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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: March ::
Re: Funeral Elegy
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0234.  Thursday, 21 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Mar 1996 17:14:06 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0228  Re: Funeral Elegy

(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Mar 1996 09:30:24 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0211  Re: Funeral Elegy (and Sonnets)


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Mar 1996 17:14:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0228  Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0228  Re: Funeral Elegy

Dave Evett;

While variations in spelling due to the varying styles of editors and
compositors certainly render it impossible to BASE an argument on such factors,
certainly they can enhance or detract from an argument based on more solid
evidence. Since the main evidence against Funeral Elegy however, its extremely
poor quality in an artistic sense, doesn't phase the Elegyites one whit,
perhaps Mr. Kennedy is turning to an area that they do seem to take seriously,
word usage. It is noble of Mr. Kennedy to beat his metaphoric head against the
stone wall of poor taste, but luckily those readers of Shakespeare, so many in
every generation for four hundred years, that have taken his language for their
own and made the English language the great language of literature that it is,
will regard this controversy as a tempest in a teapot, and if they ever do
happen to see a copy of the poem, will toss it aside after ten lines with a
well-deserved yawn. It isn't Shakespeare who's in trouble here, it's his
so-called "experts."

Stephanie Hughes

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Mar 1996 09:30:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0211  Re: Funeral Elegy (and Sonnets)
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0211  Re: Funeral Elegy (and Sonnets)

Brian Vickers in "Whose thumbprints?" TLS, 8 March 1996, 16-18, argues against
the ascription of FE to Shakespeare. He finds the poem's piety very
un-Shakespearean, and he believes the phrase "My countries thankless
misconstruction" can "only refer to some government appointment, such as an
embassy abroad or a military commission" (16) -- something not relevant to
Shakespeare. He also finds Rick Abrams' solution to the problem of the poet's
being a young man "forced."  And he puts forth his own solution.

Indeed Vickers suggests that Simon Wastell is our man!  The initials have been
inverted -- as they often were.  Apparently Wastell did use FE in writing his
*Funeral Elegy* to Baron Spencer in 1627, and both funeral elegies use (or
misuse!) Daniel's elegy on the Earl of Devonshire (1606). Don Foster has
already rejected Wastell's candidacy, but Vickers "why not?" (17), and gives a
rather spirited defense of Simon's qualifications.

Maybe I shouldn't give up on Warner South? I ask whimsically.

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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