Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Questioning the smoking gun:
 Shakespeare opens Twelfth Night with the Duke of Orsino likening himself to Actaeon, Olivia to Diana:

    "O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,

     Methought she purged the air of pestilence!

     That instant was I turn'd into a hart;

     And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,

     E'er since pursue me."

This opening (I. i. 18 - 22) has me thinking of the issue of the smoking gun. Without overt reference to the myth, Shakespeare clearly works with the key elements: powerful female, intrusive hunter, conversion to hart, hunting dogs, pending disaster. 

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