Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: April ::
Dramaturg(e)s; Texts; Funeral Elegy
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0310.  Tuesday, 23 April 1996.

(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 22 Apr 1996 20:38:36 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0306  Re: Texts and Dramaturg(e)s

(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 22 Apr 1996 22:48:54 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0306  Re: Texts

(3)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Apr 1996 09:19:59 -0700
        Subj:   Funeral Elegy


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 22 Apr 1996 20:38:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0306  Re: Texts and Dramaturg(e)s
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0306  Re: Texts and Dramaturg(e)s

This is definitely a side issue, but a vexing one when Professors of English
and directors of plays come together to talk. And that is:  how does one spell
and thus pronouce "dramaturg(e)"?  The American Heritage Dictionary recognizes
only "dramaturge" and has the last syllable pronounced as "urge." It's
analogous to "demiurge."

But I notice recently that actors and directors seem to prefer "dramaturg" with
a final "g" as in "get." English professors, on the other hand, seem to prefer
"dramaturge."  It would be nice if we could all agree.  Since the word comes
from the French, maybe we could give it a French pronunciation!

Yours, Bill Godshalk

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 22 Apr 1996 22:48:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0306  Re: Texts
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0306  Re: Texts

Peter Groves writes of John Andrew's editorial substitution
:
>. . . it is from the execrable Q1 . Corambis
>(Polonius) is quoting from Hamlet's letter:
>
>    ...But doe not doubt I loue.
>      To the beautiful *Ofelia:*
>      Thine euer the most vnhappy prince *Hamlet*.
>      My Lord, what doe you thinke of me?
>
>No mention here of "beautified".  To import this obvious memorial
>reconstruction/regularization into a modern text of *Hamlet* (and thus to make
>nonsense of P.'s "beautifed") is surely to carry editorial incompetence and
>folly to new and unexplored heights.

Although I won't defend the substitution, I would like to point out that the
first Quarto is not an "obvious memorial reconstruction." Perhaps one might say
that it is "arguably" a memorial reconstruction.  We have no external evidence
from the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century that plays were
reconstructed by memory, and it has been argued very forcefully that the
internal evidence for such reconstruction is faulty.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Apr 1996 09:19:59 -0700
Subject:        Funeral Elegy

William Gifford edited the WORKS OF JOHN FORD in three vols., 1895, published
again by Russell & Russell, 1965.  It is he who wrote of Ford's "whining" in
his early verse, and that would include "Fame's Memorial" and the "Funeral
Elegy", although he was unaware of the latter.

We know that Ford was a Devonshire man, the same as William Peter, and a friend
of the family, and Shakespeare can in no way be connected with the Elegy except
in some flight of imagination, such as "he must have passed through the town
where William Peter lived", which is seriously offered by the supporters of the
Elegy as proof of Shakespeare's authorship.

The similarity of the verse is not only in the soporific lilt, but in an
attitude, a sort of petulant defense of the deceased from the slander of the
world, a kind of wallowing in the malice and spite pooled all about the
bereaved.  It would seem to me (and to Gifford, I think), that the disgrace of
the dead need not be called up, being crochety, overly jealous of name and
honor, and in remembrance of swinish lies in the first place.  But both Ford
and W.S. dote on such material.  Some examples follow, first from Fame's
Memorial:

Ford:  "By vulgar censure's base unhappiness."
          "Time cannot wrong, nor envy shall not wound..."
          "Thus loving all, he liv'd belov'd of all,
             Save some whome emulation did enrage
             To spit the venom of their rancour's gall..."
           "Sink, blind detraction, into lowest earth...."
           "Avoided rumour of such foul defame...."
           "To hold him from the wreck of spite's impression..."
           "Of all his foes, backbiters, grudgers...."
           "Unjustly term'd disgraceful...."
           "Maugre the throat of malice, spite of spite...."

Who needs it? And it goes on and on about the Earl of Devonshire like this. Who
has not been slandered and the object of spite?  Forget it, and especially
forget it in my elegy.  Shall I want my last remembrance to be about how much
shit was thrown at me, good beloved man that I am?  No, there is something
almost purient here, the harping on the sluttish report of the crowd.  But in
the Funeral Elegy, W.S. has the same tendency.  He embraces his man William
Peter with the good will of a friend, but sets the scene on a dunghill.

W.S.  "Not that he was above the spleenful sense
             and spite of malice...."
         "-- proceeding from a nature as corrupt,
             The text of malice."
         "--That may disprove their malice, and confound
              uncivil loose opinions...."
         "Close-lurking whispers hidden forgeries...."
         "Defamation's spirit...."

Both Fame's Memorial and the Funeral Elegy are the work of a crybaby.  You'll
understand why Gifford called it "uninteresting whining".   Richard Abrams says
instead that W.S. had an "interesting mind".  Well, let him find it so, and let
him weep and moan over the unkind treatment of the WS/Shakespeare theory when
it is dead and gone, and if he writes poetry to illustrate the story it can't
be any worse than John Ford's lamentable verse.
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.