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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: The Strachey Letter
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0857  Wednesday, 7 May 2003

[1]     From:   Bob Grumman <
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        Date:   Friday, 2 May 2003 15:47:06 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0844 Re: The Strachey Letter

[2]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Saturday, 03 May 2003 11:40:40 +0000
        Subj:   Barking Mad


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <
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Date:           Friday, 2 May 2003 15:47:06 -0400
Subject: 14.0844 Re: The Strachey Letter
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0844 Re: The Strachey Letter

>For those who may be interested, there is an informative discussion in
>Diana Price's latest book on the dating of the Tempest by the three most
>cited sources.  The discussion includes mention of Ariosto's ORLANDO
>FURIOSO, and cites several parallel passages found in to the Tempest
>along side of Strachey's letter.  Bob Grumman's comment on the
>importance of literary history is well taken.  Finding sources can be a
>valuable source for interpretation.
>
>Ira

Diana Price, a Shakespeare-rejecting crank, tries to make out that
Shakespeare could as easily have been influenced by Ariosto as by
Strachey. Here's an example of her kind of propaganda.  First, she
quotes Strachey:

"a dreadful storm...which swelling, and roaring as it were by fits...at
length did beat all light from heaven; which like an hell of darkness
turned black upon us..the heavens look'd so black upon us"

Then Ariosto: "With weather so tempestuous and so dark,/ And thick black
clouds ...
......

Nor less, nor much less fearful is the sound/ The cruel tempest in the
tackle makes"

Then from The Tempest (I.ii.2-3):

"Miranda: But the wild waters in this roar, allay them./ The sky, it
seems, would pour down stinking pitch"  She neglects to finish what
Miranda says, to wit: "But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek/
Dashes the fire out."

Obviously, she wants us to think Shakespeare's "black pitch" matches
Ariosto's "thick black" as much as Shakespeare's "roar" matches
Strachey's "roaring," but doesn't want us to notice, or never noticed
herself, that the key image in Strachey, the storm's beating "all light
from heaven" is echoed by Shakespeare's image of the sea's dashing out a
light in the heavens.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Strachey passage were similarly treated.

--Bob G.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Saturday, 03 May 2003 11:40:40 +0000
Subject:        Barking Mad

The storm over the wreck of Old World colonizers of New World
territories as a  source for The Tempest leaves one with a sinking
feeling.  Sources are fair weather friends and far from plain sailing.
Was it not Inga-Stina Ewbank, Cicely Palser Havely, Sister Miriam
Wasername, Molly Mahood or someone of such ilk who pointed out some
score of sources cited for  "bowgh wawgh" i.e. "woof woof" (TLN 526-7)?
Barks and barques, perhaps he just would have heard such tales over a
glass darkly in The Falcon (or whatever it was called in his time) but a
stumble from New Place of a Saturday afternoon.  My old brain is
troubled.

Best,
Graham Hall

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