Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) Questions and Answers
by Ann-Marie Macdonald

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In Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), how does Constance use Desdemona and Juliet for the alchemical process of turning “base metals into gold”? Discuss with specific references to the play.

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Academic Constance Ledbelly has a theory that the plays Othello and Romeo and Juliet are not actually tragedies. Through her interactions with Desdemona and Juliet, Constance turns “base metals into gold” by illustrating how these supposed tragedies can be seen as comedies. The “base metals” are the original plays as written, studied, and viewed for centuries. The “gold” is each play with revised plot action due to the intervention of a Wise FoolConstance herselfthat reveals comedies of error, mistaken identity, and fluidity of gender roles.

At the beginning of Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Constance takes out her unremarkable pen and reads aloud from her dissertation that the tragic characters of Romeo and Juliet and Othello are actually unintentional victims of a “disastrous practical joke” (I.i). Furthermore, Constance posits that “any grains of authentic tragedy must be seen to reside in the heroines, Desdemona and Juliet” (I.i).

First, Constance is...

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