Shakespeare, W - Much Ado About Nothing (Arden, 2006).pdf

Claudio you speak this to fetch me in my lord don

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CLAUDIO You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. DON PEDRO By my troth, I speak my thought. 210 CLAUDIO And in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. BENEDICK And by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I spoke mine. CLAUDIO That I love her, I feel. DON PEDRO That she is worthy, I know. 215 BENEDICK That I neither feel how she should be loved 197 dumb man mute I should not love her 198 allegiance sworn loyalty to a prince 207 Amen a response to Claudio's or lord prayer 203 old tale Benedick refers to the 208 well worthy worthy of love; honour- punch-line of a story (of the robber- able; wealthy bridegroom genre) in which a woman 209 fetch me in lead me on (and pre- discovers her suitor to be involved in sumably invite ridicule for such an some criminal activity and convicts admission), trick me into confessing him before her family; he continually 210 By my troth i.e. on my word; troth = denies the charge but finally incontro- truth, and is similar to faith, as in the vertible evidence is produced, to which following line. the man in question replies with this 212 by . . . troths i.e. to both Claudio and formula. Don Pedro, which could, as Benedick 205 shortly perhaps with a pun on short comically implies, refute each other (i.e. with a reference to Hero's stature) (if one cannot swear allegiance to two 205-6 God . . . otherwise i.e. God forbid persons simultaneously) 163
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1.1.217 Much Ado About Nothing nor know how she should be worthy is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake. DON PEDRO Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the despite of beauty. 220 CLAUDIO And never could maintain his part but in the force of his will. BENEDICK That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks; but that I will have a recheat winded in my 225 forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all 218 at the stake Religious dissenters (cf. heretic, 219) were burnt at the stake in England in great numbers under Mary Tudor, 40 years prior to this play's Elizabethan staging, although the penalty was applied to a few under Elizabeth as well. Benedick's professed inability to confess to Hero's lovability despite his multiple troths and faiths parodies the obduracy of Protestant martyrs who refused to acknowledge the miraculous transubstantiation of blood and bread, the supremacy of the Pope, and other articles of the Roman Catholic faith. 220 despite of contempt or scorn of (the true faith of beauty) 221-2 never . . . will could not persist in his belief were it not for his obstinacy (wilfulness was thought to be a moti- vation of heresy); cf. Milton, Of True Religion (1673): 'Heresie is in the will and choice profestly against Scripture' (Milton, Religion, 109). There may also be a sexual innuendo {part = penis; will = sexual desire). 225-6 recheat . . . forehead a hunting call to summon hounds, blown on the (cuckold's) horn which will grow on Benedick's forehead if he marries. The recheat calls attention to the horn hid- den by the invisible baldrick (see 226n.); horns and bugles were fashioned of cattle horns or boar tusks. Jane Anger, in Her Protection for Women
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