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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: August ::
Re: James and Superstitions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1807  Wednesday, 28 August 2002

[1]     From:   Jennifer Formichelli <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 14:45:57 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 11:04:23 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 08:20:50 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions

[4]     From:   Michael B. Luskin <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 11:52:18 EDT
        Subj:   James

[5]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 16:29:52 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions

[6]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 22:59:01 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Re: James and Superstitions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jennifer Formichelli <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 14:45:57 +0100
Subject: 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions

Does it really matter at all whether Shakespeare was a Catholic or not?
(And coincidentally someone rather close to James I was: his wife.)

'Or rather', as T S Eliot succinctly said, 'did Shakespeare think
anything at all? He was occupied with turning human actions into
poetry.'

Like, for instance, the issue of equivocation during the Gunpowder plot
trials.

Yours, Jennifer Formichelli

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 11:04:23 -0400
Subject: 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions

Sam Small refers to 'Shakespeare's total silence on the gunpowder plot'

What about AW/EW,IV.iii.21-23?  Can this passage refer to the November
1605 plot and, especially, its fortuitous disclosure:

    Merely our own traitors.  And as in the
    common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal
    themselves, till they attain to their abhorr'd end ....

I realize that this play is usually dated a little before the 1605 plot,
but the Oxford editors allow a range of 1604-05, and Malone dated it in
1606.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 08:20:50 -0700
Subject: 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions

As some have pointed out, many believe Shakespeare did allude to the
gunpowder plot.  Even if he didn't, there is a flawed assumption in the
comments quoted.

Lots of writers did not comment on the gunpowder plot.  I don't think
that implies anything about their Catholic sympathies.  If they didn't
comment, we don't know.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael B. Luskin <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 11:52:18 EDT
Subject:        James

Others more knowledgeable than I may criticize this idea, but I think
that Macbeth has lots of implicit and a couple almost explicit
references to James.  Macbeth was written in 1606 or 7, after James was
known, and had had the time to become somewhat disliked.

I am by chance now reading Lawrence Stone on James and Charles, and not
finding James as sympathetic a person in the English context as he was
in the Scottish.  The moral is that just because you can make it in
Scotland, you can't necessarily make it in England.  A parallel to the
idea that, just because you are the toast of Cincinnati, you are not
necessarily going to take New York by storm.

Michael B. Luskin

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 16:29:52 -0400
Subject: 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1800 Re: James and Superstitions

>I don't see how one can believe Shakespeare was a Catholic, or a
>Catholic sympathizer, after reading King John.

Well, that's really taking the argument further than it can be safely
followed.  There were plenty of power struggles between various Pope and
various kings and emperors of Western Europe long before Protestantism
ever existed.  "King John" proves, I think, that Shakespeare was not a
fanatical RC partisan, but "Hamlet", for example, is more cozy with RC
doctrine than is allowed by the Thirty-Nine Articles.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Aug 2002 22:59:01 +0100 (BST)
Subject:        Re: James and Superstitions

Dave Johnson comments:

>I don't see how one can believe Shakespeare was a
>Catholic, or a
>Catholic sympathizer, after reading King John.

Honigmann, for example, gives an alternative reading in his Shakespeare:
The 'Lost Years'. (Check the index for relevant pages.)

Best wishes,
Takashi Kozuka

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