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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: February ::
Re: Old Athenian Law
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 115. Wednesday, 14 February 1996.

(1)     From:   W. Russell Mayes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 10:13:46 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Old Athenian Law

(2)     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 17:23:53 +0200
        Subj:   Old Athenian Law


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. Russell Mayes <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 10:13:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Old Athenian Law

Kathleen Brookfield writes:

> I am curious about the reference
>     "   ....you are but as a form in wax
>   By him imprinted, and within his power
>   To leave the figure, or disfigure it."

My understanding of these lines is that they refer to the Aristotelian version
of childbirth:  Women provide the "substance" men the "form."

W. Russell Mayes Jr.
University of North Carolina at Asheville

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 17:23:53 +0200
Subject:        Old Athenian Law

It won't answer all of Katherine Bookfield's questions, but one approach is to
be found in the comments I made 18 years ago on a possible origin of the
law-vs.-love motif in *MND* and other Shn. plays, esp. those with Greek
settings, *Errors*, notably.  I proposed a background in the Pauline Epistles
which insist on the contrast between Old Testament Law and New Testament Love.
See "The Ancient World in Shakespeare: Authenticity or Anachronism: A
Retrospect." *Shakespeare Survey* 31 (1978): 1-12.

Best wishes for the hunt!
John
 

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