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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: King John, Titus, Peele 2
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1003  Thursday, 22 May 2003

[5]     From:   Ward Elliott <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 21 May 2003 12:56:16 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.0927 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

[6]     From:   Jim Carroll <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 21 May 2003 23:45:20 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0994 Re: King John, Titus, Peele


[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ward Elliott <
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Date:           Wednesday, 21 May 2003 12:56:16 -0700
Subject: 14.0927 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.0927 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

Stylometric evidence developed by the Claremont Shakespeare Clinic in
1994 gives much stronger support to Brian Vickers and the
"disintegrationists" who think that much of the Shakespeare Canon is
co-authored, than to the "integrationists," who think that Shakespeare
wrote everything.

Table One below shows updated Shakespeare Clinic rejection rates for
selected passages of Shakespeare "dubitanda," which disintegrationists
have traditionally considered doubtful, other-authored, or co-authored.

Table One
Rejection rates for selected passages from the Shakespeare Dubitanda

Dubitanda Selection             Number of Words Rejections

Henry VI, Part I                        20595       10
Henry VIII (Fletcher's part)            7158        16
Pericles, Acts 1-2                      7839        15
Timon of Athens                 17704   15
Two Noble Kinsmen (Fletcher's part)     14668       18
Titus Andronicus                        19835        7
Titus Andronicus, early stratum 10609   15

Shakespeare Core Profile
Lower (R3, ten other plays)                          0
Upper (Hamlet, Pericles 3-5)                         3

None of the 32 plays in our core-Shakespeare baseline had more than 3
rejections in 51 tests.  None of the 51 plays by other identified
authors had fewer than 11 rejections.  The high rejection rates for
Dubitanda selections, above, strongly indicate the presence of another's
hand, though not necessarily the total absence of Shakespeare's.  Stated
differently, the composite odds that Shakespeare wrote  Henry VI, Part
I  by himself are millions of times lower than the odds that he wrote
Hamlet by himself.

One important caution:  all our tests are sensitive to sample block size
because large blocks average out more variance than small ones.  We
consider our 51-test results, above, better-validated for full-length
plays -- say, 14,000 words or more -- than for shorter blocks, which may
call for a shorter battery of tests.  We are still exploring the shorter
batteries' accuracy with shorter blocks with encouraging results down to
1,500 words, but don't yet have data for the Dubitanda.  Also, we can't
say much about the other candidates at this point, just that that the
passages in question are not likely to be Shakespeare's. But, even if we
ignore every passage in Table 1 under 14,000 words, the remaining
evidence against Shakespeare's sole authorship of Henry VI, Part I,
Timon of Athens, Two Noble Kinsmen, and Titus Andronicus still seems to
us overwhelming.  On our evidence, the disintegrationists have it
right.  Like most screenwriters today, Shakespeare was a co-author, as
well as an author.

Fuller discussion may be found in our "And Then There Were None:
Winnowing the Shakespeare Claimants," Computers and the Humanities
30:191 (1996), and updated results in Computers and the Humanities
32:425, 446-490 (1999).

Ward Elliott

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Carroll <
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Date:           Wednesday, 21 May 2003 23:45:20 EDT
Subject: 14.0994 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0994 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

Brian Vickers <
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 > wrote on Monday, 19 May
2003 12:30:17 :

[snip]
>Secondly, Jackson pointed to a bibliographical idiosyncracy, that Q1 of
>Titus has some curious stage directions serving also as speech headings,
>the hybrid being centred, as in

>            'Marcus Andronicus with the Crowne' (1.1.17).

>No other speech heading is given: cf. also 'Enter a Captaine' (1.1.64),
>who speaks 6 lines without a separate speech heading; 'Enter Lavinia'
>(1.1.156), a cue followed by her 8-line speech; and 1.1.355, 357, 386.
>Jackson established  that this curious hybrid is found neither in the
>Folio nor in any of the Shakespeare Quartos, but occurs in exactly the
>same form in the 1593 Quarto Edward I (I have provided plates of both
>Quartos in Shakespeare, Co-Author, pp. 212-3), and in 20 other instances
>from this play. This centred stage direction, doubling up as a speech
>heading, occurs 11 times in Peele's Araygnement of Paris (1584), 6 times
>in The Battle of Alcazar (1594), and 6 times in David and Bethsabe
>(1599). In other words, the compositors of these five Quarto faithfully
>reproduced Peele's time-saving practice.

This sounds impressive until you actually read Jackson's paper. He gives
about 20 examples from Shakespeare that are similar, and qualifies them
by saying "Nearly all these exceptional cases fall into recognizable
categories, and the remainder seem to be due to "bad quarto"
carelessness." Note the "nearly" and "seem to".

>Thirdly, Brian Boyd's analysis of 'Common Words in Titus Andronicus: The
>Presence of Peele', Notes and Queries, 240 (1995): 300-07 showed that
>Act I of Titus contains a remarkable amount of repetition, extending
>Dover Wilson's demonstration of its mechanical echoing of stereotyped
>formulae in a wholly unShakespearian manner. Carroll falls below
>scholarly standards when he says that 'the writer of act 1 of Titus
>partially repeats himself at a few points': it is in fact massive
>repetition (see Titus, ed. John Dover Wilson, 1948, pp. xxviii ff.; my
>book, 167-8). Boyd quoted 4 speeches from Act I of Titus and italicized
>the repeated phrases, which amount to '57 repetitions in 38 lines, or
>one in just over two-thirds of a line'; a comparable sequence in The
>Battle of Alcazar achieves '42 repetitions in 29 lines, or again one in
>just over every two thirds of a line', displaying several other Peele
>stylistic tics. Speaking of Peele's 'repetition compulsion', Boyd
>juxtaposed it with Shakespeare, who 'of all the writers in the world ...
>is the furthest from the automatism here'. Does Mr.  Carroll disagree?

You bet. Boyd's description of the repetition in Titus covers only the
brief portion between lines 31-67 (in the Riverside). He claims that
there are "57 repetitions in 38 lines, or one in just over two-thirds of
a line (1:0.68)." I assume that he is including the two and a half lines
excised from the F1 edition that are included in the Q1 version, and
leaving out Bassianus' line ("Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor) to
come up with the figure of 38. He highlights the repetitions in italic,
but a check of the italicized words shows that only some of them are
repeated in the 38 line section. Some are repeated as early as line 1,
or as late as line 151. He tells us this only his footnotes. He also has
a strange way of counting repetitions, since he counts the original
appearance of the word as a repetition. If you just count repetitions, I
come up with 27 repetitions in the 38 line segment. But by including
repetitions that occur outside the 38 line portion, and by counting
every appearance of the word, he comes up with a figure that is almost
exactly equal (1:0.69) to the figure derived from a portion of Peele's
text (29 lines from the Battle of Alcazar).

Boyd can then claim that "Not only is this repetition compulsion
decidedly not Shakespeare's, it is just as decidedly the hallmark of
Peele."

This is a perfect example of what I have been trying to say concerning
the apparent likenesses between Peele's work and Act 1 of Titus. No
attempt was made to find other excerpts from Shakespeare to see if
repetition was used in similar ways, or to look at other authors to see
if repetition was a commonplace technique in plays of the early 1590's.
In fact, there is at least one portion of a Shakespeare play that is
almost identical to the first Act of Titus. To find this likeness, I
think you have to consider why Shakespeare might have used the
repetition that he did in writing the opening act of Titus. The opening
of the scene is extremely formal, with two political parties contending
for the throne, and a third party, the tribunes (represented by Marcus)
mediating between the two. The portions of dialogue that Boyd focuses on
are meant to portray, I think, a very strongly sublimated viciousness, a
sense that the two parties would tear themselves to pieces without the
formality of the rites involved in the election to hold them back. The
repetition is just a controlled anger, almost sarcasm, as the three
parties bicker amongst each other. If we look to Richard III, there is
another scene of strangled emotion, that of the three noblewomen in act
4, scene 4. There they discuss what Richard has done and what his
actions mean with a formality that prevents them from openly shrieking
in despair, tearing at their clothes. The first 150 lines have the kind
of repetition found in the first 150 lines of Titus (I choose 150
because one of Boyd's repetitions occurs at 1.1.151 of Titus). In Titus,
the words "honour" and "nobility" appear many times, entirely
appropriate in a scene where Titus' adherence to his ideas of honor and
nobility are about to be tested. In R3 4.4, the words death/died/dying,
woe/woes, kill/killed are repeated many times. I won't reproduce the
entire 150 line section, but instead focus, as Boyd did, on one section
of 38 consecutive lines. I've removed the speech prefixes here, three
persons are talking, the Duchess of York, Queen Margaret and Queen
Elizabeth:

R3 4.4.17-54:

So many miseries have crazed my voice,
That my WOE-wearied tongue is mute and dumb,
EDWARD PLANTAGENET, why art thou DEAD?
PLANTAGENET doth quit PLANTAGENET.
EDWARD for EDWARD pays a DYING debt.
Wilt thou, O God, fly from such GENTLE LAMBS,
And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?
When holy Harry DIED, and my sweet son.
Blind sight, DEAD LIFE, poor mortal living ghost,
WOE'S scene, world's shame, GRAVE'S due by LIFE usurp'd,
Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
REST thy UNREST on England's LAWFUL earth,
UNLAWFULLY made drunk with innocents' BLOOD!
O, that thou wouldst as well afford a GRAVE
As thou canst yield a melancholy seat!
Then would I hide my bones, not REST them here.
O, who hath any cause to mourn but I?
If ancient SORROW be most reverend,
Give mine the benefit of seniory,
And let my WOES frown on the upper hand.
If SORROW can admit society,
Tell o'er your WOES again by viewing mine:
I HAD an EDWARD, till a RICHARD KILL'D HIM;
I HAD a Harry, till a RICHARD KILL'D HIM:
THOU HADST an EDWARD, till a RICHARD KILLED HIM;
Thou HADST a RICHARD, till a RICHARD KILLED HIM;
I HAD a RICHARD too, and thou didst KILL HIM;
I HAD a Rutland too, thou holp'st to KILL HIM.
THOU HADST a Clarence too, and RICHARD KILL'D HIM.
>From forth the kennel of thy WOMB hath crept
A hell-hound that doth hunt us all to DEATH:
That dog, that had his teeth before his EYES,
To worry LAMBS and lap their GENTLE BLOOD,
That foul defacer of God's handiwork,
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth,
That reigns in galled EYES of weeping souls,
Thy WOMB let loose, to chase us to our GRAVES.

Depending on whether or not you want to count the phrases as one
repetition or one for each word ("Richard kill'd him" etc), there are at
least 54 repetitions in this 38 line sequence, almost

the same as Boyd's count for Titus. I'm sure there are more, but I'm not
counting repetitions outside of the 38 line grouping, as Boyd did with
his example. And I wouldn't be surprised at all to find this kind of
thing in Greene, Kyd, Lyly, etc.

Jim Carroll

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