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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: February ::
Re: Was Shakespeare a Catholic?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0140  Sunday, 15 February 1998.

[1]     From:   Ron Dwelle <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Feb 1998 08:33:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Was Shakespeare a Catholic

[2]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Feb 1998 16:52:16 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0132  Q: Was Shakespeare a Catholic


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Dwelle <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 13 Feb 1998 08:33:45 -0500
Subject:        Re: Was Shakespeare a Catholic

Was Shakespeare a Catholic:
David N. Beauregard <
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 > wrote:
----------
If anyone can convincingly answer my argument, or even offer a
counter-argument, I would be greatly interested.
----------
Obviously, your argument only works is you assume that Prospero is an
autobiographical representation of William Shakespeare. I won't rehearse
the problematic aspects of that assumption, since they are obvious and
have been extensively discussed. Perhaps instead, I'd ask you to counter
my argument (forthcoming, somewhere) that Shakespeare died a black man,
since Othello (rather than Prospero) is Shakespeare's true
autobiographical representation of himself.

Ron Dwelle

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 13 Feb 1998 16:52:16 -0500
Subject: 9.0132  Q: Was Shakespeare a Catholic
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0132  Q: Was Shakespeare a Catholic

I haven't read David Beauregard's article, offering the allusions to
Catholic theology and practice in Prospero's farewell as evidence for
some kind of Catholic allegiance in Shakespeare's life.  But I wonder
whether he has considered the possibility that those gestures (and
Beauregard's summary makes an initially persuasive case for their
presence in the speech) are to be taken as ironic-if Prospero were
really a sinner at the end of his life career, and if the audience were
really his judge, about to label him sheep or goat, and if his sins (as
actor? as character? as man?) were such as to incur on their own
damnation, then such a posture, such gestures, would be appropriate.
But since we all know that he has learned this speech by heart, and will
give it again at exactly the same point in the play tomorrow, and the
day after that, and then move on to *Spanish Tragedy*, or the season
will be over, to say nothing of the brilliance of the performance and
the general excellence of this actor's work (Burbage, presumably). . . .

Dubiously,
Dave Evett
 

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