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ENG220Y1 Lecture Notes - Tragicomedy, Ekphrasis, Metonymy

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Elizabeth Harvey

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
6:10 PM
February 26, 2014
March 05, 2014
Written in 1609 perhaps
Genre is unclear, a possible romance or tragicomedy
Elements of a romance:
oMedieval romance; matter of Britain, France and rome
oMagical, fairytale motifs, knights errant
Dreams as a means of transporting from one world into the next
oQuest narratives
Psychological aspects
All about who the knight is; his development of identity
oInterlaced tales, dilated structure, doubles
Expanding time to defer an ending
Add episodes / adventures so that the story never ends; never really
returning to court
About the pleasure of the text; sexual and erotic experience about
delaying the end of the story
oPsychological dimensions / nature of identity
oTransformation of suffering into joy
Really Shakespeare's addition to this genre
Intertwined Plots:
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Innogen, Posthumus, Giacomo; Boccaccio's Decameron
oBelieved the Brutus of Troy founded Britain and his wife was named Innogen
Britain-Rome plot; Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland
Cymbeline's sons and harsh pastoral of Wales; Holinshed's History of Scotland
A play about Air:
Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630)
Chameleon: on the ground; thought to have been a dwarf and lion; thought to have lived
in air and when it died it would explode into the air
Hippocrates' Of Airs, Waters, and Places -- argues that people's character and
physiology were shaped by where they lived; called geo-humoralism
Spirits; are fluid bodies, moves through the brain to activate thought and consciousness
Spirits have a great affinity with the air; inclination is to deliver themselves from the
prison wherein they are; made from the air outside the body so they want to escape from
he body to return outside
The renaissance body is not walled in; things go in and out such as breathe
Yearning to leave the body
A play on "heir" as well; this pun motivates the play;
Act One:
oMuch of what we get is through report; it's important to recognize how knowledge
is circulated
oRumour of sexual infidelity and how it spreads becomes important
oInnogen already married without her father Cymbeline's permission; instead of
marrying her stepbrother
oThe terms inside and outside suggest the dialectic of spirits
oLanguage of expansion and condescension; refers to air -- characteristic of air,
this accordion pattern
oTwo sons died in battle; king died of sorrow
oRaised Posthumus Leonatus who was orphaned and he married Innogen
oQueen refers to the fairytale-like aspects about the stepmother; the archetype of
the wicked stepmother
oEconomical exchange
oThe ring and the bracelet -- an image of imprisonment; of an erotic imprisonment;
refers to the sexual act; a metonymy, takes the idea of touch and extends it to the air;
relies on the physical connection between the object and the person to extend the
idea to the air; there love will still exist even when the lovers are separated because
they have these symbols of their love
o"puttock" doesn't sound lovely; refers to a kite or buzzard that eats dead flesh; at
the bottom of the bird hierarchy -- Innogen compares her stepbrother, Cloten, to this
oWas fencing so now Cloten somewhat smells bad
oThe idea of air again
o"vent" is french for air
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