Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: December ::
Re: First English Translation of Montaigne's Essays
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2384  Monday, 9 December 2002

From:           Elliott H. Stone <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 8 Dec 2002 18:08:07 EST
Subject: 13.2325 First English Translation of Montaigne's
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2325 First English Translation of Montaigne's
Essays

I certainly believe that Shakespeare was familiar with the English
translation of Montaigne but I am just as certain that he read the works
in French. Herman Melville was very much interested in the influence
that Montaigne had on the Bard. He marks in his copy of Hamlet certain
lines and then comments how much they are related to Montaigne. Melville
notes in his journal that he went to the British Library to see a copy
of the Montaigne book that supposedly had Shakespeare's signature. It is
interesting to note that in Billy Bud Captain Vere is an avid reader of
Montaigne. It seems quite likely that Melville has a hidden second
intention in this reference and in other aspects of this novella that
might well be related to the Shakespeare authorship controversy, that
was already well on its way in the 1890s. The Montaigne connection with
Shakespeare was important to Melville and is a key to a whole new way of
looking at Billy Bud. Homosexuality and the Authorship controversy were
not subjects that the Harvard professors who published Billy Bud in the
1920s were willing to refer to in their footnotes. This may very well
also account for the missing pages of the manuscript that have never
appeared in print.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.