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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: King John, Titus, Peele
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1182  Friday, 13 June 2003

From:           Bill Lloyd <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 14:16:45 EDT
Subject: 14.1179 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1179 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

I know I said I was out of Peele, but although I usually find Jim
Carroll the most interesting of the Condellists, I was less than
impressed by the shrill tone of his latest reply to Brian Vickers.
Whatever his differences of opinion or perception from Vickers, it is
surely 'bunk' and not a little insulting to suggest that Vickers has not
read the works of Peele.

For what it's worth, I've read all the works of Peele [though some not
for a long time] and I've recently been re-reading Edward I for reasons
having nothing to do with Titus Andronicus. [I suspect that it has been
in a few places revised by someone other than Peele, and I am gathering
evidence-- uh-oh!]  Based on my feel for the verse of Peele and of
[early] Shakespeare, I do find the verse of Edward I reminiscent of the
first Act of Titus-- though again this is not what I was looking for-- I
just happened to notice it. Now if we could only analyse and quantify
what I seem to be perceiving, we could make a case. [Yes, I'm being
silly-- this is what I think Vickers and others have done.]

Here's a brief example. It might be in Vickers' book, but it's been a
while since I read that and I didn't get it from there-- it's straight
from the Yale Peele [v.2 p.145-6].

 Ballioll:  Princes of Scotland and my loving friends,
              Whose necks are over-wearied with the yoke,
              And servile bondage of these Englishmen,
              Lift up your horns, and with your brazen hoofs
              Spurn at the honour of your enemies.
              Tis not ambitious thoughts of private rule,
              Hath forced your king to take on him these arms,
              Tis country's cause, it is the common good,
              Of us and of our brave posterity,
              To arms, to arms.
              Versses by this hath told the king our minds,
              And he hath braved proud England to the proof,
              We will remunerate his resolution,
              With gold, with glory and with kingly gifts.
             [scene 13, lines 2024-2037; spelling but not punctuation
modernized]

I find this reminds me of the verse found in the first act of Titus, but
it's not much use arguing based on perceptions and impressions. We can
all state our opinions, but unless we can agree on a common ground for
discussion we pretty much have to agree to disagree. Jim Carroll [and
some others] don't see what Brian Vickers [and I, and others] see in the
case of Peele and Shakespeare and Titus. He has made some cogent points
but overall I don't find his counterarguments convincing, while I find
that those of Dover Wilson, Vickers and other do ring true. It's my
impression that some parts of Titus are more reminiscent of the works of
Peele than of the works of Shakespeare and the arguments of the
Doverists help me see why.

Regards,
Bill Lloyd

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