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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: December ::
Re: Scotland
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2864  Wednesday, 19 December 2001

[1]     From:   Ros King <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Dec 2001 13:18:25 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2846 Re: Scotland

[2]     From:   Ros King <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Dec 2001 13:44:06 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2836 Re: Scotland


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ros King <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Dec 2001 13:18:25 EST
Subject: 12.2846 Re: Scotland
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2846 Re: Scotland

Larry Weiss writes,

<< writing in the context of a constitution which called for inherited
succession he had damned well better "seem" to prefer it. >>

At a disputation in front of Elizabeth during her visit to Oxford in
1566, Toby Matthew, a student of Christ Church was one of the two
opponents when the question for discussion was 'A prince should be
declared by succession not election'. Matthew, who went on to be
President of St John's, Dean of Christ Church and finally Archbishop of
York, argued against succession, apparently with taste and distinction,
winning great praise (Plummer, Elizabethan Oxford, 1887, p. 182). They
were, I would suggest, politically very sophisticated people - more so
than we often give them credit for being.  They evidently needed to hear
these arguments rehearsed openly. It is, after all, probably the best
defence against those who would otherwise rehearse them in secret.

Happy winter holidays,
Ros

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ros King <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 18 Dec 2001 13:44:06 EST
Subject: 12.2836 Re: Scotland
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2836 Re: Scotland

David Bishop writes,

<< In both cases, the fact that the succession reverts to election seems
a lost chance for a more peaceful dispensation, which will in the long
run be established forever, we might hope, under a king like James. >>

Wasn't James himself an elected monarch? Elizabeth had been pressed
repeatedly to make that election and eventually did so - everyone was
told - on her deathbed. Election was an essential part of Elizabethan
politics. How else could she have remained the 'virgin queen'? What's
really terrifying about 'Macbeth' is Macduff's willingness to overlook
Malcolm's supposed sins in that essential but frequently cut scene in
the English court. Malcolm had a right through both succession and
election, and fortunately he was only playing with Macduff! Maybe the
message of the play - if there is one - is that it's not who they are
but what they're like that's important.

Ros

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