A discussion of Phoebe’s aside in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”; as just an early draft —

So I should like to take this opportunity to suggest Wm Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” that is as you like it breathed abroad or as you like it made “more agreeable” in compare to the treatment of Marlowe’s “Hero and Leander” published in 1598 “Desunt nonnulla” post line 818 to the “gentle aire” of the “liking” of Sir Thomas Walsingham; knighted 1597 (Note: see Edward Blunt’s “The Epistle Dedicatorie” that prefaces 818 lines of Marlowe’s verses published with some things omitted or with some things missing to the “gentle aire” of the “liking” of Sir Thomas Walsingham followed up what with “Hero and Leander, An Amorous Poem”, The Six Sestiads, by Marlowe and Chapman, dedicated to Lady Audry wife to Sir Thomas Walsingham.) An approach to this is by way of noting two clowns, Phoebe and Touchstone, both refer to what Touchstone speaks of as “a great reckoning in a little room”.

Thus one may ask, what is “a great reckoning in a little room”? Or what is Marlowe’s great account of the reckoning of “Hero the fair” ? An approach to an answer to this question is by way of a discussion of Phoebe’s rant, aside, and very taunting letter written in a spirit of “omittance is no quittance”. By rant I mean her response to Silvius when he begs her not to scorn him as that will kill him. Phoebe goes off on a rant insisting there is no such thing as murderer’s eyes or a force in eyes that can do hurt; funny because the reason that there is no such thing is because Hero scorned by Leander and she studies how to die is some thing omitted from Marlowe’s verses published “Desunt nonnulla” in 1598.

Following her rant Phoebe encounters Shakespeare’s Ganymede. She is smitten while Ganymede chides her and she is taunted as Ganymede scorns her: “As, by my faith, I see no more in you. Than without candle may go dark to bed …” (Act 3 Scene 5) Her aside follows wherein she signals her thinking has changed by reason of the impact of her encounter with Ganymede: “Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, ‘Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?'”

Following Phoebe’s aside she remembers what Ganymede had to say to scorn at her and that she did not respond. And therefore she determines to write her taut pour taut in a spirit of “omittance is no quittance” what with compare of Shakespeare’s Ganymede’s scorn of her to Marlowe’s Ganymede to a Leander turned scorn of Hero as a dark lady following Hero and Leander in bed together. In other words, Phoebe references what Touchstone calls “a great reckoning in a little room” in her “very taunting letter”. That is to suggest that after Phoebe’s rant wherein she gives the lie direct to Marlowe’s great account of the reckoning of “Hero the fair”, her encounter with Shakespeare’s Ganymede changes her thinking about that as her aside indicates and she remembers what Ganymede had to say to scorn at her with so much compare of her to the Hero. Wherefore in her subsequent “very taunting letter” she affirms what which her rant indicates does not exist. Taunted by so much compare of her to Hero, Phoebe answers with compare of Ganymede’s scorn of her to Marlowe’s great reckoning in a little room. Her point being that if he does not take her offer of herself and all that she can make then she too will “study how to die” as in Marlowe’s great account of the reckoning of “Hero the fair”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Rich Willis

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