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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: August ::
Re: Tillyard (Again)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1573  Thursday, 7 August 2003

From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Aug 2003 10:39:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 14.1563 Re: Tillyard (Again)
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1563 Re: Tillyard (Again)

Terence Hawkes faults Tillyard for the logical leaps in his conclusions:

>This kind of assertion is then bolstered by 'can't lose' reasoning of
>the following sort:
>
>'There are so few references to the Pauline scheme of redemption in the
>sonneteers and dramatists that this insistence on its being essential to
>the Elizabethan world picture might well be disputed. Yet this very
>scarcity is a sign of extreme familiarity . . .' ('The Elizabethan World
>Picture', London: Chatto, 1943. p 16).
>
>Breathtaking or what?

I think I would fault Tillyard for the errors in the premises of that
conclusion. First, of course, is the problem of defining what the
"Pauline scheme of redemption" is. It is hardly as unitary a concept as
the phrase would suggest. Indeed, I think a number of plays do
investigate the religious concepts of redemption among their central
concerns. A short list would include Love's Labor's Lost; Two Gentlemen
of Verona; Much Ado About Nothing; Thomas Dekker's Honest Whore plays; A
Mad World, My Masters; Michaelmas Term; David and Bethsabe; etc.

Jack Heller
Huntington College

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