Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.



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to
Twelfth Night,
Act 4, Scene 3, line 18.

Note to Twelfth Night, 4.3.18, "Take and give back affairs and their dispatch"

As a countess, Olivia is probably a large landowner, and as a large landowner, she would have many business "affairs" like paying taxes, collecting rent, signing contracts, hiring and firing staff. She would "take . . . affairs" in the sense of taking them under consideration; she would "give back . . . their dispatch" when she issued an executive decision about the affairs she had considered. Olivia conducts all of this business very well, so it's difficult for Sebastian to believe that she's mad, even though she's acting mad in her attitude toward him: he has never seen her before, but she believes that she knows him, loves him, and wants to marry him.

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