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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: September ::
Re: Major Clerical Characters
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1933  Friday, 20 September 2002

[1]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Sep 2002 15:13:26 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1921 Re: Major Clerical Characters

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Sep 2002 22:40:53 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1921 Re: Major Clerical Characters

[3]     From:   D. Bloom <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Sep 2002 09:46:50 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1921 Re: Major Clerical Characters

[4]     From:   H. David Friedberg <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Sep 2002 13:54:17 -0400
        Subj:   SHK13.1921


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Sep 2002 15:13:26 +0100
Subject: 13.1921 Re: Major Clerical Characters
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1921 Re: Major Clerical Characters

John W. Kennedy wrote,

>I cannot find, at the moment, definite information as to whether Mary
>Tudor (1553-8) made any attempt at reinstituting religious during her
>reign.

Of course she did.  Re-founding Westminster Abbey was the most prominent
example.  The problem was how to regain the expropriated monastic
property without threatening her fragile regime.  (Why this should be
necessary for those who had taken a vow of poverty, I leave to the
imagination.)  As the entire ruling class had profited in this way
(regardless of religious or political beliefs) this was never going to
be easy.  For most of the monasteries converted into houses, the
cloister was retained as a courtyard, and either nave of the church or
the refectory became the great hall.  The eastern end of the church was
usually demolished.  Most people had cannily spent comparatively little
money on new building work, just in case the property was taken back.
The great rebuilding works only took place when it was clear there was a
stable regime, i.e. in Elizabeth's reign.  See: Maurice Howard, The
Early Tudor Country House: Architecture and Politics, 1490-1550 (1987).

John Briggs

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Sep 2002 22:40:53 +0800
Subject: 13.1921 Re: Major Clerical Characters
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1921 Re: Major Clerical Characters

Annalisa Castaldo mentions as a "major" clerical character

>Cardinal Wolsey
>certainly is important to Henry VIII (although he's not portrayed in the
>most positive light, is he?).

No, he isn't, though he seems to provide a study in repentance.
Cranmer, on the other hand, is portrayed in a very positive light.

Cheers,
Sean.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D. Bloom <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Sep 2002 09:46:50 -0500
Subject: 13.1921 Re: Major Clerical Characters
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1921 Re: Major Clerical Characters

  Andrew Cooley:

>I'm sure I won't be the only one to mention Friar Lawrence, but I
>mention him anyway...

Pursuant to this thread, I'll confess that the portrayal of Friar
Lawrence has always struck me as the strongest evidence that WS may have
had a least a flirtation with Romanism. But thinking about this has made
me wonder also about the historical Franciscans.

Chaucer's Huberd and Machiavelli's Timoteo are both cynical, venal men
who care nothing for faith, much less the ideals of St. Francis. But
they represented an accurate picture of much of the order from 1390
through 1518.  By the time of Machiavelli, I am given to understand, the
Franciscans were beginning to regenerate themselves from the inside.

So, my question: was there something special about the Franciscans at
the end of the 16th century that could have made Shakespeare use one of
them for the helpful priest of R&L (not to mention Isabella, a votarist
of the Poor Clares)? Officially, of course, they were anathema, but is
there any evidence of a special affection for OFM among the English
Catholics?

Cheers,
don

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           H. David Friedberg <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Sep 2002 13:54:17 -0400
Subject: Comment:        SHK13.1921

Castaldo said, but Cardinal Wolsey certainly is important to Henry VIII.

Well Cardinal is pretty high up in the RC hierarchy; he hoped to be
elected Pope and missed, he was also Archbishop of York, which is
Primate of England

Cantrell said, None of Shakespeare's plays are set in present-day
England ...or in any other Protestant place and time.

How about Hamlet???

and also

>I cannot find, at the moment, definite information as to whether Mary
>Tudor (1553-8) made any attempt at reinstituting religious during her
>reign.

As far as I remember she burnt a large number of heretics, including
Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury Primate of All England, but did not
establish any new orders

H. David Friedberg

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