quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Notes » Page 6

Essays and Notes

Friars, Friends and Deceivers

Read the Note

Friar Francis in Much Ado About Nothing (4.1.221), like Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, is a sympathetic character who aids the romantic interests of the young lovers. Both friars fashion a conspiracy whose central conceit is the fake death of the lady. Friars fare better than the Catholic hierarchy in Shakespeare’s plays, even though the friars are as devious in their means as cardinals and archbishops.
… continue reading this note

Seasons, Elements and Humors

Read the Note

The four seasons, the four elements and the four humors were all related. The four seasons spring, summer, autumn and winter paralleled the four humors blood/sanguine, yellow bile/choleric, phlegm/phlegmatic and black bile/melancholic, which in turn paralleled the four elements air, fire, water and earth. Good health and good disposition of character or personality were believed to be a matter of keeping one’s humors in proper balance.
… continue reading this note

This Note references:
Source(s):
, ,
Character(s):
, , ,
Themes:
,
Figures of Speech:

Tempter or Tempted?

Read the Note

In Measure for Measure (2.2.197), Angelo confronts, possibly for the first time in his life, the temptation of lust. And since this is new to him and because he is highly moralistic, he is troubled and confused. He reacts by asking himself a series of questions for which he has no answers.

What’s this? What’s this? Is this her fault,
… continue reading this note

This Note references:
Source(s):
,
Character(s):
, , ,
Themes:
, , ,
Figures of Speech:
,

Seduction or Harassment?

Read the Note

Shakespeare delights in the seduction ceremonies of bright men with even brighter women. These dialogues, whether between adolescents like Romeo and Juliet, more mature characters like Henry V and Princess Katherine, or seasoned adults like the widow Lady Grey and the sexual harasser King Edward, in this scene (3HenryVI 3.2.36), give Shakespeare opportunities to employ dazzling webworks of rhetorical exchanges.
… continue reading this note

Sexual Extortion

Read the Note

In Measure for Measure (2.4.95), Angelo, the classic sexual harasser, adopts a method of sexual extortion similar to King Edward’s in Henry VI Part 3 (3.2.36).  Both men begin with oblique insinuations about their desires, which can be innocently misread. When the women, Isabella in Measure for Measure and Lady Grey in Henry VI,
… continue reading this note

This Note references:
Source(s):
,
Character(s):
, , ,
Themes:
, , ,
Figures of Speech:
, , , ,

Keeping Adultery Hidden

Read the Note

Whether in comedy or tragedy, Shakespeare’s characters advise the prudence of spouses, whether husbands or wives, of keeping their dalliances hidden. Luciana advises the man she thinks is her brother-in-law in Comedy of Errors to tell his wife, Luciano’s sister, nothing. Iago’s observation about the adulteries of Venetian women in Othello, is similar.
… continue reading this note

This Note references:
Source(s):
,
Character(s):
,
Themes:
,