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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: March ::
A Thought for St. David's Day
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0758  Friday, 26 March 2004

[1]     From:   Stanley Wells <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 11:53:55 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0754 A Thought for St. David's Day

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 09:18:10 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0754 A Thought for St. David's Day

[3]     From:   W.L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 15:52:03 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0754 A Thought for St. David's Day


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stanley Wells <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 11:53:55 -0000
Subject: 15.0754 A Thought for St. David's Day
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0754 A Thought for St. David's Day

I missed Sean Lawrence's original message, but the answer is yes, you
can read a complete text of 1 Henry IV with Oldcastle substituted for
Falstaff in the Oxford Complete Works. This caused a great deal of
shock/horror when the edition first appeared.

Stanley Wells

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 09:18:10 -0800
Subject: 15.0754 A Thought for St. David's Day
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0754 A Thought for St. David's Day

I appreciate Thomas and Bill's responses to my query about the scansion
of "Oldcastle".  Could the joke in 1H4 be explained by reference to the
sources of the play, in which case we needn't think of Oldcastle as a
previous name for the character at all?

Yours,
Sean.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 15:52:03 -0500
Subject: 15.0754 A Thought for St. David's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0754 A Thought for St. David's Day

Tom Pendleton analyzes the use of "Falstaff" in 1 and 2 H4, and H5, and
concludes:

 >I don't see any evidence that "Oldcastle" was once there and then was
 >dropped.  And I wonder what the point of the joke "My old lad of the
 >castle" is unless the more knowledgeable in the audience are aware that
 >that used to be his name, but isn't now.

Of course "old lad of the castle" is slang for a "frequenter of
barrooms" (i.e. roisterer). In his Arden edition, Humpfreys illustrates
this in his note to 1Hen4, 1.2.41. Gabriel Harvey uses the term.
Humpfreys also points out that The Castle was one of Southwark's
principal brothels. Those who want to see this as a reference to
Oldcastle argue that it is a pun.

With old lad of the castle, compare lines 81-82 in 1Hen4, 1.2: "old lord
of the Council."  Is this a play on old lad of the castle?

Bill Godshalk

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