Jo Beverley/Incidental Shakespeare

Jo Beverley's Stanforth's Secrets

In Jo Beverley's The Stanforth Secrets, Shakespeare appears as cultural shorthand for the hero's perceptions of his own feelings of jealousy. Of course, when Justin, Lord Stanforth, alludes to Othello he also encodes the innocence of his beloved Chloe, who falls under suspicion when they search her room and find a steamy love letter and a handerkerchief:

This reference is fleeting and truly incidental to the plot and the characters more generally. Here Shakespeare functions almost as a cultural touchstone, a reference to the greatest extreme of jealousy and its consequences. Justin almost immediately mediates and reunderstands his own consuming passion with reference to Shakespeare's play--a play which incidentally also reveals the innocence of the beloved.


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