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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: King John, Titus, Peele
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1211  Thursday, 19 June 2003

[1]     From:   B. Vickers <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Jun 2003 10:21:10 +0200
        Subj:   SHK14.1179

[2]     From:   Jim Carroll <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 17 Jun 2003 20:19:48 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1182 Re: King John, Titus, Peele


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           B. Vickers <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Jun 2003 10:21:10 +0200
Subject: Comment:        SHK14.1179

Reading Jim Carroll's latest diatribe, I was reminded of the first
sentence of Aristotle's 'Metaphysics': 'All men by nature desire to
know'. But Aristotle hadn't encountered Mr. Carroll. Die-hard
Shakespeare Conservators of his ilk really don't want to know -- know,
that is, anything which might damage their image of Shakespeare's aloof
genius, scorning cooperation. Mr.  Carroll is in denial, and all he can
do is to quote passages from my contributions to this discussion and add
disparaging comments like 'nonsense', 'bunk', or suggest that I've never
read Peele. Some people might feel offended by such cheap insults, but
to me it just shows that Mr.  Carroll's entrenched position is
intellectually bankrupt. His 'need_not_to know' is so strong that he
rejects out of hand any and every argument made by those who, unlike
him, can detect a use of language in four scenes of 'Titus Andronicus'
not only far below Shakespeare's level in its uninventiveness but also
with striking similarities to the work of Peele.

Anyone who has read the 120 pages devoted to 'Titus Andronicus' in my
book 'Shakespeare, Co-Author' (coming out in an affordable paperback
this winter: ISBN 0199269165) will know that Mr. Carroll has not
invalidated any of the findings there. But his postings have confused
many issues, and misrepresented the work of several outstanding
scholars. I'd like to try and clear up some of the errors and
disinformation that Mr. Carroll has vented on this site, for the benefit
of those subscribers -- like Bob Grumman -- who genuinely want to
understand how modern scholarship goes about identifying the two or more
co-authors who can be detected in about sixty surviving plays from the
period 1579-1642. I yield to no-one in my admiration for Shakespeare and
am happy to think that other subscribers to this list share it. But we
do Shakespeare a disservice to put him on a pedestal above his fellows,
and especially if we do so with Mr. Carroll's indiscriminately violent
rejection of evidence that could cause him to reconsider his
convictions. I'd like to number the points, to clarify the discussion so
far. I cite Mr. Carroll's postings of April 14 (SHK 14.0719), 22 (0752),
29 (817); May 12 (854), 16 (956), 22 (1003 -- in 2 parts, a and b); June
2 (1051), 6 (1105), 10 (1152) and 13 (1179).

1. Mr. Carroll seems to have the naive belief that, because one
contribution to a discussion appeared later than another it somehow
displaces or invalidates an earlier one. 'Your strangely inconsistent
statements are almost awe-inspiring in their un-self-awareness', he
writes: 'How is it that my use of a 1996 book by Metz is bad but your
reliance on a 1927 book is not?' (1003a). And again: 'In previous posts
you have complained that I relied on outdated scholarship (in one case,
because it was published in 1996!)'; and: 'Isn't it remarkable that ...
Metz in 1996 was still able to conclude that the case for Peele's
authorship of Titus was unconvincing?' (1179).

But scholarship is judged, not by its date, but by its quality. I
pointed out (26 May; 1013) that a scholarly thesis can be evaluated in
three stages: by the accuracy of its observations, by the completeness
with which it collects data, and by the cogency of its interpretation of
that data, all three processes being subject to testing by others, and
eventual modification. P. W. Timberlake's meticulous analysis of
feminine endings in 'Titus', in his 1926 dissertation, showing the
presence of two different writers, has never been invalidated. Indeed,
Marina Tarlinskaja's work in 1987 confirmed his findings. As for G.
Harold Metz, 'Shakespeare's Earliest Tragedy: Studies in Titus
Andronicus' (1996), reviewers soon indicated its faults: A. B. Taylor
('Notes and Queries' 1998, pp. 249-50) found it a 'disappointment',
complained of Metz's 'constant repetition', his 'uninspired and
extensive summarizing' of other writers' work without doing any research
of his own: 'in the "Authorship" chapter Metz is so involved in what
others think that it is only in the last few lines that he declares his
own unsurprising conclusion that Shakespeare wrote the play'. MacDonald
Jackson ('PBSA' 1998, pp. 90-94) commented that Metz 'offers no critical
and interpretative account of his own', 'adding little, if anything that
is new', only offering the reader a 'steady slog towards familiar
positions', including much 'dutiful regurgitation of the easily
accessible work of other scholars'.

To rest on Metz's accomplishments in Titus scholarship is to rest on
recycled air, or in some cases on a mirage. Metz it was who, with an air
of triumph, seized on the claim by A. Q. Morton that the probability of
Peele's involvement in Titus was 'less than one in ten thousand million'
(a claim which Jonathan Bate endorsed his edition of Titus, but has
recently recanted). I dealt with Morton's stylometry in 'Shakespeare,
Co-Author', and in a posting here on 19 May (974) I stated briefly that
Morton's statistical methods had been discredited. In one of his
choleric one-liners (like Hotspur reading the letter from a reneging
rebel) Mr. Carroll rapped out: 'Discredited? Entirely? By whom?'. He
then quoted the rest of my sentence recording Bate's recantation in
order to add another sarcastic jeer: 'Well done. One down -- there's
only another five hundred to go'.  (But one Bate is worth several
hundred closed minds.) Pontius Pilate didn't stay for an answer, but I
will: Morton's stylometry was discredited by many scholars in Greek and
New Testament studies (his main area of expertise), and by several
literary and linguistic scholars, notably M. W. A. Smith (a
mathematician who did some excellent work on attribution studies of
Elizabethan drama), in an outstanding series of essays. I discussed
their work in detail on pp. 101-113, and since Mr. Carroll owns my book,
his questions ('Discredited? Entirely? By whom?') leave him open to the
charge of intellectual dishonesty. He knows their names, but he has
blocked out their findings.

2. In my posting of 19 May (974) I criticized Mr. Carroll for 'relying
on outdated and partisan sources', such as G. E. Bentley. Although
Bentley wrote an excellent account of co-authorship in 'The Profession
of Dramatist in Shakespeare's Time' (1971; corrected edn. 1986) -- still
the best starting-point for anyone beginning to study this topic, in his
'Jacobean and Caroline Stage' he regularly pooh-poohed the
'disintegrators', as he called them, and was especially dismissive of E.
H. C. Oliphant for having changed his mind about the writers involved in
one co-authored play (not something that Bentley himself did). However,
I observed, Oliphant's authorship divisions in his book on Beaumont and
Fletcher (1927; repr.  1970: several copies are available on
abebooks.com) 'were validated and extended by Cyrus Hoy in a famous
series of articles in Studies in Bibliography between 1956 and 1962'.
Mr. Carroll's comments were: (a) 'how is it that my sources are
"partisan"? I think that means that they don't agree with you'; and (b)
'Outdated all! And opinions, not facts, anyway' ('Now what I want is,
Facts', Mr. Gradgrind told his pupils: 'Facts alone are wanted in
life'). Well, by 'partisan' I mean someone who takes sides on a
particular issue without having made any independent study of it,
relying on other people's opinions. Bentley had done no work on
attribution, never performed any of the  time-consuming counting of
linguistic minutiae that are involved. But Oliphant had done huge
amounts of computation, as MacDonald Jackson recently discovered in
studying his working notes, preserved in an Australian library. Only,
publishers issuing literary monographs in the 1920s were hardly likely
to publish statistical tables.  The scholarly climate was different in
the 1950s, and Hoy's seven articles contain quantitites of tables,
counting (in dozens of plays) such apparently insignificant items as the
relative frequency of 'ye' as opposed to 'you' as a way of identifying
authors' linguistic preferences. Mr.  Carroll will only gain the right
to criticize Hoy's 'opinions' if he is prepared to replicate his
painstaking computations in the hope of finding errors.

3. In my posting of 31 May (1020) I criticized Mr. Carroll for giving 'a
very unfair account' of Brian Boyd's essay (Carroll: 'What was "unfair"
about it?), and for running together nine speeches from the folio text
of 'Richard III' into one sequence, removing the speakers' names and
obscuring the fact that the repetitions are dramatically functional.
(Carroll: 'I handled that scene exactly the same way that Brian Boyd
handled the analogous scene in Titus ... Boyd also removed the speech
prefixes'.) For these reasons I criticized Mr. Carroll for not observing
the cardinal principle in attribution or stylometric studies, that we
must compare like with like. (Carroll: 'Bunk'.)

To document my criticisms: Mr. Carroll's account was unfair (or
partisan) in that it omitted substantial sections of Boyd's argument for
Peele's presence in the play. In Peele's Act 1, for instance, 'Rome' and
its cognates are mentioned 68 times, or once in every 7 lines. In the
remainder of the play such words occur 54 times, or once in every 36
lines, a frequency closely matching that in Shakespeare's other Roman
plays (JC: 38; Cor.: 34; AC: 39). In Peele's Part A (1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 4.1)
a range of abstract nouns (honour, virtue, gracious, noble, etc.) recur
'without any particular local reason', amounting to 148 instances in 785
lines (or once every 5.3 lines), whereas in Shakespeare's Part B they
recur 59 times in 1,732 lines (1 to 29.4). These are, of course,
unpleasing notes to the Conservator's ear, as are my demonstrations that
in Part A vocatives occur every 4.2 lines (every 4.3 lines in Peele's
'Edward I'), as against every 8.7 lines in Part B, and that alliteration
occurs every 2.7 lines in Part A, compared to every 4.3 lines in Part B.
In these four comparisons Peele's usage exceeds Shakespeare's by 514,
547, 207, and 159 percent respectively.  Every other test clearly
differentiates the two parts.

As for Mr. Carroll's botching of nine speeches from 'Richard III' into
one excerpt, his claim that 'I presented it in the same way Boyd
presented his exegesis' is simply false. Boyd analyzed 'Titus'
1.1.31-67, introducing each speech by indicating the speakers as they
occur ('Here Marcus explains why Titus deserved to be emperor';
'Saturninus replies, rather surprisingly, "How fair the tribune speaks
to calm my thoughts"'; 'A captain then announces ...'). He treated the
opening scene of 'The Battle of Alcazar' in the same way, identifying
each speaker ('Abdelmelec's family are hailing his return ...'; 'The
widow of another of Abdelmelec's brothers chimes in ...' ). Thanks to
this help, the reader is given enough of the dramatic context to
distinguish who is saying what, and why. Mr. Carroll's botched-up
version destroyed this. Further, and more damaging, Mr. Carroll failed
to report that Boyd not only italicized the 'formulaic repetitions' in
both series of excerpts, he also indicated by the use of capital letters
the many verbal links between 'Alcazar' and 'Titus Andronicus'. So, to
his question, 'What was unfair' in his account of Boyd's essay, the
answer is: everything. By these tactics Mr. Carroll avoided having to
concede that Boyd had economically distinguished what he called that
'sludgy soup of repetition and rehashed abstraction' that is so often a
mark of Peele's style and never -- are we agreed? -- of Shakespeare's.
The Conservator may lash out wildly at all unwelcome findings, but they
will not go away.

4. To stay with the topic of repetition for a moment: I pointed out
that, in the 'Richard III' excerpt, Queen Margaret's insistent
repetition of the names of all her male kindred who had been murdered by
Richard Crookback was 'historically ... justified' (Carroll: 'This
statement is just nonsense, because Shakespeare made the whole thing up
(and by "whole thing" I mean the dialogue in R3 4.4) ... in any case the
repetition of names is far in excess of what is necessary'). Obviously,
Shakespeare wrote the dialogue, repeating the names and other words in
accordance with_his_aesthetic judgment of what was 'necessary', given
his decision to make this scene a climactic indictment of Richard III's
crimes, retrospectively ticking off all the fulfilled prophecies of
destruction.  However, the actual events that Margaret refers to are
indeed historical facts. -- Messrs. Carroll and Gradgrind agree as to
their importance. I also observed that 'this is the single most dense
sequence of rhetoric in the whole of Shakespeare' (Carroll: 'Oh please.
Are you trying to tell us that there are no "rhetorical figures" in Act
I of Titus? Forgive me if I don't believe you when you say that 'this is
Shakespeare's 'most dense sequence of rhetoric'). Well, if Mr. Carroll
knows his Shakespeare so well, it should be an easy matter for him to
cite any passage rivalling it in density and intensity. But of course I
never said that there is no rhetoric in Act I! (Mr. Carroll is not the
most careful reader.) There is, but as I showed ('Co-Author', pp.
230-242), it is used in a far less flexible and sensitive manner than in
Shakespeare's scenes. Mr. Carroll won't believe me since he can't afford
to, bent as he is on preserving his image of 'Titus' as a sole-authored
play.

As is by now too too obvious, Mr. Carroll's evaluative tools are not the
finest. In addition to his crude 'facts'/'opinions' dichotomy, when
wanting to dismiss inconvenient evidence he will resort to the
subjective/objective binary. Ward Elliott, following Tarlinskaja, by
counting the incidence of proclitic and enclitic microphrases, found
that the prosody of the 'Funerall Elegye' was wholly unShakespearian.
Using this and other methods Professor Tarlinskaja has subsequently
shown that the prosody of 'A Lover's Complaint' is also unShakespearian.
(Carroll: 'Another dubious test is the "proclitic/enclitic" test. This
is a subjective determination of stress patterns'.) In 'Shakespeare,
Co-Author' I used rhetorical competence as a criterion for
distinguishing Peele from Shakespeare (Carroll: 'In any case, what
constitutes a rhetorical figure is a matter of opinion'). Are these not
desperate thrashings about from a controversialist who has chosen to
attack more issues than he understands? The categories of 'proclitic' (
'a word so unemphatic as to be pronounced as if part of the following
word', SOED) and 'enclitic' (ditto to the preceding word) derive from
Greek prosody, and were sporadically applied to Shakespeare by German
scholars in the nineteenth century. But it was not until Tarlinskaja's
book, 'Shakespeare's Verse, Iambic Pentameter and the Poet's
Idiosyncrasies' (1987), that a systematic study was made, using the
quantitative metrics first developed by Russian scholars (Tomashevskij,
Jakobson, Trubetzskoy) in the 1920s and 30s. A certain degree of
subjectivity is involved in this methodology, but in most cases there is
little doubt whether a word leans 'back' or 'forward'. Mr. Carroll
(unwisely) follows Donald Foster in rubbishing it, for the transparent
reason that it hasn't produced results favouring his 'belief' in
Shakespeare's sole authorship of 'Titus'. He should now substantiate his
dismissal by emulating Tarlinskaja's thirty years of sustained analysis
of hundreds of thousands of lines of English verse. Good luck! -- As for
identifying rhetorical figures, this is not a matter of 'opinion' (Mr.
Carroll's trash-bin), but again of fact. In Renaissance rhetoric more
than a hundred figures, schemes and tropes were widely known around the
world, from Lima to Moscow at least, and were differentiated both by
name and by function. (Every Shakespearian should know Sister Miriam
Joseph's classic book, 'Shakespeare's Use of the Arts of Language',
1947, 1966.) For a writer not to be able to tell an anaphora from a
paradiastole, or to use them correctly in the appropriate context, would
be like a brain-surgeon being unable to distinguish a scalpel from a
saw, using them at random. (Perhaps Mr. Carroll would regard this as a
matter of opinion?)

I am running out of time -- Hardy Cook's time, and the readers of these
columns (not my time: I've just retired, so I've got plenty). I could go
on itemizing Mr. Carroll's misunderstandings and misrepresentations (I
will, if challenged), but I'd rather end with a fable.  In his 'I
Ragguagli di Parnaso' (1612-13), Triaiano Boccalini invented the idea of
reporting 'despatches from Parnassus', where the great of all times
discuss all sorts of topics under the rule of Apollo. One day their
proceedings took the form of a trial, in which the plaintiff, Jim
Carroll, brought a legal action for defamation against the defendant
Brian Vickers, who was accused of traducing the reputation of William
Shakespeare by stating that he'd once had a literary partnership with
George Peele. The plaintiff delivered his accusation vehemently, at
great length (in the emails presented here and in others yet to be
written), ending: 'I should think that anyone who has read a play by
Peele in its entirety would realize that Peele couldn't possibly have
written any part of Shakespeare's plays' (719). The defendant had
briefly given his side of the case; and Apollo was about to retire to
consider his verdict when, in the body of the court, Shakespeare stood
up and addressed the assembly.

'It wasn't like that at all, your honour, what Master Carroll has said.
In those days I was just a beginner on the London stage -- I'd written
some of the Henry 6 plays, along with Tom Nashe and a few others, but I
hadn't really established myself. So when, during that awful plague year
1593, the company asked me to join Georgie Peele on this Roman Tragedy
project, I jumped at it. After all, he was M.A. Oxon (as he kept telling
us), and had written city pageants like his father; he'd translated one
of those Greek tragedies out of Latin; he'd written a horrible
Moorish-Spanish bloodbath (but a great draw when Ed Alleyne played Muly
Molocco); he'd written the first English pastoral, the Arraignment of
Paris, with a special compliment to the Queen (wasn't she touched!);
he'd started us all off on English history plays, with Edward I, and
he'd even written a biblical tragedy, David & Bethsabe, lots of sex and
violence. All in all, he was the most varied writer of anyone from the
mid-'80s to the mid-'90s, so I was glad to share Titus with him. He
outlined the plot and wrote the first three scenes (with some horrible
butchering and burning of the victim's limbs which he'd wanted to do on
stage, but the theatre owner wouldn't hear of it -- fire risks), and a
plum scene later after Lavinia's been mutilated. Some people didn't like
her having her hands chopped off -- nor Titus's, come to that, but we
reckoned we were quite moderate after Coneycatcher Greene's "Selimus",
where a messenger is first blinded, then has his hands cut off and
tucked inside his jacket -- he has to ask someone to remove them.

'Anyhow, once we got going I could see that Aaron was going to be my big
chance. Peelie had modelled him on his Muly Molocco, but the lines were
just too wooden, full of echoes from his other plays. So I grafted on
some of Kit Marlowe's Barabbas, but humanizing him -- like when he shows
he loves his kid. Also, Georgie had no feeling for people, he'd let them
be mutilated without anyone on stage caring a toss. I mean, just think,
if you were Marcus, Lavinia's uncle, and you found her raped, with her
hands cut off and her tongue cut out, wouldn't you be shattered? And
then to know that you have to take her to her dad, your brother, and see
his shock, too?  That was the key scene for me. I could have done it
better a few years later (see King Lear), but I'm still quite pleased
with 'Titus'. Anyhow, I was happy to do my bit alongside Peelie, since
he always was a good plotter, with a great eye for stage effects, even
though his style was frankly awful, constantly repeating himself. When I
redid his "Troublesome Reign of King John" a few years later (his best
play, I thought), I could take over the plot more or less as it was, and
concentrate on bringing the characters to life -- his Bastard wasn't
bad, though, probably his best attempt at a character. But of course I
had to completely rewrite the language. -- So I don't know what all this
fuss is about. It was no shame to be working with Georgie Peele.
Everyone liked him. Pity he died so young.'

Apollo then dismissed the case.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Carroll <
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Date:           Tuesday, 17 Jun 2003 20:19:48 EDT
Subject: 14.1182 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1182 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

Bill Lloyd brought in an excerpt from one of Peele's plays the other
day, stating that "I find this reminds me of the verse found in the
first act of Titus." I suppose this example was chosen because much of
the vocabulary can be found in the first 100 or so so lines of 1.1 of
Titus. The words "cause", "arms", "country", "enemies", "friends",
"honour", "king", "loving", "princes", "proud", "rule', "thoughts' and
"yoke" are shared by the two texts.

I would like to consider two aspects of the excerpt. First, I'll extend
the excerpt to make a total of 150 words:

"Balliol: 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.

Lorde: By sweet Saint Jerem Versses will not spare,
To tell his message to the English king,
And beard the jolly Longshankes to his face,
Were he the greatest monarch in the world,
And here he comes, his halter makes him haste.
                         Enter Versses
[Versses:] Long live my lord the rightful-------" (Prouty edition)

and now the first 150 words from 1.1 of Titus:

"Saturninus: Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms;
And, countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my successive title with your swords.
I am his first born son that was the last
That ware the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.

Bassianus: Romans, friends, followers, favourers of my right,
If ever Bassianus, Caesar's son,
Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
Keep then this passage to the Capitol;
And suffer not dishonour to approach
The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
To justice, continence, and nobility;
But let desert in pure election shine;
And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.

Marcus. Princes, that strive by factions and by friends
Ambitiously for rule and empery,
Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
A special party, have by common voice
In election for the-----------" (Riverside edition)

One thing that was apparent to me immediately was the more sophisticated
vocabulary of the excerpt from Titus.  There are more polysyllabic words
in the Titus excerpt (46 to 31 by my count), and the polysyllables that
are there are more interesting: "diadem", "indignity", "consecrate",
"continence", etc. Typical of Shakespeare's skillful manner is the way
the writer of the passage makes the polysyllables work together nicely,
such as using "imperial diadem" in proximity to "indignity".

There is an approximate formula for calculating grade level for a
150-word sample: divide the number of monosyllabic words by 10, and
subtract that from 20. I calculate a GL of 9.6 for the Titus excerpt,
8.1 for the Peele excerpt. I do this just to encapsulate and highlight
the difference with a simple numeric comparison.

But how meaningful is the shared vocabulary in the first place? If we
consider the first act and scene of 2H6, much of the same vocabulary
from the Peele excerpt and the first act of Titus is found there as
well. In addition, there is more of the repetition that Vickers finds
characteristic of Peele. In the following list, the act/scene/line
numbers refer to 2H6, unless otherwise indicated:

"cause" - 1.1.207

"common" - 1.1.76 "common grief of all the land", 1.1.158 "common
people", 1.1.206 "common profit of his country". Note that "country" and
"common" also appear in the same line in the Peele excerpt ("'Tis
country's cause, it is the common good").

"country"- 1.1.206

"arms" - 1.1.120, 1.1.256

"enemies"/"friends" - 1.1.148-50: "'Tis known to you he is mine enemy/
Nay more, an enemy unto you all,/ And no great friend, I fear me, to the
King."

"honour" - 1.1.125

"king" - Many times in 1.1 because King Henry appears in the scene and
the other characters are talking to/about him. At one point though,
(lines 129-30) "king" occurs in proximity to "gold":
"Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives/And our King Henry
gives away his own", as in the Peele excerpt.  In addition, the line
"Oh, if to fight for king and commweal" appears at 1.1.114 of Titus,
while the line "Unlike the ruler of a commonweal" appears at 1.1.189 of
2H6.

"princes" - 1.1.142, 187, 241, 244

"rule" - 1.1.109, 259

"thoughts" - 1.1.23

I chose 2H6 for another reason as well. Brian Vickers (along with MacD.
Jackson) believes that the staging of the opening act of Titus resembles
the staging of Peele's David and Bethsabe, in that there are three
parties involved, one of them aloft. But in DB, there are no large
groups of people, only 3 individuals. The play opens with David above,
Bethsabe below, and David calls in Cusay to enter in the upper level,
then commands him to go down to Bethsabe. In contrast, Titus opens with
3 groups (3 political parties); the tribunes enter aloft and then the
two other groups enter at separate doors below. I believe this is closer
to the opening of 1.1 of 2H6, where there are two political parties, one
led by the king, the other by the queen, who enter at separate doors
simultaneously. In both Titus and 2H6 the entrances are accompanied by
musical instruments.

All of this leads me to believe that those who think that  Peele wrote
act 1 of Titus are seeing things, and that it is likely that Peele
simply incorporated some of his exposure to Shakespeare's plays into his
own, and likewise Shakespeare could be incorporating what he saw of, or
perhaps performed in, Peele's work. Shakespeare's practice in this
regard is well known.

I've already given examples of Peele borrowing from Marlowe in his
Edward I.  Peele's plays were performed by some of the same companies of
players that performed Shakespeare's plays, and they no doubt were aware
of one another. I don't see any more reason to believe that Peele wrote
act 1 of Titus than I do to believe that Holinshed wrote act 1 of Henry
V, and I think that Bob Grumman's "Stylometrics Idea" is excellent (see
the thread by that title).

Here is an example, taken from Boswell-Stone's "Holinshed's Chronicle as
used in Shakespeare's Plays" (edited by Nicoll and Calina, 1927) p171.
I've modernized the spelling:

Holinshed:
"...having said sufficiently for the proof of the king's just and lawful
title to the crown of France, he exhorted him to advance forth his
banner to fight for his RIGHT, to conquer his inheritance, to spare
neither BLOOD, SWORD, nor FIRE; sith his war was just, his cause good,
and his claim true. And to the intent his loving chaplains and obedient
subjects OF THE SPIRITUALITY might shew themselves willing and desirous
to aid his majesty, for the recovery of his ancient right and true
inheritance, the archbishop declared that, in their spiritual
convocation, they had granted to his HIGHNESS SUCH A SUM of money, AS
NEVER by no spiritual persons was to any prince before those days given
or advanced."

H5 1.2.130-35 (Nicoll/Calina):

"O, let their bodies follow, my dear Liege,
With BLOOD and SWORD and FIRE, to win your RIGHT;
In aid whereof, we OF THE SPIRITUALITY
Will raise your HIGHNESS SUCH A mighty SUM,
AS NEVER did the clergy at one time
Bring in to any of your ancestors."

This is not an isolated instance in Henry V.

Jim Carroll

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