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Of these conjectures, the one adopted by Capell would seem at first to embody the sense with fair clearness. But the change of they to their makes a fundamental difference in Orlando's state of mind. Orlando did not merely fear his hope; he feared that he did hope. He did not know about it, and was thus in a state of confusion. Besides which, Shakespeare's statement is that Orlando (true to nature) was clinging to the view that, after all, the thing might turn out in the end to be true, in which case his belief would prove to be no delusion at all but the belief of a fact. Thus the original passage shows that Orlando was in doubt about his own mind as well as the facts. Shakespeare's way of saying it is exact; and if an editor felt the necessity of altering the words it shows that he was laboring under some misconception.
This minion stood upon her chastity,
(Titus Andronicus, ii, 3, 126) AFTER studying all the emendations and conjectures from the time of the earliest critics, White gave up this passage with the note: “A line manifestly, and it would seem hopelessly, corrupt. But perhaps we might read, And with that faint hope braves, &c.” The Globe editors mark the line containing painted hope with the obolus.
The speaker is the brutish Demetrius who is the son of the no less bestial Queen Tamora. The chaste Lavinia has repelled his advances. This “painted hope" contains a point of view which exactly fits the character and the circumstances.
If Lavinia, when he made his advances, had given him strictly to understand that she hated him; if she had met him with a tonguelashing in good round unfeminine terms, she would have done something to dissipate that dream of lust and disenchant his passion. If she had conducted herself like a virago and put her refusal in terms of hate, she would have
been doing something that a man like himself could understand. And it would have operated somewhat to disillusionize him.
But the gentle Lavinia based her refusal upon her nuptial vows, her chastity, her loyalty to another. Not her mere personal value nor her hatred of him, but in terms that are born of her ideals, her goodness. Nothing could give more promise to such a man.
For strange as it may seem when we think of it, lust at its lowest devours nothing with such relish as goodness (a point we see illustrated in Measure for Measure); and as nuptial vows and loyalty mean so little to him that they would seem to be easily set aside, her mention of no other reason for refusing seemed as good as a promise. With this understanding we may appreciate Shakespeare's way of saying it.
There are three stages of possession, or three degrees of concreteness — a mental vision, a picture, and the reality. A painting occupies a position half way between the unsubstantial, uncertain, self-supported vision of a thing and the thing itself. Now when Lavinia gave him such refusals his hope of success became more vivid. When she spoke of her chastity and gave excuses that were no real excuses to him, she only aggravated his passion and seemed to be artfully drawing him on; and only to refuse him. It was as if she had painted the picture of his success with her own hands, or in her own person, and held it up before him.
She made herself a “painted hope.” This is simply a hope whose pictures are more vivid, more real, than the uncertain visions of hope unassisted.
Demetrius is telling this to his equally lowminded mother to arouse her anger. The point of view is that Lavinia, in thus refusing the royal son, was making light of the queen's royalty. Demetrius, in this regard of privileged sonship, is like Cloten in Cymbeline.
EMENDATIONS JOHNSON and STEEVENS — And with that painted braves your mightiness.
COLLIER MSS. — And with that painted shape she braves your mightiness. R. Grant White — And with that faint hope braves your mightiness. CARTWRIGHT — And with that painting, etc. Orger — And with that painted show, etc. WARBURTON (1747) — And with that painted cope she braves your mightiness (adopted by Theobald). Present-day editions follow First Folio as hopelessly corrupt.
.. Farewell young lords;
(All's Well, ii, 1, 12)
The very first instinct of aristocracy is to discountenance the upstart. Consider, then, what a king's view would be who was simply the head of the aristocracy of his country. He would hardly hold up for emulation or recognition a new aristocracy in another country; for they would necessarily be people who had achieved their position by the overthrow of the royal line. To his own noblemen he would hardly speak of them as being worthy of consideration.
By higher Italy, the king means the higher classes of Italy. At the time this play was written, “Italy” was nothing more than a geographical name; it consisted of republics such as Venice and Genoa and various little monarchies. The young French noblemen, finding things dull at home and not yet having distinguished themselves in war, were going abroad to take part in one of the wars which