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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Nay, very pale
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0819  Tuesday, 10 April 2001

From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Monday, 9 Apr 2001 16:14:07 -0400
Subject: 12.0783 Re: Nay, very pale
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0783 Re: Nay, very pale

I do not actually see Nashe's comment as sufficient evidence of a Kyd
Hamlet.  I do think it credible that there was an earlier Hamlet play,
but what, if any, connection Kyd had to it does not seem possible
further to determine.  The theme and some of the details of
Shakespeare's extant versions seem to be consistent with Kyd's tragic
style.  That's why I think it just as likely, and just as
indeterminable, that the Hamlet referred to by Nashe was a
tutor/apprentice effort by Kyd with the young Shakespeare.  While
evidence may never be available to illuminate any relationship between
the two, the fact that they wrote for rival companies does not seem to
me to disqualify an earlier collaboration.  If Kyd was with Marlowe a
superstar of the English stage when Shakespeare came from Stratford, why
should he not seek out his tutelage, and why should such a talented
apprentice not be entertained?  Did Shakespeare learn his prolific skill
simply by watching (and perhaps acting in) plays without any experience
of the writing process?

Clifford Stetner
CUNY
http://phoenix.liu.edu/~cstetner/cds.html

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