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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: November ::
Authorship
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0889.  Saturday, 5 November 1994.
 
(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 03 Nov 1994 22:52:41 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Faith, Skepticism, and Authorship
 
(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 03 Nov 1994 23:04:25 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Meres, Shakespeare, and Oxford
 
(3)     From:   Bradley S. Berens <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 Nov 1994 21:51:00 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0882 Authorship
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 03 Nov 1994 22:52:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Faith, Skepticism, and Authorship
 
David Evett's recent arrangement of facts got me thinking about faith and
skepticism. Most Shakespeareans have faith that the facts David lists are all
connected, and they are skeptical of the connections intuited by the
Oxfordians. And the Oxfordians have faith that the facts they adduce are all
connected and lead inevitability to the conclusion: the 17th Earl of Oxford
wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare. And they are super skeptical of the
connections adduced by the Shakespeareans.
 
Now what would happen if both sides in this argument gave up faith in favor of
skepticism? Which side would have the most toys left after a really skeptical
analysis of the verifiable facts?
 
And, remember, the side with the most toys wins!
 
Yours, skeptical Bill
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 03 Nov 1994 23:04:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Meres, Shakespeare, and Oxford
 
I ask this question without arising from the keyboard to check: didn't Meres
refer to Oxford as a comic playwright? Didn't Meres also list Shakespeare's
plays? If Meres could mention that Oxford was best for comedy, why was everyone
else in the 16th century so hesitant to do so? And if Meres was in the know,
why did he suggest that Oxford and Shakespeare were BOTH writing plays -- if
only Oxford was doing the writing?
 
I'm sure there's a skeptical answer to this series of questions.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradley S. Berens <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 Nov 1994 21:51:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 5.0882 Authorship
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0882 Authorship
 
Greetings all!
 
A thought struck me while reading this paragraph of Mr. Kathman's long
and cogent addition to the recent and tedious authorship thread;
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(David Joseph Kathman)
As for more substantive claims: Pat implies that the occasional hyphenation of
Shakespeare's name on the title pages of the quartos is grounds for believing
that this was a pseudonym.  This common Oxfordian belief (usually just asserted
with no evidence whatsoever) bears no relation to reality, and Irvin Matus in
*Shakespeare, In Fact* shows it to be the baseless distortion it is.  There are
plenty of other instances where non-pseudonymous proper names were hyphenated
in Elizabethan times, and the pattern seems to be that if a name can be divided
into two parts, one or both of which is an English word, the name was
occasionally hyphenated in print --- e.g. Shake-speare, Old-castle, etc.  IT
HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PSEUDONYMS, and anyone who says that hyphenation
commonly indicated a pseudonym in Elizabethan times is simply making a false
statement.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
I remember listening attentively to Peter Stallybrass at the 1991 MLA in S.F.,
as he argued that OUR spelling, SHAKESPEARE, only exists because the people
throwing type invented it.  They did so because the "K" and the "S" would break
if put together without something in between, hence SHAKSPEARE became
SHAKESPEARE.
 
Might not the hyphen have served a similar purpose?  The hypen does seem to be
in the same general area.
 
Yours Will-fully,
 
Bradley S. Berens
English Dept.
UC Berkeley
email: 
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