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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: December ::
Canterbury on Playwriting
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2227  Thursday, 16 December 1999.

From:           Tad Davis <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 11:58:28 -0500
Subject:        Canterbury on Playwriting

Re-reading "Henry V" (in the 1995 Arden edition, edited by T. W. Craik),
I was struck by a passage in Act I, Scene 2, that (to me) could be taken
as summing up Shakespeare's own attitude toward playwriting. The speaker
is the Archbishop of Canterbury, lines 204-214:

"... I this infer,
That many things having full reference
To one consent may work contrariously,
As many arrows loosed several ways
Come to one mark,
As many several ways meet in one town,
As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea,
As many lines close in the dial's centre.
So may a thousand actions once afoot
End in one purpose and be all well borne
Without defeat."

Tad Davis

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