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Dom Casmurro

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by

Alison Doidge

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of Dom Casmurro

Overview
Capitu Vs. Bentinho
Ambiguity of the novel
Digressive/Unreliable narrator
Defining moments in the plot
Key character traits
Perceptions of the reader
Evidence
Capitulo XXIX/ O Imperador
Solving a situation with his imagination, rather than his actions.

Capitulo XL/ Uma Egua
" A imaginacao foi a companheira de toda a minha existencia..."

Both instances highlight both Bentinho's vivid imagination and how this makes him an unreliable narrator.
Can we therefore believe his claims towards Capitu?

Bentinho's Reasoning
Capitu's deceitful nature
Mischievous, socially adept and curious.
Moments of suspicion within the novel - There are several instances which could possibly allude to Capitu's culpability of being unfaithful towards Bentinho.
Evidence -
Capitu's Deceitful Nature
Capitulo XV/Outra Voz Repentina

- Capitu hides both her and Bentinho's names on the wall, covering it up by saying they were having a staring competition.
Capitulo XXXIV/Sou Homem!
- "Assim, apanhados pela mae, eramos dous e contrarios, ela encobrindo com a palavra o que eu publicava pelo silencio." Capitu covers up her and Bentinho's kiss. Combing of hair.
Capitulo LXV/A Dissimulacao
- "Pois a mim quem me ha de casar ha de ser o padre Bentinho, eu espero que ele se ordene!"..."Estava tao contente com aquela grande dissimulacao de Capitu."


The Narration
Unreliable and digressive narrator - effects?

'Traditional' love story - the happily ever after.
Machado de Assis' realist phase.
Deliberate ambiguity of novel.
Encourages the reader to read between the lines.
Boundaries of understanding dictated by reader
Social statement - writing as artiface
Capitu's Innocence
Dom Casmurro
machado de assis
the final truth?
Othello
Which side?
No concrete evidence
Rushed ending
Bentinho's overly-imaginative nature
Unreliability of Bentinho as a narrator
Link between Capitu and Othello's Desdemona
Inversion of chapters
Capitu's intelligence - Ezequiel's resemblance. Seed of doubt.
Bentinho's fits of jealousy
References to Othello throughout the novel.
Clear parallels between the two sets of characters.
Differences?
Innocence of Desdemona in Othello
Perhaps, Machado de Assis is subtly hinting at Capitu's innocence by drawing a parallel
Evidence - Moments of Suspicion
Capitulo CXIII/Embargos de Terceiro
"Encontrei Escobar a porta do corredor."

Capitulo CXXIII/Olhos de Ressaca

"Momento houve em que os olhos de Capitu fitaram o defunto, quais os da viuva..."


Evidence
Capitulo CXXXI / Anterior ao Anterior
" Voce ja reparou que Ezequiel tem nos olhos uma expressao esquisita? ... So vi duas pessoas assim...e o defunto Escobar"
Novel - an expression of guilt
Bentinho's profession - lawyer.
Proving his innocence? Making his case to the judge/God.
Telling his story as 'right.' Avoiding any guilt associated with being wrong.
In-keeping with the submissive, evasive nature of his character - first encounter of Bentinho as a child.
Internal confrontation of guilt. Has to prove to himself, above anyone else, that he is right.
Dom Casmurro
True definition of Casmurro
Helen Caldwell - 'The Brazilian Othello of Machado de Assis'
"But what if we consult our dictionaries?"
Full transcript