1996

Re: Old Athenian Law; ISA

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0111.  Tuesday, 13 February 1996.

(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 22:32:49 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Old Athenian Law;

(2)     From:   Cary Mazer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 14:55:15 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0106  Qs: ISA

(3)     From:   Naomi Liebler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Feb 96 00:20:00 EST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0106  Qs: ISA


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 22:32:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Old Athenian Law;

Concerning "you are as a form in wax / By him imprinted" (1.1.49-50), I'll
speculate that the sentence relates to the common Renaissance idea that females
were matter (cf. Latin "mater") or substance, and males were "form."  So women
provided the substance of the baby, and men provided the form. As recall, Edgar
Wind discusses the concept in *Pagan Mysteries.*  So in *MND* "wax" is the
female substance, the form of which was printed by Egeus.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cary Mazer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 14:55:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0106  Qs: ISA
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0106  Qs: ISA

Re:  The ISA meeting, another question:  has anyone received the schedule
and/or hotel reservations iformation yet?

Cary

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Naomi Liebler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Feb 96 00:20:00 EST
Subject: 7.0106  Qs: ISA
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0106  Qs: ISA

Joanne Whalen asked about registration materials for the ISA which meets April
7-14 in Los Angeles. I spoke with Nancy Hodge, Exec. Director of the SAA, who
told me that the materials are late in coming because the International
co-ordinators (in England) hadn't yet sent in THEIR part of the packet. Nancy
expects them next week and will shortly thereafter get all the pertinent stuff
out to everyone. Hang in there. It'll soon be in the mail.

Re: Bastards

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0110.  Tuesday, 13 February 1996.

(1)     From:   Joanne Woolway <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 18:04:04 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Natural born characters

(2)     From:   Helen Vella Bonavita <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 13:36:30 +0800 (WST)
        Subj:   Re: Bastards


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joanne Woolway <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 18:04:04 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Natural born characters

David Reinheimer,

You could try reading Alison Findlay's _Illegitimate Power: Bastards in
Renaissance Drama_ Manchester UP/ St Martin's Press, 1994.

There's a review of it in EMLS 1.1:
http://unixg.ubc.ca:7001/0/e-sources/emls/emlshome.html

Joanne Woolway

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Vella Bonavita <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 13:36:30 +0800 (WST)
Subject:        Re: Bastards

Dear David Reinheimer,

Having just finished a thesis on bastardy in Shakespeare's histories, I leapt
at your question like a trout to a fly. I would be very interested to know
which bastards you have come across - yes, there are lots. The threat of
bastardy tends to be used more than the actuality - *A Fair Quarrel* is the
obvious example, which in itself is curious. Actually, Middleton uses bastardy
with great enthusiasm and force in several of his plays. There is also
Webster's *The Devil's Law-Case*, where a woman attempts to prove her son
illegitimate. You  might also be interested in *The Bastard*, a play attributed
to Cosmo Manuche, and published in 1652. If you read it though, it seems much
more like an early Jacobean drama, and there's really very little evidence that
Manuche wrote it.

Best wishes,
Helen Vella Bonavita (University of Western Australia)

Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0108.  Tuesday, 13 February 1996.

(1)     From:   Richard W Bovard <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 10:20:10 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0101 Re: Hamlet & Ophelia: Sexual Relations?

(2)     From:   Joseph M Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 11:15:38 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0101  Re: Hamlet & Ophelia: Sexual Relations?

(3)     From:   Heather Stephenson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 17:10:50 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Real, Fictive or What?

(4)     From:   Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 12:52:25 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0104 Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters (Part I)

(5)     From:   Joseph Nathan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 22:10:25 -0500
        Subj:   Hamlet-Ophelia

(6)     From:   Richard Regan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 23:45:52 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0105 Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters (Part II)

(7)     From:   Susan Mather <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 01:17:20 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0105  Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters (Part II)

(8)     From:   Surajit A. Bose <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 08:47:43 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters

(9)     From:   Surajit A. Bose <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 09:08:05 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard W Bovard <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 10:20:10 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 7.0101 Re: Hamlet & Ophelia: Sexual Relations?
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0101 Re: Hamlet & Ophelia: Sexual Relations?

We seem to have three levels of response here.  At one level, in the classroom,
the question seems important.  Undergraduate students who are just learning to
read, interpret, and criticize "Hamlet" frequently ask this question.  Fine
distinctions between "character" and "person" may not stimulate such students.

At a second level, the level of theatre practice, the question seems to be
asked often.  Indeed, judging from some of the lighter responses, actors and
actresses do not seem to make such a fine distinction between what "characters"
do in fictive time and what "persons" do in real time.

It is at the third level, the level of critical discourse, that such fine
distinctions matter.  But how much they matter varies from time to time and
from place to place.  Perhaps the discourse itself is the thing?  Or is the
discourse merely "character"?  Perhaps the play is the thing.

Thanks again.  Now, it's back to meetings, regular mail, next year's budget,
and next year's cuts.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph M Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 11:15:38 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 7.0101  Re: Hamlet & Ophelia: Sexual Relations?
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0101  Re: Hamlet & Ophelia: Sexual Relations?

A better question to ask instead of "what was it in Bradley and the Romantics
and very many other persons that made them imagine an autonomous consciousness
for some of Shakespeare's characters?" might be "how does Shakespeare create
this marvelous effect?"

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Heather Stephenson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 17:10:50 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Real, Fictive or What?

Replying to the Hamlet/Ophelia can-we-treat-these-characters-as-real debate,
Michael Saenger writes: "This is certainly a point which makes a chasm between
academics and actors/non-academics."

Well, as one who might be "read" as straddling the worlds of the academy and
the non-academy (which is interestly aligned with the stage here), I don't buy
such an easy separation.  I don't believe that there is a universal actor
engaging in one type of reading, and I am quite certain that no such harmony in
point of view exists amongst those in the academic community.  Whatever the
point of view -- whether a certain reader/actor/audience member approaches the
text with "Shakespeare the man" in mind or chooses to ignore a notion of an
author (which I would argue is an impossibility for a Western reader of
Shakespeare), these varied readings are _choices_.  We need to recognize that
finding allusions to Ophelia's sexuality, and choosing to translate those
allusions into some type of fictive "reality" (whether on stage or in a
personal understanding of the text) is one in many possible choices... just as
completely ignoring Renaissance playstyles is a choice.

What most interests me about Saenger's discussion of Renaissance acting is his
emphasis on the play's "shadows" (a wonderful phrase), and their linkage to
authorial intent.  He writes: "This [the allusions to Ophelia's loss of
virginity] is a shadow cast by the play, a shadow that was originally intended
to pass fleetingly as the tragedy picks up force."  I am fascinated by that
"original intention."  How many layers of choices -- how many intepretations of
many different kinds of texts -- played into this reading of original
intention?  If what we read in Hamlet is a choice, then what can we make of the
choices which enter into any discussion (however well researched) of authorial
or theatrical or original intention for plays performed over 400 years ago?

And perhaps more importantly, why do those theatrical choices matter? (Just
opening a discussion -- not meant to be combative).

Cheers,
Heather Stephenson
Georgetown University

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 12:52:25 -1000
Subject: 7.0104 Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters (Part I)
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0104 Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters (Part I)

Florence Amit has written:

>Hamlet testifies to her virginity by sending her to wed with
>a fool, Yorick, in a nunnery where none live "be thou as chaste as ice , as
>pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny". (Nor does she, by our fellow
>shaksperians here). Later, during the mouse trap scene, Ophelia refuses
>to have Hamlet "lie in [her] lap" where-upon he says "That's a fair thought to
>lie between MAID's legs." A detail, but one that would not have been said
>had they been lovers. The innocence of Ophelia is necessary from the point of
>view of a Luthern transfiguration and allegory.

Some thoughts:

If I'm not mistaken, a nunnery has the double meaning of brothel, certainly a
place where Ophelia might go having lost her virginity and being unwed.  Also,
Hamlet refers to "nothing" being a fair thought to lie between a maid's legs.
Again, a pun, since "nothing" may refer to the female genetalia, thus making
the little conversation between Hamlet and Ophelia one that could only be
shared by lovers.  Finally, although the innocence of Ophelia may be necessary
from a Lutheran point of view, Shakespeare was not writing Hamlet for a
Lutheran audience.

Shirley Kagan

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph Nathan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 22:10:25 -0500
Subject:        Hamlet-Ophelia

Did Hamlet have sex with Ophelia?  This has always been an intriguing subject.
In one of the biographies on Errol Flynn, the author quotes a conversation
between Flynn and John Barrymore.  "Tell me, John, I've always wanted to know"
Flynn asked, "did Hamlet have an affair with Ophelia?"  And Barrymore replied
---  "Only in Cleveland". Perhaps this anecdote sheds no new light on the
subject, but it might serve to lighten your class discussion.

(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Regan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 23:45:52 -0500
Subject: 7.0105 Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters (Part II)
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0105 Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters (Part II)

On the topic of the textual adultery of Gertrude and Claudius, I think it does
matter how one reads "adulterate" because the meaning informs the mind of the
Ghost, who then infects Hamlet with the misogyny and sexual nausea which he in
turn projects onto Ophelia.  The OED gives the meaning "spurious or
counterfeit" from the 1590's, besides the reference to adultery.  The real
story is perhaps the Ghost's:  Does he accuse Gertrude falsely of adultery?  Is
he fixated on her sexual behavior after his death?  How much does it matter to
Hamlet whether Gertrude betrayed his father before the murder, which I think
she is ignorant of.

(7)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan Mather <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 01:17:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0105  Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters (Part II)
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0105  Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters (Part II)

I can't take it anymore!!!!  I can't stand that line from Mr. D. that Ophelia
is not considered by him to be a "real person."  Where is that noble woman that
has such a way with words?  She wrote so eloquently on cross-dressing and the
Elizabethan stage, afterall.

(8)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Surajit A. Bose <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 08:47:43 -0500
Subject:        Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters

With regard to the hoary question about the extent of carnal knowledge shared
by Hamlet and Ophelia, a question SHAKSPERians have been pursuing with
voyeuristic interest of late, Hardy Cook writes:

>But let me be naive for a moment.  As much as I would like to think of myself
>as a shin-kicking, post-structuralist, I still value close reading.  I surely
>know I am opening myself up here to being interrogated from both the left and
>the right in Shakespeare studies with a statement such as this, yet I do wonder
>if there still is some value, if not to actors preparing for roles (thus the
>Granville-Barker reference above), to reading closely for possible clues to
>character in the text even though such speculation is outside the text.

Now the last thing I want to do is kick Professor Cook or anybody else in the
shin (for one thing, they'd probably kick right back, and that would hurt). But
purely for the sake of furthering academic discussion, I do want to point out
that to oppose poststructuralism to close reading is to set up a false
dichotomy.   Look at "Of Grammatology"--about half the book is a painstaking,
one might even say nit-picking, close reading of an essay by Rousseau.

However, Professor Cook is right in asserting that poststructuralist approaches
call into question the notion of "character," at least insofar as "character"
is taken to mean an autonomous consciousness with a private history (I'm
borrowing from John Drakakis's bracing contribution here. Shin-braces,
perhaps?).  What they do emphasize instead is "subjectivity." The difference is
that "character" begs the questions "subjectivity" foregrounds: i.e., what are
the determinants of individual consciousness? How do our ideas of privacy,
identity, and autonomous selfhood come into being? Perhaps the notion of
individual character wasn't something sixteenth- and seventeenth-century
Englishmen and women took for granted. Or even if they did believe that every
individual had a distinct character, perhaps what counted as character or as
indications of character were different then.

These questions can't be answered except by close readings of sixteenth- and
seventeenth-century texts.  But that means our interest in reading "Hamlet" is
not to figure out what the play reveals about Hamlet's character, or Ophelia's,
or Gertrude's; rather, it's to figure out the strategies by which the play
PRODUCES those characters. This directs our attention to larger historical and
social issues about sixteenth-century understandings of the self; to related
texts such as Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy"; to the conditions of stage
performance (e.g., cross-dressing, another hot topic with us SHAKSPERians these
days); and above all to the words on the pages of "Hamlet."

But sometimes even the words and pages aren't stable. Which brings us to the
last of the topics raised by Professor Cook, textual scholarship: how does one
know what the words on the page are? In Professor Cook's words:

>For example, I'm currently looking at the Q1 *Hamlet,* in which I find a less
>problematic Gertrude than the one in Q2 and F1. Am I mistaken even to make such
>an assertion?  The Q1 Gertrude has less to say and is seemly less involved and
>thus less problematic than she -- that is, the Gertrude character -- is in Q2
>and F1.  In the closet scene, she appears to capitulate to her son and in the
>following scene appears to cover up for him.  Q1's scene 15 -- between Gertrude
>and Horatio that is not in Q2 and F1 -- further supports these assumptions as
>do other omissions in Q1 related to Gertrude that do not appear in Q2 and F1.
>In making such assertions, am I *essentially* counting children?

Professor Cook is absolutely right in pointing out that interpretation cannot
be divorced from textual scholarship. We can't assume by default that the
complicated textual history has nothing to do with the way in which Gertrude
comes across. But I would shift his emphasis slightly. Rather than asking "How
is the character of Gertrude in Q1 different from that in Q2/F1?," I would ask,
"What produced these different versions of the text?"  It seems to me to be a
logically prior question. That question directs us to more history--of print
and publishing, of watermarks, performance records, etc. Stephanie Jed's
"Chaste Thinking" (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1989) invites us to shed our
philological readings for paleographic ones. Her definitions of those terms are
different from the usual, and my summary of her extremely engaging and subtle
argument is going to be very reductive, I'm afraid. But she says that we
shouldn't assume that our way of gaining knowledge about texts is universal and
transhistorically correct. We must ask about the material conditions under
which knowledge gets produced and transmitted; then alone can we be sure that
what we are producing is in fact knowledge.

But I see I've laid myself open to the usual charges against poststructuralist
work. I've used long, ugly sentences choked with jargon ("transhistorical,"
egad! "material conditions," forsooth!). I've trafficked in irrelevances and
obscured the obvious (what does the Stationers' Register have to do with the
kind of person Gertrude is?). I've ignored the problems of teaching (theory is
all very well for graduate students, but it doesn't work in the undergrad or
high school classroom!)

And above all, I've sidestepped the main issue through argumentative sophistry:
I've not produced a reading of the text, i.e., I've not put forward my own
carefully considered opinion about whether or not Ham and Ophie did the nasty.
Well, all I know about that is--I know nothing. Guilty as charged.

(9)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Surajit A. Bose <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Feb 1996 09:08:05 -0500
Subject:        Re: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Characters

Terence Hawkes writes:

>The theory shared by a number of MY colleagues is that Hamlet and Ophelia had
>textual relations.

Bravo! I vote we give him the last word on the subject.

Abridged MND; CD ROM; Shakespeare and the Bible

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0109.  Tuesday, 13 February 1996.

(1)     From:   Louis Scheeder <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 11:03:35 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Abridged MND

(2)     From:   Michael E. Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 07:48:36 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0096  Qs: CD ROM

(3)     From:   Marty Hyatt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Feb 1996 17:00:54 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Shakespeare and the Bible


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Scheeder <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 11:03:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Abridged MND

I remember seeing abridged versions of many of the plays published by Samuel
French about twenty years ago.  If memory serves, they were prepared for a
series of performances at the New York World's Fair of 1939. You might inquire
of French.

Louis Scheeder

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael E. Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 07:48:36 -0800
Subject: 7.0096  Qs: CD ROM
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0096  Qs: CD ROM

In SHK 7.0096 Kathleen Brookfield <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote

>I quote a message written by a man whose first language is not English. He is
>very interested in literature, but finds Shakespeare difficult to understand.
>
>  "Would it not be great if we can buy a CD with the play on,
>   you can stop it, click on for an explanation. ( for block-heads who need
>   one..<G>).  Well.. that would be the ticket!"
>
>First, if such an educational tool exists (an electronic Arden edition), I
>would like to know. If not, the idea is free to any with entrepreneurial
>leanings.

There are a number of editions of individual plays on CD-ROM (I produced one
myself for the Voyager Company), and some text compilations. I won't go into
the details of what is already available since others on this list have done so
and their suggestions can be seen by searching the list's back issues.

But do you really think that an "electronic Arden" edition would be of
significantly more value than a paper edition, and that producing such an
edition can be thought of as an entrepreneurial task? In my experience,
computers as devices for experiencing literature are problematic: books are
much more physically comfortable to use and they do what they do
extraordinarily well. If one simply reprints an Arden as a digital book, very
little is gained and much is lost. Even if one provides some rudimentary
"interactive" tools (building in a search engine and perhaps hypertextually
layering the footnotes "behind" the displayed text rather than interrupting the
screen with visibly distracting footnotes) not much is gained and the reading
experience is still not enhanced much.

In my experience, a literary CD-ROM (Shakespeare or otherwise) must supply a
good deal of "value-added" content beyond that which a physical book can
ordinarily deliver before using the CD becomes a satisfying experience rather
than a drudgery. Producing one is a very labor intensive task: just think,
added to the already difficult task of producing a useful book-type edition of
Shakespeare, you have to add to it all the ancillary scholarly apparatus that
would be overwhelming in a mass-market/educational print edition (e.g. full
concordance [interactive], collation) as well as the multimedia trappings that
CD-ROM buyers have come to expect: say, copious color illustrations and
performances (spoken or video). No ordinary entrepreneur would touch such a
task, because it is costly, requires much work, and doesn't have the market to
justify the cost and the work.

That is not to say that such works won't be produced in the future, and that
some don't exist now; it IS to suggest that good literary CD-ROMs will be slow
in coming, variable in quality, and be mixed in with an awful lot of dross
(called by some in the multimedia industry "shovelware").

Michael E. Cohen
aka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marty Hyatt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 1996 17:00:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Shakespeare and the Bible

Roger Stritmatter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> is not on the SHAKSPER list,
but he asked me to forward this response to John Velz's message. There might be
some confusion between Cranmer and Coverdale.  I believe "Cranmer's Bible"
refers to some of the Coverdale translations in the 1540's with a prologue by
Cranmer.

Marty Hyatt

*******************************************
Roger's message:

 On February 4 John Velz wrote as follows:

 [material on cryptograms, spoofs etc. deleted for economy]:

> Richmond Noble demonstrated long ago (1935; *Shakespeare's Use of the
> Bible and the Book of Common Prayer*) that Shakespeare was very fond of
> Thomas Cranmer's translation of the Psalms, which he remembers in his
> many Psalm echoes, while all the while drawing the rest of his Bible
> echoes first from the Bishops' and (beginning in 1597) sometimes from
> the Geneva. (His memory of Bishops and Cranmer together probably shows
> his childhood of attendance at Holy Trinity, Stratford, where both were
> used in services.)  Many of Naseeb Shaheen's significant points about
> Shakespeare's debt to the Bible first appeared in Noble.  In his several
> publications on the subject, Shaheen credits Noble generally but not in
> many particular cases, where the casual scholar may credit Shaheen with
> Noble's insights.

These comments deserve some further context.  Richmond Noble is rightly
credited with establishing the most sophisticated methodology for determining
local sources of specific verses or translations of the Bible based on lexical
variation.  And it is also true that many of the examples cited by Shaheen --
though his list is far more complete than Noble's -- were first cited by Noble
or other scholars to whom Shaheen gives no credit.  Indeed in my recent
(largely laudatory)  review of Shaheen's study of the comedies in *The
Elizabethan Review*, I stated that "in assessing the relative contribution
of...previous scholars...one begins to feel slightly uneasy that Shaheen's
empirical strictness does not extend to the historical dimension of his study.
Because Shaheen does not cite Carter or Noble, except for the purposes of
refutation, it is not easy to know when the postulated sources have been
identified by Shaheen himself, and when he has taken a tip from prior scholars
or students."

However, I am  bound to remark that Dr. Velz's implication that Noble proves
Shakespeare's most frequently cited Biblical text to have been Cranmer's
psalter seems to me to be at best a rather partial citation of Noble's views
and of the state of the art of Biblical source studies. Noble set out to
examine the empirical evidence for Shakespeare's specific Biblical sources in
the first place only because Carter in 1905 claimed to have established that
"the Genevan was the [Bible] version used by Shakespeare."  At the time of his
study, no scholar was prepared to verify or deny such a claim.  What Noble
found was that although in a preponderance of cases in which a justification of
one Biblical translation over another could be established, Shakespeare's usage
followed the Genevan, there were a significant number of readings in which he
followed the Bishops, the Great Bible, or other variant translations --
primarily the Bishops.  This view has been amply confirmed in Shaheen's
trilogy, with further intriguing examples from both the Genevan and the
Bishops.

It is certainly true that in those cases in which a determination can be made
between the Psalter against the Geneva Psalms, the reference is usually to the
Psalter, though there are a few illuminating contrary cases which will
undoubtedly prove of much greater historical interest as Shakespeare studies
enters the next century considering new paradigms of authorship.  But this is
not the same thing as claiming that somehow the Psalter has a prominence over
the Geneva text *as a whole* in Shakespeare's Biblical imagination.  As for the
implication that the Bishop's is more important than the Geneva to Shakespeare,
I fail to see how Dr. Velz can possibly justify this inference.  Still less
does it seem to me that his parenthetical claim that Shakespeare's allusions to
the Geneva text postdate 1597 can be justified without smuggling assumptions
about textual chronology into the discussion.  Certainly there is no reason at
all, based on our knowledge of variant sources, to conclude that Shakespeare's
edition of the Geneva should have been any later than 1570 or 1576 (when the
first edition printed in England appeared under Walsingham's patronage with the
Thomson New Testament attached).

As for the biographical conjectures about Stratford which clearly form the
basis for Dr. Velz's speculations about how "Shakespeare" acquired his Biblical
knowledge, it must be remarked that  they bear an uncanny resemblance to  to
the well-known parable by Rudyard Kipling about how the Leopard got its spots.

Most Sincerely,
Roger Stritmatter
University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Re: Funeral Elegy

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0107.  Monday, 12 February 1996.

(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 11 Feb 1996 11:47:12 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0102  Re: Funeral Elegy

(2)     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 11 Feb 1996 13:06:55 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Funeral Elegy

(3)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 11 Feb 1996 20:59:32 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0102  Re: Funeral Elegy


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 11 Feb 1996 11:47:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0102  Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0102  Re: Funeral Elegy

>>* Bill Godshalk wonders why, if Shakespeare was the author, his full name
>>didn't appear on the title page as a selling point.  But as Don Foster points
>>out, the quarto of the Elegy has all the hallmarks of being privately printed,
>>financed probably by the author and not intended for public sale. The subject
>>was an untitled provincial gentleman of no apparent interest to London
>>bookbuyers (other published elegies were virtually without exception written
>>for knights or earls who were famous and/or whose families were likely
>>patrons); the name of the publisher (Thorpe) does not appear on the title page
>>or elsewhere; neither is there the address of a bookseller, as in virtually
>>all books offered for public sale.

Yes, Don Foster makes some of these points on page 17 his *Elegy by W.S.* But
I'm not contented.  If these were a "rather small, private printing," why
involve a bookseller such as Thomas Thorp? Why have Thorp enter the poem in the
Stationers Register? Why not go directly to Eld?  If the press run is limited
in quantity, paid for by the author, and not intended for public sale, why go
to a publisher? I will not be contented by a vague procedural answer; e.g.,
"Shakespeare always or almost always used Thorp as his publisher."  See Foster
72-74, 229-232.

If the press run were extremely limited ("an elegy for a provincial gentleman
{was} of no obvious interest to London bookmen" {Foster 73}), why go to a press
at all? Many presentation copies were done by scribes like Ralph Crane. We
believe that Middleton personalized presentation copies of his plays by using a
scribe who could make changes in the manuscript geared to the individual
recipient.

Although it is difficult to calculate, below a certain press run, printing
would not be cost efficient.  If the *Elegy* were not meant for publication,
why have it printed? The classy way to go would be manuscrupt. (Harold Love
discusses the scribal culture of this period at some length. Manuscript was
still a legitimate method of reproduction in this period.)

And, yes, Thorp's name and address do not appear on the title page.  This is
unusual. If any name is missing, it's usually the printer's.  I have not yet
checked Eld's list to see if he ever does this with another book -- put his own
name on the title page and withhold the (possible) publisher's.  Since Eld
apparently did do some publishing himself, the absence of Thorp's name may
imply that Eld was in fact assuming the role of publisher.

I realize that the questions I ask do not call into question the possible
Shakespearean provenance of the poem. But I am puzzled by the poem's printing
and publishing history -- or lack of it.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 11 Feb 1996 13:06:55 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        Funeral Elegy

I promised Professor Foster a tape of this long poem over three weeks ago
preparatory to committing it to CD as part of Concordia's recording series, but
ran into many problems with it. What some praise as enjambement turns out in
practice --and such poems were read aloud as we know or presume-- to be
thumping, thunking, clunking carpentry that is all but unreadable.

The main difficulty, however, is a prepnderant absence of physical imagery.
This absence creates a sort of Wordsworthian abstraction where the introduction
of actual objetcs renders the thought and the emotion prosaic. This may well
have been Shakespeare's method in the poem as it was Wordsworth's in his
mystical moods. If so, it works better in Wordsworth, who can take us by
surprise with the sudden literalness of an image after a series of
abstractions, as in the intimate physicality of

        Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart.

There is nothing in all the Elegy that approaches successfully the personal
emotional geography of that "along the heart".

                        But in prasing Wordsworth
        I find I have disprased Shakespeare, and still try
        To find in reading what in seeing I cannot find
        And thus by oral noise we may improve
        This product of the man we mostly love.

        Harry Hill

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 11 Feb 1996 20:59:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0102  Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0102  Re: Funeral Elegy

I've now had a chance to look at my notes on George Eld.  Eld printed STC
21531, *The puritaine or The vviddovv of VVatling-streete. . . . Written by
W.S.  Imprinted at London, By G. Eld, 1607.*  I think this title page should
give us pause. The title page of *A funeral elegye* reads "By W.S. Imprinted at
London, By G. Eld, 1612."  (Foster 266-67 discusses *The Puritaine*, but does
not seem to discuss the similarity in title pages.)

For title pages that are in some ways similar to that of *A funeral elegye*,
see, e.g.,  STC 21028 (*The art of iugling*), STC 916 (*St. Augustine, Of the
citie of God*), STC 6539 (*North-vvard hoe*), STC 1014 (*A historie*), STC
19823 (*A petite palace*), STC 18422 (*Speculum Christianum*); on these title
pages Eld gives, after the information about title and author, only place
(London), printer (himself) and the date.  No publishers or addresses are
given.  So the title page of *A funeral elegye* is not unusual in this respect.

I surmize that Eld's printing of *A funeral elegye* was not a prestige job. The
title page contains neither of Eld's signature ornaments. The text is prefaced
with one ornament and has one decorative capital. I'd compare the job Eld did
on STC 13529 (*Histrio-Mastix*) in 1610,  As a contrast, look at the title page
of STC 22277 (*Hamlet*) printed by Eld in 1611. More of a contrast is provided
by Eld's printing of STC 18368 (Nashe's *Christs Teares*), a job done for
Thomas Thorp -- with no Eld byline.  The printing, however, is unmistakable
Eld's.  (Even printer's have individual "style.")

I point these things out to call into question certain deductions that have
been based (at least partially) on the title page of FE. An analysis of the
title page would not support, or lead me to believe, that this is "a rather
small, private printing" (Foster 17, echoed by Abrams), or that Shakespeare
paid for the printing out of his own pocket. The title page is not an unusual
product of Eld's printing house.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

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