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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: June ::
Re: A Shrew
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1323  Thursday, 29 June 2000.

[1]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 15:13:58 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1286 Re: A Shrew

[2]     From:   Stephen Miller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jun 2000 13:28:02 +0100 ()
        Subj:   A Shrew (reply to SHK 11.1286)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 15:13:58 -0400
Subject: 11.1286 Re: A Shrew
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1286 Re: A Shrew

--- Any more?

I would add to an earlier attempt to align Christopher Sly with Freud
and Baudelaire's theories of laughter that the implication of leaving
the narrative frame unresolved puts Sly back where he really resides:
somewhere among the groundlings.

Clifford Stetner
CUNY Graduate Center
http://phoenix.liu.edu/~cstetner/cds.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Miller <
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Date:           Thursday, 29 Jun 2000 13:28:02 +0100 ()
Subject: (reply to SHK 11.1286)
Comment:        A Shrew (reply to SHK 11.1286)

To Marcus Dahl on the subject of A SHREW as an adaptation,

> If the Du Bartas poem was available since 1578 this does not
> help issues of chronology.

Not at all, alas.

> What other evidence do you (or others) have in order to
> argue that A Shrew (1594 or earlier) was written after
> The Shrew (first published 1623). I already know Maguire's
> opinion.

No external evidence that I know of exists to argue precedence of THE
SHREW.  The plays are clearly linked textually; one was not produced
independently of the other.  As my last message said, A SHREW is a play
with passages manifestly lifted from other writers including Marlowe, so
it seems logical to assume that the writer who lifted those would also
willingly lift passages from a play by Shakespeare and even much of the
plot.

This seems more likely than that Shakespeare would carefully fuss over
reworking A SHREW.  Beyond that, as my edition for New Cambridge
Shakespeare argues, the reworking of the source material (subjugation of
a wife by threatening violence) to me suggests Shakespeare, reminiscent
of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS.

As for the evidence of others, critics such as Richard Hosley have
suggested that the complex plot structure of both versions more likely
had its origin in Shakespeare while pointing out that THE SHREW shows
closer knowledge than A SHREW of Gascoigne's SUPPOSES, a common source
for the subplot in both versions.

On the verbal level, some readers, examining similar passages between
THE SHREW and A SHREW, have argued the priority of the wording in THE
SHREW.  Because most of these arguments strike me as reversible, my
footnotes contain counter-arguments in some cases.

I guess the shocking thing about my theory of origin for A SHREW is that
it suggests that whoever put the play together was not in awe of
Shakespeare as a playwright, but appears to have adapted THE SHREW,
borrowing what he wanted while improving as he saw fit.

Sincerely, Stephen Miller
 

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