Shakespeare's Labored Art: Stir, Work, and the Late Plays

By Maurice Hunt | Go to book overview

Notes
1
An excellent account of the character dynamics of this short, eighty- seven line scene ( I. v) is given by Barbara A. Mowat, The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare's Romances ( Athens: U of Georgia P, 1976) 37-42.
2
Concerning Jachimo's utterance, Ann Thompson and John O. Thompson have written that "the simile may seem strange in that labor seems so much worthier a thing than falsehood--but would it have seemed so to Shakespeare? (It was a Victorian commentator, Staunton, who suggested we should amend to 'falsehood, not With labour,' thus saving the work ethic from dishonor)." Jachimo's simile could "be taken to mean 'as hardened by hourly falsehood as they also are by labour,' thus suggesting that Posthumus is having an affair in Rome with a woman of low social status. . . . The context of 'joining gripes' implies that the hands could literally have become hardened by the number of times they have been clasped." ("The Syntax of Metaphor in Cymbeline," Images of Shakespeare, ed. Werner Habicht, D. J. Palmer, Roger Pringle [ Newark: U of Delaware P, 1988] 80-97, esp. 91).
3
Cynthia Lewis, in "'With Simular Proof Enough': Modes of Misperception in Cymbeline," Studies in English Literature 31 ( 1991): 341-64, interprets Jachimo's emergence from the trunk as a "black parody of birth" (348)--a "cruelly teasing, subversive" image (of labor, I would claim).
4
Derek Traversi, in Shakespeare: The Last Phase ( 1954; rpt. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1965) 60-61, characterizes Jachimo's account of the bedchamber's art as deliberately artificial and counterfeit so as to focus the lifeless sophistication and opulence of Cymbeline's court. According to Traversi, Imogen "needs to discover her true moral being, and the full implications of her love for Posthumus, by being taken from her court surroundings to another world [that of nature] in which the social artifices are not so prominent" (66).
5
This predilection is described by Coburn Freer, The Poetics of Jacobean Drama ( Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1981) 110-13; and by Ruth Nevo , Shakespeare's Other Language ( New York: Methuen, 1987) 69-75.
6
Commentators on Cymbeline have regularly drawn parallels between Shakespeare's characterizations of Posthumus and Cloten, roles most likely doubled in original performances of the play. Dressed in Posthumus' garments, Cloten's headless body so resembles that of Posthumus that Imogen thinks that it is her lover's. Typical expressions of this view are given by Joan Hartwig, "Cloten and Caliban: Parodic Villains," Shakespeare's Analogical Scene ( Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1983) 171-90,

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Shakespeare's Labored Art: Stir, Work, and the Late Plays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1 - Work and Shakespeare's Age 1
  • Notes 22
  • Chapter 2 - From Hamlet to Timon of Athens: Work in Shakespeare's Later Plays 27
  • Notes 63
  • Chapter 3 - Pericles 71
  • Notes 91
  • Chapter 4 - Cymbeline 95
  • Notes 130
  • Chapter 5 - The Winter's Tale 135
  • Notes 159
  • Chapter 6 - The Tempest 163
  • Notes 193
  • Chapter 7 - King Henry VIII 199
  • Notes 227
  • Chapter 8 - The Two Noble Kinsmen 231
  • Notes 255
  • Chapter 9 - Shakespeare's Labored Art 259
  • Notes 276
  • Works Cited 279
  • Index 305
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