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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: April ::
Re: Limericks
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0332.  Tuesday, 12 April 1994.
 
(1)     From:   David Joseph Kathman <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 Apr 94 18:34:06 CDT
        Subj:   Re:  SHK 5.0329  Re: Limericks
 
(2)     From:   Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
        Date:   Monday, 11 Apr 94 21:24:10 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0329  Re: Limericks
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Joseph Kathman <
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Date:           Monday, 11 Apr 94 18:34:06 CDT
Subject: 5.0329  Re: Limericks
Comment:        Re:  SHK 5.0329  Re: Limericks
 
A quick seat-of-the-pants reply to Patrick Buckridge's implicitly pro-Oxford
response to David Bevington's anti-Oxonian limericks:
 
Buckridge points out the "yawning chasm" between mid-16th and late-16th
century English drama in terms of lexical richness and rhetorical complexity,
the existence of which I am certainly not going to dispute.  Since
Buckridge identifies himself as an Oxfordian (by his mention of the
"actually quite powerful Oxfordian claim"), I assume he sees this development
as supporting the case for Oxford's authorship, but I fail to see how such
a position could avoid being elitist.  What, exactly, is it about the
development of English drama in this period that was more likely to come
from a nobleman (i.e. Oxford) than from a bunch of commoners like Marlowe
and Shakespeare?  Couldn't at least some of this development been the
result of the massive improvement in public education under Elizabeth I,
with the resultant sharp rise in literacy and the explosion of the London
publishing business, which greatly increased both the number of works a
potential playwright/poet could use as sources, and the audience for any
works such a playwright/poet might produce?  Elizabethan England was
ideally suited for the rapid development of a theater by and for the
"common people" (i.e. non-nobility), when anybody could pay a penny and
go see the latest play by Shakespeare, or go to St. Paul's and pay sixpence
for a copy of Venus and Adonis or any of the untold hundreds of other
works for sale.  Only by divorcing the plays from the cultural context
can anything remotely resembling an Oxfordian arguument be made on the
basis of the developments Buckridge cites.
 
Sorry.  Had to get that off my chest.
 
Dave Kathman

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
Date:           Monday, 11 Apr 94 21:24:10 EDT
Subject: 5.0329  Re: Limericks
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0329  Re: Limericks
 
About Pat Buckridge's fume accusing David Bevington of irreverence and
interference in the free exchange of ideas or evidence about Oxford the Bard:
Seems, m' dear, that laughter is not allowed in the hallowed halls of
Oxfordolatry.  I can only refer the community to a dimly recalled remark by
Plato.  Responding to the question, "What can one do when a person refuses to
accept the conclusions of argument and evidence?" Plato (or Socrates?) replied,
"You can only hold him up to the ridicule of the Polis."
 
I have personally been the beneficiary of David Bevington's intellectual
generosity and forbearance, in quality and quantity beyond counting.  It ain't
nice to accuse such a gentle and gracious person of irritable self-interest
when at second-hand we receive the lighthearted playfulness of his animated
exuberance.  Cakes and ale, anyone?  Or dire warnings of Oxonian Correctness
Police on Patrol?  Ye' pays yer money and ye'takes yer choice.
 
                                  Irreverentowitz of the Bronx, 242nd Earl
 

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