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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Daniel's Relationship to Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0723  Friday, 30 March 2001

From:           Thomas Larque <
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Date:           Saturday, 24 Mar 2001 18:33:55 -0000
Subject:        Daniel's Relationship to Shakespeare

> Is there any particular reason for the assertion of "strong influence"
> by Daniel in particular, or is this just a matter of *Delia* being
> representative of the many post-Sydney, Petrarchan/anti-Petrarchan
> sequences that were in circulation in the early 1590s?

Karen Peterson asks me to justify my claim that Daniel's "Delia" and
"Complaint of Rosamond" had a "strong influence" on Shakespeare.  As a
humble student of Shakespeare, I would be very interested to hear
whether anybody (or everybody) else thinks that I am overstating the
relationship between Daniel's poems and Shakespeare's works
(particularly his Sonnets).

Cecil Seronsy's book on Daniel, ("Samuel Daniel", 1967), quotes
J.Q.Adams making very wide-sweeping claims for the influence of Daniel
upon Shakespeare.

"Thus in choosing his model Shakespeare, as was usual with him,
reflected contemporary taste.  From Daniel's sonnets he took his form,
acquired much of his sugared style, borrowed not a little imagery and
thought, echoed occasional phrases, and learned the trick of nicely
linking his poems together ... Thus his cycle came to differ from its
model in a way that has led scholars to underestimate his really
important indebtedness to the Delia sequence."  (Adams, "A Life of
William Shakespeare", pp.169-170).

Admittedly Seronsy also quotes Claes Schaar, who believes that
Shakespeare influenced Daniel rather than the other way around, but
points out that this "runs counter to the majority judgement" (p.32).

Dave Kathman (in his Shakespeare Authorship Page) makes a similarly
powerful claim for Daniel's influence upon Shakespeare "Samuel Daniel
has been recognized for the last 200 years as one of the most pervasive
influences on Shakespeare's writing, particularly in the Sonnets but
extending throughout the canon. Shakespeare repeatedly appropriated
Daniel's vocabulary, images, themes (compare Shakespeare's Sonnets 1-18
with sonnets 33-40 of Daniel's Delia), and even unusual grammatical
constructions (such as the pattern 'so [verb or adjective] as [adverbial
modifier],' which is uncommon outside Shakespeare and Daniel)." - see
www.clark.net/tross/ws/paral.html.

H.R.D. Anders ("Shakespeare's Books", 1904) also believes that Daniel's
work influenced Shakespeare, stating that "we find remarkable
reminiscences, in the language, substance and form" of Daniel's
"Complaint of Rosamond" in Shakespeare's earlier works.  He believes
that "A Lover's Complaint" was "written in imitation" of "Rosamond", and
cites numerous parallels between "Rosamond" and both "The Rape of
Lucrece" and "Romeo and Juliet".  "Delia", he says, "served as a model
for [Shakespeare's] sonnetic flights" and "we find traces of 'Delia' in
his other works" - he gives examples from "Twelfth Night" and "The Rape
of Lucrece".

I personally believe that Daniel has a more significant influence upon
Shakespeare than can be ascribed solely to their shared genre as
Petrarchan style Sonnet authors.  Admittedly I have not done enough
research to be certain that all of the parallels between their works
could not be products of shared sources or commonplaces, but I have not
seen any arguments that this is the case.  Such hypothetical
coincidences aside, there seems to be abundant evidence of a close
relationship between the two men's work.

I hope in the near future to add to my webpage some
out-of-(European)copyright sources on the relationship between Daniel
and Shakespeare (hence my recent query about H.R.D. Anders).  I would be
grateful if anybody who knows of any other appropriate sources that I
might use would let me know.

Thomas Larque.

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