Discussion Question 2

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Different modes of characterisation give us a picture of H's and O's view of each other and themselves. They are all figurative and verbal since we can't refer to the drama as played on stage. “Are you honest?”(L1) This beginning of the conversation already implies O's dishonesty. It is an implicit verbal statement. O on the other hand also uses implicit verbal characterisation when she says to H:”Rich giftes waxe poore, when givers grow unkinde.”(L16) This means that H turned into an unkind person. In the monologue of H in Line 21-29 he uses explicit self-commentary to give the reader and O an image of how he sees himself: “O I am very prowde, ambitious, disdainefull,...”L24. He paints this image very dark, as he had the worst character in the whole play. .............................................. Explicit commentary by others comes into play when H talks about O in L46 ff. This even happens “in presentia” of O. Here he extends his view of her given at the beginning: her dishonesty and fakeness (“God hath given you one face, and you make you selves another”) By using “selves” he even doesn't only mean O but refers to all women (which of course includes O). The effect of those characterisation-paintings is clear. H (who does the most part of the characterisation) wants O to forget about the love he atmitted to her earlier in the play. He characterizes himself as “arrant knave”(L28), so O could even be glad about having rejected him. The reader (or spectator) from now on knows pretty well that this will not be any “and-they-lived-happily-ever after-end” or at least that their love toward each other will not prosper easily.

There are differences of Quarto 1 (Q1) and Quarto 2 (Q2). In the Q2 he admitts his love to her (L12) before three lines later he denies it (L15). Those are clear explicit self-commentaries of his feelings but completely oppose each other. This has the effect that his madness (whether it is played or not) is underlined. Also O feels “deceived”(L17) which characterizes H as a false snake, lying about his feeling toward her.