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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: July ::
Re: Identity of W.S.
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1586  Thursday, 4 July 2002

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 03 Jul 2002 11:24:09 -0400
        Subj:   Identity of W.S.

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 03 Jul 2002 15:51:48 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1581 Re: Identity of W.S.


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Wednesday, 03 Jul 2002 11:24:09 -0400
Subject:        Identity of W.S.

After giving an alternate interpretation of lines 561-68 in _A Funeral
Elegy_, Sean Lawrence writes:

"That said, it's all rather obscure.  The logical connections are hard
to trace."

I think that Sean and I can agree on that.  Here's how David Bevington
paraphrases the lines in question:

"I ask only that I may not be cast down again by the sorts of hopes that
Fate denies to grant fully to the heart of one who is hostage to Fate by
reason of his love -- a heart that, even if it had a full measure of its
joy, still would hunger for the loved person's better excellences, and
which, deprived as I now am by sad misfortune, can only prop itself up
with the weak comfort of some indefinable hope (of seeing William Peter
after death) (_Complete Works_, p. 1706).

Interestingly, Bevington combines aspects of Sean's reading and of mine.

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 03 Jul 2002 15:51:48 -0700
Subject: 13.1581 Re: Identity of W.S.
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1581 Re: Identity of W.S.

Just to add to Bruce's argument that "to live on in 'name' does not
preclude Peter's living on 'in his proper self'", I would mention that
Thomas More's "Pageant Verses" allowed for both possibilities, as well.
In this verse collection (which originally accompanied a series of
wall-hangings), "Fame" defeats "Death", but then "Fame" is defeated by
"Time", which in turn is defeated by "Eternity".

Cheers,
Se

 

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