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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: December ::
Re: Miller Memorial; Studies; Icarus; Hamlet History
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0969.  Friday, 2 December 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Daniel Traister <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Nov 1994 19:15:45 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   William E. Miller memorial
 
(2)     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Nov 1994 15:25:18 GMT
        Subj:   Studies of Renaissance Drama
 
(3)     From:   Don Foster <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Nov 1994 10:18:24 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0958  Icarus
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Daniel Traister <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Nov 1994 19:15:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        William E. Miller memorial
 
A celebration for our colleague and friend, William E. Miller, former assistant
curator of the Horace Howard Furness Memorial (Shakespeare) Library, will be
held on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library (in the Lessing J.
Rosenwald Gallery), at 4:30 in the afternoon on Wed- nesday, December 7th.  The
Library is located at 3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia; enter from Locust Walk.
 
A few people will speak about him and there will be food and drink, as
well--but most importantly this will be a chance for his friends and colleagues
to remember Bill with pleasure and thanks.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Nov 1994 15:25:18 GMT
Subject:        Studies of Renaissance Drama
 
Forget Bradley. Pages 11-18 of  Marshall McLuhan's The Gutenberg Galaxy
(London, 1962) surely offer one of the most electrifying insights into King
Lear of our, or any other, century.
 
Terence Hawkes
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Foster <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Nov 1994 10:18:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0958  Icarus
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0958  Icarus
 
In response to the query by Michael Harrawood re: Icarus:
 
References to Icarus that you may not already have on your list include Edward
Dyer's "I would it were not as it is..."; Fulke Greville's "Aspiring
thoughts...(from _Penelope's Web_); Marlowe's _Dido_; J.M., _Phillipes Venus_;
John Ford's _Golden Mean_; and two anonymous plays, _The Troublesome Raigne of
King John, pt. 1_ and _The Taming of A Shrew_.  References to Icarus by women
writers include Elizabeth I's translation of the 2d chorus from Seneca's
_Hercules Oetaeus_; and Aemelia Lanyer's _Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum_ ("Preamble,
line 275).  Of these, Ford makes the most lengthy exegesis.  An extract: "Such
a man as is kept within the enforcement of restraint must imitate that Dedalus
whom the ancient poets feign to have wings, with which he fled from that
inaccessible castle where he was detained with his son Icarus a prisoner. The
moral cannot but give matter of note and application: Icarus the son betokens
or may betoken the incapacity of men's bodies, and Dedalus the quickness of
mind, both which being (the one with the other) imprisoned, the one--which is
the body, personated with Icarus--for want of moderation falls into the attempt
of escape; the other--which is the mind, patterned in Dedalus--conquers
adversity by flying from it in bearing it..." Elsewhere, Icarus typically
signifies the futility of upward striving for rank, fame, or wealth.  Don
Foster
 
In response to Dom Saliani's query about performances by the Lord Chamberlain's
Men at Oxford and Cambridge: Shakespeare's company while d.b.a. the Lord
Chamberlain's Men may have paid nearly annual visits to Oxford and/or Cambridge
between 1594 (following the prohibition) and 1603 (when the company became the
King's Men): we have documentation for vists to Oxford by licensed players in
1599/1600, 1600/1, 1603/4, 1605, 1606, 1607, 1609-10, 1612/13, and 1615/16,
each time as guests of the city and corporation of Oxford.(See E.K. Chambers,
_E.S._, II.320 following.) This does not, of course, guarantee that the Ham-Q1
and -Q2 stationer's blurbs are accurate in all particulars. But it seems clear
from the Q2 title-page that the London audience would not have considered
professional performaces at the universities to be an obvious impossibility;
unfortunately, we lack the university account-books that might have recorded
actual performances. One possibility (not widely accepted) is that a version of
_Ham_ not unlike Q1 was performed at the universities (as per Hibbard's
suggestion) prior to the composition of the Q2 script.
 
Curiously, the "rare-word" lexicon of Ham-Q1, in its overlap with Shakespearean
texts, looks surprisingly regular, with four clearly marked peaks in 1594,
1600, 1605, and 1610. I can't guess why this should be so.  It seems unlikely
to me that Shakespeare would have cause to read, much less to perform, Ham-Q1
after its initial publication.  --Don Foster
 

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