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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: King John, Titus, Peele
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1051  Monday, 2 June 2003

[1]     From:   Bob Grumman <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 Jun 2003 21:29:38 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1020 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

[2]     From:   Jim Carroll <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 Jun 2003 22:12:08 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1003 Re: King John, Titus, Peele 2

[3]     From:   Jim Carroll <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 Jun 2003 22:42:13 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1013 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

[4]     From:   Bill Lloyd <
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        Date:   Monday, 2 Jun 2003 00:49:36 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1020 Re: King John, Titus, Peele


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 Jun 2003 21:29:38 -0400
Subject: 14.1020 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1020 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

>Mr. Carroll may cling to his beliefs and convictions
>as stubbornly as he likes, but he has no reliable evidence for them,

The testimony of Heminges and Condell is not reliable evidence?

To leave the debate, though, I have a question about Elizabethan
collaboration in the writing of plays.  How was it generally done?  For
instance, Archer and Shaw collaborated by having Archer write plot and
Shaw do the dialogue.  Or did the authors sit around and make
suggestions to each other and in this way write all the scenes
together?  Or did one write a very rough draft and the other tone it
up?  How much is known of the process?

It strikes me as interesting that our neo-disintegrators are giving
Peele ALL of Titus's beginning through Act II, scene ii, and then
nothing-except 4.1. That seems odd to me.  I could see Peele starting
the play and then abandoning it, or being so slow with it that whoever
he was writing for fired him, and gave what he had done to that point to
Shakespeare.  But where, then, did 4.1 come from?

I prefer to think Titus, which I consider Shakespeare's worst play with
the possible exception of Timon of Athens and the Henry VI trilogy, was
his first play, and that he may have been greatly influenced by Peele
during its writing, but gradually came into his own.  My own first play,
even worse than Titus, started as an imitation of Aeschylus, but
gradually loosened out of that--into, I fear, something worse.

I think Shakespeare collaborated early in his career, actually or in
effect (by rewriting others' plays) but that those plays are lost--or
have come to be attributed to others, perhaps after further revisions by
others.  Yes, mere speculation.

--Bob G.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Carroll <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 Jun 2003 22:12:08 EDT
Subject: 14.1003 Re: King John, Titus, Peele 2
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1003 Re: King John, Titus, Peele 2

Ward Elliott <
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 > wrote on
Wednesday, 21 May 2003 12:56:16 -0700:

>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.

I wonder why you are referring to the 1994 study, when you have adjusted
and altered the tests and results many times since then? Donald Foster
effectively demolished the validity of your studies in his paper "The
Claremont Authorship Clinic: How Severe Are the Problems?", (Computers
and the Humanities, vol. 32, 491-510, 1999). Apart from the problems he
noted in that paper and a previous paper ("Response to Elliott and
Valenza, "And Then There Were None"", CHUM, vol 32, 247-255), it makes
no sense to compare some of Shakespeare's early plays to a baseline of
later plays, or some of Shakespeare's later plays to a baseline of
earlier plays. I'm afraid that all you may have accomplished is to show
that some of Shakespeare's linguistic habits changed with time, which we
already know. It would make much more sense to compare each play
individually to all the other plays combined, and to compare each play
to a smaller group of plays written at about the same time. For example,
if one of Shakespeare's traits, such as the frequency of feminine
endings, increased steadily with time, the earliest and latest plays
will lie far outside the average of the plays in the middle. That's
doesn't mean they are not by Shakespeare, it means that his use of that
linguistic feature changed with time. One also has to wonder why 51
tests are used. Why not 60? or 75? or 103? And why, in your 2001 paper
(Literary and Linguistic Computing, vol. 16, 205-232) do you use only 33
tests to compare the Peter Funeral Elegy to Shakespeare, and then in the
same paper use 29 tests to compare Ford to the Funeral Elegy?

What happened to the original 51? Shouldn't the same single group of
tests be applied to Shakespeare, Ford and the Elegy?  The entire
enterprise strikes me as a rather unscientific cooking of the books.
Robertson picked and chose in a rather primitive way when he tried to
disintegrate the Shakespearean canon; now it seems that the picking and
choosing has become as convoluted as a Rube Goldberg contraption, but
it's still picking and choosing. Any attribution methodology that
results in "A Lover's Complaint" being rejected from the canon (which
your 2001 study concludes) is seriously flawed.

Jim Carroll

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Carroll <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 Jun 2003 22:42:13 EDT
Subject: 14.1013 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1013 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

Holger Schott <
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 > wrote,

>Jim Carroll and his supporters take a more impressionistic
>approach (note his emphasis on his "sense" that _Titus_ is wholly
>Shakespearean, and his insistence on his "belief" [which, I should say,
>I find a more honest word to use in this context than "knowledge" or
>"certainty"...]), and remain unconvinced by the sort of evidence Vickers
>et al. marshal (although Carroll also deals some pretty crippling blows
>to that evidence!).

I don't believe that my perception of the difference between the first
two acts of Pericles and the last three came by intuition or
impressions, just a recognition that the verse styles of the two
sections are quite different, as well as the characterization. Just
because I said I "believe" that the first two acts of Pericles are not
by Shakespeare doesn't mean that I don't have hard evidence for it, I
just didn't want to take the time to go through what seems obvious to me
in that post, but I will now.

In the first two acts, every character, with the exception of the
fishermen who speak in prose in act 2, speaks with the same monotonous
phrasing.  Even without  considering the presence of numerous couplets,
all the characters seem to think in regular units of one, two or three
whole lines.  I've broken up the continuous speeches of these characters
with spaces to highlight the effect:

Pericles:
Antiochus, I thank thee, who hath taught
My frail mortality to know itself,

And by those fearful objects to prepare
This body, like to them, to what I must;

For death remembered should be like a mirror,
Who tells us life's but breath, to trust it error.

I'll make my will then, and, as sick men do,
Who know the world, see heaven, but, feeling woe,
Gripe not at earthly joys as erst they did;

So I bequeath a happy peace to you
And all good men, as every prince should do;

My riches to the earth from whence they came;
But my unspotted fire of love to you.

Thus ready for the way of life or death,
I wait the sharpest blow, Antiochus. (Per. 1.1.41-55)

Antiochus:
He hath found the meaning,
For which we mean to have his head.

He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy,
Nor tell the world Antiochus doth sin
In such a loathed manner;

And therefore instantly this prince must die;
For by his fall my honour must keep high. (Per. 1.1.143-149)

Pericles:
What I have been I have forgot to know;
But what I am, want teaches me to think on:

A man throng'd up with cold; my veins are chill,
And have no more of life than may suffice
To give my tongue that heat to ask your help;

Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,
For that I am a man, pray see me buried. (Per. 2.1.71-77)

These are just examples; with few exceptions, this monotonous,
end-stopped, jingly style of verse is characteristic of the first two
acts of Pericles. It's true that Shakespeare has done this before, but
not extended continuously over two whole acts. For example, in Love's
Labour's Lost:

Berowne:
Necessity will make us all forsworn
Three thousand times within this three years' space;

For every man with his affects is born,
Not by might mast'red, but by special grace.

If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:
I am forsworn on mere necessity.

So to the laws at large I write my name;
And he that breaks them in the least degree
Stands in attainder of eternal shame.

Suggestions are to other as to me;

But I believe, although I seem so loath,
I am the last that will last keep his oath.

But is there no quick recreation granted? (LLL 1.1.149-161)

But in LLL, Shakespeare is quick to break the monotony of this verse
style with prose, and these differences extend over characters, so the
King, for example, can speak both verse and prose in act 1, and the
verse is varied enough that we can see thoughts extended over 4 or more
lines. But in Pericles we have to wait until act 3 for Pericles to begin
speaking in a more natural voice. In this example, I've broken up the
pauses in the lines to show how now the characters thoughts are now
expressed in units of less than and more than whole line units:

Pericles:
Thou god of this great vast, rebuke these surges,
Which wash both heaven and hell;
                                                  and thou that hast
Upon the winds command, bind them in brass,
Having call'd them from the deep!
                                                         O, still
Thy deaf'ning dreadful thunders; gently quench
Thy nimble sulphurous flashes!-
                                           O, how, Lychorida,
How does my queen?-
                                Thou stormest venomously;
Wilt thou spit all thyself?
                                 The seaman's whistle
Is as a whisper in the ears of death,
Unheard.
                         -Lychorida!-
                                                   Lucina, O
Divinest patroness, and midwife gentle
To those that cry by night, convey thy deity
Aboard our dancing boat;
                                    make swift the pangs
Of my queen's travails! (Per. 3.1.1-14)

So in other words, there is a lot more enjambment beginning with act 3.
What becomes a festival of styles in LLL is just a boring mannerism in
the first two acts of Pericles. In addition, the flat characterization
in the first two acts results in many more asides, 18 by my count in the
first two acts, while there are only 3 asides in the final three acts.
It's pretty obvious to me that unlike the Shakespearean writer of the
last three acts, who is capable of revealing the inner life and action
of his characters through dialogue, the writer of the first two acts
needs a great many asides to pass the same kind of information on to the
audience.

I think you could argue that the first two acts are early Shakespeare,
but then you have to say that Shakespeare stuck the first two acts into
his desk for a long time, and then pulled it out and finished it without
revising them. A consistent variation seems to be the hallmark of
Shakespeare's art, and it's hard to see why he would have chosen to
present the play in this form if he had done it all himself.

The case of Pericles is, as I see it, entirely different from that of
Titus. In Titus, the first act is just as Shakespearean in design as any
play by Shakespeare, and unlike any play by Peele. The only resemblances
to Peele are in short segments of verse, and most of those are common to
both Shakespeare elsewhere and Peele.

>As is evident from Carroll's second post, on repetition in _R3_, he is
>far more interested in persuasive and/or powerful interpretations than
>in attribution.

No, I'm very interested in attribution, and in particular the use of
computers in attribution studies. I just think that some of the studies
aren't very good, and in fact the use of computers is in some cases
being used in a picking and choosing fashion to support whatever thesis
the investigator fancies beforehand. They are using technology as a way
of hiding the truth, in a way is more difficult and convoluted to
disprove than some of the earlier methods of attribution.

Jim Carroll

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Lloyd <
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Date:           Monday, 2 Jun 2003 00:49:36 EDT
Subject: 14.1020 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1020 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

I think I'll bow out of the Titus-Peele thread-- anything useful I have
to say on the subject has been said several times. Graham Hall's points
about the dangers of extrapolating from conjecture and intolerance
toward dissenting opinions are well taken. But my perception is that the
attribution studies of [among others] Hoy, Jackson, Lake, Taylor &
Vickers generally take care to shore up their conjectures and
extrapolate carefully, and that the intolerance is more apparent on the
side of the sceptics who seem to dismiss the linguistic and other
evidence without really engaging it. Brian Vickers' patient explanation
in his last post of how Shakespeare's artful use of repetition in
Richard III differs from the rote repetitive structures of the early
scenes of Titus is quite persuasive -- at least I find it to be so. It
is also worth noting that Vickers began as a sceptic himself but was
convinced by the accumulated evidence.

There are many things we take for granted that can't really be proven,
but that we accept because of repeated persuasive arguments or the
general weight of the evidence rings true. We accept that Shakespeare's
Hamlet as we know it was written about 1600 and not in 1589 when a
Hamlet play was first mentioned. Facts... is it a fact that Richard
Burbage was the first Macbeth? I bet most people would say so, but there
is in fact no hard EVIDENCE that he was. For me there's a point at
which, e.g.,  Middleton's authorship of The Revenger's Tragedy, or
Fletcher's participation in Henry VIII, though they began as speculation
and were extrapolated thru internal evidence, have been argued so
thoroughly so many times that I just accept them, and get on with life.
If someone can actually un-prove them, so be it; but until they do, they
are working-hypotheses-approaching-facts. And, yes, it is frustrating
when someone dismisses these arguments out of hand, or dissents based on
a gut feeling, or nibbles around the edges of the evidence and thinks
the arguments demolished. I guess it doesn't hurt to be 'tolerant' of
those opinions, but it's hard to take them very seriously.

I apologize again for accusing the Arden Pericles of the sins of the New
Cambridge Pericles.

To Mr. Parris I can only say, "whatever..."

Regards,
Bill Lloyd

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