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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Re: Apocrypha
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1852  Monday, 1 November 1999.

From:           R. Schmeeckle <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 15:23:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 10.1814 Re: Apocrypha
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1814 Re: Apocrypha

>>Does anyone but me find it interesting that Shakespeare makes good use
>>of the Apocrypha (the name "Holofernes" from the Book of Judith or "A
>>Daniel come to judgment" (from Susanna).  Did the Church of England
>>commonly use the Apocrypha in Shakespeare's time?
>
>Maybe not the Church of England - but both had been very popular as
>characters in paintings and sculptures for a long time, and still are
>(Judith and Holofernes: Donatello, Caravaccio etc.; and Susanna taking
>her bath was as a motif as good an excuse as you could get for painting
>a naked female body and for watching it - the moral twist that voyeurs
>will be judged and condemned being a special pun for a painting) . Until
>now I have myself been convinced that those story appear in the official
>bible...

I am not sure what the basis is for your reference to the "official
bible."  Our present (B)bible recieved its official sanction from one or
more Church councils.  The so-called Apocrapha were and are part of that
official (B)bible.  A better question might be "by what authority were
books that had been considered part of the (B)bible deleted?"

Related to this thread is the question of whether or not Shakespeare can
be shown to have made use of, among other versions, the Catholic
versions, either the Douay or the Vulgate.  Perhaps a better scholar
than I can fill this in.

     Roger Schmeeckle
 

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