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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: August ::
Re: Caesar's Revenge
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1920  Wednesday, 1 August 2001

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 14:29:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge

[2]     From:   Cliff Ronan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 18:34:24 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge

[3]     From:   Richard Kennedy <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 15:47:29 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge

[4]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 1 Aug 2001 08:55:34 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge

[5]     From:   Richard Kennedy <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 15:28:42 -0700
        Subj:   Caesar's Revenge II


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 14:29:37 -0400
Subject: 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge

>>"You gentle Heavens.  O execute your wrath
>>On vile mortality, that hath scornd your powers.
>>You night borne Sisters to whose haires are ty'd
>>In Adamantine Chaines both Gods and Men
>>Wind on your webbe of mischiefe and of plagues,

Nancy Charlton comments:

>This sounds more like the Shakespeare of the Pyramus and Thisbe skit in
>MND than like King Lear. <snip>  I think I'm trying to say
>that even as a ceremonial invocation, this speech doesn't have the
>emotional intensity or verbal richness of Shakespearean speeches on
>similar occasions.

It bears a certain resemblance to the opening speech in 1HVI, but its
even worse.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cliff Ronan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 18:34:24 -0400
Subject: 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge

Dear Richard Kennedy,

You are right to wonder about "Caesar's Revenge"; it covers so much of
Roman history that it is natural to speculate about its connection to
Shakespeare's two Civil War plays. But I don't think it can be by
Shakespeare, though he probably read it.

Bullough decides that there is "by no means certain that Shakespeare
knew *Caesar's Revenge,* yet thinks that Schanzer may be right in
tracing *Caesar* 3.1.258-75 to *Caesar's Revenge* 2526. See Geoffrey
Bullough, *Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare* 5.33-35 and
Ernest Schanzer *N & Q* 199 (May 1954):196-97.

Cheers,
Cliff Ronan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Kennedy <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 15:47:29 -0700
Subject: 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge

Answering one by one.

Mike Jensen:  Posting "Caesar's Revenge II" today, no joke.

Wm. Williams: Thanks for the[1606] info., I'll get on it.

Nancy Charlton: Yes, I wouldn't argue that CR is the "mature"
Shakespeare. And no doubt some of the parallels can be dropped.

John Briggs. Nor do I know what that 1607 date might mean.

John Briggs. Wonderful find in "Shakespeare Studies," and I'll go get
it.  I'd wondered about "Antony and Cleopatra" myself, and she soon
comes on the scene, a blond virgin full of trouble.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Wednesday, 1 Aug 2001 08:55:34 +0100
Subject: 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.1911 Re: Caesar's Revenge

Mike Jensen asks plaintively:

>I'm sorry, but I must have missed something.  Did the whole post
>appear?  Is this a joke or a parody?

A parody of Shakespeare?  Or a parody of Shakespearean scholarship?
Alas, no.  Deadly serious in both cases!

John Briggs

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Kennedy <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 15:28:42 -0700
Subject:        Caesar's Revenge II

                                   CAESAR'S REVENGE - II

"Caesar's Revenge" is STC 4339, U.of Mich."University Microfilm," Reel
722, and I've not found it printed out anywhere.

As noted on the title page, "Caesar's Revenge" was "Imprinted for
Nathaniel Fosbrooke and John Wright...."  The first 1609 edition of
Shakespeare's "Sonnets" was published "To be sold by" William Aspley.
But some are published "To be sold" by John Wright.  And so John Wright
had a hand in both "Caesar's Revenge" and the "Sonnets," published two
years apart.

            CAESAR'S REVENGE

     Act I, Scenes 2 & 3

SCENE 2: Caesar comes upon Brutus, who asks Caesar to take his life,
for that Brutus took Pompey's side in the battle. A melodramatic
moment that Caesar gives over, saying "True setled love can neere bee
turn'd to hate."  Brutus exits with a prophecy.

         "Caesar thy sword has all bliss from me tain,
         And givest me life where best were to be slain"

SCENE 3:  Anthony enters "From sad Pharsalia blushing all with blood,"
to set wreaths, laurels, and palms on Caesar's victory, yet Caesar
laments
the civil war twixt himself and Pompey, the carnage of war.

 "Thee this accursed soyle distainde with blood
 Not Christall rivers, are to quench thy thirst.
 For goaring streames, their rivers cleereness staines:
 Heere are no hils wherewith to feede thine eyes,
 But heaped hils of mangled Carkases,
 Heere are no birdes to please thee with their notes:
 But ravenous Vultures, and night Ravens horse."

Anthony recoils from this "womanish compassion," reminding Caesar
of the "lakes of blood" Caesar has himself springed.  Anthony hasn't
spit for Pompey, but wants to let loose "Noble fire" upon the lot of
them.

 "Let Pompey proud, and Pompeys Complices
 Die on our swords, that did envie our lives,
 Let pale Tysiphone be cloyed with bloud:
 And snaky furies quench their longing thirst,
 And Caesar live to glory in the end."

Caesar sees the logic of this, and an un-named Lord enforces Anthony's
call for blood:

 "O Pompey, cursed cause of civill warre,
 Which of those hel-borne sterne Eumenides:
 Inflam'd thy minde with such ambitious fire,
 As nought could quench it but thy Countries bloud."

The "ambition" of Pompey, by this place, has been glanced at three
times,  Anthony: "Let then his death set period to this strife,/ Which
was begun by  his ambitious life." At the end of Scene 3 Caesar is
persuaded to track Pompey to his death, compassion turned to bloody
murder.

 "No not all Africk arm'd in his defence
 Shall serve to shrowd him from my fatall sworde."  [Exit]

      End Act I, Scene 3

In these pages 6 - 10,  some more likeness of "Caesar s
Revenge" and Shakespeare. CR is my paging.

  Act I, Scene 2

follow your chase, and let some light foot steeds  - 6
some light-foot friend post to the Duke  - Rich. III

which can no more pierce Brutus tender sides - 6
I kiss these fingers...and lay them gently on thy tender side
      1 Hen. IV

heere lyeth one that's boucher'd by his sire  - 7
the son, commpell'd, been butcher to the sire   Rich. III

  Act I, Scene 3

to wade in blood of them that sought my death  - 7
wade to the market place in Frenchmen's blood  - K. John
and make us wade even in our kindred's blood  -- Rich. II
in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more  - Macbeth

oft did he seek to turn his fiery steed  - 8
and high curvet of Mar's fiery steed  - All's Well
that Phaeton should check thy fiery steeds  - 3 Hen. VI
mounted upon a hot and fiery steed  - Rich. II
gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds  - Rom. & Juliet

for goring streams, their rivers cheerless stains  - 8
should grieve thee more than streams of foreign gore - 1 Hen VI

wherewith to feed thine eyes - 8
that makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye  - All's Well

but ravenous vultures and night ravens hoarse  - 8
the hoarse night-raven tuns the cheerless voice  - 45
the raven himself is hoarse  - Macbeth

and nought could quench it but thy country's blood  - 9
our blood shall quench that fire  - K. John

and by Thessalian Temple shapes his course  - 9
he'll shape his own course in a country new - Lear

Next time, wise Cato reviews the situation, Pompey packing for Africa,
Caesar on the hunt.

Richard Kennedy

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