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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: April ::
Rs: Historical Knowledge
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 267.  Tuesday, 27 April 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Ron Macdonald <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 08:51:00 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Shakespeare and History
 
(2)     From:   Jean Peterson <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 12:29:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
 
(3)     From:   Joseph Lawrence Lyle <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 93 15:38:03 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Macdonald <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 08:51:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Shakespeare and History
 
I think a moment in I.iii of *1 Henry IV* fits at least the first part
of Paul Budra's bill, the moment when it becomes evident that the
vehemently protesting Hotspur has either forgotten or never known in the
first place that Richard has named Mortimer as the heir presumptive.  In
reply to Hotspur's assertion that he has seen King Henry "Trembling even
at the name of Mortimer," Worcester feigns a kind of diffident uncertainty:
"I cannot blame him: was not he proclaim'd / By Richard, that dead is, the
next of blood?" (144-46).  I have always read this as wholly disingenuous on
Worcester's part: this wily old pol knows perfectly well whom Richard has
designated as his successor.  Trouble is, of course, Shakespeare does not,
for, led astray by Holinshed, he is confusing Edmund Mortimer, younger
brother of Roger, fourth Earl of March, with Edmund's nephew and Roger's
son, the fifth Earl of March and also named Edmund, whom Richard had
designated heir presumptive in 1398 on the death of his father.  A small
and ultimately irrelevant point, but it somehow reminds me of Mrs. Malaprop's
headstrong allegory on the banks of the Nile: Sheridan knew, of course, that
she should have said "alligator"; we know that *he* should have said
"crocodile."
                            --Ron Macdonald <
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jean Peterson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 12:29:02 -0400
Subject: 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
 
        For Paul Budra: for a wealth of knowledge on the subject, and for
numerous examples of the complicated interplay of "historical"
Shakespearean characters and their own history, you MUST see Phyllis
Rackin's *Stages of History: Shakespeare's English Chronicles* (Cornell:
1990).
 
                                                Jean Peterson
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph Lawrence Lyle <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 93 15:38:03 -0400
Subject: 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
 
The examples that spring to mind are _The Tempest_ II.i, where
Gonzalo is confused about Carthage and _Henry V_ II.i (?) where
Nell conflates Arthur and Moses -- but only because those are the
plays I just taught.
 
--Jay Lyle
 

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