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Thread: Item, She is not to be kiss'd fasting, in respect of her breath.

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    Item, She is not to be kiss'd fasting, in respect of her breath.

    This line:
    Item, She is not to be kiss'd fasting, in respect of her breath.
    has been edited. Originally it was:
    Item, She is not to be fasting, in respect of her breath.
    The 1841 Edition of Shakespeare's plays, edited by Malone, included this remark (made by Steevens) in the footnote about the line:
    She is not to be kiss'd fasting,] The old copy reads, she
    is not to be fasting, &c. The necessary word, kiss'd, was first
    added by Mr. Rowe. Steevens.
    I think another correction is needed in addition to the added word. While I understand that the meaning of the line is she should not be kissed because of bad breath, the way the line stands now corrupts and obscures the pathway to that meaning. One says, well it doesn't make sense, but I know what he meant. However, by placing the comma before 'fasting', instead of after, the line makes sense:
    Item, She is not to be kiss'd, fasting in respect of her breath.
    In other words fasting from kissing her because of her bad breath. Another thing about this line that I haven't read in any of the footnotes about TGOV is the play on words: fasting and breath in Speed's line with the follow up line by Launce:
    Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast: Read on.
    breakfast (breathfast).

    Perhaps the play on words is so obvious that it doesn't deserve mention. But the comma move? This has really not been proposed by any Shakespearian scholar?

    The Riverside Collection does includes the added word 'kiss'd in brackets, but leaves the comma in place.

    But Norton gets downright radical:
    Item, she is not to be broken with fasting, in respect of her breath.
    Whoa.
    Last edited by EdHenFab; 03-07-2013 at 04:02 AM.

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