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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Re: Woodstock
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1391  Tuesday, 8 July 2003

[1]     From:   Kevin De Ornellas <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Jul 2003 14:56:05 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1379 Re: The Final Scene of Richard the Second...

[2]     From:   Michael Egan <
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        Date:   Monday, 7 Jul 2003 09:36:32 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1378 Re: Richard and Bolingbroke

[3]     From:   Ward Elliott <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Jul 2003 12:39:29 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1379 Re: The Final Scene of Richard the Second.

[4]     From:   Hugh Grady <
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        Date:   Monday, 7 Jul 2003 17:19:57 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1379 Re: The Final Scene of Richard the Second...


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kevin De Ornellas <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 07 Jul 2003 14:56:05 +0000
Subject: 14.1379 Re: The Final Scene of Richard the Second...
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1379 Re: The Final Scene of Richard the Second...

Ann Carrigan <
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 > writes,

>I am curious, do SHAKSPERians agree with the endorsement of Thomas of
>Woodstock as a Part One of Richard II, and authorship by Shakespeare?

I, for one, do not accept it.

>How do others respond to "Woodstock" as brother to "Richard II"?

It is a totally unsatisfactory, speculative way to address 'Woodstock'.
It seems to me that both 'Richard II' and 'Woodstock' are
self-contained, historical tragedies.  Although we can't be absolutely
certain how the imperfect MS-only 'Woodstock' would have ended, it is
surely right to think that both of the plays dramatise the downfall of
figures that could not survive (for very different reasons) within the
political milieux that they are initially entrenched in, but later
become ostracised from.  The two plays are no more nor no less connected
with one another than, say, Marlowe's 'Edward II' and Heywood's 'Edward
IV' I & II'.

Kevin De Ornellas
Queen's University,
Belfast

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Egan <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 7 Jul 2003 09:36:32 -1000
Subject: 14.1378 Re: Richard and Bolingbroke
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1378 Re: Richard and Bolingbroke

There is no doubt that 1 Richard II was often revived well into the 17th
century; the condition of the MS., which is thumbed, worn and frequently
edited, puts that point beyond contention. My objection was to the
precision of the revival dates proposed. There is just no hard
evidence.  The earliest recorded performance of the play (so far as I
have been able to discover) is in fact 1973.

The composition date 1592-3 is not a widely accepted hypothesis. Years
as far apart as 1591 and 1608 have been suggested, recent opinion
tending towards the latter. The dates I offer are based on a close
internal analysis of the play's features together with what is generally
known about the Elizabethan/Jacobean theater.  Macd. P. Jackson makes a
careful and well-argued case for S. Rowley; the fact that I disagree in
no way diminishes my respect for his work or general contribution to
Shakespeare studies. Anyone curious about the play's date should read
his essay. It is logically and factually flawed but that does not lessen
its interest. I'm sure that when my book appears both and David Lake
will have a lot to say in response. Good luck to them.

The cryptic marginal references to George, Toby and G ad, etc., in the
Egerton 1994 MS. may or may not refer to actors. Even if they do, the
leap from what may be either first or last names to specific
identifications can't be justified.

I think it doesn't help to play with the word 'hypothesis.' Evolution
and the Big Bang, etc., are also hypotheses, while almost everything we
think we know about Shakespeare is 'hypothesis' too, including such
undoubted facts that he attended the Stratford grammar school and hung
around with lawyers. That there is a convergence of agreement about
certain things doesn't make them any less 'hypothetical' in the sense of
lacking hard evidence.

I include in the above the current general 'agreement' that Shakespeare
did not write 1 Richard II. To this I respond (until my book appears) by
quoting  Schoenbaum's Seventh Principle of Attribution (Internal
Evidence and Elizabethan Dramatic Authorship: An Essay in Literary
History and Method ( Northwestern U.P.), p. 178.), developed
specifically as a guide to identifying the writers of anonymous
Elizabethan plays:  'Intuitions, convictions, and subjective judgments
generally, carry no weight as evidence. This no matter how learned,
respected or confident the authority.'

While opinion and inference are unavoidable in any debate, I base my
case for Shakespeare's authorship on the hardest possible evidence, e.g.
the well-thumbed MS. I know it is unsatisfactory to put matters thus but
it's a long and detailed argument requiring the close reading of many
sources.  This is not the place to present it.

--Michael

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ward Elliott <
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Date:           Monday, 07 Jul 2003 12:39:29 -0700
Subject: 14.1379 Re: The Final Scene of Richard the Second...
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1379 Re: The Final Scene of Richard the Second...

Woodstock got 23 rejections in the Shakespeare Clinic's tests, 20 more
than the two most-rejected on Shakespeare's own core plays.  It seems a
highly unlikely Shakespeare ascription.  It is loaded with
Middleton-trademark contractions like I'm and you're, but seems an
unlikely Middleton ascription on external evidence, since Middleton is
thought to have been no more than 15 years old when Woodstock appeared.

Ward Elliott

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http://govt.claremontmckenna.edu/welliott/index.htm

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh Grady <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 7 Jul 2003 17:19:57 -0400
Subject: 14.1379 Re: The Final Scene of Richard the Second...
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1379 Re: The Final Scene of Richard the Second...

"Established fact"? On the same level as the Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction==and by the same mains, claiming it is so loudly.

Hugh Grady

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