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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: December ::
Authorship
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 1002.  Monday, 12 December 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Tom Clayton <TSC@UMNACVX.BITNET>
        Date:   Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 15:10:56 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0999  Authorship
 
(2)     From:   E. L. Epstein <epstein@QCVAXA.BITNET>
        Date:   Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 17:42:57 EDT
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0999  Authorship
 
(3)     From:   William Boyle <
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        Date:   Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 20:33:11 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Announcement
 
(4)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 23:10:30 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Shakespeare Apocrypha
 
(5)     From:   Dom Saliani <
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        Date:   Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 21:28:26 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   authorship
 
(6)     From:   Tony A. Emond  <
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        Date:   Monday, 12 Dec 1994 01:35:05 -0500
        Subj:   Authorship and the philosophy behind the tragedies
 
(7)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Monday, 12 Dec 1994 10:44:49 -0800
        Subj:   authorship
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Clayton <TSC@UMNACVX.BITNET>
Date:           Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 15:10:56 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 5.0999  Authorship
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0999  Authorship
 
The implicit arguments for an alternative Electronic Shakespeare Conference
(on Authorship) grow ever stronger than the arguments for an Author alternative
to Shakespeare for his works.
 
        Happy holidays,
        Tom
 
[Editor's Note: I agree with Tom and would share my considerable expertise with
anyone who wishes to set up such a list. I was tired of this discussion the
first time it was brought up. --Hardy M. Cook, Editor of SHAKeSPEaRe.]
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           E. L. Epstein <epstein@QCVAXA.BITNET>
Date:           Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 17:42:57 EDT
Subject: 5.0999  Authorship
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0999  Authorship
 
The motive for Baconians, Oxfordians, Rutlandians, and the rest is quite
obviously snobbery. No one has suggested that the plays of *Shakespeare* was
written by someone of *lower* rank than the Stratform Man. I myself am sure
that the plays were written by Captain John Smith of Jamestown. Who else would
know enough about the inhabitants of the New World to have written *The
Tempest*? Enough already.
 
E L Epstein
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Boyle <
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Date:           Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 20:33:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Announcement
 
My friends in the De Vere Society asked me to post this announcement on
SHAKSPER about an upcoming talk in London this January by Charles Vere:
 
     "Is Shakespeare Dead?"
      A talk by Charles Vere, Lord Burford
 
     11 January 1995, 6:30 pm
     Traveller's Club
     Pall Mall, London, UK
     Tickets: 5 pounds (includes refreshments)
 
     For further information, contact:
 
     Christopher Dams
     De Vere Society
     491-576-662
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 23:10:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Shakespeare Apocrypha
 
It seems to have recently been assumed that all scholars agree that Shakespeare
had no hand in the apocryphal plays, and this is not the case. At the Atlanta
SAA meeting a few years ago, Barry Gaines organized a seminar in the
Shakespeare apocrypha, and I was rather amazed at how many scholars argued for
Shakespeare's hand in THE YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY. MacDonald Jackson gave us many
reasons to believe that Shakespeare wrote ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM, and so on. So Dom
Saliani has to do some particular arguing against some first rate scholars
before he can claim the apocrypha for his cause.
 
Craig Bryant's clear and simple argrument is quite correct. Dave Kathman should
not have to refute the non-evidence of the Oxfordians. If the Earl of Oxford
wrote all those plays, where are his manuscripts? Where's the evidence?
 
Yours, Bill
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dom Saliani <
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Date:           Sunday, 11 Dec 1994 21:28:26 -0700 (MST)
Subject:        authorship
 
I know how David Kathman feels when he says that he is burnt out with the
authorship issue. I am reminded of T.S. Eliot's "streets that follow like a
tedious argument of insidious intent/To lead you to an overwhelming question
..."
 
1) The reason I listed all those plays attributed to Shakespeare was not to
introduce a discussion on Shakespeare Apocrypha but rather to make the point
that even Stratfordians acknowledge that Shakespeare was a preferred nom de
plume during the Elizabethan era and afterwards. Here is the Honigman quote
again. I think that it is significant and revealing:
 
     "It is evident that 'Shakespeare' was a favourite nom de plume with the
     dramatic wits of that age." ... "no other writer was honoured by
     surreptitious publications to anything like the same event."
 
Furthermore, I would never suggest that we cannot *always* trust the
information on title pages. I brought up the issue because more than once it
was suggested that Shakespeare's name on the title pages serves as evidence
that the man from Stratford was the author of the canon.
 
One question I would like more people to pose for themselves is why no play
appears before 1598 with Shakespeare's name on it. And of the 18 plays that
appeared in print during his lifetime (whoever he was) ten first appeared
anonymously.
 
2) As for Bentley, once again I think we can forego the discussion on the
variant spellings of "Shakespeare." I must admit that I erred in quoting
Bentley that the Stratford documents never spell the name "Shakespeare." David
Kathman is quite right that the New Place purchase papers contain that spelling
- but that is not the issue.
 
The issue that Bentley makes CRYSTAL clear to me is that it is an error in
logic to assume that any reference to Shakespeare is a reference to the
Stratford man. That need not necessarily be the case. If it was the case, there
wouldn't be an authorship issue.
 
No one denies that the Stratford man was associated with the theatre. This
would explain the "will, the coat of arms and the Gatehouse mortgage" but these
documents do not serve as conclusive evidence that he was an author - just a
good business man.
 
3. I take great exception to David Kathman's assertion that "the only person
named William Shakespeare living in London between 1590 and 1610" was our man
from Stratford. This is quite the statement. I have read in more than one place
that Shakespeare was a very common name during this period of time. A recent
article in *The Shakespeare Newsletter* which I do not have immediately in
front of me also overs evidence in this regard. I will get my hands on the
article tomorrow and provide you with a summary and the volume and issue number
so that you can read it for yourself.
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony A. Emond  <
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Date:           Monday, 12 Dec 1994 01:35:05 -0500
Subject:        Authorship and the philosophy behind the tragedies
 
I have a bone to pick with Shakespeare.
 
In what seems like every one of his better-known tragedies, the conflict only
seems to get "resolved" (kinda) when the main character involved suddenly
remembers -- and starts acting like -- _who he is_, which more often than not
turns out to be that social unit which he was born to be. Hamlet, for instance,
can only work his revenge after the graveyard scene, where he proudly announces
himself as "Hamlet the Dane" which, of course, means that he is claiming the
throne. Othello, on the other hand, goes from military hero to murderous
villain -- and in the process sees himself in terms of imagery which gets
darker and darker. MacBeth is a usurper, and so cannot live (or, apparently,
reproduce); and the ultimate nihilist tragedy King Lear ends in utter
destruction with the death of Lear himself.
 
The only instance where this little bit of philosophy is disregarded is Richard
II. The play being a "history," the author's implied philosophy was limited in
what it meant in terms of text.
 
I find the pattern somewhat odd, if one sees it in the context of the Stratford
man writing the plays. Assuming that the philosophy of "you are what you are
born to be" carried over into his private life, the Stratford man would have
felt himself incapable of writing such great plays. Edward de Vere, OTOH, would
have felt more at home.
 
However, this DOES square in with William Shaxberd's return to Stratford.
 
Just my $0.02,
 
(7)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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Date:           Monday, 12 Dec 1994 10:44:49 -0800
Subject:        authorship
 
                          IS THERE AN UR-TEMPEST?
 
William Strachey wrote up an account of a shipwreck that happened in the
Bermudas in 1610, and it is suggested that *The Tempest* is based on this
account.  Therefore, Oxford, who died in 1604, could not have written the play.
 
There is, however, the possibility that *The Tempest* was based on Jacob
Ayren's *Comedia von der Schonen Sidea*, which was written in 1595.  If true,
then Oxford could have used that play for a source and still had plenty of time
to get in under his dead line.
 
E.K. Chambers admitted to the similiarity of the plots, and said that the "use
of a common source is...the plausible explanation.  But it has not been found."
 Sidney Lee also considered the question, and while recognizing also the like-
ness of the plots, said, "...both German and English dramatist may have
followed an identical piece of fiction which has not been quite precisely
identified."
 
And so it seems that both E.K. Chambers and Sidney Lee find it reasonable to
think that *Schonen Sidea* and *The Tempest* are dependent on an *Ur-Tempest*,
a work that is lost to us.
 
So we need not wait for Strachey's shipwreck account in 1610 to date *The
Tempest*.  It could have been written at any time after 1595 or so.
 
There are some who hold that Shakespeare, when writing *The Tempest*, lifted
some language from Strachey's account of the shipwreck in 1610.
 
It seems more likely that Strachey lifted some language from *The Tempest* when
writing up his account.
 
But both Strachey and Shakespeare, and Ayren as well, might all three of them
have lifted some language and plot from an *Ur-Tempest* in penning their work,
according to E.K. Chambers and Sidney Lee -- some common source prior to 1595,
which has "not been quite precisely identified."
 
Kennedy
 

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