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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
Re: Importance; Cardenio; Universal; First Words
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0762.  Sunday, 8 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 Oct 1995 08:45:38 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0754  Re: Importance of Shakespeare
 
(2)     From:   David Skeele <DBS@SRU>
        Date:   Friday, 06 Oct 95 14:00:33 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0758  Qs: Cardenio
 
(3)     From:   Tom Clayton <
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        Date:   Friday, 06 Oct 1995 13:05:54 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0755  Universal Human Experience
 
(4)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Sat, 7 Oct 1995 11:22:56 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0748  Re: First Words
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Friday, 6 Oct 1995 08:45:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0754  Re: Importance of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0754  Re: Importance of Shakespeare
 
I seem to be unable to express my thought, or perhaps I should say, question,
without offence to Marcello Capuzzo (and probably others as well), so I should
probably drop it, but in hopes that one more try will do it.... which is, that
any culture that arrives at the crest of empire does so in part because of the
qualities of the language it uses and spreads, and the ideas inherent in that
language (for all language is sensitive to certain ideas and awkward with
others), this being true of the Latin of the Romans, the Italian of the
Renaissance, the Spanish of the Conquistadores, the French of Napoleon, and
probably the Greek of Alexander. English is the language of the hour, and, if
history is any guide to the future, it will in turn be superceded by another
(perhaps Chinese). My critics here may well be correct, that it is weaponry
alone that spreads culture. But I will continue to persist in my notion,
however eroneous, that the weapons are but the right hand of an ongoing thrust
of which language, language created to a great extent by literary artists, is
the left hand. Nor do the languages that assist in these succeeding waves of
culture blot out those that went before, but just as Latin absorbed Greek,
Italian absorbed Latin, French and English absorbed much of the Italian of the
Renaissance, so will whatever next language comes of necessity absorb much of
English. Forgive me if these ideas offend.
 
Stephanie Hughes
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <DBS@SRU>
Date:           Friday, 06 Oct 95 14:00:33 EDT
Subject: 6.0758  Qs: Cardenio
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0758  Qs: Cardenio
 
In response to Robert Caisley's query regarding Cardenio, I saw the Pittsburgh
production (or at least five scenes from it which they toured to a conference).
What they did was actually a play that can only be reliably identified as The
Second Maiden's Tragedy.  This is a play that recently been attributed to
Shakespeare, based solely on handwriting analysis (comparing it to signatures
and to her writing on Shakespeare's wills).  The play is good old bloodcurdling
Jacobe an fun, but the language is far clumsier than even the worst that can be
found in any other play attributed to Shakespeare--if the writing does indeed
match t hat on the wills, I would be more inclined to ascribe the play to
Shakespeare's lawyer.  Whether or not the play is Shakespeare's, it is highly
doubtful whether the play is in fact Cardenio.  Cardenio is a "lost" play, and
there is pretty good evidence to suggest that it existed, but there is very
little to suggest that this script is it.  There is infact no character in the
Second Maiden's Tragedy named Cardenio.  As I remember, the Pittsburgh
production's director, Kev in Wetmore, had some interesting arguments as to why
the title might have been changed--along with the characters' names--but they
were entirely hypothetical. Hope this helps a little!
 
David Skeele
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Clayton <
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Date:           Friday, 06 Oct 1995 13:05:54 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 6.0755  Universal Human Experience
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0755  Universal Human Experience
 
Thanks and congratulations to Erika Lin for astute and sensitive observations
on human nature, an entity all too often and ludicrously denied by reference to
diverse social conditionings.
 
        Cheers, Tom C
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Sat, 7 Oct 1995 11:22:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0748  Re: First Words
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0748  Re: First Words
 
Regarding the first usages of words by Shakespeare, perhaps it is our use of
the term "coin" that is questionable. As has been pointed out, there is no way
for us to pin down with any certainty the first use of a word so long ago with
so many texts lost and no way to know if the word was first used in
conversation or compostion. "First known published use" might be a better term.
With the burgeoning creation of a vernacular literature, not only Shakespeare,
but most, if not all, his fellow writers were coming up with "new" words, some
coined, some dug up out of old English, some modified from French, Italian,
Spanish, and of course many derived from Latin. There are derisive references
to the word-coining of certain writers in the plays and pamphlets of the day,
in one play the satirized writer was forced to vomit out the obnoxious words he
was trying to foist off on the public (Jonson writing against Harvey? Can't
remember exactly what or where.). Regarding Nashe's use predating
Shakespeare's, there are those who believe that the plays as we have them are
the end products of several rounds of rewrites over the years, so that the word
may well have been used by Shakespeare before Nashe. At the very least it seems
right to claim for Shakespeare that he was far and away the most successful
purveyor of "new" words, whether or no he himself actually invented them, for
it has been through his works that such words have been seen and heard through
reading of his works and attending his plays over many generations.
 
Stephanie Hughes
 

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