John Fletcher and William Shakespeare, The Two Noble Kinsmen, [London], 1634 - p. 18, D1v

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Date:1634

Description:A Shakespeare collaboration.

The Two Noble Kinsmen includes pageantry in the 'masque' style that Shakespeare introduced to his late 'romance' plays like The Tempest and Pericles, and has scenes reminiscent of earlier work. The madness of the Jailer's Daughter draws on Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking scene, and on Ophelia's madness in Hamlet. The play was adapted by William Davenant in 1664, but it received no further performance until the 20th century.

This page reads:

JAILER: Well, we will talk more of this when the solemnity
is past. But have you a full promise of her?
[Enter the Jailer's Daughter with rushes.]
When that shall be seen, I tender my consent.

WOOER: I have, sir. Here she comes.

JAILER: [to Daughter.] Your friend and I have chanced to
name you here, upon the old business -- but no more
of that now. So soon as the court hurry is over we will
have an end of it. I'th' mean time, look tenderly to the
two prisoners. I can tell you they are princes. ... [II.1.20]

DAUGHTER: These strewings are for their chamber.
'Tis pity they are in prison, and 'twere pity they should
be out. I do think they have patience to make any
adversity ashamed; the prison itself is proud of 'em,
and they have all the world in their chamber.

JAILER: They are famed to be a pair of absolute men.

DAUGHTER: By my troth, I think fame but stammers
'em -- they stand a grece above the reach of report.

JAILER: I heard them reported in the battle to be the only doers. ...

DAUGHTER: Nay, most likely, for they are noble
sufferers. I marvel how they would have looked had
they been victors, that with such a constant nobility
enforce a freedom out of bondage, making misery their
mirth, and affliction a toy to jest at.

JAILER: Do they so?

DAUGHTER: It seems to me they have no more
sense of their captivity than I of ruling Athens. They
eat well, look merrily, discourse of many things, but
nothing of their own restraint and disasters. Yet ...
sometime a divided sigh -- martyred as 'twere i' th'
deliverance -- will break from one of them, when the
other presently gives it so sweet a rebuke that I could
wish myself a sigh to be so chid, or at least a sigher
to be comforted.

WOOER: I never saw 'em.

JAILER: The Duke himself came privately in the night,
[Palamon and Arcite appear at a window above.]

This scene continues on the following page...

Two Noble Kinsmen, 2,1, lines 12-45.
Masque, See: The Tempest, 4,1, lines 60-142.
Pericles, scene 6, lines 1-62. Sleepwalking See:
Macbeth 5,1, lines 18-67. Madness See:
Hamlet, 4,5, 15-73 and 153-198.


Full title: John Fletcher and William Shakespeare, The Two Noble Kinsmen. Presented at the Blackfriers by the Kings Majesties servants, Written by Mr John Fletcher and Mr William Shakespeare gent. London, by Thomas Cotes for John Waterson, 1634.


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Donor ref:SR 51.13 [484] (32/10556)

Source: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - Library

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