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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 423

blood is up. 'Nay, come, again,' he calls to Laertes, who cannot refuse to play and now is wounded by Hamlet. At the very same moment the Queen falls to the ground; and ruin rushes on the King from the right hand and the left.

     The passage, therefore, should be printed thus:

  Laer. Have at you now!     [Laertes wounds Hamlet; then, in scuffling, they change rapiers.
  King. Part them; they are incensed.
  Ham. Nay, come, again.     [They play, and Hamlet wounds Laertes. The Queen falls.




     The quite unusual difficulties regarding this subject have led to much discussion, a synopsis of which may be found in Furness's Variorum edition, pp. 358-72. Without detailing the facts I will briefly set out the main difficulty, which is that, according to one set of indications (which I will call A), Desdemona was murdered within a day or two of her arrival in Cyprus, while, according to another set (which I will call B), some time elapsed between her arrival and the catastrophe. Let us take A first, and run through the play.

     (A) Act. I. opens on the night of Othello's marriage. On the night he is despatched to Cyprus, leaving Desdemona to follow him.

     In Act II. Sc. i., there arrive at Cyprus, first, in one ship, Cassio; then, in another, Desdemona, Iago, and Emilia; then, in another, Othello (Othello, Cassio, and Desdemona being in three different ships, it does not matter, for our purpose, how long the voyage lasted). On the night following these arrivals in Cyprus the marriage is consummated (II. iii. 9), Cassio is cashiered, and, on Iago's advice, he resolves to ask Desdemona's intercession 'betimes in the morning' (II. iii. 335).

     In Act III. Sc. iii (the temptation-scene), he does so: Desdemona does intercede; Iago begins to poison Othello's mind; the handkerchief is lost, found by Emilia, and given to Iago; he determines to leave it in Cassio's room, and, renewing his

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