Verges (Much Ado about Nothing)
When Dogberry decides to visit the scenes of his previous life, he takes with him one of his oldest and dearest friends, Saint Peter.
His name, Verges, is a barely-disguised version of verger, which is, according to the OED, an officer of a church. Verges/Peter is not just any church official. He was appointed by Jesus to the the founder of the Catholic Church.
His oaths are the respectful "By our Lady" in III.3 and "By the mass" (his personal charge) in IV.2.
He is second to Dogberry, but Dogberry treats him as an equal, and Verges enjoys his disguise, and their errand, as much as Dogberry does. They are both human beings who have been through a lot together (for example, they were both crucified).
I can't presume to direct your production from here ("Why not? You're arrogant enough.") but I will point out that Verges enjoys playing the village idiot to Dogberry's town fool:
I think it's sound theology for me to say, "They are both human, and having a rollicking good time," even if one of them is a saint and the other is God, but I'm not qualified to go into the theology. My Sunday school class was once so badly behaved that the teacher threw us all out well before our hour was up. I was too ashamed to call my parents to pick me up, so I walked home (a considerable distance).
Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the matter--an old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt as, God help, I would desire they were; but, in faith, honest as the skin between his brows.
Yes, I thank God I am as honest as any man living that is an old man and no honester than I. (Ado III.5.10-4)
Dogberry and Verges KNOW that the characters' contretemps are going to end happily. They're going to make it happen, and they're unstoppable.
© Deloss Brown 2020
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