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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: January ::
Re: Shakespeare and Research
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.087  Monday, 20 January 2003

[1]     From:   R.A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jan 2003 07:49:43 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.084 Re: Shakespeare and Research

[2]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jan 2003 06:28:27 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.084 Re: Shakespeare and Research

[3]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jan 2003 22:46:26 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: Shakespeare and Research


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R.A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jan 2003 07:49:43 -0600
Subject: 14.084 Re: Shakespeare and Research
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.084 Re: Shakespeare and Research

>Shakespeare would not have been the first to
>parlay this access into a successful literary career.

I think you may have the cart before. Shakespeare's success during the
90's gained him the station, but your point about his access to the
library is an avenue that wants careful examination. Most studies of
"Shakespeare's Reading" approach the matter rather narrowly through the
plays (Hazlitt, Anders, Rowse, Bullough, Miola) and don't range through
the landscape for other beginning vantages.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell
<
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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jan 2003 06:28:27 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.084 Re: Shakespeare and Research
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.084 Re: Shakespeare and Research

James Conlan writes, "As far as Shakespeare's access to higher
education, we might do well to expand our understanding of Shakespeare's
possibilities beyond the geographical limits of England: most scholars
have assumed that since Shakespeare did not attend Oxford or Cambridge
that he had only a grammar school education and perhaps a practical
education in the law as a scrivener of sorts.  However, as the scion of
recusant gentry, Shakespeare had both the means and the motive to study
abroad.  Education abroad would have resulted in a knowledge of Italian
and French language, culture, and the specifics of geography, in
addition to nautical language--exactly that sort of education that
anti-Stratfordians say he lacked.  Had past Shakespeareans been willing
to entertain a more flexible understanding of Shakespeare's biography,
there would have been little need to invent an anti-Stratfordian
hypothesis to explain the identity of the author of Shakespeare's
plays."

Well, precisely my point is illuminated by these remarks, and I thank
the author for them.  Thus, moving forward: do we know of a window of
opportunity in terms of time within his biographical dates in which Will
Shakespeare's research about the world could have included higher
education; a time of research development at a practical job, say at
law, or whatever; or study abroad?  Your remarks [not cited above] about
his access to the royal library makes sense.

I am one Shakespearean who is willing to "entertain a more flexible
understanding" of his bio, but surely there are facts there, worth
reviewing, and cataloging for SHAKSPEReans, already known--but not
looked at in relationship to his research for writing his plays?  For
instance, do we know where he got his background materials for his
ancient history plays: Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra?

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jan 2003 22:46:26 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare and Research

James Conlan suggested: "as the scion of recusant gentry, Shakespeare
had both the means and the motive to study abroad."

It would be more productive if James could define the term "recusant"
and clarify (with evidence if possible) which gentlemen with whom
Shakespeare had association were recusants. If he didn't, his argument
might be an empty blow to Shakespeare biographers he is challenging.

Best wishes,
Takashi Kozuka

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