchio woo Kate with delight; the plot was new to him, and in watching his reactions we watched ourselves.
The Diminutive Name: Kate
With this metatheatrical background, Sly entered his key scene of multiple identities in 5.1. The scene began with Sly unable to synchronize his knocking at Baptista’s door with the oVstage sound eVects despite several attempts and subsequent coaching from Tranio. (The coaching soon moved onstage for an extradiegetical acting lesson.) The scene found its climax in Vincentio’s response to Tranio’s summoning of an oYcer. The oYcer is instructed ‘Carry this mad knave to the jail. Father Baptista, I charge you see that he be forthcoming’ to which Vincentio objects ‘Carry me to the jail?’ (5.1.92–4). He objects because he is the innocent party. Sly-as-Vincentio, however, protested not about his character’s innocence but about the impossibility of the stage business for him as Sly. It was not judicial outrage but theatrical incredulity which lay behind his wail, ‘Carry me to the jail?’ But he rose to the challenge, twisting his own arm up behind his back and hitting himself on the head with his truncheon as he frogmarched himself away. Sly’s understanding of, and theatrical grasp of, the complexities of this scene as he realized that he had consecutive speeches as diVerent characters (speeches, moreover, which required a change of location from up a stepladder, peering over a screen as ‘out of the window’ (TLN 2397) back down to ground level and therefore always involved a pause in dialogue while we watched the actor manoeuvring role and space) meant that the company bravely eschewed this scene’s potential for classic knockabout farce. Farce is dependent on speed, on quick-Wre contradictions, on moving the action so quickly that the audience and onstage characters have no time to think. But here we had ample time to think. The scene was helplessly funny,32 as it invariably is in performance, but for unusually diVerent reasons. In this scene of plural names for one character—Baptista, two Vincentios, the jailer—we watched not the characters Sly was acting but Sly acting the characters. In Paul de Man’s terms, we watched the dancer not the dance; in the terms of this essay we watched the gap, we watched absence. Multiply nameable but completely unknowable, Sly’s thespian dilemma foregrounded the
The Diminutive Name: Kate
world of impersonation, the world of role-play, the world of anonymity. Natanson’s discussion of anonymity links the unknowable to role-play. Our interaction with the named but unknowable bus conductor or postal clerk is interaction with a role not a person. We do not know the person but the type. Furthermore, any concept we may have of the person is derived from our concept of the role. In enunciating the phrase, or thinking of the person, ‘postal clerk’, we necessarily imagine a deWnition of the job (this is what Natanson calls the ‘course-of-action’ type). From this construct we then construct the ‘person who performs this job’ (this is the ‘personal ideal’ type). The persons of the bus conductor or bank clerk or post oYce worker are constructs—and distanced, derivative constructs at that, derived from the contexts we have imagined as appertaining to their roles. Anonymity, then, occurs not just because or when these named characters function anonymously in our world but because or when they function as functions. Anonymity means seeing people not as agents but as typiWed roles (Natanson, Anonymity 37). The dramatis personae of Gascoigne’s Supposes makes this point clearly, linking the characters to functions through the deWnite article: ‘Balia, the nurse. j Polynesta, the yong woman. j Cleander, the doctor’ (B2r). In an irreverent variant of Brecht (irreverent because VerfremdungseVekt is never comic let alone farcical), the OSC staging of 5.1 exposed Sly’s life as a series of roles: from beggar/tinker to Lord to father-ofdaughters, servant, pedant, tailor, father-of-son, and jailer. And because Sly stands in for us (the spectator involved in the play) 5.1 exposes our life as a series of roles. Amanda Bailey makes a similar point in a diVerent context in a discussion of service in the play (a play which, she points out, contains ‘more sets of masters and servants than any other dramatic text’; 91). Service was not a permanent condition but ‘a developmental phase’ (111); servant was a mobile and relative identity like shrew. (As Frances Dolan observes (Dangerous Familiars 63–4) servants and masters exist in a
The Diminutive Name: Kate
symbiotic relationship: Prospero depends on Caliban for his identity as master, just as Caliban is dependent on Prospero.) Consequently Bailey’s investigation of service emphasizes ‘positions and modalities rather than . . . stable representations or Wxed identities’ (119). Her phrasing here provides an apt summary of the OSC’s Act 5, Scene 1. This scene contains more references to name and identity than does any other scene in the play. After 100 lines, the dialogue about name culminates in a caveat, a challenge, a capitulation, and a (misplaced) declaration of conWdence. Gremio cautions Baptista: ‘Take heed, Signior Baptista, lest you be cony-catch’d in this business. I dare swear this is the right Vincentio’ (5.1.98– 100). By ‘this’ he presumably means the real Vincentio. If Gremio correctly realigns identity and name as he seems on the point of doing, the disguise plot is in danger of being unravelled. This danger prompts the pedant-Vincentio’s rearguard challenge, ‘Swear if thou dar’st’ (100), an attempt to get the disguise plot back on track.33 His challenge is successful; Gremio crumbles: ‘Nay, I dare not swear it’ (102). This capitulation gives Tranio an opportunity to reinforce the advantage just gained by the pedant—‘Then thou wert best say that I am not Lucentio’ (which boldly reminds the audience that he is not even as he asserts that he is)—to which Gremio replies conWdently ‘Yes, I know thee to be Signior Lucentio’ (OSC emphasis; 103–5). The emphasis here was dismissive, impatient, weary: it declared ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident’. Shakespeare’s dialogue and structure here are those of a master plotter, with characters boldly playing with the boundaries of reality. Casting Sly quadruply in this scene raised the theatrical and ontological stakes. Almost every time a character addressed Sly (as Vincentio, the pedant-as-Vicentio, Baptista, or the jailer) or emphasized an assertion with a gesture towards one of these characters (‘this is the right Vincentio’), he gestured towards blank space. We bent our eye on vacancy. Not only was this unproblem-
The Diminutive Name: Kate
atic, it was the point: in theatre ‘this’ is what you say it is, even when ‘this’ is nothing. To focus on Sly’s roles and his negotiation of a situation’s changing demands was to focus on characters as functions not as mimetically real beings with interiority. This stress on function takes us back to Natanson’s view of anonymity: anonymity, we recall, is ‘human beings translated into their typiWed functions’ (Anonymity 44). And Natanson’s statement works in Taming of the Shrew on two planes: theatre and gender. The Oxford Shakespeare Company used the former to anticipate the latter. The sun/moon scene of 4.5 was but the Wrst of three sequential scenes (4.5, 5.1, 5.2) about theatre. Katherine’s ‘performance’ in 4.5 paved the way for Sly’s tour de force in 5.1 which paved the way for Katherine’s lengthy submission speech in 5.2.34 The sun/moon debate of 4.5 exploited all the usual performance markers of cognition, re-cognition, and exaggeration. In capitulating, Katherine even smiled for the Wrst time; she was playing with Petruchio and was deliberately overlapping theatre, identity, and language. Plays, like identity, are about roles; roles begin with language (‘I say it is the sun’); and language works by agreement (‘But sun it is not when you say it is not’). If language plays a role deWned by convention (agreement) or context (crib has diVerent meanings depending on whether you are playing cards, preparing for exams, or putting the baby to bed) so too does theatre: in Plautus’ Menaechmi the prologue says ‘All this is Epidamnus—as long as this play lasts, anyway. In another play it will be another place’ (trans. Watling 104). Gascoigne’s Supposes is also aware of this: below the dramatis personae we read ‘The comedie presented as it were in Ferrara’ (B2r, my emphasis). The OSC open-air performance made a point which Shakespeare’s canopied stage structure with its painted heavens would also have made: identity (of time, persons, location) in theatre is what you say it is.35 Debating the sun and moon beneath a London canopy painted with moons and stars, or in the open-air gardens of an Oxford college during a sunlit matinee
The Diminutive Name: Kate
or moonlit evening, reminds us of the social agreement which underlies all verbal identity. Things are what they are only because we agree to agree that that is what they are. (Katherine is aberrant in the play’s Wrst half not because she speaks but because she fails to agree with society’s deWnition of femininity: if she agreed with it, she would not speak.) As M. J. Kidnie observes, contrasting 5.1 with the scene preceding it, ‘the unravelling of the disguise plot depends on discerning names and matching them accurately to the things they are supposed to represent. The taming plot, by contrast, [is] brought to its resolution through exactly the opposite means—an agreement to call the sun anything Petruchio wills it to be’ (85). The presence of Sly in 4.5 as Vincentio removed any possibility of this being a scene of literal taming, coercion, or submission. It was clearly a scene of theatre, of Wction, of make-believe. Sly-Vincentio’s role as an audience or plaything for Petruchio and Katherine reminded us of the play’s raison d’eˆtre (and by extension that of the sun/moon debate) as a performance for Sly. And his temporary disorientation when addressed as a woman further prevented us from reading the scene and the play literally (as his namesake does in A Shrew).36 Sly was no more a woman than he was Vincentio (or, for that matter, Sly); he was no more a woman than the propertyhorse was a real horse. Kate and Petruchio entered this scene on hobby-horses (Kate riding side-saddle). Dismounting, Petruchio continued the Wction, entrusting his horse to an audience member, stroking its nose and mane, speaking tenderly to it. Kate simply dropped hers; having served its purpose as a Wctional horse, it was now merely a material prop. At the end of the scene, having entered Petruchio’s playworld, Kate leapt up on the horse which Petruchio had retrieved and sat astride behind him: a couple united, sharing a stance, ideological and equestrian. She had entered his world of (continuous) Wctional play. But Kate’s previous prop lay on the ground, a material reminder that sometimes a hobby-horse is just a hobby-horse.
The Diminutive Name: Kate
This sequence of scenes highlighting the ad hoc functions of people and props led us to Katherine’s long speech in 5.2. To ask if or when she was performing as Katherine and when as Kate was a redundant question. The point was: she was performing. No more than Sly can she be two people at once, in two places at once. She cannot be the actor and the acted upon, the triumpher and the tamed, the person who imprisons herself. The Oxford Shakespeare Company production played the speech neutrally—not devoted obedience, not irony, nor anything on the signifying scale inbetween. Consequently we watched the gap; we watched Kate’s unknowability. The name was irrelevant; she had slipped between the two, into the gap which is the space of anonymity. She was an actor (as are we all) saying her lines.37 Katherine’s speech was pre-echoed in the country-house scene of 4.3 when Petruchio instructs her to say thank you: ‘The poorest service is repaid with thanks, j And so shall mine before you touch the meat’ (4.3.45–6). Manners, reduced to their most basic function, are a performance for a reward. (Some psychologists argue that to teach toddlers ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is to teach them hypocrisy: they perform these codes without sincerity simply as a means to an end.) Katherine’s line ‘I thank you sir’ became a lengthy comic turn as she proved unable to say the words (‘I th- . . . I th- . . . I th- . . . ’). When she Wnally succeeded, she repeated the line to herself six times with a variety of emphases and intonations (‘I thank you sir; I thank you, sir’, etc.). Practice, repetition, rehearsal: the line may well have been sincere but what we watched was the performance of sincerity—a performance we saw again in 5.2.
Fictionality There was no unity of character at the end of this production of Taming of the Shrew because there was no character, only roles. (And, of course, Shakespeare writes only roles: it is actors who provide characters.38) To play a role is to relinquish or bracket
The Diminutive Name: Kate
personhood; and this bracketing, this anonymity, serves to draw attention to the interplay between the role and the performance (Natanson, Phenomenology, cited in Reinhartz 12). As a character, Katherine has a unique experience but we are only allowed to see her as a representative of the generic category called ‘shrew’. This is made clear in the title of her play, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ (not ‘The Taming of Katherine’). Nonetheless the deWnite article pinpoints her experience more individually than that of the 1594 Q where she is reduced to a type: a shrew. But my caveats here about titles miss the point: anonymity is not about the generic ‘commonality of human life but its Wctionality’ (Reinhartz 13). Theatre directors have long acknowledged and relished this aspect of the play. Trevor Nunn posed the following rhetorical question in the programme for his Stratford production in 1968: ‘When anybody is acting or posing, what do we accept and what reject?’ (quoted in Gay 99). (Supposes answers Nunn’s question by indicating in the margins the play’s many ‘supposes’, which it deWnes as an ‘imagination of one thing for another’; B2v.) In the OSC programme, director Chris Pickles wrote: ‘Isn’t life about pretending? Not necessarily literally pretending to be another person, but don’t we all get through life by partially hiding who we really are and what we really feel?’ William Flesch makes the same point in this chapter’s Wrst epigraph: ‘there is something Wctional about all people, something susceptible to anonymity, in the vanishing space beyond generality. . . where pure interiority. . . and pure exteriority. . . coincide’ (475). Anonymity for Flesch, as for Natanson, is about role-play: Wctionality is to enact a part, to play someone (or someone else). Flesch observes that Wctionality (Natanson’s anonymity) needs our ‘deepest attentiveness even if it perpetually defeats our acknowledgement’ (475). If by acknowledgement he means our understanding, our closeness, our response-ability, his statement is appropriate to the theatricality of The Taming of the Shrew. We have to work hard imaginatively in watching the several levels of drama and role-play
The Diminutive Name: Kate
in The Shrew and in so doing our instinct to read characters as mimetically real is rebuVed. If we are attentively watching the gap— the anonymity between names or across roles—we cannot respond to characters as if they are fully real. I want to explore how readers and audiences Wll this absence but I need Wrst to mention one particular absence and its opposite, plenitude, in the text of The Shrew. The plenitude is linguistic: the text oddly duplicates itself in language. Repetitions and minor echoes are numerous. Grumio twice cites the proverb ‘My cake is dough’ (1.1.108–9, 5.1.139). Both Lucentio and the pedant declare ‘Pisa renowned for grave citizens’ (1.1.10, 4.2.95). Kate and Bianca independently wish ‘to please myself ’ (3.1.20, 3.2.209). As a servant Tranio is ‘tied [obliged] to be obedient’ (1.1.212) while Bianca is literally tied (‘I prithee, sister Kate, untie my hands’; 2.1.21). Chiastic structures are frequent: ‘My husband and my lord, my lord and husband’ (Induction 2.105–6; cf. 1.1.217–18, 2.1.136). The Wrst stage direction oVers a duplication of denomination for Sly: ‘Enter Begger and Hostes, Christophero Sly (TLN 1; my underlining). Language and meaning at times double back on themselves: ‘The oats have eaten the horses’ is Grumio’s way of stressing the passage of time (3.2.205–6). The play has an astonishing number of proverbs, often combined, and Sly’s quotations from The Spanish Tragedy are uttered as if they have proverbial status. But if words and phrases are repeated, doubled, and rehearsed, the name is left vacant. This vacancy begins with the characters habit of referring to mythological characters by their relative positions rather than their given name—‘the daughter of Agenor’ (1.1.168), ‘Leda’s daughter’ (1.2.242), the ‘patroness of heavenly harmony’ (3.1.5). It is we who supply and complete ‘Europa’ and ‘Helen’ and ‘Caecilia’.39 Petruchio has the same habit: he swears by ‘my mother’s son’ before revealing ‘that’s myself ’ (4.5.6). From start to Wnish the text forces us to make an eVort to Wll gaps in names, whether of phrases (‘Leda’s daughter’) or of subject positions (Kate/Katherine).
The Diminutive Name: Kate
In The Merry Wives of Windsor Mistress Page fumes about FalstaV’s temerity in addressing love letters to both herself and Mistress Ford: ‘I warrant he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for diVerent names’ (2.1.74–6). She has inadvertently provided a deWnition of Wction. The name in Wction is always a blank space inasmuch as it is a shorthand for a series of traits/ activities/attitudes which become a character. As Thomas Docherty explains, the Wrst mention of a character’s name ‘or even the pronominal ‘‘I’’ which becomes [a name] creates a gap, a blanc se´mantique . . . which prompts us to read on and ‘‘Wll’’ with meaningful signiWcance the empty space in the name as it occurs in the Wctional world’ (47). We see this overtly in postmodern texts, even those postmodern avant la lettre such as Tristram Shandy where Sterne, in typical Shandean playful fashion, extends an invitation to the reader. He (and it is only the male reader who is addressed) is invited to draw his own picture of the beautiful Widow Wadman, for which purpose Sterne has left a blank page: ‘Call for pen and ink—here’s paper ready to your hand.—Sit down, Sir, paint her to your own mind—as like your mistress as you can—as unlike your wife as your conscience will let you—’ (vi. ch. 38. 422–3). Then, after the blank page, he rhapsodizes: ‘Was ever anything in Nature so sweet!—so exquisite’ (424). Three hundred years before Sterne, Bernard Andreas was unable to represent the epic battle of Bosworth in his History of Henry VII (1502), giving us one and a half pages of blank space instead. We as readers cannot Wll this space with writing (like Andreas we did not witness the battle) but we can Wll it (like the two minutes’ silence at today’s remembrance services) with thoughts. In this way we write ourselves into the text. When authors abdicate narrative responsibility, as in Sterne or Andreas, or when contemporary Wction removes or fragments the narrator, we move centre-stage. The play-within-the-play structure of The Shrew has the same eVect: faced with a decentred text and multiple, discontinuous, and incoherent voices we become not just
The Diminutive Name: Kate
response-able but responsible. I said earlier that Christopher Sly represents us, watching the performance of a play. (In productions he often comes from the audience, most memorably in Michael Bogdanov’s RSC production of 1978–9 where he drunkenly argued with an usherette before climbing on stage and destroying the set.) He dramatizes the reader’s/audience’s active involvement. And when a character vacates a subject position, we are forced to enter the vacancy. The more unknowable Kate is, the more the respondent (reader/audience) becomes the central character. We ‘perform’ in the etymological sense of bring to a conclusion: we supply pictures of the Widow Wadman, visions of the Battle of Bosworth, readings of Kate’s ending, interpretations of Sly’s story. We imagine and provide completion and continuity. Decentring turns readerly into writerly texts. And what is true of decentred Wction (whether plays-within-plays or postmodernism) is also true of anonymity. Adele Reinhartz concludes: ‘anonymity, like identity, exists in the relationship between ourselves and others’ so ‘we not only construct their identities but also our own’ (189, 191). We inscribe our own names. Investigating the plural and discontinuous voices of postmodern Wction, Thomas Docherty ‘doubt[s] the continuity of the human person’ and asks ‘who is this present self which transcends and perceives all these past or anterior selves. It at least is an unnamable’ (68, my emphasis). Docherty’s terminology here meets Natanson’s and redirect us to The Taming of the Shrew where, in Act 5, we are forced to ask: who is Katherine’s present self ? It is an unnameable. Or, to pose and answer the question in Shakespeare’s language: ‘What’s her history?—A blank’. This exchange from Twelfth Night (2.4.109–10) sums up Katherine’s journey in Taming of the Shrew. At the centre of The Shrew is blank space, Philippe Haman’s blanc se´mantique, and not just that of Katherine but of Bianca whose name means both ‘white’ and ‘blank’. The Latin blancus/blank comes to serve both the English adjective (OED 1) for ‘white, pale, colourless’ and the description (OED 2) for paper ‘left white, not
The Diminutive Name: Kate
written upon’. A recurrent observation of 1980s feminist criticism was the Renaissance depiction of women as blank sheets for men to inscribe: from Othello’s diatribe about Desdemona (‘Was this fair paper, this most goodly book, j Made to write ‘‘whore’’ upon?’; 4.2.71–2) to the predicament of the suggestively named Blanch(e) in King John: she is a ‘book of beauty’ in whom the Dauphin Wnds an image of himself (2.1.485, 496–503). But in The Taming of the Shrew, I am suggesting, the characterization at the centre of the play remains deWantly blank, like the centre of the archery target on which Petruchio puns at the end: ‘’Twas I won the wager though you hit the white’ (5.2.186). Christopher Sly loses his identity and speaks blank verse; in a diVerent sense Katherine’s verse is equally blank. And as in archery it is the blank which attracts our attention. Critics have noted this blank space in their contradictory impressions of Bianca whom the text depicts as both chaste and obedient and as the opposite. The text begins with Bianca’s obedience and ends with her Wnal disobedience, both in her refusal of Lucentio’s summons and in her castigation of her husband’s presumption in betting on her behaviour; but it is productions which must decide the extent of her (un)chastity: in the 1992 RSC production (directed by Bill Alexander) Bianca Xirted with her wooers, was ‘sexually responsive with the disguised Tranio’ and, in the last scene, sat by Tranio ‘on the sofa . . . for Kate’s Wnal speech—impervious to its marital lessons, the pair still evinced strong evidence of mutual sexual attraction, suggesting that there may be quite another story to follow the play’s conclusion’ (Smallwood, ‘Shakespeare’ 1993: 345, 346). As Lorna Hutson points out, Bianca is not the sexually active Polynesta of Supposes (who has allowed Erostrato, disguised as Dulippo, into her bed for the past two years, whose activity becomes a known scandal, and whose behaviour leads to speculation about pregnancy) but neither is she the totally innocent maid of Lucentio’s Wrst imagining. Bianca is, like her name, a blank, and this, for Hutson, is the point: ‘the play works to create uncertainty around Bianca’s speech and action’ (215) so that we have to
The Diminutive Name: Kate
work hard to decipher her. ‘Decipher’ (as we will see in Comedy of Errors in Ch. 5) is a textual verb applied to an ontological enigma. The verb is stressed repeatedly in Supposes: ‘I will rest here awhile to discipher him’ (C7v); ‘now shal I be openly disciphered’ (D7r; further examples occur at B2v and E7r). Both the modern and early modern speech preWxes (de/dis) underline the word’s literal meaning: to uncover what is obscure. And what is apparently white and open in The Taming of the Shrew may nonetheless be an obscure blankness (Hutson refers to the ‘soiled white’ of Bianca (218)). In contrast to Bianca, Hutson Wnds ‘openness’ in Petruchio (219). However, like the obscurity of Bianca’s whiteness, there is nothing clear in this openness. As Michael Siberry complains, Petruchio ‘may tell you what he is doing but he won’t explain why’ (45). This may be because Petruchio’s mode is improvisation. Baptista observes as much when he accuses Petruchio of attending his own wedding ‘so unprovided’ (3.2.99). ‘Unprovided’ and ‘improvise’ have the same Latin root in in-providere. Supposes twice uses improviso (¼ unexpectedly) as a stage direction for actors’ improvised WsticuVs at D3v and for the sudden and unexpected entrance of the parasite at D6r. Petruchio’s wedding attire thus provides a sartorial summary of his (and the play’s) theatrical modus operandi: the blank space of improvisation parallels the blank space of anonymity. There is of course a conspicuous onomastic blank at the centre of this chapter. Despite my lengthy discussion of a remarkable production of The Shrew, not once have I mentioned the actors’ names. This gap may be a by-product of (and a tribute to) the play’s metatheatricality. There was only one ‘real’ character in the play, a tinker called Sly; consequently I think of the name of the actor playing Baptista et al. as ‘Christopher Sly’; and the many layers of play-within-the-play left Katherine and others in a world so deeply Wctionalized that I have no points of reference outside the Wction. Like the Lord in the Induction who can remember the actor’s role but not his Wctional name I remember Katherine’s role but not the actor’s real name: ‘I have forgot [her] name; but sure that part was
The Diminutive Name: Kate
aptly Wtted and naturally performed’. I cannot even say this much, however, for the point of her performance was to question what ‘natural performance’ in the ‘real’ world is. If one consults actors’ biographies in theatre programmes to Wnd out who the actors ‘are’, one encounters an endless chain of deferred signiWers: a list of previous and current roles. Who is Katherine? She is Kali Peacock. Who is Kali Peacock? She is Dunyasha (The Cherry Orchard), Rachel (The Sea), Wiggen (The Old Wive’s Tale), Snout (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Slave of the Ring (Aladdin), and in the 2006 OSC season, where Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest (another comedy about name and identity) played in repertoire with The Shrew, Gwendolyn Fairfax. The theatre programme emphasizes the link between the world of theatre and the world: so many names, so many roles. We are, it seems, a collection of parts. Studying unnamed characters in the Bible, Adele Reinhartz reminds us of the old cliche´ that you can’t tell the players without a programme (13). Studying multiply named characters in The Taming of the Shrew reveals that you can’t tell the players even with a programme.
Taming and Naming What Shakespeare shows us in The Taming of the Shrew is how doubling—the Elizabethan thespian ability to act two (or more) people in close succession, on diVerent occasions, but not at the same time—becomes anonymity. The verbal doubling of Katherine with Kate proves to be a highly signiWcant theatrical trope in a play which examines the tools of the dramatist’s art: language, imagination, disguise, illusion, willing suspension of disbelief, behavioural psychology. Katherine has two names, is two people, just as the boy playing her is two people, male and female, just as the play is two plays—one for Sly and one for us. That this theatrical exploration of doubleness extends to personal names is made patently clear throughout, from the Italian signiWcance of Lucentio’s assumed
The Diminutive Name: Kate
name, Cambio (‘change’), through Petruchio’s pun on ‘Bianca’ to the disappearance of the literal Sly in favour of a Katherine who, performing as Kate, becomes Wguratively ‘sly’ (see Burns).40 The way in which the investigation of dramatic change, role-playing, and anonymity permeates all levels of The Taming of the Shrew makes this a remarkably accomplished comedy for such an early date—not a crude farce about the taming of the shrew, but a sophisticated exploration of the multiple naming of the shrew.
5 The Place Name: Ephesus (Comedy of Errors)
‘How can she thus then call us by our names, j Unless it be by inspiration?’ (Errors 2.2.166–7)
In adapting Roman source material(Plautus’ Amphitryo and Menaechmi) for The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare made two particularly signiWcant changes: he doubled the number of twins; and he changed the setting from Epidamnus to Ephesus. Critics frequently observe the eVects of these changes. The Wrst increases ‘the incidents of error in the play from seventeen to Wfty’ (Miola 22) for, although the resident twin in Menaechmi can be mistaken, there is no one whom he can mistake; and the second introduces the occult, Ephesian deception, sorcery, ‘emphasizing witchcraft instead of Plautine thievery’ (Miola 26). Both changes seem to me to be linked, relating to Shakespeare’s investigation of duplicity (in both its literal sense of doubleness and its metaphoric sense of deceit), and his analysis of marriage, that institution in which ‘two become one Xesh’ (Ephesians 5: 31). Although my departure points are names and source material (Shakespeare’s decision to change location and double the twins),
The Place Name: Ephesus
my destination is women and marriage in The Comedy of Errors, for Ephesus is associated with a pair of models for female conduct (one independent, one submissive) whose polarity resonates throughout the play in the characters of Adriana and Luciana. I want to approach this subject through a survey of binaries in Errors in order to accentuate a critical mode (thinking and seeing with double vision) which may prove useful in my subsequent discussion of Ephesian women. In considering the conditions of Adriana’s marriage, and the thematic double to which they lead—the ‘double standard’, which Adriana protests against in her rhetorical question, ‘Why should their liberty than ours be more?’—this chapter will also focus on twentieth-century stage treatments of Adriana and her society. My subject, then, is not ‘the boys from Syracuse’ (although the play is presented from the viewpoint of the Syracusans)1 but ‘the girls from Ephesus’.
Double Vision It is impossible to talk about The Comedy of Errors without invoking duality, polarity, antithesis, symbiosis, fusion, binary oppositions. Shakespeare combines Pauline and Plautine sources, mixing one of antiquity’s most spiritual writers with one of its most salacious. He gives us two kinds of supernatural power, the prestigidatory exorcisms of Dr Pinch and the holistic religion of the Abbess. He explores two kinds of personality loss, the negative in the fragmentation caused by grief, the positive in the sublimation of love (Stanley Wells 30). Lodgings are characterized by division and duality: the Centaur (half man, half beast) and the Phoenix (death and rebirth). There are two lock-out scenes, one each for husband (Antipholus of Ephesus) and wife. Emendations by Hanmer and Johnson notwithstanding, the play ends most Wttingly, as it began, with a double birth: And you, the calendars of their nativity, Go to a gossips’ feast, and go with me— After so long grief, such nativity! (5.1.405–7; my italics)2
The Place Name: Ephesus
‘Who deciphers them?’ asks the Duke of the two Antipholi (5.1.335), adopting a verb from reading practice, the compare-and-contrast exercise of the interpretative critic, the collation work of the editor. The characters come only belatedly to a critical mode forced upon the audience from the beginning. Egeon’s romance narrative frames the central scenes of farce, prompting Charles Whitworth to describe the generic hybrid as ‘two works living under one title’ (114). The Antipholi twins (also, we note, two works living under one title3) have antimeric experiences: Antipholus of Syracuse has a ‘delightful dream’, Antipholus of Ephesus a ‘nightmare’ (Hamilton 96); Antipholus of Syracuse is afraid of foreigners, Antipholus of Ephesus is disoriented by a domestic threat; Antipholus of Syracuse is welcomed and recognized, Antipholus of Ephesus is rejected and denied. These inverse parallels also Wnd expression within individual characters. Thus, Adriana catalogues her husband’s faults but concedes, ‘I think him better than I say’ (4.2.25); Luciana has two speeches on marital relations, the Wrst of which oVers a textbook defence of female subservience, the second ‘a picture less of cosmic determinism than circumstantial pragmatism’ (Grennan 151). Appropriately, the linguistic medium of this play is paradox and the pun (those Wgures wherein two opposites coexist) and duplication. Antipholus of Syracuse decides to entertain ‘sure uncertainty’ (2.2.185) and employs, as Karen Newman points out (81), antithesis, anaphora, chiasmus. Adriana Wnds conceit to be both her ‘comfort and [her] injury’ (4.2.66). Egeon is asked to ‘speak . . . griefs unspeakable’, and gives a narrative Wlled with paradox: pregnancy is a ‘pleasing punishment’,4 maritime disaster separates the family leaving husband and wife ‘what to delight in, what to sorrow for’ (1.1.32, 46, 106). Dromio of Syracuse oVers the sage tautology ‘every why hath a wherefore’ (2.2.43–4), only to Wnd his master responding in kind: he beats Dromio twice, ‘Wrst—for Xouting me, and then . . . j For urging it the second time’ (2.2.44–6). The puns, so often dismissed as the rhetorical embellishments of a youthful Shakespeare are, as
The Place Name: Ephesus
Grennan points out, the linguistic equivalents of the play’s dual subjects; thus, when identity is re-established and family reunited in Act 5, the puns all but disappear and language is ‘restored to a happy singularity’ (Grennan 162). It is Wtting, if only serendipitously so, that the textual cruces, such as they are, in this single-text play (the only authority for which is the Folio) relate to duplicity (see n. 2) and division. Adriana’s sister is given two names (Iuliana in stage direction [speech preWx: Iulia.] on her appearance in 3.2 (TLN 786–7), Luciana elsewhere). The Wrst is possibly a compositor’s misreading of the second, or an authorial change of mind; whatever the cause, the Folio text preserves a divided identity for Luciana, as for her sister, brother-in-law, and future husband. Adriana’s kitchen-maid has also made division of herself. Introduced as ‘Luce’ on her Wrst appearance at 3.1.47 (TLN 670), she is elsewhere rechristened ‘Nell’, apparently for the sake of a pun at 3.2.109–10 (TLN 900– 1); this, like the later ‘Dowsabel’ (4.1.110) is most plausibly a local improvisation of Dromio’s, and, appearing only in dialogue, does not confuse (Werstine 240).5 Following McKerrow’s ‘Suggestion’, textual critics have long conWdently believed that the manuscript copy underlying the printed text of Errors is authorial ‘foul papers’.6 The titles which distinguish the Antipholi vary (and are easily confused with the consistent titles which distinguish the Dromios) before settling into consistency in Act 3; furthermore stage directions provide narrative information unnecessary for a prompter (e.g. ‘Enter. . . a Schoole/ master, call’d Pinch’; TLN 1321–2) and hence assumed to be the literary explanations of an author. Paul Werstine has recently disputed this assumption, showing that when ‘one addresses the stage directions of Comedy of Errors with questions about whether their origin is authorial or theatrical, one Wnds that they oVer divided testimony’ (233, my italics). ‘Foul papers’ and ‘promptbooks’, it seems, like the Antipholi, may be mistaken for each other. Confusion and duplication are inherent in all aspects of this play.
The Place Name: Ephesus
Needless to say, productions capitalize on such doubling, underlining the thematic with the visual. In the Regent’s Park production in 1981 (directed by Ian Talbot) Dr Pinch was cast against the text:7 a stocky actor, described as a ‘lean-fac’d villain’, a ‘mere anatomy’, a ‘needy hollow-ey’d, sharp-looking wretch’, a ‘living dead man’ (5.1.238–42) served as a reminder that, as in the case of Antipholus of Syracuse, verbal identiWcation may be at odds with reality. The Luce of the Folio became two maids in Trevor Nunn’s 1976 RSC production, a spherical kitchen-maid (Nell), aYanced to Dromio of Ephesus, and a tall, slim maid (Luce), servant to Adriana, who was subsequently paired oV with Dromio of Syracuse. In the 1990 RSC production (directed by Ian Judge), the First Merchant (1.2) was not one but two, dressed identically, sharing lines and speaking in unison. In the same production the Antipholi and the Dromios became one, ‘each pair . . . played . . . by one actor in two minds about the whole thing’ (Daily Express 30 Apr. 1990), although a double was necessary for the reunion of the last scene.8 This production presented Dr Pinch as a fairground performer who encased the ‘possessed’ Ephesian master and man in wooden boxes and sawed them in half. Thus, in demonstrating his showmanship, Dr Pinch inadvertently symbolized the twins’ divided states. Productions also draw attention to the similarities between Errors and the late plays. The Manchester Royal Exchange production in 1993 had the enthroned Duke descend from on high to hear Egeon and pronounce sentence: one felt as if one were hearing an early Shakespearean comedy but watching a late Shakespearean romance. Romance is, as often observed, a narrative genre, and in Pericles, as we saw in Chapter 2, the characters themselves frequently resort to storytelling as if narration will alleviate their woes. Thus Cleon asks his wife, My Dionyza, shall we rest us here, And by relating tales of others’ griefs, See if ’twill teach us to forget our own? (1.4.1–3)
The Place Name: Ephesus
The Comedy of Errors has several narrative high spots—the woes of Egeon, Adriana, and Antipholus of Ephesus, for example (1.1.31–139; 5.1.136–60; 5.1.214–54). In most productions it is clearly the power of Egeon’s narrative which motivates the Duke’s (relative) leniency in 1.1.9 Dromio of Ephesus also has an opportunity to relate his griefs (4.4.29–39). In CliVord Williams’ 1962 production for the RSC, Dromio addressed his complaint to the oYcer, who sat down leisurely to hear this latest narrative. Williams’ production also showed itself most fully aware of the conventions of the romance de´nouement with its reliance on an item of personal jewellery to clear up confusions. Antipholus of Ephesus seized gratefully on the courtesan’s introduction of the ring: ‘’Tis true, my liege, this ring I had of her’ (5.1.278). The action was halted for relieved exclamations, examination of the ring, and attendant stage business, all of which clearly had the status of conclusion for Antipholus. Only when the courtesan introduced the new complication—that she had seen Antipholus enter the Abbey—did the tone change, the happy ending vanishing as Antipholus fainted. Thus, productions, sources, text, language, genre, and theme combine to make sure that we view Errors with double vision, that we look both back and ahead, that we think in duplicate, seeing Pericles as we watch Errors, hearing St Paul as we see Plautus, observing language, identity, families, genres, fragment and unite. Although confusion is inherent in Shakespeare’s Plautine sources, duplication on this scale is not. Nowhere are the duplications and polarities more evident than in the play’s discussion of marriage, an institution both spiritual and social, sometimes both romantic and farcical; an institution which cruelly reverses the rhetoric and power of courtship, transforming the worshipping male servant into household master and the female mistress into obedient conjugal servant; an institution in which personalities may struggle for individuality or unity (or both); an institution in which one’s most intimate companion can
The Place Name: Ephesus
sometimes seem a stranger. Adriana inhabits a society which does not permit her the wry bluntness of the twentieth century (‘Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?’) but she anticipates this image of restraint in her dialogue with Luciana: lu ciana [H]e [Antipholus] is the bridle of your will. ad r ia n a There’s none but asses will be bridled so. (2.1.13–14)
Adriana’s marital predicament, in which ‘bridal’ doubles with ‘bridle’, is clearly another of the play’s dominant binaries, but it has received less attention than it deserves. Starley Wells dismisses it in a generalization (‘the wife is brought to an understanding of Xaws in her relationship with her husband’; 28) and Ralph Berry makes it but an introduction to another subject: ‘There is domestic drama, certainly, in the tensions between Adriana and her husband. . . . More interesting, perhaps, is the master and servant relationship’ (Social Class 22; my italics)’.10 C. L. Barber and Germaine Greer are in a critical minority in articulating the complex dualities in the topic: marriage’s ‘irritations and its strong holding power’ (Barber 497), the diYculty of ‘creating a durable social institution out of volatile material of lovers’ fantasies’ (Greer 119). Before considering this ‘social institution’ it will be necessary to examine the society in which Shakespeare chooses to locate Adriana’s marriage: Ephesus.
Ephesus Errors is often compared with The Tempest, these being the only two plays in which Shakespeare observed the classical unities, but the plays also invite comparison by contrast. The Tempest is notable for its lack of female characters, Miranda being the sole representative of womankind.11 The Comedy of Errors, by contrast, provides a range of examples of womankind: wife, sweetheart, kitchen-maid, courtesan, mother/nun/priestess. Whereas in The Tempest maritime travel and shipwreck lead to isolation, an anonymous, uninhabited isle, in The
The Place Name: Ephesus
Comedy of Errors, the ‘consequences of shipwreck are teemingly social’ (Independent 9 Mar. 1993), a point usually well brought out in production. The nineteenth-century Italian setting of the 1981 Regent’s Park production was plastered with posters for ‘La Favorita’ and Garibaldi. Trevor Nunn’s 1976 Greek island setting was characterized by tavernas and souvenir stalls, all cameras and postcards, newspapers and straw hats, tables and sun-umbrellas; waiters and prostitutes hovered to serve the onstage native and tourist population. The bare stage of CliVord Williams’ 1962 production conveyed a similar atmosphere: the decision of Antipholus of Syracuse to leave Ephesus was followed by a procession of removal men carrying his belongings shipwards—belongings which included exotic souvenir purchases: an erotic Greek statue, a dried crocodile skin, a live snake. In the 2005 production for Creation Theatre Company in Oxford, Dromio of Syracuse carried an A–Z of Ephesus and an ice-cream cone, wore sunglasses, and drank cocktails at seaside bars. Certainly, for Shakespeare, Ephesus is synonymous with a social life of revels. In 2 Henry 4 FalstaV roisters in a tavern with ‘Ephesians, my lord, of the old church’ (2.2.150) and in The Merry Wives of Windsor the Host of the Garter Inn characterizes himself as FalstaV’s ‘Ephesian’ (4.5.18);12 yet both 1 and 2 Henry 4 also associate Ephesus with spiritual regeneration, dramatizing imagery from Ephesians 5: 16 and 4: 22–4, making Paul’s metaphor for Christian renewal (‘putting oV the old man and putting on the new’) actual and visual (see Palmer ‘Casting OV’ and ‘Ephesians’). Such duality is inherent in the history of Ephesus. Ephesus was a major commercial centre, connecting with the West via the sea routes of the Adriatic (the term used loosely for the Aegean, Ionian, Eastern Mediterranean, and Adriatic seas) and with the East via excellent road communications. Ephesus as St Paul found it when he arrived in ad 54 was, however, a city with a divided identity. Greeks and Jews struggled to live together as fellow-citizens; the theme of Paul’s subsequent letter to the Ephesians was the transformation of racial diVerence into racial unity, the removal of the
The Place Name: Ephesus
metaphoric wall of division through Christianity. Although Paul converted the Ephesians to Christianity, pagan beliefs continued (and were tolerated) alongside the new religion well into the fourth century ad. Thus, Ephesus retained its former pagan reputation for occult magic while developing renown as a Christian centre. Magicians continued to sell oracles and tell fortunes (Trell 82); extant pottery lamps from late antiquity bear more mythological than biblical scenes (Foss 11); and, in an ironic inversion which would not be thematically out of place in Errors, the philosophy teacher of the young Julian (Emperor ad 361–3), seeking to expose the beliefs of Ephesian theurgists as ‘specious and meretricious’, inadvertently converted his charge to magic. ‘He described how Maximus [a native Ephesian and a teacher] had performed the theatrical miracle of causing a statue of Hecate to smile and laugh, and the torches in her hand to burst into Xame. . . . The narrative so impressed Julian that he immediately left for Ephesus to study with Maximus’ (Foss 23; the story is told by Eunapius in Lives of the Philosophers; see Philostratus and Eunapius 433–5). Even as Christianity became the dominant religion, Ephesian history was still characterized by religious division. The second Council of Ephesus (ad 449) debated ‘whether the Divinity had a singular or dual nature’. Eusebius, the losing bishop in the debate, was punished appropriately for his beliefs: ‘let him be torn in two. As he divides, let him be divided’ (Foss 41). Maximus’ magic, as Eunapius describes it, is at once awesome and frightening. To the non-hierophant, however, magic is simply a species of duplicity: it is illusion, sleight of hand, trompe l’œil, trickery. The brother of the lovesick Aurelius in Chaucer’s ‘The Franklin’s Tale’ knows the impossibility of granting Dorigen’s request that Aurelius clear the rocks from the coast of Brittany. But he is conWdent that ‘ther be sciences j By whiche men make diverse apparences’ (1139–40). Accordingly, the magician whom he hires performs magic in which the coast only appears to be cleared: ‘But thurgh his magik, for a wyke or tweye, j It semed that alle the rokkes were aweye’ (1295–6; my emphasis). Although accredited as
The Place Name: Ephesus
‘magik’, performed by a ‘magicien’, the act is explicitly linked with ‘swiche illusiouns and swiche meschaunces j As hethen folk useden’ (1292–3; my emphasis). Magic’s property is that of duplicity, of juxtaposing appearance and reality: one does not know how the rabbit vanishes, how the sea appears rockless, how the statue of Hecate smiles and laughs; one does not know how the women know one’s name and that of one’s servant. Stage magic and party tricks might arouse the audience’s admiration of the (unknown) technique but, in real life, magic arouses fear. Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse ‘wander in illusions’; ‘everyone knows [them], and [they] know none’ (4.3.44; 3.2.156). CliVord Williams’ production presented Dromio of Syracuse on his knees, cowering in fright as he lamented: We talk with goblins, owls, and sprites; If we obey them not, this will ensue: They’ll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.
His worst fears were realized instantly as Luciana, approaching from behind, pinched him to attract his attention: ‘Why prat’st thou to thyself, and answer’st not?’ (2.2.193). For the victim of the illusion, magic is fearful.13 Not surprisingly, given the duality of Ephesus’ fame as a centre of commerce and of magic, ‘possession’ in Errors has both a commercial and a demonic meaning. Trevor Nunn’s production stressed the demonic side of possession. St Paul believed that immorality was partly the result of demonic powers (Ephesians 2: 2–3; see also Harvey). Judi Dench’s Adriana terriWed the onstage audience with her eldritch confession ‘I am possess’d’ before continuing, conversationally, ‘with an adulterate blot’ (2.2.140). This reading Wts logically in a text where everyone’s Wrst reaction to a character’s unexpected behaviour is to assume madness (3.2.53; 4.1.93; 4.3.81).14 The production further capitalized on Ephesus’ reputation for magic: on arrival in the city, Roger Rees’ Antipholus of Syracuse consulted his Blue Guide to read that Ephesus ‘is full of cozenage’ (1.2.97).
The Place Name: Ephesus
The Wnancial fame of Ephesus, and its related motif in Errors (where a merchant places the Wscal proWt of business before the spiritual proWt of friendship; 1.2.24–9) were also eVectively to the fore in Nunn’s production. Angelo, the goldsmith, wore an ostentatious gold pendant with a large Wsh (the symbol of Christianity); this prominent prop suggested that Angelo had shrewdly found a way to change his spiritual allegiance without compromising his business interests, unlike the Demetrius of the New Testament who made a lucrative living by selling silver idols of Diana and so protested against St Paul’s teachings on the grounds of prospective Wnancial ruin (Acts 19: 24–7).15 Ephesus united its commercial and spiritual identities in the Temple of Diana, which functioned as ‘a kind of bank for the province’ (Rogers 11). One of the wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Diana was a triumph of beauty, Wnance, architectural technique, and human endeavour, the product of ‘the arts of Greece and the wealth of Asia’ as Gibbon expressed it in 1780 (i. 207). ‘The beauty of Ephesus is the Temple of Diana’ reads William Warner’s translation of Solinus’ Excellent and Pleasant Works (1587; sig. Aa3v).16 ‘Ephesus was renowned for the great temple of Diana, one of the Wonders of the World, 425 feet long, 220 broad, having 127. pillars the workes of so many Kings, 220. Yeares in building’ explains Sampson Price in a Paul’s Cross sermon of 1615. Edward Chaloner describes the Temple of Diana as ‘a place so magniWcent for the structure’—a structure so magniWcent that Xerxes spared it when he destroyed all the other temples of Asia. Pericles’ journey ends, like Egeon’s, in Ephesus, and it is logical to conclude that the ‘Abbess’ and the ‘priory’ of Errors Act 5 are but superWcially Christianized references to the pagan Temple of Diana. In fact, Gower’s Confessio Amantis (one of the sources of Pericles) contains a version of the story of Apollonius of Tyre in which Lucina dedicates herself to ‘religion’, becoming ‘Abbesse’ in the temple at Ephesus, so that, as R. A. Foakes explains (ed. Errors p. xxxii), ‘the change from temple to priory was already half-made’.
The Place Name: Ephesus
Ephesus was allegedly founded by Scythian Amazons and it is they who are responsible for the Temple (as Solinus, Heywood, Raleigh and others tell us17), dedicated to Artemis. The renown of Ephesus and its temple derives in part from this presiding goddess, a colourfully active participant in the life of the city: she allegedly helped the suicidal architect of her temple erect the lintel over the entrance (Trell 82–3). The Greek travel writer Pausanius (second century bc) explains that ‘all cities [in Greece] worship Artemis of Ephesus, and individuals hold her in honour above all the gods. The reason, in my view, is the renown of the Amazons, who traditionally dedicated the image’ (4 [Messenia]. 31.8, Jones et al. 345).18 The polymaste Amazon Artemis (probably a fertility goddess) resembles the Greek Artemis in name only, but became identiWed with Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo, when Ephesus came under Greek rule. It was believed that the twins of Zeus and Leta were born in Ephesus, whither Leta had Xed to avoid Hera’s wrath. The Temple of Artemis became the Temple of Diana under Roman hands. ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians’ chant the rioting silversmiths in Acts 19. That the Greek Artemis, goddess of maiden purity, the Roman Diana, should develop from an Amazon fertility goddess is ironic, and that Ephesus should be associated with twins from its early history is doubtless coincidence, but the opposition and the doubling are undeniably appropriate. Myths of Ephesus’ founding, like those of so many ancient cities, credit it with multiple foundations: the founding by Scythian Amazons and a subsequent refounding by the Emperor Hadrian. (Hadrian’s interest in Ephesus stemmed from his fascination with the occult.) The Elizabethans were profoundly alarmed by Amazons, primarily because of the tribe’s refusal to accept the female state of obedience. ‘They disdained to marry with their neighbours, calling it rather a servitude than Wedlock. A singular example to all ages’ writes Heywood sternly in Gunaikeion in 1624 (V2v), reiterating this point, but moderating his disapproval, in 1640 in The Exemplary Lives and Memorable Acts of Nine the Most Worthy Women of the World:
The Place Name: Ephesus
‘Wnding the sweetnesse of liberty. . . they refused to take Husbands . . . accounting Matrimony, no better then a miserable servitude’ (O2v).19 Antonio in the induction to Marston’s Antonio and Mellida expresses anxiety over his role as an Amazon, ‘an hermaphrodite, two parts in one’, only to be reassured by Alberto: ‘Not play two parts in one? away, away; ’tis common fashion’ (ll. 70–1, 77–8). The Amazon, like the actor, is both male and female. It is hard to dissociate Adriana, that ‘warrior against double standards’ (the phrase is Ruth Nevo’s (25)) from her Amazon forebears in Ephesus, and one cannot but wonder whether her name—the female form of Hadrian, the Ephesian patron—is coincidental.20 Certainly in changing the Epidamnus of Plautus to Ephesus, Shakespeare chose a city whose history added thematic resonance to his dramatic topoi. From its legendary Amazon foundation (the Amazons had two queens, one each for military and domestic rule), its reigning goddess Artemis/Diana, and its Pauline themes of separation and division to its fame as a centre for commerce and religion (whether pagan or Christian) binaries/duplication/twins have a long association with Ephesus.21
Marriage Given the thematic emphasis on twinning, doubling, fusion, it is appropriate that Paul’s letter to the Ephesians contains advice about marriage, that state in which ‘two become one Xesh’ (Ephesians 5:31). Identical twins, separate but the same, provide an ideal metaphor for the theme of division and reconciliation, not just of two pairs of siblings but of two pairs of marriage partners. One marriage (that of Egeon–Emilia) is disrupted by external hostility (shipwreck), the other by internal (domestic) strife; both marriages are characterized by separation (Egeon is a Renaissance commercial traveller, Antipholus a straying husband), and both wives object to their husband’s absence (Emilia makes provision to follow her spouse (1.1.47–8), Adriana protests).
The Place Name: Ephesus
Marriage is a diYcult business to negotiate (I use both noun and verb advisedly). Both Adriana and Antipholus refer to their marriage as an arranged marriage. Antipholus describes Adriana as the woman ‘whom thou [the Duke] gav’st to me to be my wife’ (5.1.198), a reference made independently by Adriana: ‘Antipholus my husband, j Who I made lord of me and all I had, j At your [the Duke’s] important letters’ (5.1.136–8). Adriana, it is implied at 5.1.161–4, was the Duke’s reward to Antipholus for military service. Marriage may be a transaction, the woman an object traded by men, but it also, paradoxically, is as far removed from transaction as is possible: a holy union, characterized by mutual spiritual giving. Thus St Paul: ‘Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ’ (Ephesians 4: 21). The commercial and the spiritual seem strange bedfellows (as it were) but they are no more paradoxical than the dramatic hybrid which results from Shakespeare’s Pauline and Plautine sources. Shakespeare negotiates the thematic and generic tensions in his disparate source material to create a successful partnership.22 Adriana has more trouble synthesizing polarities. Adriana’s diYculty derives in part from a duality in Renaissance attitudes to women. Viewed as both divine and dangerous, women and their beauty could lead men to an appreciation of higher things (the spiritually beautiful, the celestial) or to physical temptation (lust, gratiWcation, damnation). Both extremes of these female stereotypes are represented in Errors. The love-stricken Antipholus of Syracuse employs the vocabulary of the worshipping Petrarchan wooer: ‘your grace’, ‘more than earth divine’, ‘Are you a god?’ are the terms he uses for the resisting Luciana in 3.2. In the contrasting episode, which follows immediately, Dromio of Syracuse describes his pursuit by the sexual Luce in the language of demonology: Luce ‘haunts’ him, she is a ‘diviner’ [witch], she knows ‘what privy marks’ he has, so that he ‘amaz’d, ran from her as a witch’ (3.2.144). The common root of these two women’s names (Luce and Luciana) shows that the demonic female (the diviner who would possess the male) and the divine female (the goddess
The Place Name: Ephesus
whom the male wishes to possess) are but two sides of the same female stereotype. This duality is pushed further in Errors with the representation of the demonic and divine two female stereotypes by the professional extremes: by the Courtesan (whom Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse characterize as ‘Sathan’, ‘Mistress Sathan’, ‘the devil’, ‘the devil’s dam’: 4.3.48–51)23 and by the Abbess (characterized in dialogue as ‘a virtuous and a reverend lady’: 5.1.134). Emilia’s dual role as procreative mother and chaste Abbess (during a surely signiWcant period of thirty-three years, the number of years Christ lived on earth24) links her even more obviously with that other chaste mother, the Virgin Mary. Adriana attempts to unite both extremes, attending to her husband’s body and soul: she oVers dinner/sex and confession (‘Husband, I’ll dine above with you to-day, j And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks’; 2.2.207–8). Whether Adriana oVers Antipholus of Syracuse dinner or sex is, in fact, a moot point. Stanley Wells views the rendezvous as innocent: ‘Shakespeare raises the moral tone by substituting the dinner party of Menaechmi for the bedroom setting of Amphitruo’ (17). However, there is an association between food and sex (the former a metaphor for the latter) in the brothel scene in Pericles (see Anthony J. Lewis), and Ralph Berry (Awareness 39) suggests that the ‘audience would . . . receive the impression of sexual congress behind locked doors’.25 ‘Your cake here is warm within: you stand here in the cold’ says Dromio of Ephesus to his master (3.1.71), where ‘cake’ euphemistically indicates ‘woman’, and the scene concludes with ‘standard slang for sexual entry’, Antipholus’ decision to ‘knock elsewhere’ since his ‘own doors refuse to entertain [him]’ (Berry, Awareness 39–40).26 Certainly, the argument from stage symbolism is persuasive: ‘the house [was] perceived from earliest times as the coding for woman, and the knocking at the gates, the male attempts at entry’ (Berry, Awareness 40). This is the symbolism in plays as diverse as Aristophanes’ Lysistrata (where the women deny their husbands sex, and lock
The Place Name: Ephesus
themselves in the Acropolis only to be threatened by phallic weapons) and Henry 5 where Henry’s invasion of France is analogous to his conquest of Catherine. ‘Enter our gates, dispose of us and ours, j For we no longer are defensible’ says the yielding Governor on the walls of HarXeur (3.3.49–50) in a line no less appropriate to the Princess. However, practical considerations support the notion of culinary rather than sexual oVerings. Luciana chaperones the meeting; given Antipholus of Syracuse’s fear of Adriana and love of her sister, it seems unlikely that he would engage in sexual intimacies with his hostess; and in the Shakespeare canon adultery is not the comic matter that fornication is.27 What is clear is that Adriana’s attempt to unite female physicality and divinity involves ministering to her supposed husband’s body and soul: she provides dinner (or its less euphemistic equivalent) and confession. For Adriana, wifehood is a fusion of two opposing female stereotypes. ‘Why should their liberty than ours be more?’ Adriana protests in 2.1, the noun subtly hinting at the kind of freedom men enjoy, that in which they visit the Liberties.28 Elizabethan marriage may be a mixture of otium (the social niceties of leisurely dinners) and negotium (‘If thou didst wed her for her wealth’) but Antipholus looks elsewhere for Erotium. I choose the word deliberately, for Shakespeare elects not to: Erotium is the name of the courtesan whom the resident twin visits in Menaechmi. In The Comedy of Errors the courtesan is ‘pretty and witty; wild’ (3.1.110), a provider of hospitality (‘thanks for my good cheer’: 5.1.393), a woman ‘of excellent discourse’ (3.1.109). Critics remind us that discourse is not what courtesans were renowned for; but in Greek society hetairai certainly were. High-class escorts (‘hetaira’ literally means ‘companion’), distinct from concubines, prostitutes in brothels, or streetwalkers, hetairai provided intellectual conversation as equals, socializing with men at dinner and drinking parties (see Just and Pomeroy). By turning Antipholus’ sexual and social needs into a business, the courtesan in Errors achieves outside marriage what Adriana has not managed within: the fusion of otium, negotium, erotium.
The Place Name: Ephesus
Lest we be in danger of admiring her for this, Shakespeare qualiWes the courtesan’s triumph in two ways: he makes her the only deliberate deceiver in a play of chance; and he denies her a name. The play concludes with baptism, that act of naming which bestows identity, strengthens family, celebrates society. For as long as she is nameless, the courtesan is kept outside that society. Onomastics in The Comedy of Errors are not without thematic or character relevance. ‘Egeon’ recalls the father of Theseus who gave his name to the Aegean Sea, drowning himself from grief at the (supposed) loss of his son. Luciana is associated with light (from the Latin lux) and Lucian, that exposer of follies (cf. the role of Lucian in Titus Andronicus). Angelo is an apt name for a goldsmith, angels being gold coins. Adriana, as indicated above, is the female form of Hadrian, the Roman ruler from whom the Adriatic Sea takes its name; Adriana also appears in Chaucer and Gower as a variant of Ariadne, the princess whom Theseus abandoned on Naxos and Dionysus subsequently wed.29 Ariadne thus has a dual aspect—the mourner and the joyful bride—a duality inherent in another etymology of Adriana as the female form of Janus, the two-faced god. The kitchen-maid Luce, as we have seen, is also referred to as ‘Nell’.30 Although Shakespeare uses ‘Nell’ as an abbreviation for Eleanor in 2 Henry 6, he also views it as an abbreviation for Helen, as we saw in Chapter 3: Paris twice calls Helen of Troy by this diminutive in Troilus and Cressida. There are more Helens in Shakespeare than there are Eleanors, and they may provide a clue as to how to view the kitchen-maid in Errors. One dominant pattern stands out, that of the sexually assertive female who pursues her chosen mate. Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream trails Demetrius through the wood outside Athens, a role reversal of which she is only too aware: ‘Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex. j We cannot Wght for love, as men may do. j We should be woo’d, and were not made to woo’ (MND 2.1.240–2). This generalization, in which she moves from the impropriety of her own behaviour to that of all women, illustrates her awareness of society’s automatic reaction in which her
The Place Name: Ephesus
weakness ‘will be taken as female weakness rather than as an individual weakness’ (Dusinberre 55). As we saw in Chapter 3, the link between individual transgression andfemale transgressionwas,infact, alreadyimplicit in theRenaissance in the name Helen, by association with Menelaus’ Helen, who accompanied Paris to Troy (whether by force or choice is open to doubt, but the Renaissance assumed her willing compliance). In Troilus and Cressida Thersites presents Helen in unXattering terms (a ‘whore’, a ‘placket’) and Shakespeare continually associates the name with female sexual eagerness. Critics note that Helena in All’s Well that Ends Well seems more eager to lose her virginity than is deemed proper for a heroine. In conversation with Parolles she defends the female right to have and enjoy sex, and subsequently engages in a marathon cross-country pursuit of a man who does nothing to encourage her: she follows Bertram to Paris (a destination with classical overtones), before conveniently arriving in Florence (where Bertram is) despite her intention of travelling to the shrine of St Jacques le Grand in Spain. To this sexually assertive trio—the Helens of Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, All’s Well that Ends Well—we must add another Helen, Mistress Quickly (‘Nell’) of Henry 4 and 5, whose vocabulary is full of unintentional sexual innuendo. Shakespeare’s Helens/Nells are cast in the same mould. To Shakespeare, it seems, all Nells are chastised as loose;31 in The Comedy of Errors Nell is both loose and Luce. The dramatis personae in Errors are aware of the way in which name confers identity. Dromio of Syracuse reacts noticeably to his Wnding out the name of the kitchen-maid; he comments on her name and uses it immediately in apostrophe: ‘if thy name be called Luce—Luce, thou hast answer’d him well’ (3.1.52–3). Dromio’s master, Antipholus of Syracuse reacts similarly to not Wnding out the name of Luciana. His opening apostrophe and ensuing comment (‘Sweet mistress—what your name is else, I know not’; 3.2.29) implies that he would use her Christian name if he could. The fact that Adriana identiWes the Syracusans by their names is taken as
The Place Name: Ephesus
proof that she does recognize and know them (‘How can she thus then call us by our names, j Unless it be by inspiration?’: 2.2.166–7) although, as confusions escalate, both Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse grow more hesitant in assuming that name and identity are synonymous. ‘Do you know me, sir? Am I Dromio? Am I your man? Am I myself ?’ asks Dromio in anguish at 3.2.73–4. His master reassures him ‘Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thyself ’ (75) but just 100 lines later he is unable to apply the same conWdence to his own situation. ‘Master Antipholus’, hails the goldsmith at 3.2.165; ‘Ay, that’s my name’ is Antipholus’ guarded response.32 In a play which is sensitive to names—their meanings and their confusions—the anonymity of a courtesan who is named in the source is conspicuous. In the reunion of Act 5 Antipholus of Syracuse immediately identiWes his father as Egeon, and Egeon and Emilia exchange Wrst names Wve times in their Wrst six lines of dialogue (5.1.342–7). Antipholus of Ephesus and Adriana have no opportunity to use Christian names in the last scene, as Shakespeare does not provide them with a dialogue opportunity for reconciliation. Their marriage is, as Leggatt observes ‘quietly placed in the background and no great hopes are pinned on it’ (Comedy 18).The only grounds for optimism lie in the Courtesan’s anonymity in a play whose conclusion stresses rebirth and baptism, a gossips’ feast, and in the fact that the Courtesan is not included in the Wnal pairing-oV (although the BBC production does match her with the Duke). Any optimism is necessarily limited, however, by the fact that Antipholus of Ephesus has more to say to the Courtesan than he does to his wife: he addresses the Courtesan in ten words (‘There take it [the ring], and much thanks for my good cheer’), of which the last six may be a termination of a relationship, a salacious reminiscence, or a genuine expression of gratitude. The husband–wife reunion must be realized on stage wordlessly, if at all. Directors rise to this interpretative challenge. A happy ending is most easily suggested by the simple expedient of Antipholus giving
The Place Name: Ephesus
his wife the promised chain so that objects, as identities, are restored to their rightful owners. (Although the BBC Antipholus does give his wife the chain—a large, heart-shaped pendant—his emotional discomfort at the family reunion is made clear by the uncertain looks which pass between himself and Adriana.) Adriana’s question, ‘And are not you my husband?’ (5.1.371) is addressed not to her husband but to her dinner companion, Antipholus of Syracuse. She posed the question in resigned sadness in CliVord Williams’ production, already aware of the negative answer she would receive, and in urgent desperation in the 1983 RSC production, willing the answer to be positive. This latter production gave Antipholus of Ephesus and Adriana an embrace into which Adriana drew Dromio of Ephesus, showing the importance of servants to the family unit in early modern England. Adriana then moved to exit with her sister; Antipholus pulled his wife back to him but she slowly propelled her husband in the direction of his twin. Deliberately eschewing or postponing a marital reunion, this Adriana showed (as does Shakespeare’s dialogue) that the re-establishment of the family unit—parents/children, sibling/sibling—was to take precedence over conjugal communion. Her actions with servant and husband left her Wrmly, if a triXe regretfully, in control of tone. This Adriana’s inclusion of Dromio in the embrace reminded us, albeit in an aVectionately twentieth-century way, that the Elizabethan household was an extended family unit. The masterhusband held sway over a group of social subordinates: wife, children, servants. The link between the treatment of wives and servants is seen in the linguistic instruction oVered by a husband and a ruler in an early comedy and a late romance, respectively. In The Taming of the Shrew 4.5 Petruchio ‘teaches’ his wife the diVerence between the sun and the moon.33 In The Tempest Prospero gives his slave Caliban the same lesson. He teaches Caliban ‘how j To name the bigger light, and how the less, j That burn by day and night’; as a result, Caliban tells him, ‘I lov’d thee’ (1.2.335–6).
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Marriage may be a spiritual world-without-end bargain, a selXess service; but it may also be little better than slavery. As More’s Raphael reminds us, the diVerence between service and servitude ‘is only a matter of one syllable’.34 In The Tempest, Ferdinand, in service to Prospero, takes pleasure in a ‘mean task’ which would be as ‘heavy. . . as odious’ were it not for Miranda’s sympathy and love (3.1.1–15); his heart is a willing ‘slave’ to Miranda (3.1.66). This love leads Ferdinand to enter Miranda’s service in marriage, paradoxically ‘with a heart as willing j As bondage e’er of freedom’ (3.1.88–9). Miranda, reciprocating Ferdinand’s feelings, mirrors his vocabulary: ‘I’ll be your servant’ (3.1.85). In contrast, Helen in All’s Well that Ends Well does not enjoy reciprocal love, and the consequences are voiced by Diana: ‘’Tis a hard bondage to become the wife j Of a detesting lord’ (3.5.64–5). Thus, marriage may be a pleasurable bondage or a hard bondage, service or servitude. In Errors Luciana counsels her sister in obedience, patience, and the domestic hierarchy which makes men ‘masters to their females’ (2.1.24); Adriana responds with sisterly sarcasm, ‘This servitude makes you to keep unwed.’ Servitude, asses, bridled: these are the terms Adriana associates with married life. Renaissance matrimony can indeed be ‘hard bondage’ for the female because Renaissance culture associates wives with servants. In the letter in which Paul counsels wives to be obedient to husbands, he also advises servants to be obedient to their masters (Ephesians 6: 5–9). Claudius Hollyband links the two social inferiors in a succinct aphorism: ‘he is happie which hath a good servant, and a good wife’ (French Schoolmaster 24). Before continuing with Adriana we need to consider servants and service.
Servants The Elizabethan household, like Elizabethan life, was hierarchical. Husbands ruled over wives who ruled over children; at the bottom of this pecking order came servants. However, my generalization
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distorts, Xattening as it does the permutations possible. Thus, in many instances, servants were viewed as a variant of children, not inferior beings but dependents. In Claudius Hollyband’s dialogue, The Citizen at Home, the Father’s admonition to his servant William reminds one more of parental frustration than employer’s dissatisfaction: ‘William, give here some bread . . . you will never learn to serve; why do you not lead it with a trencher plate, and not with the hand? I have told it to you above an hundred times’ (French Schoolmaster 28). At the other extreme is the treatment which William Gouge describes: ‘sometimes . . . masters oVend in the qualitie of that food which they give to their servants, as when it is kept too long, and growne musty, mouldy, or otherwise unsavoury: or when the worst kinde of food, for cheapnesse sake, is bought, even such as is scarce Wt for mans meat’ (Vv8v; treatise 8, para. 24, p. 670). Given an inferior diet, servants were thus daily reminded that they ‘did not belong to their employer’s family’ (Houlbrooke 176). Although masters were expected to care for their servants, attending to their physical and spiritual needs and caring for them when ill, Thomas Becon’s admonition makes it clear that many masters did not behave in this way. Becon corrects those who ‘curse, and lame them [servants], cast dishes and pots at their heads, beat them, put them in danger of their life’ (362). Compare Vives, whose discussion of the treatment of wives by husbands illuminates the treatment of servants by masters: ‘some [husbands] there be, that through evyll and rough handelynge and in threatenynge of their wives, have them not as wives, but as servauntes’ (Kviiiv–Li). The Elizabethans understood the term ‘family’ more in the sense of domestic household than sentimental attachments. The components of this household are made clear in Gouge’s Treatises on Domestical Duties (an exegesis on Ephesians (1622, SR 1620)), which outlines the duties of three sets of people: Wives–Husbands, Children–Parents, Servants–Masters. Treatise 7, ‘Duties of Servants’ stresses the importance of obedience, referring the reader to the previous treatises on wives and children for the reasons why obedience is desirable: ‘The
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reasons alleadged to move wives and children to obey, ought much more to move servants’ (Qq6v; treatise 7, para. 10, p. 604). In paragraph 36 (Ss7r; p. 635), ‘Of servants endevour to make their judgement agree with their masters’ the reader is referred to Gouge’s precepts for other inferiors since the same principle applies. Antipholus of Syracuse corrects his man’s behaviour, reminding Dromio that the servant should ‘fashion [his] demeanor to my looks’ (2.2.33), a classic textbook rule for wives: ‘it beseemes an honest wife to frame her selfe to her husbands aVect, and not to be merry, when he is melancholy, not iocund when he is sad, much less Xiere when hee is angry’ (Snowse 54). Although social historians are unsure about the extent of the similarity between the roles of servant and wife in the early modern period, in one startling criminal category servants and wives were yoked together. Husband-killing and master-killing were both classiWed as petty treason. Masters feared betrayal from within, insubordination by servant or wife, those whom Frances E. Dolan characterizes as ‘dangerous familiars’. Petty treason embodies the fear ‘that the other and the enemy might be the person who makes your Wre, prepares your food and lodges in your own cell’ (67). Antipholus of Ephesus perceives himself as betrayed by both wife and servant. His wife bars him from the house, his house. His servant purloins a bag of gold, his gold. And both servant and wife compound the villainy by denial. Adriana: ‘I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth’; Dromio of Ephesus: ‘And, gentle master, I receiv’d no gold’ (4.4.98–9). Adriana transgresses, albeit unknowingly, by inviting a lover and a strange servant into the marital home; she commits infractions of mensa and suggestively of thoro, welcoming the ersatz husband to her table and, by implication, her bed. Alice Arden did as much and was burned at the stake for her sins. But Shakespeare is not interested in petty treason—this is a comedy of errors, not of murders35—so much as he is in the parallels between two sets of relationships: master–servant and husband– wife. We see more of the former relationship than we do of the latter; this is perhaps why Ralph Berry views the master–servant
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relationship as of more interest (see above). Berry fails to realize, however, that we are invited to consider Antipholus–Adriana by analogy with Antipholus–Dromio. Which Antipholus–Dromio? Both. The two Antipholus–Dromio relationships, very diVerent, provide us with two possible paradigms of marriage. If the literature of the period associates wives with servants, the language of Errors links Adriana with Dromio (either and both). Both Dromios are called ‘ass’. Luciana insults Dromio of Syracuse so, and he agrees: ‘’Tis true she [Adriana, or possibly Luciana] rides me and I long for grass. ’Tis so, I am an ass’ (2.2.200–1). In the next scene Antipholus of Ephesus applies the insult to Dromio of Ephesus who also agrees: ‘Marry, so it doth appear j By the wrongs I suVer, and the blows I bear. j I should kick, being kick’d, and being at that pass, j You would keep from my heels, and beware of an ass’ (3.1.15–18). In 4.4 Dromio of Ephesus expands on the motif, summarizing his suVerings at the hands of his master: ‘I am an ass indeed; you may prove it by my long ears. I have serv’d him from the hour of my nativity to this instant, and have nothing at his hands for my service but blows’ (4.4.29–32). Although in all three cases the insult from master/mistress to man could be left as a one-line criticism, on each occasion the analogy is expanded. It is diYcult, then, not to be reminded of the earlier dialogue between Luciana and Adriana: lu ciana O, know he is the bridle of your will. ad r ia n a There’s none but asses will be bridled so.
Wives, like servants, like asses, endure wrongs and blows from the master whom they serve. It is noticeable in reading, and particularly marked in production, that the Antipholi enjoy diVerent relationships with their respective Dromios. The Syracusans are friendlier, less hierarchical, more supportive of each other. In one sense this equality is the result of the circumstances in which they Wnd themselves, strangers in a strange land; as the BBC production showed, they ‘cling to each other for support’ (Shakespeare, BBC TV, Errors 25). The aVectionate
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relationship between Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse was established from the Wrst in the CliVord Williams production, to the evident perplexity of the Merchant. Thus, Antipholus’ ‘A trusty villain, sir, that very oft, j When I am dull with care and melancholy, j Lightens my humour’ (1.2.199–21) was delivered as a half-apologetic explanation. The Merchant’s refusal of the dinner invitation was due to his desire to get away from the strange duo, his ‘I commend you to your own content’ (1.2.32) emphatic, terminative, relieved at his success in extricating himself. In this production Dromio’s concern for his master was tellingly shown. To Antipholus’ reprise of Dromio’s alleged misdemeanours— ‘thou didst deny the gold’s receipt, j And tolds’t me of a mistress, and a dinner’ (2.2.17–18)—Dromio looked (understandably) uncomprehending, before reacting in delight at this evident example of his master’s recovery from depression: ‘I am glad to see you in this merry vein’ (2.2.20). Later Dromio anxiously felt his master’s forehead when Antipholus of Syracuse asked him about the bark. ‘Why, sir, I brought you word an hour since’ replied Dromio (4.3.37–8), concerned that his master might be running a fever. In the 1983 RSC production Antipholus’ ‘As you love strokes, so jest with me again’ was a genuine invitation to his man to replay his earlier absurd answers, each question followed by a pause for Dromio’s anticipated (but not forthcoming) music-hall reply (2.2.8–10). I reline: You know no Centaur? (Pause) You receiv’d no gold? (Pause) Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner? (Pause)
In contrast to his Ephesian brother, Antipholus of Syracuse describes his man as a ‘heedful slave’ (2.2.2) who acts ‘in care’ of him (2.2.3), and he acknowledges his ‘love’ for the servant (2.2.28). As Alexander Leggatt points out (Comedy 13), both Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse are willing to sacriWce their own happiness and safety for the sake of the other (3.2.145–9; 4.4.151–3), an example of mutual selXess love, the kind that ideally characterizes marriage.
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Very diVerent is the relationship between Antipholus of Ephesus and his Dromio who are never alone on stage together and are thus denied the intimate friendly chats of their respective siblings. In production, as in the text, Antipholus of Ephesus is clearly a more violent man than his brother. Although both masters beat their servants, productions diVerentiate the types of beatings. In Trevor Nunn’s production, Antipholus of Syracuse used only a rolled-up newspaper to hit his man; the BBC Antipholus of Syracuse employed a soft Tudor bonnet; in both productions Antipholus of Ephesus hit his man with the Xat of his hand or with the property rope. This distinction motivated a moment of amazement in the BBC production when Syracusan Dromio’s news of the bark in port, delivered to the wrong Antipholus, met with a slap across the face; the close-up of the servant showed his emotional, rather than his physical, pain at this uncharacteristic behaviour, a betrayal of unwritten rules.36 It is, appropriately, Dromio of Ephesus who is given the comic-poignant testimony about his life history of beatings.37 In Menaechmi Plautus also diVerentiates the two master— servant relationships. The resident twin, astonished by the magnanimity of the unknown slave who saves him, rejects the servant’s explanation that he is Menaechmus’ man: ‘I had never yet anie servant would do so much for me (Bullough i. 35). It is tempting to argue that Adriana seeks in marriage the symbiotic friendly ‘service’ of the Syracusans, but Wnds that Antipholus of Ephesus oVers her only servitude. However, the play does not permit such simple thematic bifurcation. Before deciding what kind of marriage Adriana wants to have, we must Wrst consider what kind of woman Adriana wants to be.
‘Two Parts in One’ Historically, as we have seen, Ephesus oVers two female role models: the independent pagan Amazon and the submissive Christian servant. At the beginning of the play Adriana is clearly equated
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with the former, Luciana with the latter. Adriana chafes at the restrictions marriage imposes on women; she questions the male right to have geographic freedom, desiring equal liberty for husbands and wives. Critical and resentful of her husband’s greater freedom, she expresses herself in actions as well as words, granting herself permission to circulate out of doors. Her quid pro quo independence has not been well received: ‘Look when I serve him so, he takes it ill’ (2.1.12). Desiring ‘the sweetnesse of liberty’, viewing marriage as rather a ‘servitude than wedlock’, Adriana is exactly the kind of woman who so alarmed Heywood and appalled the Renaissance male. Playing ‘two parts in one’—the male and the female—she is in the tradition of the Ephesian Amazon. It is because of Ephesus’ tradition of non-submissive women that St Paul directs his letter about wifely submission not to the Galatians, Corinthians, or Colossians, not to the Philippians, the Hebrews, or the Romans but to the Ephesians. It is the Ephesians who are most in need of Paul’s advice: Submitting yourselves one to another in the feare of God. Wives, submitte your selves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the wives head, even as Christ is the head of the Church, and the same is the saviour of his bodie. Therefore as the Church is in subjection to Christ, even so let the wives be to their husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave him selfe for it. (Ephesians 5: 21–33.)
Concerned to establish domestic harmony through domestic hierarchy, Paul is explicit in his message: husbands must love their wives, but wives must be subject to their husbands. Luciana knows Paul’s lesson by heart: There’s nothing situate under heaven’s eye But hath his bound in earth, in sea, in sky. The beasts, the Wshes, and the winged fowls Are their males’ subjects and at their controls: Man, more divine, the master of all these, Lord of the wide world and wild wat’ry seas,
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Indu’d with intellectual sense and souls, Of more pre-eminence than Wsh and fowls, Are masters to their females, and their lords: Then let your will attend on their accords . . . Ere I learn love, I’ll practice to obey. (2.1.16–25, 29)
The lines are Luciana’s but the sentiments are Paul’s: Luciana is merely paraphrasing Ephesians 5:21 V.38 Having introduced this opposition between the Amazon and the Pauline female, the play immediately begins to deconstruct it. Adriana can hardly be an independent woman since, as a wife, she has technically espoused submission, while Luciana, who preaches submission, can do so only because (as Adriana points out), she is independent: thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee, With urging helpless patience would relieve me; But if thou live to see like right bereft, This fool-begg’d patience in thee will be left. (2.1.38–41)
The identities of Adriana and Luciana, like those of the twins, begin to merge, become confused. Despite her rhetorical question, ‘Why should their liberty than ours be more?’, Adriana seems to want not liberty but the right to love and be loved as a wife. No Moll Cutpurse, she. When next we meet the women it is Adriana who has the long Pauline speech on marriage as she lyrically, passionately tells Antipholus that husband and wife are ‘undividable incorporate’ (2.2.122). Luciana’s subsequent speech on marriage is strangely unspiritual, full of knowing advice to her (supposed) brother-in-law about how to conduct an extramarital aVair: Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty; Apparel vice like virtue’s harbinger; Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted; Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint: Be secret-false. (3.2.11–15)
Instead of husband and wife being one, as Paul counsels, the wife is to be kept ignorant of the husband’s inWdelity: ‘what need she be acquainted?’ Paul’s letter to the Ephesians was about breaking
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down the wall of division; Luciana’s advice here is about how to paper over that wall. The contradictions and cross-overs in female identity become increasingly obvious. Despite the feminist vigour of her conversation with Luciana, Adriana plays a more (al)luring role with her husband, while Luciana the good (wearing, in the BBC version, a necklace with a large cruciWx) is involved in a disturbing dialogue with her supposed brother-in-law (3.2). One wonders if Luciana’s behaviour is not slightly Xirtatious. Despite some valiant attempts to redirect Antipholus’ attentions (‘Why call you me love? Call my sister so’: 3.2.59; and cf. 57, 60, 65), Luciana concludes the dialogue with an ambiguous line: ‘hold you still; j I’ll fetch my sister to get her good will’ (70). The line may be a desperate excuse to exit (after all, the situation is now dangerously physical, Antipholus having asked to hold Luciana’s hand; and his love talk is clearly out of control since he has just proposed marriage). Both the BBC production and the 1983 RSC version played the line as an impetus to exit. In the 1962 RSC version, however, Luciana succumbed to Antipholus, giving him her right hand in a waltz gesture (repeated in more legitimate circumstances at 5.1.375–7) while her left hand caressed his hair. Although she quickly removed her hand, aghast at herself, her exit line was a helplessly loving acceptance of the situation. In Ian Judge’s 1990 RSC production Luciana’s acceptance of Antipholus was less passive. ‘I’ll fetch my sister to get her good will’ was a spirited decision to face the music, Luciana having agreed to love Antipholus. Her later recounting of the conversation to Adriana was triumphant, not apologetic: That love I begg’d for you [gleeful laugh], he begged of me. First he did praise my beauty [gleeful laugh], then my speech. (4.2.12, 15)
In the 2005 Oxford production Luciana turned at the furthest stage point of her exit only to mouth silently to Antipholus ‘I-Love-You’. In Act 5 the Abbess touches a sore spot when she questions Adriana about
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the possibility of her husband’s ‘unlawful love’. The BBC close-up of the Courtesan at this moment showed the rival suspected by Adriana. However, in Adrian Noble’s production (1983), Adriana’s admission that ‘some love . . . drew him oft from home’ (5.1.56) was accompanied by a glare at Luciana. In Adriana’s eyes the submissive sister was not as innocent as she appeared. In the 2005 Oxford production Adriana’s eyes were accusatory and Luciana’s face guilty. By Act 5, then, the identities of Adriana and Luciana are as confused as those of the Antipholi. Adriana the independent meekly submits to the Abbess’ rebukes, even though the Abbess’ claim (that Adriana’s jealousy has caused her husband’s madness) is unfounded, as Acts 1–4 show. Luciana the submissive objects vociferously on behalf of her sister (5.1.87–8) and encourages Adriana to resist: ‘Why bear you these rebukes and answer not?’ (5.1.89). In the play’s conclusion the Antipholi are distinguished, returned to their separate identities, but their partners are not. This duality seems to be deliberate. Throughout Errors we see Adriana and Luciana trying to work out which type of Ephesian woman to be (pagan or Christian, independent or submissive), and experimenting with whether it is possible to be both. Can women play ‘two parts in one’, being both divine (goddess) and ‘diviner’ (witch)? Shakespeare juxtaposes this adjective and noun in the play’s structural centre, Act 3, Scene 2, where Antipholus’ romantic approaches to Luciana are followed by Dromio’s narrative about her onomastic relative, Luce. Luciana the goddess, ‘more than earth divine’, is followed by Luce the ‘diviner’ (140); the advocate of wifely submission in marriage, the woman who will be subservient to her husband, is followed by a more assertive type of servant. But the scene begins with the goddess sanctioning sin and ends with the witch seeking holy marriage. This is hot ice and wondrous strange snow. Opposites can coexist, however, as the name Luce/Luciana implies and as Adriana’s attentions to her ‘husband’ ’s body and soul at 2.2.207–8 speciWcally show. And if in Errors Shakespeare can
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combine the pagan and the Christian in Ephesus, why cannot the women do so too? In this duality Adriana resembles Lysistrata, that other independent heroine who staged a lock-out scene. Lysistrata’s lock-out tactic was deliberate, Adriana’s unwitting, but the motive was the same: domestic harmony. The women in Lysistrata do not want peace qua peace but as a guarantor of normal domestic life: uninterrupted market shopping, regular sexual relations. Adriana similarly regrets the demise of domestic activities: carving, speaking, looking, touching (2.2.113–18). Like Adriana, although for a diVerent reason, Lysistrata has no reconciliation with a partner.39 Instead, in a de´nouement unusual in Greek drama, the divided chorus of old men and old women come together, celebrating the resumption of interrupted relations. In Lysistrata as in Errors it is the older couple(s) who are depicted most harmoniously. Adriana is left dramatically in the cold by Shakespeare, and perhaps by Antipholus; she and her husband have some voyaging still to do. If the ending seems inconclusive, the marital future uncertain, it is not because of Adriana but because of her husband. Three of the four main protagonists in Errors not only experience mistakes of identity but initiate their own experiments with opposing and complementary personalities, doubles, binaries, paradoxes. Antipholus of Syracuse seeks his twin in order to make himself whole again, but, before achieving this goal, he Wnds himself by losing himself to Luciana. Adriana and Luciana synthesize two extremes of female behaviour. Only Antipholus of Ephesus clings tenaciously to his original identity (5.1.214–54). Act 5 provides the end of a journey for all but him; it is now his turn to explore personality. Ephesian Antipholus must now embark on a quest for self- and family identity just as Syracusan Antipholus embarked in Act 1.40 The straying husband, the errant Antipholus of Ephesus, thus becomes errant in a diVerent way: like his twin at the beginning of the play, he is erraticus.41 He too may eventually unite opposites, telling his wife ‘I am thee’ (3.2.64). In the spirit of doubling and
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repetition which is this play’s dominant mode, we may hope that Adriana’s marriage, like that of her mother-in-law, will be a remarriage. But that is for the future. Adriana inhabits a world where the thaumaturge is Pinch not Prospero, and the one magician—the dramatist—who could give her (and us) a happy ending, declines to do so. Although the play ends, as comedies should, with marriage, Shakespeare leaves us with but the appearance of a happy ending. Not all illusions are dispelled: Ephesus’ reputation for duplicity is still in evidence. This play could not have happened in Epidamnus.
Epilogue ‘Virginia Woolf ?’ He [ James Joyce] smiled astutely. ‘An impressive name . . . she married her wolWsh husband purely in order to change her name. Virginia Stephens is not a name for an exploratory authoress. I shall write a book some day about the appropriateness of names. GeoVrey Chaucer has a ribald ring, as is proper and correct, and Alexander Pope was inevitably Alexander Pope. Colly Cibber was a silly little man without much elegance and Shelley was very Percy and very Bysshe’. ( James Joyce quoted in Prokosch, Voices 26)
introduction 1. See also Anagnostopolous: Cratylus is the ‘earliest attempt to solve a perennial problem about the relationship between the nature and structure of language and the nature and structure of the world’ (‘The SigniWcance’ 319). 2. The argument about the yaks’ generic name applies equally to an individual’s personal name: ‘though the name might be useful to others it was so redundant from the yak point of view that they never spoke it themselves and hence might as well dispense with it’. Cf. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, where the Gnat asks Alice, ‘ ‘‘What’s the use of their having names? . . . ’’ ‘‘No use to them,’’ said Alice; ‘‘but it’s useful to the people that name them’’ ’ (149).
chapter 1 1. For the importance attached by all societies to names, see Le´vi-Strauss; Frazer ch. 22; Cassirer; Brown. For naming ceremonies see Quigley. 2. Both Herodotus (4. 184, Godley ii. 387) and Pliny (5. 8, Rackham ii. 251) report on the same phenomenon, taking the Atlantes’ namelessness as proof of their lack of civilization. Pliny, however, indicates that the tribe’s namelessness may be a myth: ‘si credimus’. For the tale of the Atlantes as a possible traveller’s tale, see Pulgram 150–1, and compare Homer’s position in the Odyssey 8.552–4: ‘For no one, whether of low or high degree, goes nameless once he has come into the world; everybody is named by his parents the moment he is born’ (cited by Pulgram). In Macbeth the witches’ malevolent activity is ‘a deed without a name’: as D. J. Gordon observes (54) ‘what is nameless is monstrous’. Albany in King Lear concurs with Gordon. He addresses Goneril as ‘Thou worse than any name’ (5.3.159). 3. The Grimm brothers’ Rumpelstilzchen is a failed Odysseus. A poor miller tells the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold (which
4. 5. 6.
Notes she can’t) and the king promises to marry her if this is true. Rumpelstilzchen helps the despairing girl who, in exchange, promises him her Wrst-born child. A year later Rumpelstilzchen comes to claim the child but takes pity on the distraught queen: if she can Wnd out his name within three days she can keep her child. After two days in which a messenger searches and enquires fruitlessly, he comes across a little man jumping and singing ‘Rumpelstilzchen is my name’. The queen’s tragedy is averted and a furious Rumpelstilzchen destroys himself. This tale illustrates the equation between name and identity (Rumpelstilzchen is vulnerable when his name is known). For an analogous position see Roche on Mortimer’s wife in 1 Henry 4: ‘since her lines are not in English, she is denied a name’ (141). This exchange appears in the Wlm but not in the novel (compare the dialogue in The Pianist 177). His use of Nicodemus as a verb indicates the correlation between name and behaviour. Shakespeare employs the same tactic for extreme behaviours: ‘Petruchio is Kated’ (TS 3.2.245); ‘out-Herods Herod’ (Ham. 3.2.14), ‘I would not have been so Wdius’d’ (Cor. 2.1.130–1). For Bacon’s position on words versus things see Vickers, ‘Bacon and Rhetoric’. This belief in surrogationalism (that words are surrogates for things) is not without problems when pressed to its logical extreme, for words such as fairies, Santa Claus, or unicorn should not be possible, having no prior object to describe (Earle 154). Neither in the Bible, nor in Plato’s Cratylus, does anyone invent a name for something which does not yet exist (Harris and Taylor 38). Cf. Judith Butler: ‘Power is understood on the model of the divine power of naming, where to utter is to create the eVect uttered’ (32). The Treason Act of 1534, which deWned treasonous speech as treasonous action (Burrow, ‘Sixteenth Century’ 16), clearly understands the illocutionary power of speech. For recent American legislation on racist speech as racist action see Butler 52–69. For the woman’s loss of name and self in marriage, see T.E.: ‘man and wife are one person: . . . when a small brook or little rivulet incorporateth with Rhodanus [the river Rhone], Humber, or Thames, the poor rivulet loseth her name; it is carried and recarried with the new associate; it beareth no sway. . . . A woman as soon as she is married . . . hath lost her stream’ (125).
11. On Spenser as a structuralist, with The Faerie Queene constantly demanding that its readers adjudicate diVerence, sameness, oneness, and duality, see Gareth Roberts 12–47. 12. On naming in Crusoe see Novak ‘Defoe’ 51 and ‘Friday’ passim. In her poem Crusoe Elizabeth Bishop investigates the relation among words, things, and meaning, using Crusoe as a type of the writer (see Ferry ‘Crusoe’). The relation between the name-giver and the writer has long been noted. Classical and early modern authors viewed ‘metaphor-making . . . as the bestowing of a new name’ (Ferry, Art 145). Emerson writes, ‘The poet is the Namer, or Language-maker, naming things sometimes after their appearance, sometimes after their essence, and giving to every one its own name and not another’s’ (Emerson, ‘The Poet’ in Collected 13). 13. Critics frequently note the relationship between naming, authorship, and patriarchy as in Amy Pawl’s analysis of Fanny Burney’s Evelina: ‘An author is one who names and . . . that power ultimately belongs to [Burney’s] father or to any of the father Wgures . . . in her novel. Burney’s trepidation about the role of author is not wholly of her own making, of course: Genesis shows that naming is a male prerogative’ (Pawl 298). In D. J. Enright’s Paradise Illustrated Eve embraces the task of naming with results totally diVerent from those of Adam: ‘Lady’s Wnger’, said Eve. ‘Lady’s smock. Lady’s slipper. Lady’s tresses . . . ’ ... ‘Lily. Rose. Violet. Daisy. Poppy’. ... ‘She’s better at names than you were’, The Lord observed. ‘They all sound womanish to me’, Said Adam nettled. (Enright 14–15)
Of course the results are ‘womanish’: the world and the word now match the woman’s view. 14. Harry Berger says that the syphogrants’ ‘older names and natures persist in the reformed language’ (288; my emphasis); his expansive inference is
Notes probably correct, but it is more than Hythloday asserts. On the problems of naming in Utopia see Romm. For the eVect of this nomenclature in conWrming Bertram as a juvenile, see Lower, 239–46. The oft-cited exception to the arbitrary nature of signiWcation is onomatopoeia (name-maker), where words match sounds. However it is noticeable that onomatopoeia is not aVected by foreign languages— susurrer and chuchoter in French (to whisper) are as onomatopoeic as whisper is in English, for example—and thus supports a conventional rather than motivated theory of language. Cf. Anagnostopolous: ‘for Plato the term ‘‘name’’ seems to cut across all grammatical distinctions’ (‘Plato’s Cratylus’ 693). This is a Wtting conclusion to a life in which language, names, and identity were intertwined: ‘Greek time`, or timos, means both ‘‘personal honor’’ and ‘‘value’’, the price of a thing. And the noun timorai means both ‘‘assistance’’ and ‘‘vengeance’’. Timon, as it were, is exploring the etymology of his own name’ (Kermode in G. B. Evans (ed.), 1443). Logos and onoma certainly exist as separate words, but Hare’s (unexplained) point may be that there is an overlap in their meanings, hence his conclusion that ‘it was easy for Plato to suppose that the way in which a word like ‘‘man’’ got its meaning was the same as that in which a proper name like ‘‘Meno’’ got its meaning’ (33). Modern German reveals the common ground of name and noun by capitalizing both. Cf. Sidney’s observation in Apology for Poetry (108) about the development of Terence’s Gnatho and Chaucer’s Pandar from names to nouns. David Schalkwyk illustrates both the linguistic/ontological dilemma of language, and the interface between proper name and noun, in relation to the word apartheid. To change this name, as the South African government proposed, to ‘plural democracy’, ‘multinational development’, or ‘separate development’, is manifestly not to change the thing. Furthermore, although apartheid is a common noun, and hence translatable from Afrikaans into other languages, the world has refused to translate it. Apartheid is used as a proper name (176–7). On the (non)translation of proper names see Pulgram 191: ‘A true translation neither necessitates nor aims at the loss or eradication of the original. In this sense, then, proper names are not as a rule translated.’ W. H. Auden reached the same conclusion via a metaphoric route: ‘Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable’ (267).
22. Cf. Paradise Lost 10, 867–8 where Adam commands Eve, ‘Out of my sight, thou serpent, that name best j BeWts thee with him leagued’ ( because some commentators believed her name meant ‘serpent’; see PL ed. Fowler 553). 23. Hence the importance traditionally attached to the curse: since name equals identity, for an evil-wisher to traYc with the name was as disastrous as a witch traYcking with the more material excrescences of hair and nail clippings. Nicknames originated as a way of protecting the real name (and thus the individual). For a contemporary variant of protection see Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar: ‘ ‘‘My name’s Elly Higginbotham’’, I said. ‘‘I come from Chicago’’. After that I felt safer. I didn’t want anything I said or did that night to be associated with me and my real name and coming from Boston’ (11). Rumpelstilzchen (n. 3) illustrates the danger of letting someone know your name. 24. Puns arise when words compete for contexts, or invoke two contexts at once. Webster exploits the dual associations of pippin in The White Devil 5.6.109. 25. The bond between godparent and godchild was strong, for, in an age of short life-expectancy, godparents were replacement parents. ‘Children would ask their godparents’ blessing whenever meeting them, much as they did of their parents every morning and evening’ (Singman and McLean 37). There is thus considerable logic in Folio King Lear’s attribution of the play’s last speech to Edgar (as opposed to the Quarto’s attribution to Albany), who survives Lear’s three natural children. (There is, incidentally, considerable illogic in referring to a godfather in a play set in non/pre-Christian Britain but the anachronism is typical of Shakespearean practice.) 26. This is how ‘parson’ is used by Samuel Richardson in Clarissa when Lovelace boasts of his facility in giving pet love-names: ‘No parson ever gave more real names than I have given Wctitious one’ (letter V, iii. 61). 27. The same sense of ‘appropriate’ animal names obtains today. I am surely not the only reader to have been surprised to Wnd that ‘Richard Parker’ in Yann Martell’s The Life of Pi was the name of a tiger. 28. And are much more common in the USA than in Great Britain (Petrie 12). 29. Psychologists of naming point out that, whereas names often used to be descriptive (as in surnames), in today’s culture only nicknames fulWl that function. 30. On the etymology of Robert cf. Camden K3r, p. 69, and Lyford P1v.
31. In the same year Field printed a French grammar (STC 6763; A Treatise for Declining of Verbs) by the French teacher Claudius Hollyband, who signed himself Claude de Sainsliens in the prefatory material. Frenchifying his name was a habit for Hollyband (see e.g. STC 6738 in 1576). Franklin Williams (320) identiWes Field’s foreign alias as Italian; the phrase is, in fact, identical in Italian and Spanish but the Spanish context of the title-page suggests that Field intended it as Spanish, as does his earlier use of the identical imprint in the Spanish New Testament (STC 2959). The STC number cited by Williams for Catholico Reformado (24580) should be 19741. 32. Thus, a French text of 1600 and another of 1602 were printed ‘A Londres: Par Richard Field, demeurant aux Black-Frieres, 1600 (STC 15451 and STC 15449); a 1624 translation of Camden’s Annals came ‘de l’imprimerie de Richard Field’ (STC 4502). In 1595 his Latin edition of Calvin read ‘Londini: In aedibus Richard Field’ (STC 4372.5), and his 1603 edition of Cicero read ‘Londini: apud Robertum Dexter in Cœmeterio D. Pauli ad insigne Serpentis ænei, 1603’ (STC 5320). His name receives full translation only in Spanish texts (three times) but in his 1611 Latin edition of Apologia Cardinalis Bellarmini he gave his Wrst name and his surname an appelativum and a translation respectively. The imprint reads: ‘Cosmopoli [i.e. At London]: apud Theophilum [by lover of God] Pratum [Meadow i.e. Field] anno 1611’ (STC 25596.5). One wonders whether Field’s fondness for printing and publishing religious material occasioned the choice of Wrst name here. There is, of course, no Latin equivalent for Richard, which is a name of Germanic origin. If the view of an Elizabethan minister in Northamptonshire that Richard was ‘not a godly name’ (Cressy 162) was widespread, then Field’s choice of Theophilus was a pointed rejoinder. 33. The passage is noteworthy for its insistent interest in names. Lucius urges Imogen: ‘Say his name, good friend.’ After du Champ is named, Lucius then asks the page his name, responding etymologically to the disguised Imogen’s identiWcation of herself as the loyal page Fidele: ‘Thou dost approve thyself the very same; j Thy name well Wts thy faith; thy faith thy name’ (4.2.380–1). On names in Cymbeline see Pitcher. One might note the irony whereby this play about names makes popular a non-existent girl’s name: Imogen is thought to be a mistake (by Shakespeare or the compositor) for Holinshed’s Innogen. (Shakespeare uses Innogen elsewhere—she appears as a ghost character in Much Ado.) However, Ros King has recently argued that Imogen may not be an
error: the form appears in Holinshed, in the index to vol. i of the 1586 edition of his Chronicles (King 72). Joseph Hall similarly entered into dialogue with Marston when, in his epigram on the satirist, he wrote that mad dogs were cured by castration (‘by cutting & kinsing’). When Marston reprinted this epigram in the second edition of The Scourge of Villainy, he added a marginal note to the reader: ‘*Mark the witty allusion to my name’ (Marston, Poems 165; Ruthven 23). The tradition lives on. At Magdalen College, Oxford, the annual Perrot Oration, written and delivered in Latin by a student, summarizes the year’s events in the College. It is rooted in puns on fellows’ names (puns which must work in English and in Latin). Thus Susan Hitch appears as Susanna Impedimentum; much is made of a Senior Bursar named Charles Young; and the promotion of the ambulatory Ralph Walker to Chair of the Humanities Division is ironically noted (examples from Lucian Holland, Oratio Perrotiana, 2000). In The Praise of Folly Erasmus satirizes a theologian who interpreted the three declensions of Jesu (us, -um, -u) as indicating (collectively) the trinity and (individually) sum, middle, and ultimate (64–5). In the seventeenth century John Oldham wrote ‘A Satire’ in which ‘The Person of Spenser is brought in, Dissuading the Author from the Study of Poetry’. Despite strict adherence to his Juvenalian satiric model, Oldham imitates Spenser in one important regard: ‘he delays naming Spenser’s ghost, in the manner of the Faerie Queene itself ’ (Alastair Fowler, ‘Genre’ 94). Aristophanes’ practice is in marked contrast to his tragedian counterparts who stress character names well before their entries (Olson 305). For Shakespeare’s habit of naming characters well in advance see Lower. In 1694 Lawrence Echard complained that ‘one great Fault common to many of our Plays is, that an Actor’s name, Quality or Business is scarce ever known till a good while after his appearance; which must needs make the Audience at a great Loss, and the Play hard to understand’. The audience is thus ‘forc[ed] to carry Books with ’em to the Play-house to know who comes in, and who goes out’ (xiii). See Melchiori, ed. 2H4 2.4.89–92 n. for explanation of the several signiWcations of the pun. The classical Autolycus was the son of Mercury, god of thieves. In Golding’s translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, we read that Chione bore to Mercury ‘a sonne that hyght Autolychus, who provde a wyly pye’ (Ovid, Shakespeare’s Ovid 283).
41. For the aptness of the name Diana see Ch. 3. 42. Ernst Pulgram points out, however, that although we don’t expect personal names to ‘mean’ anything any more (‘because of the semantic intransparency of names in several vernaculars’), we do expect foreign names to be translatable and hence to have meaning (155). For examples of translators’ attempts to deal with names (e.g. Humpty Dumpty) see Manini 162. 43. In the RSC production of Richard 2 at The Other Place in 2000, directed by Stephen Pimlott, the set featured a coYn-sized and coYn-shaped mound of earth which was variously draped with an English Xag and dug up. 44. In the 2000 RSC production this sequence of lines was used to begin several scenes, spoken by diVerent characters. Richard’s predicament was a universal linguistic predicament. 45. For discussions of postlapsarian language in Richard 2 see Weidhorn, ‘Relation’ 310–12; Gordon 217; Joseph Porter 12–19. 46. On economic naming systems and the devaluing of currency in Elizabethan England see Burnett 294, and Foucault, Order 169, 172, 176. Chapter 1 of William Carroll’s Great Feast of Language deals illuminatingly with words and exchange in Love’s Labour’s Lost. 47. Anne Barton notes that in the play’s last moments Lodovico ‘tries to give [Othello] back his name—‘O thou, Othello, that was once so good’ (291)—and Cassio, his lost occupation—‘Dear general, I never gave you cause’ (299) (Names 129). Lucking also writes persuasively about the way in which ‘Iago’s attack on meaning—in particular on the meaning of personal names—is an attack on identity as well’ (‘Othello’ 118). On name in Othello see also Doran. 48. For an extended discussion see GriYn. 49. Thus, I have to take exception to Coleridge’s view of Iago’s ‘motiveless malignancy’; racism is its own motive. 50. In a brilliant analysis of slander in the play Kenneth Gross illustrates the way in which words and material objects are ‘torn apart’ (829). Much of what he says about slander also applies to names, and to language generally. Othello’s lament that ‘we can call these delicate creatures ours, j And not their appetites’ (3.3.269–70) is as much a linguistic lament as sexual. The things in which we repose trust—Desdemona, language, names—can be made to mean diVerently in others’ mouths, in other contexts as Menenius realizes among the Volscians in Coriolanus when he is told ‘The virtue of your name j Is not here passable’ (5.2.12–13). When he departs, the soldiers mock his onomastic conWdence: ‘Now, sir, is your name Menenius? j ’Tis a spell, you see, of much power’ (5.2.95–6).
chapter 2 1. Nonetheless, editorial preference for Q1’s reading shows the diYculty of Juliet’s position that ideas can be divorced from words. Earlier editors’ promotion of the Q1 reading into their Q2 copy-text of Romeo and Juliet (see the editions of H. H. Furness (1899), Edward Dowden (1900), Peter Alexander (1951), John Dover Wilson (1955)) illustrates locally and textually the point the play makes largely and philosophically: names matter. Oscar Wilde satirizes such views in The Importance of Being Earnest (1, 394–9) when Gwendolen declares, ‘My ideal has always been to love someone of the name of Ernest. There is something in that name that inspires absolute conWdence. The moment Algernon Wrst mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you.’ 2. This problem did not exist during Romeo’s infatuation with that other Capulet, Rosaline, as courtly love does not move towards marriage. 3. The Norton-Oxford edition emends from Q1 here. Q1 reads ‘Whats Mountague? It is nor hand nor foote, j Nor arme, nor face, nor any other part.’ Q2 reads ‘Whats Mountague? it is nor hand nor foote, j Nor arme nor face, o be some other name j Belonging to a man.’ See Wells and Taylor, Textual Companion 294 (2.1.83–4/814–15) for analysis of the alternatives. 4. For a contemporary refraction of Cinna’s predicament, see Orson Welles’ Julius Caesar (1937). In his production Caesar was a Hitler Wgure and the actor who played Cinna observed that Cinna’s death ‘symbolized what was happening in the world [at the time], if your name was Greenburg and even if you weren’t Jewish’ (Welles 105–6). 5. Cf. The Two Gentlemen of Verona where Julia reassembles the torn pieces of Proteus’s love-letter: ‘here is writ ‘‘love-wounded Proteus’’. j Poor wounded name: my bosom as a bed j Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly heal’d’ (1.2.110–12). In The Rape of Lucrece Collatine utters the name Tarquin ‘through his teeth, as if the name he tore’ (RL 1786–7). In Othello, a play very much concerned with names (Barton Names, Watson, Gross) language itself becomes material: Othello speaks with ‘a bombast circumstance j Horribly stuVed with epithets of war’ (1.1.12–13). 6. John Stuart Mill makes a similar point in ‘Of Names’: ‘A town may have been named Dartmouth, because it is situated at the mouth of the Dart. But it is no part of the signiWcation of . . . the word Dartmouth, to be situated at the mouth of the Dart. If sand should choke up the mouth of the river . . . the name of the town would not necessarily be changed’ (Hornish 135).
7. This situation is replayed less tenderly in Twelfth Night 1.5.133–8, where Malvolio misjudges the tone required. Olivia desires information: ‘What kind o’ man is he? . . . What manner of man? . . . Of what personage and years is he?’ Malvolio equivocates in an attempt at Feste-style wit: ‘Of very ill manner.’ In his conversation with the gravedigger in Hamlet 5.1, Hamlet realizes that he must resort to plain speaking if communication is to be successful: ‘We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us’ (lines 126–7). 8. For interesting analyses of Mercutio’s distinction between art and nature, see Estrin and Everett. 9. Ed Snow contrasts this with Romeo’s kinetic energy and static images (170–5). 10. David Lucking narrows this to a tragedy of literacy. It is, as he points out, Romeo’s ability to read that leads him to the Capulet feast (‘ ‘‘Balcony’’ Scene’). However, failure to rely on the written word (the letter from Friar Lawrence) is also responsible for disaster: Romeo’s trust in oral report brings him from Mantua to the Capulet vault in Verona (Whittier 38). Pierre Iselin argues (in a position that, as will become apparent, I agree with entirely) that the play is a tragedy of naming. For an analysis of the play as a debate about reference see William N. West. 11. The paradoxes in this paragraph are indebted to Steiner; White; Wardhaugh; Edwards; Grillo; G. A. Wells; Richard Bailey; Grosjean; Romaine. 12. Literary examples of the power of silence include Chaucer’s Griselda, where Griselda’s uncomplaining acquiescence to Walter’s repeated cruelty becomes increasingly subversive (see Hansen 188–207), and Shakespeare’s French princess in Henry 5, where Katherine’s apparently benign incomprehension forces Henry into French. 13. It is no coincidence that the ‘savage’ Caliban has one of the most poetic speeches in The Tempest; and, in a line richly aware of the Janus-like qualities of language, he declares ‘You taught me language, and my proWt on’t j Is I know how to curse’ (1.2.366). 14. In a conXation of communicative practice with linguistic practice we ascribe ‘language’ to the body, as Romeo does when he sees the silent Juliet: ‘her eye discourses, I will answer it’. Here Romeo interprets Juliet’s ocular discourse correctly; but the diYculty inherent in all communication is seen when Ulysses arrogantly glosses Cressida’s body language as sexual invitation: There’s language in her eye, her cheek, her lip; Nay, her foot speaks. Her wanton spirits look out
At every joint and motive of her body. (Troilus and Cressida 4.6.56–8)
15. As the British army and the Irish resistance resort to violent confrontation in the play’s tragic ending, Sarah relapses into dumbness and Nellie Ruadh’s baby is pronounced dead. 16. A similar project of renaming—this time in the form of surnames—took place in Austria in 1816, for a census. The census compiler records ‘[T]he confusion must not last. The names must be made ready for the parish records; surnames must be invented.’ He concludes triumphantly, ‘The new names are Wnding favor, and whoever bears one holds his head higher and is more hopeful, prouder than he has been before. Now he knows who he is’ (cited in Pulgram 164, 165, my emphasis). 17. For interesting discussions of this production see Hodgdon, ‘Looking for Mr Shakespeare’ and Salter. 18. Drifting over the set’s empty road, it also evoked the Wlm’s opening shot and the parched conditions (Texan desert, Canadian prairie, Veronese square) blamed by Benvolio for the feuding families’ public brawl in 3.1. 19. The set subtly reiWed another linguistic contrast in the play: the language of speed versus the language of caution. Most of Verona is hasty and impatient: Mercutio resists Benvolio’s advice in 3.1 to retreat from the midday sun and potential confrontation with the Capulets; Juliet laments her elderly Nurse’s slowness as love-messenger (2.4), and in 3.2 she chafes at the sun’s measured progress across the heavens which delays dusk, Romeo, and her wedding night. By conspicuous contrast, Friar Laurence aphoristically counsels caution: ‘Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast’; ‘Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow’ (2.2.94; 2.5.15). Although the production featured fast vehicles throughout (the opening quarrel, for example, was staged as a game of ‘highway chicken’ with the Capulet and Montague servants bumping each other’s fenders in head-on confrontation), Friar Laurence, alone of all the characters, rode a bicycle. Furthermore, his herb garden was set in the rusted body of a discarded car, propped awry in the earth, with plants sprouting from the wheel-less hubs and empty door frames. Was this a relic of Friar Laurence’s more reckless days, now rejected? A monument to Verona’s rash behaviour? Whatever its source, the defunct car served as a permanent visual reminder that Friar Laurence did not speak Verona’s dangerous language of speed. 20. In aube tradition the lady has a dialogue about the time of day with the watchman, or other oYcial, who alerts her to the danger of dawn (Kaske 167–79).
21. Such reciprocity in love makes logical sense of Juliet’s mixed metaphor in 3.2.26–8 where she is both subject and object, buyer and seller. It is very diVerent from the superWcially similar scene of language exchange in The Taming of the Shrew (4.5) where Petruchio makes all the demands and Katherine all the concessions. 22. Eliot was a Warwickshire man, a near-contemporary of Shakespeare, and Lever speculates on the possibility that he and Shakespeare may have known each other. Whether the men were acquainted or not, it seems more than probable that Shakespeare was reading Eliot in 1593–4—for instance, towards its conclusion (u4r–x1r, pp. 159–61), the dialogue oVers a bathetic descent from poetic lyricism to a Mercutianstyle ‘satire on the Petrarchan lover in which all the stock conceits of the contemporary sonnet craze are lumped together’ (Lever 83). 23. To twenty-Wrst-century readers, Romeo’s code-switching, like Mortimer’s intention of learning Welsh, might seem an encouraging example of linguistic and sexual equality. But neither of these characters is presented in ways that invite emulation. Romeo realizes that his love for Juliet has made him ‘eVeminate’: he turns the other cheek, prefers peace to Wghting, love to hate, and consequently, though unintentionally, causes the death of his friend Mercutio. (Critics are often very hard on Romeo; see e.g. Snow.) Mortimer is uninterested in politics, tardy in warfare, paciWst and passive rather than militarily aggressive, preferring to linger in connubial conference rather than to engage enthusiastically with the enemy. In the early modern period foreign languages were traditionally viewed as feminine languages in contrast to the rugged masculinity of English; this was especially true of French (see Steinsaltz 318–19 and Fleming). Romeo’s desire to speak his wife’s language in a production in which her language is French doubly eVeminizes him. 24. In fact, the play is not about the Irish language so much it is about the relationship between language and culture; see Friel, ‘Extracts’ 58. It is also, as Friel points out, about the relationship between two cultures: ‘It would be better if the English treated the Irish as a genuinely foreign people, which they are, and not as resident clowns.’ 25. In a Globe and Mail article on bilingualism, Victor Goldblum, Canada’s OYcial Language Commissioner, observed: ‘Que´bec’s sense of collective destiny continues to clash with the rest of Canada’s strong attachment to individual freedoms.’ Thus, ‘even if we’re bilingual and can communicate with one another we’re . . . not speaking the same language when we talk about individual and collective interests’ (my emphasis). See Campbell
D3. Thus, in Canada and Ireland, as elsewhere, it is cultural heritage rather than language that divides; but language inevitably embodies cultural heritage. 26. On Melville’s interest in naming see Levin 58: ‘Melville employed . . . Scriptural names—Ishmael, Ahab—to convey the eVect of preWguration, the feeling that all this has happened before and will inevitably happen again.’ The American cartoonist, Gary Larson, is consistently interested in names. A cartoon of Melville struggling with his Wrst drafts reads as follows: ‘moby dick. Chapter 1. Call me Bill. Call me Al. Call me Larry. Call me Roger. Call me Warren.’ 27. The reconstructed text of the Norton/Oxford Shakespeare reads ‘Is it no more to be your daughter than to say my mother’s name?’ (21.195–6). 28. On the concept of purity in names see Pulgram 193–4 (who quotes Chomsky), and Kermode 202.
chapter 3 1. See McLeod ‘Un Editing’; ‘Information’; ‘Fiat Flux’; ‘Angels’. 2. But not always: Desdemon at F TLN 3266 gives a line of dialogue with four iambic feet; the Q Desdemona (M1r) gives an iambic line of four and a half feet, with a spondee in the third foot. 3. For Helen see 103, 104, 153; for Helena see 74, 88. 4. For Helen see 1.1.208; 2.2.144; 3.2.137, 172, 251; 4.1.160; for Helena see 1.1.180; 2.2.104, 113; 3.2.111, 166, 187, 246; 4.1.130, 171. These references are not exhaustive but their distribution of forms is representative. Helen and Helena are always used in close proximity; neither form dominates in any given scene. 5. Agnes Latham’s note in the Arden 2 edition of As You Like It (3.2.140) expresses an anachronistically twentieth-century sensibility: ‘few if any of Shakespeare’s audience would pick up the reference and know that he was saying Rosalind was as beautiful as Helen but more chaste’. 6. ‘After the Council of Trent, the Church declared that children should be named after canonized saints, so that those saints might act as models and as special protectors and advocates before God’. However, ‘most people were called after saints well before this. The Church was merely conWrming the practice’ (Wilson 191, 192). As late as the eighteenth century Fielding could comment of Bridget Allworthy in Tom Jones: ‘Her conversation was so pure, her looks so sage, and her whole
14. 15. 16. 17.
Notes deportment so grave and solemn, that she seemed to deserve the name of saint equally with her namesake’ (76). I say ‘the Shakespeare canon’ as opposed to ‘Shakespeare’ since this scene is attributed by the Oxford editors to Nashe (candidates proVered by others include Greene and Peele). On Hell and Helen see J. Roberts, Wild 145–7. The author of a book on onomastics can scarcely fail to remark the appositeness of a quotation about apples coming from a critic called Pippin. However, my survey of parish records in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries does not reveal any obvious or widespread avoidance of the name Helen. The name ‘Helen’ and its variants (Helena, Ellen) consistently appear in the top Wfty names for girls in England, Wales, and the USA (Dunkling 45–7). It is a short step from here to nouns such as doll (originally a hypocoristic of Dorothy) and marionette (from Mary or Marie). As we saw in Ch. 1, to become an eponym is a striking act of unnaming. King Minos of Crete received an annual tribute from Athens of seven young men and seven young women whom he threw to the Minotaur (a monster with a bull’s head and a man’s body) as a living sacriWce. Discontent with this arrangement, the Athenians soon protested; Theseus volunteered himself as a victim. King Minos agreed, however, that if anyone succeeded in killing the Minotaur the potential victims could return to Athens. The Minotaur was housed in a huge palace (the Labyrinth) which was such a maze of rooms and corridors that only the architect could Wnd his way out of it. When one of Minos’ daughters, Ariadne, fell in love with Theseus she gave him a ball of thread with which he could Wnd his way out of the labyrinth once he had killed the Minotaur at its centre. On the signiWcance of Bottom’s name see Stroup, Willson, and Peter Holland. For further possibilities see D’Orsay Pearson 278. One cannot fail to recall Aristotle’s view that tyrants are ruined once they rape and violate (Politics 1311a, 1314b; cf. Jed 3). The complete story is recounted in Plutarch 44–7. It is his presentation of her as a minor which enables Trussell to present her as a victim; most other complaint poetry presents her as a penitent whore (Catty 68). See e.g. Rudd, and Bate, Ovid 130–46.
19. Technically Helen was only semi-divine, the oVspring of a mortal and a god. 20. See Elizabeth Fowler 59–65 and Levine, passim. 21. Jocelyn Catty points out that in the Faerie Queene, for both Acrasia and Busyrane, ‘enchantment is a substitute for physical force’ (82). 22. This theme was developed gratuitously in Robert Le Page’s production at the National Theatre in 1992 where Puck raped the First Fairy in Act 2 Scene 1. 23. In a logic not untypical of cultural history, Helen is being punished sexually for the crime of sex (she risks her virginity pursuing Demetrius to the wood). See C. S. Lewis, ‘After Ten Years’, and Catty 84–6 on rape as a punishment for ‘erring females’ in Spenser’s Faerie Queene. 24. Titania’s reference may speciWcally reXect the ongoing conXict in the Netherlands, and the famines and dearth of the mid-1590s (Sharpe 197–201). 25. Edward Rocklin describes an acting exercise in which students focused their interpretation of 1.1 round one signiWcant prop: a volume of The Laws of Athens (156–7). 26. In Kenneth Branagh’s production of 1990, Bottom was played by Richard Briers as a star whose ego demanded that his colleagues perform persuasion. Quince’s epithets were separated by long pauses in which Quince (a Victorian actor-manager played by Branagh) assessed the reaction, concerned that he had not yet secured the services of his leading man. Bottom’s ‘well; I will undertake it’ was delivered with a combination of reluctance and generous condescension as he apparently yielded to an invitation which he had never intended to refuse. 27. The word is similarly inXected in Milton: ‘for Nature here j Wantoned as in her prime’ (Paradise Lost V. 294–5). In Richard 2 Bolingbroke contemplates ‘[f ]our lagging winters and four wanton springs’ (1.3.214). 28. Respectively: 1.1.11, 12, 13, 14, 57, 67, 68, 68, 83, 86. 29. In Branagh’s production Snug distributed his business card to the audience not just revealing his name but promoting his joinery services: with three weddings he was understandably anticipating much in the way of home improvements. 30. In fact in the Quarto ‘wall’ is twice placed in italics (as are other proper names) and in the Folio three times. 31. Almost all editions name the character Puck but the Oxford single-text edition edited by Peter Holland, and the Norton Shakespeare (based on the Oxford Complete Works) both name the character Robin Goodfellow.
Notes The Quarto of 1600 and the 1623 Folio Xuctuate between Robin and Puck in stage directions and speech preWxes (although they do not mix the two within single scenic blocks). For example, Robin enters as Robin goodfellow at F TLN 373–4 and is Rob. in speech preWxes; later he re-enters as Pucke (TLN 627) and is Puck. or Pu. in speech preWxes. Genesis does not specify the fruit but medieval European writers and artists identiWed it as an apple, presumably to make the fruit familiar. Helen probably originates as a vegetation or tree goddess, ‘the shining one’ (Skutsch 188; Meagher 14–20). The importance of Mary in subsequent Christian tradition may be Christianity’s attempt to incorporate the matriarchal aspect of pagan worship ( Jean Roberts, ‘Shades’ 52). This episode may help us with the staging of Troilus and Cressida 1.2, in which Cressida and Pandarus watch the Trojans returning after the day’s battle. Pandarus identiWes the warriors for Cressida. It is a notoriously diYcult scene to stage (like so many in this play). Is it a large, processional scene, the focus on the warriors? Or a small, intimate scene, the focus on the conversation between uncle and niece? Given Cressida’s position as a calque on Helen’s (see below), the scene must, I think, belong to Cressida and Pandarus. In his pair of sonnets ‘Menelaus and Helen’ Rupert Brooke boldly presents Helen in old age, her beauty decayed. More daringly, C. S. Lewis’ unWnished short story, ‘After Ten Years’, presents Menelaus’ disappointment at the moment of regaining Helen: ‘He had never dreamed she would be like this; never dreamed that the Xesh would have gathered under her chin, that the face could be so plump and yet so drawn, that there would be grey hair at her temples and wrinkles at the corners of her eyes. Even her height was less than he remembered’ (134). ‘We may discard the story of the blindness, either as sheer invention or as a misunderstanding of his saying that he was blind and now saw the truth’ (Skutsch 188). For an extended and detailed analysis of the innovative nature of Helen see Matthew Wright, passim. The servant Litio in Gascoigne’s Supposes has a very Euripidean speech when, faced with duplication of character, he considers the possibility of the world containing more than one Philogano, Erostrato, Ferrara, Sicilia, and Cathanea (4.4, Boas 316–17). Gascoigne’s acquaintance with Euripides is well documented: he translated and published Jocasta (with Francis Kinwelmershe) in 1566 (the same year as he published Supposes), and he praises Euripides generally in A Hundred Sundry Flowers (1573).
39. Lock’s phrase refers to shadows in Walcott’s Omeros but his concise summation is applicable to the Euripidean eidolon. 40. Numerous examples can be found on pp. 137, 140, 144, 154, 175, 188. 41. On Menelaus’ limited intellect see GriYth 37; Pippin 153. 42. Menenius makes the same mistake among the Volscians in Coriolanus 4.2. 43. The irony of Timon of Athens and Troilus and Cressida, he points out, is quintessentially Greek: Rome was ‘not an ironic culture’ (219). 44. See 191–2, 261–2, 294 (where The Phoenician Women is speciWed for study), 316, 348–9, 359–60, 417, and 422. The schools cited include Eton, St Paul’s, Westminster, and Winchester. 45. I am grateful to Mark Bland for sharing this unpublished discovery with me. 46. A list of texts and reference books bought for St Paul’s school in 1582–3 include ‘Euripides graeco-lat cum annotat. Stiblini et Brodaei’. This was presumably the handsome 1562 Basle edition. 47. Raven 6; Armstrong 268, 289–90; on the book trade from Italy to Southampton see Armstrong 275–6. 48. I am grateful to Gary Taylor for this information. 49. I am grateful to Kirsty Milne for this information. 50. For evidence that Shakespeare read Buchanan’s Latin work—he used Pompae Deorum (published 1584) in Venus and Adonis and Othello—see Baldwin 651–8. 51. Rhesus is popular in Cambridge inventories in dates before the (known) existence of a separate publication. Leedham-Green speculates that ‘the play enjoyed a brief and never to be repeated popularity as a teaching text’ (i p. xxiii). 52. This is the spelling adopted in the Oxford Complete Works. 53. In one understudy’s rehearsal I witnessed for the 1981 RSC production directed by Trevor Nunn, Philip Franks as Bertram thumbed through his little black book (of addresses? conquests?) with a comic hesitation as he tried to locate the name of today’s potential bed partner: ‘they told me your name was . . . [pause, Xick, Xick, Wnds it, relief] Fontibell’. 54. Violenta appears once in a stage direction in Folio Twelfth Night at TLN 461. This page and All’s Well That Ends Well were both set by compositor B. Compositor B set All’s Well X1v (with Violenta at TLN 1603), then X6 (where Diana does not appear). Before completing All’s Well (Y1 and Y1v) he set four formes of Twelfth Night. When he met the Wrst stage direction ‘Enter Viola’ in his copy for Twelfth Night Y3v, he presumably took it as an abbreviation for the name Violenta which he
Notes had just set in All’s Well. He subsequently encountered Viola’s name in the text of Twelfth Night and so never repeated the error (Turner 130). Of Twelfth Night’s Violenta, Laurie Osborne comments ‘ ‘‘Violenta’’ is coincidentally appropriate, appearing at the point in the play where Viola/ Cesario is at her/his most vehement and aggressive in terms of behaviour’ (15). Osborne’s comment illustrates the drive to onomastic legibility that motivates all readers, even in the case of a textual error. David Daniell makes a similar point with greater textual authority when he observes that Viola’s cross-dressed pseudonym, Cesario, means ‘little Caesar’ (Julius Caesar 8). The Oxford Textual Companion places Julius Caesar in 1599 and Twelfth Night in 1601. The only production I have seen which comes close to supporting this view was Trevor Nunn’s 1981 RSC production in which Cheryl Campbell played Diana as if she belonged in the Moulin Rouge: standing on a table with a rose between her teeth, swirling her skirts, and entertaining the soldiers with song. This phrase of Cressida’s occurs in a conversation with Pandarus. With teasing exasperation Pandarus complains that he does not know ‘at what ward’ Cressida lies; that is, he does not know what defensive position she adopts. In reply, Cressida recounts the defensive tactics available to her. First, she says, she can lie ‘upon my back, to defend my belly’ (1.2.260). No editor before 1998 has glossed this perplexing phrase. In a note exploring variant interpretations, David Bevington suggests (357) that Cressida ‘may regard sexuality itself as a defence’. Lorraine Helms is less tentative and more explicit. Cressida will ‘accept concubinage to avoid rape’. In other words, ‘surrender becomes her last line of defense’ (38). Cressida in Troilus and Cressida is recuperated both in her own right and as a reXection of the Helen of Troy story; Isabella in Measure for Measure oVers an alternative to the story of Lucrece (as a novice nun Isabella is professionally equipped to become a martyr, but this is a step she resolutely refuses to take); and Helen of Troy is revised again in All’s Well that Ends Well where, unhistorically rejected, the heroine places Bertram in the role of adored and pursued mythic creature. In a later reworking of the Lucrece myth, Thomas Heywood’s play The Rape of Lucrece, Valerius similarly takes pleasure from the delay caused by denial: That crafty girl can please me best That no, for yea, can say, And every wanton willing kiss Can season with a nay. (2.3, p. 361)
59. On Helen and weaving, see Blundell; Bergren. On weaving generally see Cunningham. 60. The Riverside editor speculates that in revising the play Shakespeare transferred to Pistol business and lines originally given to FalstaV, but failed to alter FalstaV’s Doll to Pistol’s Nell (‘Note on the text’ 972). 61. The issue of consent had been raised earlier: in a statute of 1555; in Sir William Staunford’s Exposition (1567); in William Lambard’s Eirenarcha (1588), 257; and it continued to occupy Michael Dalton in The Country Justice (1618) and T.E. in The Law’s Resolution of Women’s Rights (1632). For helpful discussions of literature in relation to the law on this topic—and the enduring imprecision, and the apparent tautology and contradiction, of terminology—see B. Baines; Walker; Garrett; Catty; Belsey; Porter 217; Brownmiller; Wynne-Davies.
chapter 4 1. See 2.1.62; 1.1.52; 2.1.167; 1.2.129–30; 3.2.29; 1.1.66; 2.1.209; 1.2.196; 3.2.19; 3.2.92; 3.2.157. 2. Cressida is Cressid thirty-two times in Troilus and Cressida (she is Cressida on ten occasions) but this is a diVerent case: Cressid seems to have been used as often as Cressida in the period. In texts printed between 1576 and 1632 Cressid is used twenty-one times, Cressida twenty-six times (these Wgures are skewed by Heywood’s preference for Cressida in The Iron Age: eleven times over three uses of Cressid; however Whetstone’s eight uses of Cressid comes close to evening things out). I have noted Cressid in the following texts (bracketed dates are those of Wrst publication): George Whetstone, The Rock of Regard (1576); George Pettie, The Palace of Pleasure (1576); Thomas Proctor, A Gorgeous Gallery of Gallant Inventions (1578); Anon. (a student in Cambridge); A Poor Knight his Palace of Private Pleasures (1579); Austin Saker, Narbonus: The Labyrinth of Liberty (1580); Robert Greene, Arbosto (1589); Thomas Heywood, Troia Britannica (1609); Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (1609); Thomas Heywood, The Iron Age (1632). For Cressida in the same period see: Robert Greene, Euphues his Censure to Philautus (1587); Tully’s Love (1589); Greene’s Mourning Garment (1590); Greene’s Never Too Late (1590); Richard Johnson, The Seven Champions of Christendom (1596); Thomas Heywood, Troia Britannica (1609); Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (1609); Richard Johnson, A Crown Garland of Golden Roses (1612); Anon. The Life and Death of Hector (1614); Robert Greene, Alcida: Greene’s Metamorphosis (1617); Richard Braithwait, Nature’s
3. 4. 5.
Notes Embassy (1621); John Hagthorpe, Visiones Rerum (1623); and Thomas Heywood, The Iron Age (1632). As I have done elsewhere: see ‘ ‘‘Household Kates’’ ’. I am grateful to Emma Smith for sharing this unpublished information with me. Reinhartz is using anonymity in its conventional sense here; her book is about unnamed characters in the Bible. However, her work is inXuenced by that of Natanson and her observation in this sentence can be usefully applied to Natanson’s concept of anonymity, and to my extension of it. (Indeed her discussion often makes this transition for us, sliding between the literal and the conceptual.) In her forthcoming Arden 3 edition of the play Barbara Hodgdon leaves intact the F stage direction for Petruchio’s unaccompanied exit at TLN 2747. For Hotspur and Henry 5’s resemblance to Petruchio, see Maguire, ‘ ‘‘Household Kates’’ ’. The metrically convenient variant ‘Katherina’ is occasionally used; however, Katherine never refers to herself in this form. Stanley Wells points out that Katherina, although apparently authentically Italian, is in fact recorded in medieval English (Wells and Taylor 171). ‘And besides, Jack is a notorious domesticity for John’ (The Importance of Being Earnest 1. 423–4). Elsewhere in the play we note the use of abbreviated forms for servants in a sentence where proper names function generically as common nouns, reducing the servants further to the realm of literal anonymity: ‘Be the Jacks fair within, the Gills fair without?’ queries Grumio at 4.1.49–50. The homogenized world of service is further highlighted in a telling exchange between Grumio and the servants at 4.1.106 V. Whereas four of the Wve servants welcome him by name (‘Welcome home, Grumio!’; ‘How now, Grumio?’, etc.), Grumio greets them individually as ‘you’ (‘Welcome, you; how now, you; what, you; fellow you’). Incidentally, Wve servants greet him; he addresses four. The stage direction calls for the entry of ‘foure or Wve servingmen’ (TLN 1733). See e.g. ‘the ladie Katharine’ in iii. 572 (twice) and ‘the ladie Catharine’ on p. 547; ‘their daughter Katharine’ appears on p. 572, and ‘our most deere beloved Katharine’ on p. 573. Princess Katherine is Kate throughout the short quartos The Famous Victories of Henry 5 (1598) and Henry 5 (1600).
12. According to Withycombe (187) Kate was the most common diminutive of Katherine in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Berger, Bradford, and Sondergard (1998) list only four plays between 1590 and 1610, besides the three Shakespeare plays under consideration, which use the name Kate (one of these is The Taming of a Shrew, plausibly an adapted derivative of The Shrew; see Stephen R. Miller’s careful analysis of the subplot); ten others contain a Katherine in the same period, and one has Katharina. Elsewhere in Shakespeare’s canon we Wnd a ‘Mistress Kate Keepdown’ in Measure for Measure (referred to by Mistress Overdone at 3.2.199) and in The Tempest Stephano sings ‘But none of us car’d for Kate; j For she had a tongue with a tang’ (2.2.49–50). 13. I know of no other Shakespearian female who is addressed by name so persistently. Touchstone’s ‘taming’ of Audrey does display similar tactics in a similar situation. Trying to mould Audrey’s behaviour, Touchstone insistently punctuates his speech with the vocative ‘Audrey’. Although the total of his addresses does not approach those of the Kates, the principle seems to be the same. 14. This question carries the same implications that a similar question (‘Are you our daughter?’) has in King Lear (1.4.218). Just as personal name is linked to identity so positional name in a relationship brings with it certain behavioural expectations appropriate to hierarchy (Weidhorn, ‘Relation’ 307). 15. As we will see in Ch. 5 in relation to the Comedy of Errors (whose composition the Oxford Textual Companion places three to four years after The Shrew), this belief is naive. For Tranio as a servant’s name, see Plautus, Mostellaria (which also features a slave called Grumio). 16. Elizabeth Schafer notes the ways in which ‘father’ is often ‘very familiarly stressed’ in productions: in William Ball’s 1976 television production ‘Petruchio gave Baptista a big hug’; in a 1905 American production ‘Gremio repeated the word ‘‘father’’ with ‘‘great gusto’’ ’ (2.1.126 n., p. 132). In The Taming of a Shrew Ferando (the Petruchio equivalent) calls Alphonso (the Baptista equivalent) ‘father’ after the marriage is agreed and Alphonso refers to him as ‘sonne’ (sig. B3v, ll. 3, 101). 17. Richard 3 tries the same tactic with less success. He views King Edward’s widow as sister in Act 1 and addresses her as such in Act 2 but calls her ‘mother’ in Act 4: ‘Therefore, dear mother—I must call you so—’ (4.4.412). The text of Supposes does the same thing when, after the Wnal line of dialogue, this hopeful noun appears: Applause.
18. Despite this guidance, Sly immediately addresses his lady with a form of his own: ‘Madam wife’ (Induction 2.12). 19. Or does Sly naively believe that his identity is his name? In either case there is a diVerence between the conWdent self-naming of Sly and the external derivation of Katherine. 20. The phenomenon is not limited to the early modern period. For an analysis of Conrad’s Under Western Eyes (‘The man who called himself, after the Russian custom, Cyril son of Isidor-Kirylo SidorovitchRazumov’), see Docherty 63. 21. As Holly Crocker argues, at the end of the play Katherine and Bianca change places but the binary of womanhood (shrewish or submissive) remains intact (Crocker 151, 149). 22. Sly interrupts once in The Shrew, three times in A Shrew. 23. See Heilman, and Leggatt (Comedy) for example. 24. A Shrew voices this concept malapropistically when the player oVers the Lord a play: ‘you maie have a Tragicall or a comoditie’ (sig. A3r, l.16; my emphasis). 25. The closest I have come to seeing this kind of gendered doubleness embodied on stage was in Mark Rylance’s Cleopatra at Shakespeare’s Globe in Southwark in 1999. Theatrically mannered without being histrionically tricksy, Rylance played not Cleopatra but an RSC-style actress playing Cleopatra. 26. Even the professionals could be tricked in this way. Petruchio’s series of boasts beginning ‘Have I not in my time heard lions roar . . . ?’ (1.2.200 V.) was so convincing that an awe-struck Hortensio asked ‘Have you?’ 27. Gascoigne’s Supposes is similarly insistent on this point when the servant Dulippo, conditioned by hierarchy, continues to call Erostrato ‘master’ and has to be cautioned (C5r). 28. One of the notable features of A Shrew is that names (and disguise names) are little used. Characters are referred to by class relationship not name, as when Polidor introduces Aurelius as ‘a wealthy Marchants sonne of Cestus’ (C1r) and the disguised Philotus is asked ‘what saies Aurelius father?’ (E1v). (Critics have speculated that the short metrical line here indicates a blank left for completion by the writer with a trisyllabic disguise name for Philotus.) This is in contrast to Supposes which uses disguise names in dialogue, speech preWxes, and stage-directions throughout but is careful always to remind us that these are not the characters’ real names. Thus, at 4.1 and 4.2, we have ‘erostrato fained’ (D7r and D7v). The dialogue is
34. 35. 36.
equally clear in separating name and identity: ‘the right Philogano, the right father of the right Erostrato’ (D7r). The actor replaced Shakespeare’s indeWnite article with the possessive pronoun. Natasha Korda makes a similar point about the pun on Kates/cates: ‘it refuses to remain tied to its modiWer, ‘‘household’’, and insists instead upon voicing itself, shrewishly, where it shouldn’t (i.e. each time Kate is named)’ (Korda 117). This plurality of inset dramas means that the editorial indication ‘Aside’ is unusually problematic. Aside to whom? To which audience? In her forthcoming Arden 3 edition Barbara Hodgdon eschews all asides. Although initially it ran a risk. The Wrst dilemma of Sly was funny; the second was repetition; and repetition can become tedium. Paradoxically, it was this very risk which oVered rescue: the multiplication (rather than mere duplication) of the dilemma moved us beyond repetition to theatrical triumph. A similar challenge to Sly had begun the OSC production of the play, underlining the reality/Wction threshold. In Induction 2 the servingman’s extended denial of Sly’s reality (‘you know no house nor no such maid j Nor no such men . . . ’) concluded emphatically: ‘such names and men as these, j Which never were, nor no man ever saw’. The emphasis was assertive rather than conWdent, a hypnotist’s suggestive planting (here unplanting) of an idea. It was followed by a tense beat in which the plot’s potential was in the balance. The relief was obvious when Sly succumbed: ‘Now Lord be thanked for my good amends!’ (Induction 2.91–7). My phrasing is deliberate: a ‘submission speech’ need not be submissive. I am grateful to Elisabeth Dutton for this observation. At the end of his experience in A Shrew Sly shows his critical limitations by taking the play’s title literally: ‘I know now how to tame a shrew’ (G2v, l.3). The productions of The Shrew which most underline the play’s capacity for misogyny tend to be those which omit the Sly framework (Jonathan Miller’s BBC Wlm of 1980, and his RSC production of 1987 ) and therefore remove the taming plot’s status as performance. Natanson talks throughout of the ‘actor’—meaning the agent—but his lines resonate theatrically. Thus, for instance, when he says ‘the actor is also, at times, an observer’ (Anonymity 10) one thinks of all the onstage moments, indicated above, when characters observe others, and of Sly’s complex duality as observer of, and participant in, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’.
38. I am grateful to Barbara Hodgdon for this observation. 39. Given the ingrained nature of mythological understanding in the culture, one might expect these collocations to be conventional shorthand references but this expectation is not conWrmed by a search of prose, poetry, and drama in the period. In Edward Hall’s production of the play for Propeller Theater Company (2006–7 in Newbury, Stratford upon Avon, and London) ‘Leda’s daughter’ was changed to ‘heavenly Helen’. 40. In a Wnal irony unanticipated by Shakespeare, the most problematic debate in textual circles originates in a variant name, Henslowe’s signiWcant/insigniWcant 1594 entry for The Taming of a Shrew at Newington Butts (see Foakes and Rickert 22). Furthermore, the afterlife of The Shrew is a history of names which reference the taming of the shrew but which call attention to the gap between the successor and the precursor texts. Fletcher’s Tamer Tamed invokes the Shakespeare text indirectly but does not follow on from it in any coherent way. So too the immensely popular eighteenth-century opera by Mozart’s contemporary, the Spanish composer Vicente Martı´n y Soler (working in Vienna) La Capricciosa Corretta (1795). Literally the title means ‘The Capricious Woman Corrected’ but it is ubiquitously translated as ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. It had a diVerent title at its Wrst performance—La Scuola del Maritati (‘The School for Spouses’). It has, however, little to do with Shakespeare’s play (despite the claims of opera articles) and is a conventional shrewish-wife play.
chapter 5 1. Menaechmi, by contrast, is told from the resident twin’s point of view. 2. Unhappy with the repetition of nativity in line 407 (TLN 1896), which they viewed as compositorial eyeskip from line 405 (TLN 1894), Hanmer and Johnson emended to felicity and festivity, respectively. The duplication of nativity may indeed be an error. George Walton Williams (pers. comm.) points out two other textual cruces that involve repetition: ‘To seek thy helpe by beneWciall helpe’ (1.1.151; TLN 154; Dover Wilson emends the Wrst help to helth, Rowe to life, Cunningham (Arden) to pelf ), and ‘Besides her urging of her wrecke at sea’ (5.1.360; TLN 1835; the Oxford Complete Works (ed. Wells et al.), following Collier, emends the Wrst her to his). Compositorial anticipation, in which the second item (which is correct) drives out the Wrst, may well explain the double nativity of 5.1. TLN is from Charlton Hinman.
3. Egeon describes his oVspring as being so alike that they could not be distinguished ‘but by names’ (1.1.53), yet when we meet them they are onomastically identical. Plautus, aware that the farcical confusions of Menaechmi require a set of identical twins with identical names, gives elaborate background reasons for such double nomenclature: ‘He changed the name of the surviving brother j (Because, in fact, he much preferred the other) j And Sosicles, the one at home, became j Menaechmus—which had been his brother’s name’ (trans. Watling, 104). William Warner’s translation (1595), which may have been available to Shakespeare, is more succinct: ‘The Wrst his Father lost a little Lad, j The Grandsire namde the latter like his brother’ (reprinted in Bullough, i. 13). Shakespeare, as Alexander Leggatt notes, ‘provides two sets of twins with the same name and not a word of explanation’ (Comedy 3). 4. The raised eyebrows and rolled eyes of the listening prostitutes in Trevor Nunn’s 1976 RSC production showed that these women questioned the paradox, agreeing with the noun more than the adjective. 5. The Oxford Complete Works over-helpfully reduces this protean character to the singular consistency of ‘Nell’, an emendation based on the belief that ‘Nell’ represents an imperfect revision by Shakespeare to avoid confusion of Luciana/Luce. For arguments in favour of retaining ‘Luce’ see Whitworth 124 and Werstine. R. A. Foakes (ed. Comedy) suggests that Shakespeare may initially have ‘thought of taking over into his play [from Plautus’ Menaechmi] both the maid and a Wgure corresponding to the cook, Cylindrus’ (p. xxv, n. 1). 6. See Werstine for analysis of the unsatisfactory use of this term. 7. The role may originally have been played by John Sincler (Sincklo), an actor in Strange’s or Admiral’s Men c.1590–1, and later in the Chamberlain’s Men, whose thinness was commemorated in the Induction to The Malcontent (1604). 8. As Robert Smallwood rightly objected (‘Shakespeare’ (1991), 350), the introduction of a Doppelga¨nger reduced ‘the audience’s participation in the joy of recognition and reconciliation . . . to simple curiosity about how the trick was done’. Carlo Goldoni’s I Due Gemelli Veneziani (1748) shows the very diVerent dramatic eVects which result when Menaechmi is adapted with the aim of one actor playing twins. 9. In the BBC production the Duke’s invitation for a brief synopsis is a response to the audible pity of the crowd; his two subsequent invitations to Egeon to continue are because he is increasingly entranced by the tale. The onstage crowd in the 1983 RSC production emulated and so
16. 17. 18.
Notes reinforced the gestures with which Adriana accompanied her narrative (5.1.136–60), aware of the performance pressure in her tale. In the 1976 RSC version Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus presented their material (5.1.214–54) as if in a court of law, conferring, consulting notes, and taking exhibits (such as the rope) from a briefcase. Elsewhere Berry is more astute: ‘Certainly Adriana has overdone her complaints. . . . But this is not the same thing as saying she has no grounds for complaint’ (Shakespeare’s Comedies 32). Casting exigencies in the 1995 RSC Tempest, directed by David Thacker, forced the metamorphosis of ‘Adrian’ into ‘Adriana’, a tantalizing link with Errors, although in production it proved a thematic cul de sac. Mike Gwilym’s Ephesian Antipholus (RSC 1976) smoked, played cards, rolled dice, and consorted with a MaWoso merchant. For this reason, productions of Errors which present the Dromios as circus clowns seem to me to miss the point. Clowns inhabit a world where crazy, illogical, violent, ‘magical’ events are expected; the Dromios do not. Dromio of Syracuse and his master (like Vincentio in The Taming of the Shrew) are ordinary people going about their business; they unwittingly Wnd themselves involved in an illusion. ‘Thus strangers may be haled and abused/bemused.’ In this same production Adriana’s reaction to the news that Antipholus has maltreated the exorcist was delivered slowly, in a tone both condescending and soothing: ‘Peace, fool, thy master and his man are here, j And that is false thou dost report to us’ (5.1. 178). The implication was that the kitchen-maid (who here delivered the Messenger’s speech) was mad. Whereas Nunn chose to underline the alliance of commercial and Christian in his choice of goldsmith’s wares, the 1993 Manchester Royal Exchange production stressed the commercial and the pagan in its presentation of a modern-day Ephesus, epitomized by ‘port and terminus scurry as an eclectic hive of travellers—including a City type carrying a Zulu spear and shield—queue and hurry and squint at directions’ (anon., review in Independent 9 Sept. 1993; my italics). This work may have provided Shakespeare with the name of the Duke, Solinus, in Errors. See Foakes, ed., Errors p. xxx. Solinus sig. Aa3v; Heywood, Gunaikeion, sig. V1v–V4v; Raleigh sig. Rrrr2v (Part 1. b. 4. ch. 2. §15). Although tradition has it that the temple ‘was founded by the Amazons during their campaign against Athens and Theseus’, Pausanius tells us
that the Temple of Artemis predates the Amazon association (7 [Achaia]. 2.7–8, Jones et al. 175–7). Apparently the Amazons sought sanctuary in the temple, hence their association with it. This association led to their being credited with the founding of the temple. In the Wfth century, four bronze statues of Amazons were chosen to decorate the temple pediment. Simon Shepherd deals with stage depictions of Amazons in Amazons and Warrior Women. For analogous discussions see Callaghan, Martin, Sullivan, Woods, Wright, and the entry under ‘Amazon’ in Berger, Bradford, and Sondergard. The dress worn by Adriana in the second half of the BBC version had two circular gold/black bodice cups reminiscent of a military breastplate, while the tiara head-dress she wore throughout gave her a regal air. We might note here that Paul’s departure from Ephesus in ad 57, plagued by storm and shipwreck, led to an attempt to winter in a Cretan harbour called Phoenix, and a voyage in a ship whose Wgurehead was the Twins (Acts 27 and 28). Furthermore, Paul, like many apostles, Jews, and Eastern peoples, adopted a name familiar in the Graeco-Roman world, changing his identity from Saul to Paul. Lock-out scenes are not the prerogative of Plautus alone; one also appears in a Pauline episode, describing an event that took place in Ephesus. In Acts 19 some itinerant exorcists ‘planned to experiment by using the name of the Lord Jesus’. The incantation they chose was ‘I adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!’ They tried this on a possessed Ephesian, but the demon replied ‘I know Jesus and I know Paul, but who are you?’ The possessed man then pounced on two of his exorcists and drove them out of his house into the street (vv. 13–16). Similarly, Plautus does not have the monopoly on disguise and mistaken identity. In his sermon on Ephesus Common Pleas (see above), Edward Chaloner compares the devil’s theatrical use of disguise to a scene from Plautus’ Amphitryo, invoking Acts 14: 12 in which the crowd compares Barnabas to Jupiter and Paul to Mercury. Chaloner’s marginal reference further stresses the Pauline/Plautine connection. (A divine at Oxford, Chaloner had presumably seen college productions of Plautus.) The Courtesan in the 1983 RSC production ascended from beneath the stage, clad in red. To the typical (physical) stereotypes of the buxom, callipygian prostitute was thus added another (more ethereal)
Notes stereotype: the scarlet woman, the Whore of Babylon, rising through the stage trapdoor, the area associated on the Elizabethan stage with Hell. The text is inconsistent in the ages of the Antipholi who are presented as twenty-Wve (1.1.125; 5.1.321) and thirty-three (5.1.401). This was indeed the impression in Trevor Nunn’s production where Adriana’s naked arm and shoulder emerged to close the shutters, and her red espadrille dropped from the balcony (the shoe was later presented by Antipholus of Ephesus as ‘evidence’ in his deposition of 5.1: see above, n. 9). Antipholus of Syracuse subsequently departed shoeless, a red carnation between his teeth, clearly sexually exhausted. In the 1983 RSC production Adrian Noble made the ‘dinner’ arrangements equally clear by concluding Adriana’s invitation to the wrong husband in 2.2 with a clinch which Antipholus increasingly enjoyed: Dromio functioned as a chair for the embracing couple but such was Antipholus’ ardour that he and Adriana collapsed in passion on the ground. The oVstage intention was unambiguous. Desmond Barritt’s Antipholus in the 1990 RSC production made the double entendre clear in his slightly self-conscious announcement ‘I’ll— ahem, ‘‘knock’’—elsewhere’: 3.1.121. Joseph Candido contrasts the Courtesan’s ‘sexually symbolic open door’ with the ‘shut house of the nameless wife’ in Menaechmi (219). I am grateful to George Walton Williams for these caveats. For Williams’ extended discussion of this matter see ‘Staging the Adulterate Blot’. Antipholus of Syracuse concludes his list of Ephesian iniquities with the summation ‘many such-like liberties’ (1.2.102). Productions often illustrate this phrase with stage business that links it with sex, and hence with Adriana’s rhetorical question. In the 1962 production Antipholus accompanied the phrase with hand gestures which indicated a female bosom; in 1976 Antipholus rotated his Blue Guide to admire what was obviously a centre-fold pin-up. Ephesus in the Wrst century ad was renowned for self-indulgent leisure: ‘bordellos, singers, actors, playboys, whores’ (Trell 86). The 2006 production at Shakespeare’s Globe, inXuenced by the ‘Carry On’ Wlms of the 1960s and 1970s, by A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) and Up Pompeii (1969), presented an indulgently sexual atmosphere. For Ariadne in Chaucer and Gower see Riehle 179. Nell is also the name of a kitchen-maid in Romeo and Juliet, who is requested to enter with Susan Grindstone (1.5.9).
31. As I argued in Ch. 3, it is precisely this image which Shakespeare tries to rehabilitate. 32. Onomastic identity and malleability are very much to the fore in Menaechmi, Amphitryo, and the Tudor adaptation of Amphitryo, the anonymous Jack Juggler. ‘And what’s your name?’—‘Any name that suits you’ (Amphitryo 243). ‘You can be Sossia as much as you like when I don’t want to be. At the moment I am Sossia’. ‘[D]id ye never heare why the Grecians termed Hecuba to be a bitch? . . . Because . . . she railed, and therefore well deserved that dogged name’ (Menaechmi in Bullough 29). ‘For ought I se yet, betwene erneste and game, j I must go sike me an other name’ ( Jack Juggler in Axton 79). Such Xexibility extends even to geography where the same stage represents diVerent locations at diVerent times. The prologue to Menaechmi (not included in Warner’s translation) explains that the play’s location is Epidamnus but when another play is performed on the same stage the location will be some other city (ed. Watling 104). 33. Whether his attitude is playful or imperative is not relevant to this discussion; but if playful he is parodying by exaggeration conventional imperious behaviour. 34. He puns on the Latin servias/inservias. 35. Arden of Faversham combines both, creating a hybrid genre even more marked than that of Errors. 36. Ian Hughes, playing Dromio of Syracuse at the RSC in 2000, records his diYculty in negotiating the text’s requirements. The actors of the Ephesian master/servant realized ‘that violence and beatings were the foundation on which their relationship is built. There is hardly a scene between them when Antipholus of Ephesus does not beat his Dromio. But somehow for David [Tennant, playing Antipholus of Syracuse] and myself, the very notion of beating went against our basic instincts about the relationship between the Syracusan boys. And yet the stage direction remained: ‘‘Antipholus beats Dromio’’ ’ (Hughes 33). Their solution was to opt for a harmless, playful Laurel and Hardy violence. 37. Robert S. Miola (23) demonstrates the classical, comic antecedents of this testimony; but traditions of classical comedy have not stopped the narrative being delivered seriously in production. The 2006 production at Shakespeare’s Globe (directed by Christopher Luscombe) managed to have it both ways. The centurion guarding Dromio was moved to comical-tragic shoulder-shaking tears and had to borrow Dromio’s Xoorcloth-sized handkerchief. (Dromio subsequently wrung out this— in reality, a replacement—handkerchief over the audience, who were
Notes showered by its contents.) Ralph Berry views Dromio’s speech as a ‘disturbing reminder of the human being behind the cartoon’ (Social Class 22). Trevor Nunn’s production had Luciana read the speech from a book in which she showed her sister the relevant passage, indicating that the subject is non-negotiable. In the 2005 Oxford production she delivered the speech with religious fervour. It is unclear whether Lysistrata is married or not; some translations have her refer to her husband, others to her ‘man’. Peter Hall’s production for the Old Vic (1993) paired her oV with the Magistrate. Critics who view Lysistrata as married cite the improbability of the Athenian women agreeing to a sex-strike if the initiator were not imposing similar deprivation upon herself; those who view Lysistrata as single Wnd a thematic parallel between Lysistrata, the guardian of Athens, and Athens’ mythological protectress, the chaste, unmarried Athena. This point was made most intriguingly in the BBC production in the reassignment of a line which is marked for alteration but not reassignment in the published text; nor indeed can its reassignment be justiWed. In the Folio text Antipholus of Ephesus explains his origins: he was, he tells Duke Solinus, brought to Ephesus by ‘that most famous warrior, j Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle’ (5.1.368–9). In the BBC Wlm Solinus is given the line ‘Menaphon your most renowned uncle’ (the deleted ‘Duke’ showing that the reassignment is not accidental, although, perplexingly, the BBC text still assigns the line (minus the ‘Duke’) to Antipholus). On screen Solinus delivers the line with epiphanic fervour as if realizing that one more member of the family still remains to complete the reunion. Antipholus of Ephesus’ roll of the eyes at the mention of Menaphon suggests that family (whether uncle/ nephew, father/son, husband/wife) is not a concept with which he is at ease: he has deliberately ignored the ties that his brother has been so anxious to seek. (This at least is the only explanation I can give for a moment which has no authoritative textual basis. George Walton Williams astutely suggests that the reassignment is an error: in preparing the Wlmscript from the Alexander text someone interpreted the ‘Duke’ of line 369 as a speech preWx and reassigned the ensuing words accordingly.) In the stage directions to 1.2 and 2.2 the Folio presents Antipholus of Syracuse as Erotes and Errotis, which editors take to be misreadings of Erraticus (wandering).
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Adams, Robert M. 19 Adriatic sea 159, 168 Aeschylus 32 Ainsworth, Henry 17 Albee, Edward 24, 42 Alexander, Peter n. 193 Allott, Robert 102 Amazons 7, 163–4, 177–8, 179, n. 210–11 Anagnostopolous, Georgios n. 185, n. 188 Andreas, Bernard 146 Apollonius of Tyre 162 Arden of Faversham n. 213 Ariosto, Ludovico 31 Aristophanes 39, 82, 92, 166–7, n. 191, n. 214 Aristotle 2, 21, 43, n. 198 Armstrong, Elizabeth 100, n. 201 Artemis (Amazon goddess) 163–4 Artemis (Greek goddess) 163–4 Artemis (Temple of ) 163, n. 210–11 Ashley, Leonard R. N. 71 Atwood, Margaret 9 Auden, W. H. n. 188 Augustine of Hippo 21, 114 Austin, Norman 93, 97 Austria n. 195 Axton, Marie n. 213
Babington, Gervase 16, 17 Backscheider, Paula R. 44 Bacon, Francis 2, 14, 17, 74, n. 186 Bailey, Amanda 139–40 Bailey, Richard n. 193 Baines, Barbara 114–15, n. 203 Baldwin, T. W. 97, 100, n. 201 Bamber, Linda 128 Bandello, Matteo 71 Barber, C. L. 158 Bardsley, Charles W. 13 Barker, Pat 58 Barry, Peter 44, 74 Barton, Anne 38, 39, 40, 108, n. 192, n. 193 Bashar, Nazife 118 Bassnett, Susan 27 Baswell, Christopher C. 109 Bate, Jonathan 60, 82, n. 191, n. 198 Beckett, Samuel 6, 43 Becon, Thomas 173 Belsey, Catherine 52, 115, n. 203 Berger, Harry n. 187 Berger, Thomas n. 205, n. 211 Bergren, Ann 92, n. 203 Bernstein, Mashay 71 Berry, Philippa 55 Berry, Ralph 55, 158, 166, 174–5, n. 210, n. 214 Bevington, David n. 202
Bible Acts 162, 163, n. 211 Babel 15–16 biblical language 45, n. 197 commentaries on 15, 16, n. 189 Ephesians 54, 152, 159, 161, 164, 165, 172, 173, 178–9, 179–80 on marriage 164, 165, 178–9, n. 214 the fall 15–16, 45–6, 92, n. 200 Genesis 1, 3, 77–8 Geneva translation 22, 45 John 15 Matthew 35–6 Adam’s naming 17, 14–15, 125 bilingualism see translation Bioni, Giovanni Francesco 129 Bishop, Elizabeth n. 187 Blount, Thomas 46 Blundell, Sue n. 203 Boas, Frederick S. n. 200 Boccaccio, Giovanni 107 Boose, Lynda 124, 132 Bourdieu, Pierre 88 Bowden, Caroline 100 Bradford, William C. n. 205, n. 211 Brennan, Elizabeth M. 31 Brooke, Arthur 71–2 Brooke, Rupert n. 200 Brown, W. F. n. 185 Brownmiller, Susan 85, n. 203 Buchanan, George 100, 101, n. 201 Bullough, GeoVrey 177, n. 209, n. 213 Burckhardt, Sigurd 16 Burghley, Mildred 100 Burnett, Mark Thornton n. 192 Burney, Fanny n. 187 Burns, Margie 151 Burrow, Colin 24, 38, n. 186
Butcher, S. H. 43 Butler, H. E. 20, 90 Butler, Judith n. 186 Calderwood, James 51 Callaghan, Dympna n. 211 Calvin, John 16 Camden, William 6, 9, 29, 30–31, 32–3, 36, 76, n. 189 Canada Canadian literature 70–71 Meech Lake accord 64 origins of name 71 Que´bec 62, 63–4, n. 196–7, see also ‘translation, bilingualism’ Candido, Joseph n. 212 Cannon, Christopher 111, 117, 118 Carey, John 35 Carlson, Marvin 25, 43 Carroll, John M. 23 Carroll, Lewis n. 185 Carroll, William 47, n. 192 Cassirer, Ernst n. 185 Catling, Christopher 36 Cato the Elder 14 Catty, Jocelyn 113, 114, 115–16, 116–17, n. 198, n. 199, n. 203 Cawdrey, Robert 46 Cecil, William 28 Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de 29 Ce´saire, Aime´ 18 Chaloner, Edward 162, n. 211 Chapman, George 74, 97, 103 Chaucer, GeoVrey 11, 43, 79, 82, 83, 84, 109, 111, 118, 160–61, 168, n. 194, n. 212 Chomsky, Noam 73, n. 197 Cinthio, Giraldi 13, 48
Index Clarkson, Carol 24 Cocker, Edward 23 Cockeram, Henry 23 Coetzee, J. M. 18 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor n. 192 Colie, Rosalie 110 Collier, John Payne n. 208 Congreve, William 130 Conrad, Joseph n. 206 consent 84–5, 111, 112, 114–19, n. 202, n. 203 and adultery 116–17 and conception 114 and force 114, 119 of Lucrece 115–16 mind vs body 114–15, see also ‘Helen of Troy’ and ‘rape’ Cooper, Helen 11, 43 Cooper, Thomas 21, 46 Corcoran, Mary 16 courtesan (in Comedy of Errors) 166–8, 170, n. 211–12 hetaira 167 Coward, Noel 10 Craik, T. W. 11 Cressy, David 26, n. 190 Crocker, Holly n. 206 Cunningham, Henry n. 208 Cunningham, Valentine n. 203 Dallington, Robert 102 Dalpe´, Jean-Marc 63, 64–5 Dalton, Michael 34, n. 203 Daly, Mary 18 Daniell, David n. 202 Dantanus, Ulf 69 Davies, John 103 Day, Angel 38 Day, John 100
Deane, Seamus 59 Defoe, Daniel 12, 17, 44, n. 187 Dekker, Thomas 19 De´prats, Jean-Michel 61 Derrida, Jacques 20, 49, 52–3 Detmer, Emily 132 D’Ewes, Sir Simonds 27–8 Diana (goddess) 162, 163, 164 Temple of 162–3 Docherty, Thomas 39, 122, 130, 146, 147, n. 206 Dolan, Frances 132, 133, 139–40, 174 domestic violence 133 Donaldson, Ian 114 Donne, John 10, 37 Doran, Madeleine n. 192 Dowden, Edward n. 193 Downam, George 102 Drant, Thomas 59–60 Drayton, Michael 102, 103 Du Bartas, Saluste 67 Dubrow, Heather 129 Duncan-Jones, Katherine 28 Dusinberre, Juliet 131, 133, 169 Earle, William James n. 186 Echard, Lawrence n. 191 Eco, Umberto 73 editing 153–4, n. 193, n. 197, n. 204, n. 207, n. 208, n. 214 authorship n. 198 composition in Folio n. 201–2 foul papers 106, 155, n. 209 textual cruxes 50–1, 88, 116, 123, 153–54 involving names 11, 20, 155, 89–90, n. 193, n. 199, n. 202–3, n. 208, n. 209 Edwards, John 60, n. 194
Eliot, John 67–8, 102, n. 196 Elyot, Thomas 82, 103 Emerson, Ralph Waldo n. 187 Enright, D. J. 16, n. 187 Ephesus 7, 152, 158–64, 177, 182, 183, n. 210 n. 211 as commercial centre 159, 161, 162, n. 210 association with magic 152, 160, 161, 183 association with revelry 159 conversion to Christianity 160 divided religious identity 159–60 founding of 163 and models for female conduct 153, 177–8, 181 pagan beliefs 160, 162, 181–2, n. 210 Epidamnus 7, 152, 164, 183, n. 213 Erasmus, Desiderius 37, 99, 102, n. 191 Estrin, Barbara L. n. 194 Euripides Alcestis 101 Andromache 99, 101 Andromeda 101 Bacchae 97, 101 Electra 99 Hecuba 97, 98, 99, 101, 102 Helen 94–7, 98, 101, 104, 105, 108–9, 118, 119, n. 201, n. 200 Hippolytus Coronatus n. 99 Ion 94, 97, 101 Iphigenia among the Taurians 94, 97, 101 Iphigenia in Aulis 97, 99, 101 Jocasta 97, 99, 101, n. 200 Medea 99, 101 Orestes 97, 99, 101, 102
Phoenician Women 99, 101, n. 201 Rhesus 101, n. 201 Suppliants 101 The Women of Troy 11, 92, 94, 100, 101 ownership of texts 98, 99, 100 printing of texts 98–100, 103–4 availability in England 99–100 paratextual materials 98–9 references to 98, 100–3 Renaissance acquaintance with 97–104, n. 201 Shakespeare’s knowledge of 97–8, 102–3, 104–5, 108–9 teaching of in schools 97, n. 201 translation of 98, 99, n. 200 Evans, G. B. 87, 89, 90, 108, 116, n. 203 Evans, J. M. 16 Everett, Barbara n. 194 Famous Victories of Henry 5, The n. 204 Fehrenbach, R. J. 100 Ferry, Anne 21, n. 187 Field, Richard 34–5, n. 190 Fielding, Henry 13–14, 43, 78, n. 197–8 Fine, Gail 21 Fineman, Joel 85, 114, 117 Fleming, Juliet n. 196 Flesch, William 120, 144 Fletcher, John 111, 129, n. 208 Florio, John 105 Fludd, Robert 34 Foakes, R. A. 162, n. 208, n. 209, n. 210 Ford, John 19, 39 Foss, Clive 160
Index Foucault, Michel 31, n. 192 Fowler, Alastair n. 189, n. 191 Fowler, Elizabeth 84, n. 199 Fowler, H. N. 2, 14 Frazer, James n. 185 Friel, Brian 17, 59, 60–1, 68–9, n. 195, n. 196 Frye, Northrop 125, 128 Furness, H. H. n. 193 Gainsford, Thomas 102 Galen 114 Garber, Marjorie 55 Garner, Shirley Nelson 131–2 Garrett, Cynthia E. n. 203 Gascoigne, George 97, 103, 137, 139, 141, 144, 148, 149, n. 200, n. 205, n. 206–07 Gataker, Thomas 101 Gay, Penny 144 Gazophylacium 30 Genette, Ge´rard 22 genre 55, 72, 94–5, 108, 151, 154, 156–7, 165, n. 213 classical unities 158 farce 138, 154 romance 154, 156–7 tragedy 56, 72, 154 Gibbens, Nicholas 17 Gibbon, Edward 162 Godley, A. D. n. 185 Golding, Arthur 79, 102, n. 191 Goldman, Michael 45 Goldoni, Carlo n. 209 Goldsmith, Oliver 28 Gordon, D. J. n. 185, n. 192 Gosson, Stephen 102–3 Gouge, William 28, 29, 30, 124, 173–4
Gower, John 162, 168, n. 212 Greek drama see Euripides Greenblatt, Stephen 132 Greene, Robert 37, 75, 103, n. 198 Greer, Germaine 158 Gregory, Francis 23 Grennan, Eamon 154–5 Greville, Fulke 37 GriYn, Eric n. 192 GriYth, John G. n. 201 Grillo, R. D. n. 194 Grimm, brothers n. 185–6 Grosjean, Franc¸ois n. 194 Gross, Kenneth 49, n. 192, n. 193 Haddon, Mark 33 Hadrian (Roman Emperor) 163, 168 Hale, John K. 35 Haliburton, Thomas 70 Hall, Joseph n. 191 Hamilton, A. C. 154 Hanmer, Thomas 153, n. 208 Hansen, Elaine n. 194 Hare, R. M. 22, n. 188 Harris, Roy 19, 21, n. 186 Harsnett, Samuel 121–2 Harvey, A. E. 161 Harvey, Gabriel 103 Haugen, Einar 15 Hawkes, Terence 20 Hayward, John 103 Heaney, Seamus 50 Heilman, Robert B. n. 206 Helen of Troy 6 abbreviation as Nell 6, 111, 116–17, 168–9 abduction by Paris 91 beauty of 92, n. 200 classical reception of 91–97
Helen of Troy (Cont.) and consent 110, 112, 118–19, 169 Cressida, association with 109–10, 118, n. 200, n. 202 and the eidolon 92–7, 118–19 etymology of 32, 77, n. 198 folklore, origins in n. 200 as a minor 81, n. 198 other Helens popularity of name n. 198 rape of 81, 85 recuperation of 92–5, 118 St Helena (mother of Constantine) 6, 76–7 and semiotics 95 semi-divine status n. 199 and sexual transgression 77, 92, 107–8, 110, 168–9, n. 213 Shakespeare’s rewriting of 6, 82–3, 104–5, 108–9, 111–12, 118–19, n. 202 single referent of 6, 75–77, 107, 119 spelling of 74–5, n. 197, see also Plutarch; see also Theseus Helms, Lorraine n. 202 Henry VIII 27 Herodotus 93, n. 185 Heywood, Thomas 34, 75, 97, 113, 129, 163–4, 178, n. 202, n. 203, n. 210 Hinman, Charlton n. 208 Hobbes, Thomas 20, 46 Hodgdon, Barbara 88, n. 195, n. 204, n. 207 Holinshed, Raphael 124, n. 191 Holland, Peter 4, 79, 82, 87, n. 198, n. 199 Holland, Philemon 103, 121
Hollyband, Claudius 172, 173, n. 190 Homer The Iliad 92, 93 The Odyssey 10–11, n. 185 Hornish, Robert N. n. 193 Houlbrooke, Ralph 173 household, the Elizabethan 171, 172–4 Howard, Jean 123, 132 Howell, A. C. 14 Hunter, G. K. 11 Hutson, Lorna 148–9 Ireland 18, 59, 60–61, 68–9, n. 197 Iselin, Pierre 65–6, n. 194 Jack Juggler n. 213 James VI 100 Jed, Stephanie H. n. 198 Jenkin, William 13 Jewel, John 35 Johnson, Carol Lee 41 Johnson, Samuel 65, 153, n. 208 Jones, Emrys 97, 98 Jones, W. H. S. 163 Jonson, Ben 35, 36, 37, 38, 53, 97, 99, 100, 101, 105 Joyce, James 184 Just, Roger 167 Kahane, Henry and Kahane, Renee 13 Kahn, Coppe´lia 128–9, 130, 131 Kaske, R.E. n. 195 Kermode, Frank 21, n. 188, n. 197 Kidley, William 32 Kidnie, M. J. 142 King, Ros n. 190–1 Kinkead-Weekes, Mark 14
Index Kinwelmershe, Francis n. 200 Korda, Natasha 132, n. 207 Kroetsch, Robert 70 L. N. (Wit’s Commonwealth) 102 Lacan, Jacques 44 lacunae 122–3, 140–1, 143 in characterization 145, 147–9 readers’ responses to 146–7 in texts 146–8 Lahiri, Jhumpa 41 Lambard, William n. 203 language and ambiguity 54–5, 72, n. 194 and the body 110, n. 194–5 chiasmus 145 and colonialism 18, 60–1, 63–4, 68–9 and communication 3, 48, 53, 64–7, 68–9 and convention 141–2 and culture 57, n. 196–7 and domesticity 126–7, n. 205 and gender n. 196 and humanism 45 and identity 53–4, 57, 59, 71 and idioms 66–7, n. 196 of law 86–7, 88 learning the beloved’s language 54, 67, 68, n. 196 and metaphor 53, n. 196, 90, 95 and money 45–7, n. 192 and narrative 72, 156–7, n. 209–10 and nationhood 59 and oaths 54 and oxymoron 56, 154 and paradox 55, 154, n. 194, n. 209 and parody 66, n. 196 Petrarchan 165, 66
and power 17–18, 56–7, 59, 64–6, 87, 88, 143, 149 public vs. private 53 and puns 50–1, 65–6, 71, 72, 86, 136, 154–5, 158, n. 213 and the Reformation 45–6 and repetition 95–6, 145, 154 the signiWer and signiWed 5, 20, 21–2, 45–7, 53, 54, 57, 68, 71, 93, 95, 118–19, 130, 142, 156, n. 185, n. 188, n. 192 and silence 48, 57, 58, 110, 146, 170, n. 194 and sound 68, n. 188 and tragedy 56, 72, n. 194 and translation see ‘translation’ and war 58, n. 194 Lanyer, Emilia 110 Larson, Gary n. 197 Latham, Agnes n. 197 law 86–8, 113–14, 116–18, n. 199, n. 203 Lawrence, T. E. 10 Le Guin, Ursula K. 1–4, 7–8, 18, n. 185 Le Page, Robert 61–2, 62–9 passim, 71, n. 199 Leedham-Green, Elizabeth 100, 101, n. 201 Leggatt, Alexander 170, n. 206, n. 209 Leonard, John 7 Lessing, Doris 39 Lever, J. W. 67, n. 196 Levin, Harry 43, 44, 49, n. 197 Levine, Laura n. 199 Le´vi-Strauss, Claude 29, n. 185 Lewis, Anthony J. 166 Lewis, C. S. n. 199, n. 200
liminality 123 Livy 115 Lloyd, Lodowick 101–2, 103 Lock, Charles 95, n. 200 Locke, John 22 Lodge, David 7–8, 9, 44 Lodge, Thomas 102, 103 Lodwick, Francis 15–16 Logan, George 19 Lower, Charles B. n. 188, n. 191 Lucas, F. L. 97 Lucian 168 Lucking, David 48, 52, n. 192, n. 194 Lyford, Edward 10, 22, 30, n. 189 Lyly, John 103 Lyons, CliVord 111 magic 160–1 Mallette, Richard 83 Manini, Luca n. 192 Marc’hadour, Germain 26, 36 Marcotte, Paul 106–7 Marlowe, Christopher 75 1 Tamburlaine 112–13 Dido, Queen of Carthage 75, 76, 78 Dr Faustus 32, 75 Edward 2 110 Jew of Malta 11, 74 marriage 3–4, 54, 83, 85, 87, 123, 152–3, 157–8, 164–8, 170–5, 177–83, n. 186, n. 193 and inWdelity 166–7, 179–81, n. 212 as an institution 157–8 Renaissance attitudes to women 165–6 and service 171–2, 173–5, 177–9, 181–2, n. 214
see also ‘Bible, Ephesians, on marriage’ Marston, John 34, n. 191, 164 Martel, Yann n. 189 Martin y Soler, Vicente n. 208 Martin, Priscilla n. 211 Martindale, Charles 98 Martindale, Michelle 98 Maveety, Stanley 45 McCall, Gordon 62–9 passim, 71 McKerrow, R. B. 36, 155 McLean, Will 26, n. 189 McLeod, Randall n. 197 McMullan, Gordon 27 Meagher, Robert Emmet n. 200 Melchiori, Giorgio n. 191 Melville, Hermann 70, n. 197 Middleton, Thomas 12, 34, 39 Mill, John Stuart n. 193 Miller, Jonathan n. 207 Miller, Stephen R. n. 205 Milton, John 7, 15, 35, 37, 75, 99, 100, n. 189, n. 199 Miola, Robert 152, n. 213 Montaigne, Michel de 5, 14, 37, 46, 105 More, Sir Thomas 14, 19, 37, 103, 172, n. 187–88 Mulcaster, Richard 20, 103 Munday, Anthony 102 Names and actors’ roles 149–50 in allegory 13, 24, 38 anagrams of 35 of animals 1–2, 29, n. 189 anonymity (unknowable identity) 6–7, 120, 121–2,
Index 138–9, 141, 142, 143–4, 147–51, n. 204 anonymous (unknown name) 121–2 appropriateness of 24, 42, 48, 39–40, 48–49, 89, 105 authors’ interest in 42–44 and baptism 13, 26, 28–29, 168, see also ‘names, naming ceremonies’ of characters 7–8, 11–12, 42–4, 89–90, 106, 122, 130, 134–6, 146, 155, n. 199–200, n. 203, n. 206–7, n. 209 and colonialism 18, 21–2, 23–5 delayed naming 38–9, n. 191 dictionaries of 22–3, 30, 40–1, 77 diminutives 7, 29–30, 120–1, 123–30, 150, 168–9, n. 203–4, n. 205 and domesticity 123–4, 126 and power 125, 127–9, n. 205 and status 124, n. 204 see also ‘Helen, abbreviation as Nell’ etymology of 30, 38, 39, 41, 61, 71, 77, 165, 168, 32–6, n. 188 and gender 7, 18–19, 29, 54, 125, 128–30, n. 186, n. 187 and godparents 26–9, 30, n. 189 and identity 1–4, 9–13, 15, 17, 19, 20–1, 24–5, 30–1, 38–40, 41–2, 45, 48–9, 50, 52–3, 59–60, 72–3, 89, 96–7, 105, 117, 121–2, 125–30, 134–5, 140, 147, 150–1, 168–70, n. 185, n. 189, n. 195, n. 206, n. 209, n. 213 causal relationship with 13–14, 24, 17
251 as labels 3, 14–15, 29, 31, 52, 120–21, 139 and metre 75, n. 197 multiple names 120–1, 122, 138 namelessness (absence of name) 3–4, 7, 9, 10–11, 51, 57, 70, 168, 170, n. 185, n. 186 naming ceremonies 59, n. 185 nicknames 106–7, n. 189 and nouns 2, 16, 19, 20, 23–5, 47, 77–8, 89–90, n. 188, n. 198, n. 199 omission of 145, 146, n. 208 origins of 2–3, 9, 10–12 parents’ naming 40–1 of places 7, 60–1, 68, 70, 152–3, 158–64 physicality of 52, n. 192, n. 193 and power 3–4, 17–19, 57, 59, 60–1, 88, 125, 127–30, n. 186, n. 186, n. 192, n. 205 puns on 11, 34–40, 45, 66, 136, 150–1, 181, n. 191, n. 207, n. 207 relation to language 21–6, see also ‘language’ renaming 18, 19–20, 51–2, 54, 88–9, 117, 123–5, 127–8, 135, n. 187, n. 189, n. 192, n. 194, n. 195 scriptural n. 197 self-naming 129–30, n. 206 ships’ names 31–32 signiWeds, relation to 5, 45, 47, 49, 77–8, 93–4, 96–7, 125, 142, n. 186, n. 193, see also ‘language’, ‘signiWer and signiWed’
Names (Cont.) signiWcation of 4, 7–8, 29, 44, 73, 78–79, n. 193 spelling of 74–5 and status 29–30, 48, 124, 127–8 translation of 34–5, 36–7, 38, 60–1, 66, 105–6, n. 188, n. 190, n. 192 unnaming 2 as verbs n. 186, see also ‘Helen of Troy’ Nashe, Thomas 76, n. 198 Natanson, Maurice 6–7, 120, 122, 139, 141, 144, n. 204, n. 207 Neill, Michael 37 Nevo, Ruth 164 New, W. H. 71 Newman, Karen 154 Norbrook, David 46 North, Thomas 102 Novak, Maximillian 15, n. 187 Novy, Marianne 67 Nuttall, A. D. 97, 98, n. 201 Oldham, John n. 191 Olson, S. Douglas 39, n. 191 Orlin, Lena Cowen 132 orthography 74–75 Osborne, Laurie n. 202 Ovid 32, 79, 82, 97, 115–16, n. 191 Painter, William 102, 107–8, 115–16 Palmer, D. J. 159 Parker, Patricia 60 Patten, William 22 Paton, Maureen 42 Paul, St 7, 153, 157, 159–60, 161, 162, 164, 165, 172, 178, n. 211 Paul’s Cross (place) 162
Paulson, Ronald 78 Pausanius 163, n. 210–11 Pawl, Amy n. 187 Pearson, D’Orsay W. 79, 82, n. 198 Peele, George 77, 97, n. 198 Penkethman, John 30 performance asides n. 207 audience’s role in 139, 146–47 doubling 133, 134–143 passim, 150 metatheatricality 131, 134, 136–8, 142, n. 207 role-playing 6, 89–90, 130–1, 133, 134–43, 143–5, 149–50, 150–1, 164, n. 206 and actors’ identities 150 and anonymity 120, 133, 143–5, 150–1 by characters in drama 140–1, 134, 143 and gender 141–3 and identity 134–6, 138–9 and manners 143 and servants 139–40 Perkins, William 34 Petrie, Helen 41, n. 189 Phillips, Edward 22–3 Philostratus 160 Pianist, The (Wlm) 12, n. 186 Pickeryng, John 102 Pippin, Anne Newton 77, 95, n. 198, n. 201 Pitcher, John n. 190 Plath, Sylvia 42, n. 189 Plato 2–3, 14, 21, 22, 93–4, n. 185, n. 186, n. 188 Plautus 7, 141, 152, 153, 157, 164, 165, 166, 167, 177, n. 205, n. 208, n. 209, n. 211, n. 212, n. 213
Index Pliny 121, n. 185 Plutarch 79–81, 83, 91, 102, 103, n. 198 Pollak, Ellen 11 Pomeroy, Sarah B. 167 Pope, Alexander 11 Porter, Joseph n. 192 Porter, Roy n. 203 Price, Sampson 162 printers’ devices 36 props (on stage) 142 Pulgram, Ernst 9, 23–4, 119, n. 185, n. 188, n. 192, n. 195, n. 197 Puttenham, George 21, 88 Quigley, Michael n. 185 Quintilian 20, 90 Rackham, H. n. 185 Rackin, Phyllis 123 Raleigh, Walter 40, 163, n. 210 Ramus, Petrus 21 rape 85, 91, 110, 111, 112–19 ambiguity of term in earlymodern period 112–13 crime against woman/ man 113–14, 117–18 statute change 117–18 as punishment n. 199, 85 see also ‘consent’ Raven, James n. 201 Reinhartz, Adele 122, 144, 147, 150, n. 204 Reynolds, John 102 Richardson, Samuel 14, 43–4, n. 189 Rickert, C. T. n. 208 Riehle, Wolfgang n. 212 Roberts, Gareth n. 187
Roberts, Jean 76, 84, 107, n. 198, n. 200 Robertson, James 64 Roche, Anthony n. 186 Rocklin, Edward n. 199 Rogers, Guy McLean 162 Romaine, Suzanne n. 194 Romm, James n. 188 Rose, Mary Beth 112–13 Ross, Sinclair 70 Rowe, Nicholas n. 208 Rowley, Samuel 19 Rudd, Niall n. 198 Ruthven, K. K. 34, 38, n. 191 Ryan, Kiernan 51 Salter, Denis n. 195 Salmon, Vivian 16 Schafer, Elizabeth 133, n. 205 Schalkwyk, David n. 188 Seazer, J. A. 61 Segal, Charles 94, 95, 104 Selden, John 129 Seneca 79, 81, 97 servants 139–40, 171–7, n. 213 relation to masters 172–4, 175–7, n. 213 see ‘household, the Elizabethan’ see ‘marriage, service’ Shakespeare, William All’s Well That Ends Well 6, 7, 20, 28–29, 42, 76, 98, 104–9, 169, 172, n. 188, n. 201–2 Antony and Cleopatra n. 206 As You Like It 39, 76, 77, n. 197, n. 205 Comedy of Errors 7, 72, 106–7, 149, 152–83, n. 205, n. 208–14
Shakespeare, William (Cont.) theme of doubleness in 152–8, 164, 177–83 Coriolanus 10, 12, 49, n. 186, n. 192, n. 201 Cymbeline 35, 39, n. 190 Hamlet 7, 40, 72, n. 186, n. 194 1 Henry 4 6, 30, 68, 123, 124–5, 159, 169, n. 186, n. 196 2 Henry 4 6, 20, 29–30, 39, 116–17, 159, 169, n. 191 Henry 5 6, 7, 14, 18–19, 30, 39, 85–6, 107, 116–17, 123, 124–5, 167, 169, n. 194, n. 204 1 Henry 6 77, n. 198 2 Henry 6 39–40, 60, 121, 168 3 Henry 6 106–7, 123 Henry 8 19–20, 27, 121, 123 Julius Caesar 20–1, 52, n. 193, n. 202 King John 10, 20, 148 King Lear 26–27, 61, n. 185, n. 189, n. 205 Love’s Labour’s Lost 25, 27, 32, 45, 46–8, 123, n. 192 Macbeth 11–12, 61, n. 185 Measure for Measure 114, n. 202, n. 205 Merchant of Venice 19 Merry Wives of Windsor 25, 60, 121, 146, 159 Midsummer Night’s Dream 4, 6, 20, 59, 61–2, 74, 75–6, 78–9, 82–91, 108, 112, 116, 168, 169, n. 197, n. 198, n. 199 Much Ado about Nothing 45, 72, 121, n. 190 Othello 13, 48–9, 74, 121, 123, 148, n. 192, n. 193, n. 201
Pericles 40, 61, 72, 107, 156–57, 162, 166, 107 Rape of Lucrece 35, 85, 110, 114, 115–16, n. 193 Richard 2 39, 45–46, 88, n. 192, n. 199 Richard 3 27, n. 205 Romeo and Juliet 5–6, 7, 14, 50–73 passim, 76, 135, n. 193, n. 194, n. 195, n. 196, n. 212 translation of 62–9, 71, n. 195 sources 67–8 Sonnets 37, 76, 105 Taming of the Shrew 6, 7, 74, 120–51, 171, n. 186, n. 196, n. 203, n. 203–8 passim, n. 210 feminist criticism of 128–9, 131–3, 148 The Tempest 18, 40, 61, 80, 158–9, 171, 172, n. 194, n. 205, n. 210 Timon of Athens 21, 32, n. 188, n. 201 Titus Andronicus 25, 61, 97, 98, 168 Two Noble Kinsmen 11, 83 Troilus and Cressida 6, 74, 109–12, 118–19, 168, 169, n. 194–5, n. 200, n. 201, n. 202, n. 203 Twelfth Night 25–6, 147, n. 194, n. 201–2 Two Gentlemen of Verona n. 193 Venus and Adonis 35, 107, n. 201 The Winter’s Tale 40 Shakespeare, productions of All’s Well That Ends Well 42, 104, n. 201, n. 202 Antony and Cleopatra n. 206 Comedy of Errors 153, 156–7, 159, 161–2, 170–1, 175–7, 180–1, n. 209–14
Index Julius Caesar n. 193 King Lear 61 Macbeth 61 Midsummer Night’s Dream 61–2, 83, 84–5, 86, n. 199 Pericles 61 Richard 2 n. 192 Romeo and Juliet 6, 62–9, 71, n. 196 Taming of the Shrew 6, 126, 130, 133, 134–43, 144, 147, 148, 149–50, n. 205, n. 207, n. 208 The Tempest n. 210 Titus Andronicus 61 Troilus and Cressida 109, n. 200 Sharpe, Jim n. 199 Shepherd, GeoVrey 14 Shepherd, Simon n. 211 Sheridan, Richard Brindsley 77–8 Sidney, Philip 14, 37, 43, 75, 97, 102, 107, 113, 114, n. 188, n. 197 Silk, Michael 97 Singman, JeVrey L. 26, n. 189 Skutsch, Otto n. 200 Smallwood, Robert n. 209 Smith-Bannister, Scott 26, 28, 29 Snow, Ed n. 194, n. 196 Snowse, Robert (R. S.) 174 Snyder, Susan 107 Solinus, J. C. 102, 162, 163, n. 210, 102 Sondergard, Sidney L. n. 205, n. 211 Sparke, Michael 34 Spenser, Edmund 17, 38–9, 58, 75, 103, 105, 113, 114, n. 187, n. 191, n. 199 Spitzer, Leo 45 Sprat, Thomas 22 St Paul’s School n. 201 stage directions 106, n. 201 Stallybrass, Peter 123
Staunford, William n. 203 Steevens, George 65 Steiner, George 15, 50, 69, n. 194 Steinsaltz, David n. 196 Sterne, Lawrence 13, 22, 28–9, 42, 146, n. 186 Stesichorus 92–3, 95, 108, 118, 119, n. 200 Stingel, Victorinus 102 Stroup, Thomas B. 89, n. 198 Stubbs, Imogen 11 Sullivan, Arthur 88 Sullivan, Margaret M. n. 211 Swift, Jonathan 57, 58 Szpilman, Wladyslaw n. 186 T.E. 113–14, 116–17, n. 186, n. 203 Taming of a Shrew, The 128, 132, 142, 144, n. 205, n. 206, n. 207 Tasso, Torquato 101 Taylor, A. B. 109 Taylor, Gary 20, n. 193, n. 198, n. 202, n. 204, n. 205, n. 208, n. 209 Taylor, Talbot J. 19, 21, n. 186 theatre companies, early modern n. 209 theatre companies, contemporary; see Shakespeare, productions of Theseus 168, 78–83 battle of the centaurs 78–9 condemnation of 80–2 and the law 86–8, n. 199 and the Minotaur n. 198, 78 poor government of 83, n. 198 and rape 79–81, 86 sources on 79; and see also Plutarch war 86
Thomas, Keith 29 Thompson, Ann 131 Thucydides 5, 58 Tilley, M. 31 Tostevin, Lola Lemire 71 Tourneur, Cyril 37 translation and bilingualism 62–9, 71, n. 196 and communication 66–7, 69 of dramaturgy 61 and gender n. 196 and multilingual puns 65–6 and politics 64, 62–9 passim and power 60–1 and reappropriation 60, 62 of Shakespeare 61–2, 62–9 passim theories of 59–60 Trell, Bluma L. 160, 163, n. 212 Trussell, John 75, 81–2, n. 198 Turner, Robert K. n. 202 Vanbrugh, John 42 Varney, Andrew 44 Vaughan, William 101 Velz, John 49 Verstegan, Richard 33 Vickers, Brian 20, n. 186 Vico, Giambattista 15 Virgil 81, 97 Vives, Juan Luis 173 Walcott, Derek 12, n. 201 Walker, Garthine n. 203 Waller, Gary 17, 45 Walton, Izaak 37 Wardhaugh, Ronald n. 194 Warner, William 162, n. 209, n. 210, n. 213 Warren, Austin 44
Watling, E. F. 141, n. 209, n. 213 Watson, Robert N. 48, n. 193 Watt, Ian 12, 43, 44 Webbe, William 102, 103 Webster, John 11, 14, 31–2, 103, n. 189 Weidhorn, Manfred 10, 51, n. 192, n. 205 Weimann, Robert 45 Wellek, Rene´ 44 Welles, Orson n. 193 Wells, G. A. n. 194 Wells, Stanley 20, 153, 158, 166, n. 193, n. 198, n. 202, n. 204, n. 205, n. 208, n. 209 Werstine, Paul 155, n. 209 West, William N. n. 194 Whetstone, George 103, n. 203 White, James Boyd 5, 58, n. 194 Whittier, Gayle 55 Whitworth, Charles 154, n. 209 Wilde, Oscar 23, 124, n. 193, n. 204 Willet, Andrew 16 Williams, Arnold 16 Williams, Franklin B. 34, 35, n. 190 Williams, George Walton n. 212, n. 214 Willson, Robert F. Jr 89, n. 198 Wilson, John Dover n. 193, n. 208 Wilson, Stephen n. 197 Wilson, Thomas 22 Withycombe, E. G. n. 205 Woods, Susanne n. 211 Wright, Matthew n. 200, n. 211 Wynborne, John 21–2 Wynne-Davies, Marion 117, 118, n. 203 Zink, Sidney 14