2003

Claiudius' Incestuous Marriage

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0115  Thursday, 23 January 2003

From:           David Friedberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jan 2003 21:51:53 -0500
Subject:        Claiudius' Incestuous Marriage

Dear Colleagues,

I may have commented before that I doubted the Bible forbade the
marriage of a man with his dead brother's widow, and posited that the
proscription that is the underpinning of the story of Hamlet is to be
found in the Book of Common Prayer.  This Anglican document was
formulated with the story of the marriages and annulments of Henry VIII
in mind.  Such remarriage was not prohibited as far as I know in the
laws of Denmark or the laws of the Lutheran Church, but of course Hamlet
is a play about England in the seventeenth century, is it not?

I checked out the scriptures and found the following, courtesy of the
Landover Baptist Church:

Genesis 38:7-10

"And Er, Judah's first born, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and
the Lord slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's
wife and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that
the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto
his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he
should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased
the Lord: wherefore he slew him also"

Deuteronomy 25:5-10

"If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the
wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger; her husband's
brother shall go in unto her . . . And if the man like not to take his
brother's wife . . . then his brother's wife shall come unto him in the
presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot and spit in
his face . . . And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him
that hath his shoe loosed"

It is quite clear to me that Claudius was quite innocent in this matter,
behaving as the Lord wished.  I don't know if WS would have commented if
Claudius like Onan had spilled his seed on the ground.

As for Gertrude, I am not so sure. Her o'erhasty remarriage had
certainly saved the shoes with which he followed my poor father's body
etc etc  Even more thrift Horatio

David Friedberg

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Shakespeare and the Veneto

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0114  Thursday, 23 January 2003

From:           Sophie Masson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 23 Jan 2003 10:52:12 +1100
Subject:        Shakespeare and the Veneto

Dear fellow SHAKSPEReans:

Prior to a visit in May to the Veneto, to research a possible sequel to
my novel, The Tempestuous Voyage of Hopewell Shakespeare, I am following
up all kinds of leads and information on the sources of and influences
on Shakespeare's 'contemporary Italian' plays: The Merchant of Venice,
Romeo and Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the
Shrew..(I'll also be briefly visiting the Primorska region of Slovenia,
or 'Illyria'!), but not Messina, in Sicily) This makes a kind of grid of
reference: Verona: Padua: Mantua: Venice. (We'll be staying actually
very close to Petrarch's home village!

I wanted to know whether there had been any books or articles written
around the topic, including anything on people WS knew in London who
came from that area, or guidebooks, histories, etc, that may have been
written.  I know of course of John Florio, but his family was
Florentine; and I have also read various bits and pieces about Emilia
Bassanio Lanier, whose father was half-Venetian and half-Jewish. I would
be grateful for any tidbits of information, including useful places to
visit in the Veneto!

Thanks,
Sophie Masson

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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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.

Re: Shakespeare and Yiddish

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0112  Thursday, 23 January 2003

From:           Fran Barasch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jan 2003 09:23:32 EST
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare and Yiddish

YIVO News (Winter 2002) has announced that 12 Yiddish MSS translations
of MoV, held at the YIVO library, are now available on a new CD-ROM.
The library also has a copy of Dror Abend-David's dissertation (NYU
2001), "`Scorned My Nation': A Comparison of Translations of THE
MERCHANT OF VENICE into German, Hebrew, and Yiddish."  Another library
holding mentioned is "Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage" (Iowa
UP, 2002) by Joel Berkowitz.  Apologies if these items have been posted
before.

Fran Barasch

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
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Publication / Mythological Allusions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0113  Thursday, 23 January 2003

From:           Joe Canzoneri <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jan 2003 15:19:07 -0500
Subject:        Publication / Mythological Allusions

Hi-

I'm working on a text / workbook of sorts for high-school and junior
college level students that contains 100 excerpts from various
Shakespeare plays.  I'm in the process of preparing glosses for
difficult words / allusions.  I'm trying to keep things simple-- this is
not to be an Ardenesque text.  Is there a standard, comprehensive source
for mythological allusions that I can rely upon and cite in the
introduction?

Thanks!
Joe Canzoneri

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

Donald Foster on William Strachey

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0111  Thursday, 23 January 2003

From:           Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 20 Jan 2003 19:16:56 EST
Subject:        Donald Foster on William Strachey

The Puritan was registered August 6, 1607, by George Eld, and printed by
him in the same year. The title page reads, "The Puritaine Or The Widdow
of Watling-streete. Acted by the Children of Paules. Written by W.S. (EK
Chambers, Elizabethan Stage, IV, p.41-2)

In his 1989 book, <Elegy By W.S. A Study in Attribution>, Donald Foster
discussed the WS attribution of The Puritan in these terms: "One
possibility is that William Strachey sold the manuscript to Eld,
representing it as his own work. . . It was in the summer of 1607 that
Strachey returned to London in dire financial straits from his sojourn
in Constantinople; and since The Puritaine was acted by the Children of
St.  Paul's, in which Strachey was a principal shareholder, he must have
had access to the script." (266-7)

According to Foster's acknowledged "principal source," SG Culliford's
biography, Strachey apparently left Constantinople on May 24, 1607, in
the company of former ambassador Lello and Hugh Holland. Lello was in
Venice on September 16 and was in London by November 17. Holland
apparently continued to the Holy Land and was home by the beginning of
1608.  "Strachey's presence is recorded on June 20, 1608, twelve months
after he left Constantinople." (Culliford, 89)

How does Foster place Strachey in London by August 6, 1607?

Strachey was not a share-holder of the Children of Paul's, but of The
Children of the Queen's Revels, a rival company, and Strachey would not
have had access to The Puritan playbook.  (Culliford, 54-5)

Has anyone noted these two significant errors before? Foster combines
them in one sentence to form his evidence that the WS of The Puritan may
have stood for Strachey. This obvious error in turn justified chapters
on William Strachey as possible author of "A Funerall Elegye" by W.S.,
printed by Eld in 1612.  (203-22 and 276-90)

In June, 2002 Don Foster agreed that his case for Shakespeare as
Elegye's author was wrong, when he said, "The 1612 quarto may have
invited its first readers to take "W.S." for William Shakespeare . . . "
Foster had also invited readers to make that connection, but he seems
now to have gone out of his way to suggest that the same initials would
not have stood for Shakespeare in Eld's printing of The Puritan.

Brian Vickers has recently published a devastating critique of Foster's
methods and conclusions. I think it will be helpful if his factual
errors in respect of William Strachey are explained before they further
prejudice observers of his scholarship.

Gerald E. Downs

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

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