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

Friar there is some strange misprision in the princes

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FRIAR There is some strange misprision in the princes. 185 BENEDICK Two of them have the very bent of honour. And if their wisdoms be misled in this, The practice of it lives in John the bastard, Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies. LEONATO I know not. If they speak but truth of her, 190 These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour, The proudest of them shall well hear of it. Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine, Nor age so eat up my invention, Nor fortune made such havoc of my means, 195 Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends But they shall find awaked in such a kind 182 unmeet inappropriate 183 change exchange 184 Refuse disown 185 misprision error, misunderstanding the princes technically, only Don Pedro and Don John, though Benedick's response includes Claudio in royalty 186 have . . . of are wholly inclined to, given to; the metaphor is from archery, of a bow drawn to its full extent. 188 practice deceitful contrivance John the bastard This is the first explicit mention to the audience of Don John's illegitimacy (noted in SDs and SPs), though signs of melancholy and envy could have suggested it (in the Renaissance, signified by black clothing). 189 i.e. who devotes himself to contriving villainous plots 190not.]fYnot:;,-not,£ 191-2 if . . . it As does the defender of the slandered princess in Shakespeare's Ariostan source, Leonato (whose softening occurs only after Benedick's entertainment of the possibility of a mistake) now turns to the postures of chivalry, 'that will in armes defend his daughter dear, / And prove her innocent in open fight' (Orlando, 5.68.3-4). 194 eat past tense, pronounced 'et' invention mental powers, 'policy of mind', as at 198; four syllables 195 means resources, perhaps financial 196 reft i.e. bereft, deprived friends includes kindred, such as his brother Antonio (who is not, however, given an entrance in this scene in QJ 197 they i.e. the princes kind manner 269
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4.1.198 Much Ado About Nothing Both strength of limb and policy of mind, Ability in means and choice of friends To quit me of them throughly. FRIAR Pause awhile, And let my counsel sway you in this case. Your daughter here the princes left for dead. Let her awhile be secretly kept in, And publish it that she is dead indeed. Maintain a mourning ostentation, And on your family's old monument Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites That appertain unto a burial. LEONATO What shall become of this? What will this do? FRIAR Marry, this well carried shall on her behalf 200 205 210 198 policy of mind See 194n. 199 choice of friends i.e. to act as his seconds in a duel 200 quit . . . throughly thoroughly revenge myself upon them Pause awhile The Friar's words (as at 155) can provide a SD for Leonato's behaviour. 202 *princes Q's 'princesse' makes a certain grammatical, but not social, sense. 205 mourning ostentation formal, public show of mourning; the Friar's plan to deceive Claudio into a recognition of true feeling resembles Don Pedro's plan to gull Beatrice and Benedick into love.
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