Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: April ::
Comment: SHK 5.0340
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0340.  Monday, 18 April 1994.
 
[Because of a technical, this digest is being resent.  --HMC]
 
(1)     From:   Charles Neuringer <NEURINGER@UKANVAX.BITNET>
        Date:   Saturday, 16 Apr 1994 12:42:59 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   The Real Truth!
 
(2)     From:   David Joseph Kathman" <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 16 Apr 94 13:35:06 CDT
        Subj:   Re:  SHK 5.0336  Re: Authorship (Was Limericks)
 
(3)     From:   Jason Hoblit <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 17 Apr 1994 14:46:51 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0333 Re: Q: Identities
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Neuringer <NEURINGER@UKANVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Saturday, 16 Apr 1994 12:42:59 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        The Real Truth!
 
You fellows have it all wrong.  The real truth is that Shakespeare was really
the Earl of Oxford.  Oxford died young and secretly of a horrible disease
(probably leprosy).  The family wishing to hide their shame noticed that
Shakespeare closely resembled the Earl.  They talked him into impersonating the
Earl.  Shakespeare lead a double life.  Sometimes he signed his work with the
Oxford name and sometimes with the Shakespeare name.
 
Proof?  Well, isn't it obvious!
 
Charles Neuringer

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Joseph Kathman" <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 16 Apr 94 13:35:06 CDT
Subject: 5.0336  Re: Authorship (Was Limericks)
Comment:        Re:  SHK 5.0336  Re: Authorship (Was Limericks)
 
I don't want to drag this on too long, at least not in this forum, but there
are a couple of things I have to say to Pat Buckridge's latest post.
 
First of all, the "elitist" label:  I'm well aware that the vast majority of
Oxfordians denounce such a label, but I still think it's essentially accurate
when you look at all the facts (rather than just the facts Charlton Obburn
chooses to present).  I'm surprised that the issue of Shakespeare's education
vs. that of his contemporaries continues to be presented in such a twisted way
by Oxfordians, so here goes:
 
The issue of what Shakespeare's sources were and where he got his knowledge is
far from a settled one, as anything who has studied the issue can attest, but
to suggest that this knowledge could have only been acquired through "intensive
tutoring, a stint at the university, and then some" is, to be blunt, ludicrous;
such a view implies that all of Shakespeare's contemporaries had a similar
education, and there is of course no evidence for such a view.  The statement
that "nearly all" of Shakespeare's contemporaries went to a university is
patently false.  True, the immediately preceding generation of playwrights (the
"University Wits" such as Marlowe, Lyly, Greene, etc.) mostly did go get
Universtiy educations, but Shakespeare's contemporaries, many of whom displayed
just as much, if not more, learning than he did, did not.  In most cases there
is, in fact, no concrete evidence that any of these playwrights went to any
school, just as in Shakespeare's case.  Ben Jonson, the most learned playwright
of the day, supposedly went to the Westmimster School, but we have no records
of his attendance; we only know about it from Drummond's notes of his
conversations with Jonson, which survived by chance until they were finally
published 200 years later.  Most scholars think John Webster went to the
Merchant Taylors school, but again there is no contemporary evidence for this.
We don't know where Thomas Dekker went to school, or even exactly when he was
born or died.  None of the above men attended a University; the occasional
University man in Shakespeare's time, such as Thomas Heywood, was the exception
rather than the rule.
 
These men presumably got their learning from the many books which were
published in London and sold in St. Paul's churchyard; books were plentiful and
cheap in Elizabethan and Jacobean London, despite the claims of nearly all the
anti-Stratfordians.  (If you want evidence, take a look at, for instance, Louis
B. Wright's *Middle-Class Culture in Elizabethan England*.) Over a century ago
Charlotte Stopes published a list of books published by Richard Field,
Shakespeare's Straford contemporary (Field was three years older) and publisher
of *Venus and Adonis* and *The Rape of Lucrece*. The list includes many
possible and probable sources for the knowledge in Shakespeare's plays,
including Plutarch's *Lives*, Ovid's *Metamorphoses*, and such things as
histories of Italy and Italian grammars.  Isn't it at least possible that
Shakespeare could have borrowed such books from his countryman and publisher
(and almost certainly friend) Field, especially when he was just starting out
as a playwright?  If Ben Jonson could acquire the best classical education of
his day while spending eight years as a bricklayer, and if John Taylor, a
little later, could gain his considerable erudition with (by his own admission)
little knowledge of Latin and Greek while spending his days ferrying people
across the Thames, I think it is at least as likely that Shakespeare could have
acquired his considerable knowledge while working as an actor.  R. C. Churchill
has an excellent discussion of this issue in the context of the authorship
question in *Shakespeare and his Betters*.
 
There's a lot more to be said, but I've already said more than enough. If any
Oxfordians have any evidence to refute what I've said above, I'd be more than
happy to see it.
 
Dave Kathman

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jason Hoblit <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 17 Apr 1994 14:46:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 5.0333 Re: Q: Identities
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0333 Re: Q: Identities
 
> Has anyone ever suggested that Lyly and Marlowe, neither of them nobles, were
>anyone other than who we think they were?
 
> Rick Jones
> 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 
I'm not much for the debates over who wrote what, because I have yet to see
such an argument that would substantially alter the way I think of the texts.
However, I felt I should at least mention that in one of the saner histories of
deVere's life (B.M. Ward _The Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, 1550-1604: From
Contemporary Documents_, (London: 1928) he does mention that John Lyly served
as Oxford's secretary.  He also makes the suggestion that as a patron and a
dabbler Oxford might have collaborated with Lyly in writing the court plays.
He doesn't push it too far, but he does claim that Lyly only wrote dramas while
serving under Oxford (the Euphues novels were earlier written).  I'm not sure I
buy the argument that Oxford was involved at all in the writing, but even so
Ward doesn't claim that Oxford wrote the plays himself.
 
Jason  Hoblit
University of Washington - Seattle

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.