Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: February ::
Re: Upstart Crow
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0235  Thursday, 11 February 1999.

[1]     From:   Tom Reedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Feb 1999 10:01:28 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 8 Feb 1999 to 9 Feb 1999

[2]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Feb 1999 12:19:36 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0227 Re: Upstart Crow


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Reedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 10 Feb 1999 10:01:28 -0600
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 8 Feb 1999 to 9 Feb 1999

>The "tiger's heart" quote was included, not to mark the author, who
>would not have been known to the public at that time (as with the
>screenwriters of today, playwrights were not publicized; or at least,
>not until their plays were published, often decades after production),
>but the actor who made the role a success, namely Alleyn.

But Greene wasn't addressing the public at large; he was warning
playwrights to beware of an actor.  Greene specifically refers to him as
an actor.  Shakespeare was an actor, and would have been known as such
well before he was known to the public as a playwright.

>A "shake-scene" was an actor,

Have you any other examples of this?

>like a "shake-rags" was a pamphleteer, or "Shake-bag" in Arden of
>Faversham was a thief.

The Shake-bag character was based on an actual historical figure named
George Shakebag.  Can you cite any other examples of it being used to
refer to a thief?

Tom Reedy

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 10 Feb 1999 12:19:36 +0000
Subject: 10.0227 Re: Upstart Crow
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0227 Re: Upstart Crow

>In reply to Stephanie Hughes's assertion that "nobody is ever referred
>to by name" in satirical pamphlets like Greene's Groatsworth, how is the
>transparent disguise of Shakespeare's name as "Shake-scene" different
>from Nashe's reference to "the Kidde in Aesop" in the epistle "To the
>Gentlemen Students..."?  Or Greene's gibe at "such mad and scoffing
>poets that have prophetical spirits as bred of Merlin's race"?

>Kevin Donovan

You're right about Kidde/Kyd, if Kyd is indeed the one Nashe was
referring to. I overstated the case. As for "Merlin's race," I don't get
it. Anyway, your point is apt.

>We've got Stephanie Hughes, who argues that the "upstart crowe" couldn't
>possibly refer to "the author, who would not have been known to the
>public at that time," and on the other hand we have Richard Kennedy, who
>argues that "this could not be Shakespeare, this "upstart", for he had
>already written some half dozen or more plays which gained him a
>substantial position amongst the playwrights."

This opens the authorship can of worms, and since I can't see any way of
discussing it without opening it, I'll let it go.

>Stephanie Hughes suggests that Chettle's apology in the epistle to
>Kind-Heart's Dream is offered to the actor Alleyn, not to Shakespeare.
>However, Chettle refers to the person's 'facetious grace in writting,
>that approues his Art'.  I think that the skilled writer associated with
>the 'tiger's heart' line is probably Shakespeare.

>John Jowett

Another good point.

>>The "tiger's heart" quote was included, not to mark the author, who
>>would not have been known to the public at that time (as with the
>>screenwriters of today, playwrights were not publicized; or at least,
>>not until their plays were published, often decades after production),
>>but the actor who made the role a success, namely Alleyn.

>You seem to be acknowledging, even presenting, proof that Shakespeare
>was active in theatre by 1592, since his play is being paraphrased.

>That he's the man in question here I'll leave to the finer minds who've
>already defended the proposition.  At the risk of flogging a dead crow,
>I'd just like to observe that the rareness of references to names in the
>various pamphlet wars makes this particular reference all the more
>singular, and therefore convincing.  If you're right, then we have more
>to link Shakespeare to this attack than anybody else to any other attack
>in the period.

Again, we have the can of worms which I would be the last to open in
this forum.  Thanks to those who have raised important points.

Stephanie Hughes
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.