17 March 2013: Much Ado About Vagina

Congee and rereading Pericles, Prince of Tyre: was rereading Much Ado About Nothing, but this play is brought to a quick finish once that dipshit Claudio is brought to heel by Benedick, the anonymous Friar and Dogberry: the fact that Claudio is so readily swayed by his man-boy “friends” Don Pedro and Don John means that Shakespeare may have been too bored by Claudio to make a strong case for his redemption by Hero’s love.

Chap should spend an epoch, hey hey what what, getting his lady love to forgive him if chap calls her a rotten orange on their wedding day, hey hey what what, not a day or so.

Most critics seem to recognize the major flaw in Much Ado About Vagina (where “nothing” was a common slang term for a woman’s privates in Shakespeare’s time), this being that Shakespeare, in a rare lapse of discipline probably caused by the enormous pressures on him of the deaths of children, etc., grew more fascinated by Beatrice and Benedick than a pair of teenagers.

Whereas Pericles is a bit of underrated Magick which slowly like the sunrise brightens: it starts with a silly and distasteful tale told in doggerel but is redeemed by the gradual revelation, to the reader or theater-goer, of just how ready Pericles is to maintain his personal integrity and suffer in consequence…for me this happens in the early Fisherfolk scene where Pericles realizes (as does Lear) just how close to the bone the fisherfolk live and seeks instead to find a contest of arms or skill.

Just imagine. If as so often happened in Shakespeare’s time your wife dies in giving birth to a fair daughter what was to prevent you from acting out incestuous desire in the conditions of Tudor England? Whereas Shakespeare seems to have realized that it was just wrong in Sonnet 129, the “expense of spirit in a waste of shame”.


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