How?

So, sometimes there are scenes that make you wonder just how you stage something. You know, like Jupiter in Cymbeline. That’s a big one, an obvious one.

How about something more subtle?

After the attempted seduction  by and calling-out of Iachimo, There’s interesting little (so little, it’s just a single, full line) exchange that puzzles me, fascinates me.  Iachimo says of Posthumus, “Half all men’s hearts are his,” to which Innogen–in the same poetic line–replies, “You make amends” (I.vi.168). End of sentence, end of speech; Iachimo kicks off the next poetic line.

IACHIMO

Half all men’s hearts are his.
INNOGEN
 You make amends.

So. How–if you’re either acting or directing the part of Innogen–do you play that line? Despite its closure with a period, is it a question? (as in, after all this b.s., now you make amends?) Is it suspicious? Is it accepting?

Complicating our answer, though, is the line’s existence as an antilabe. A shared poetic line that maintains the rhythm of the line uninterrupted.

IACHIMO

/ / / / ~ /

Half all men’s hearts are his.
INNOGEN
  ~ / ~ /

 You make amends.

You could argue what I have as a dual-spondee opening of the line (HALF ALL MEN’S HEARTS) is actually two iambs (half ALL men’s HEARTS), but that’s not what’s important. What is important is that we get three full (variations of and iambic) feet by Iachimo, followed by two iambs by Innogen. She doesn’t interrupt him (as she might if she had five or more syllables in her response); nor is there a metrically necessary caesura between speeches.

Poetically speaking, she completes him. In most cases, when two characters share an antilabe, it’s because they share something, or are connected in some way (often, romantically).

So, again. How do you play this? He gives another fairly long (ten lines) speech in response. After which Innogen tells him, “All’s well” (I.vi.179), and gives him her “power” in the castle. It’s a conundrum.

How DO you play that antilabe?

 

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