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

A similar case involves the entry of leonato and hero

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A similar case involves the entry of Leonato and Hero in the same scene, after the confusion over whom Hero is to marry has been cleared up. The Quarto locates their entry with Don Pedro at 2.1.192 (although it also erroneously includes Don John, Conrade and Borachio); the Folio (again, perhaps cued by the promptbook) has them enter with Beatrice and Claudio at 239. This choice is attractive since neither of them speaks until then, and it has been thought awkward to have them present during Benedick's discussion of the confusion over Hero's suitor, and Benedick's subsequent diatribe against Beatrice. As Zitner points out, 'this' in his phrase 'your grace had got the good will of this young lady' (198) is not necessarily demonstrative (Oxf 1 ). 1 However, their entry with Beatrice somewhat dilutes the force of her entry with the sullen Claudio, and in my imagination Benedick is playing to a crowd, despite (or perhaps because of) the indelicacy involved in abusing Beatrice in earshot of her kin, or even that of discussing the disposition of Hero's hand in her earshot (tact is not his strong suit). In other words, either decision can be rationalized. I have adopted the Quarto direction; like the entry of Margaret and Ursula, the choice in a production will have certain atmospheric consequences, but in neither instance is much at stake. So much for the relatively neutral choices. There are, however, a few places in the Quarto that require a somewhat more radi- cal decision. For instance, in the entry directions to 1.1, Q_ lists 'Innogen his wife\ repeating c his wife" at the start of 2.1; she, along with '# kinsman' (also at 2.1.0), is known as a 'ghost' character, that is, one who enters but is not otherwise invoked or given anything to do or say. The 'kinsman' is perhaps the same man Leonato mentions in 1.2: 'where is my cousin your son? Hath he provided 1 Zitner, following a conjecture by Harold Jenkins, boldly has Leonato and Hero enter with Beatrice and Claudio at 2.1.275 but at separate doors. 138
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Introduction this music?' (1-2); by 5.1.280, however, Antonio is childless, and Beatrice in 4.1 without a supportive kinsman to champion Hero. This figure's lack of substance is an instance of Shakespeare's working method of conjuring up a raft of personnel, and then streamlining as he goes along, finding (or not finding) things for them to do, sorting out the action and necessary bodies as the plot thickens and occasion requires. The Florentine Claudio's Messinese uncle, mentioned in passing in the dialogue of 1.1 (at 17) but never again, seems to materialize from a similar desire to create and populate a social universe. There are also instances of characters mentioned in entry directions who have nothing to say in the scene in question - for example Balthasar at 1.1.90.1, or the Sexton at 5.1.248.1. These are not as ghostly, in that they do speak elsewhere, and, as they seem not out of place in these scenes (Balthasar is a member of Don Pedro's company, the Sexton has just apprised Leonato of Borachio's trick), they have been left in their mute peace. Again, in this play about social foibles
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