Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: March ::
Oldcastle
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0779  Tuesday, 30 March 2004

[1]     From:   Stanley Wells <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 29 Mar 2004 16:04:19 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0771 Oldcastle

[2]     From:   W.L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 29 Mar 2004 14:41:53 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0771 Oldcastle


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stanley Wells <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Mar 2004 16:04:19 +0100
Subject: 15.0771 Oldcastle
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0771 Oldcastle

I'm not entirely clear what Professor Pendleton means by 'seemingly
universal disbelief'. It is hard to deny that Falstaff was called
Oldcastle in the text of Henry the Fourth Part One as first acted. It
would be more accurate to say that in giving readers the opportunity to
read the text in this form for the first time, the Oxford editors have
incurred disapproval - irrational and sentimental, it seems to me -
rather than disbelief. It is true that as General Editor I did not force
my views upon Professor Bevington, though I did represent them to him.

Stanley Wells

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Mar 2004 14:41:53 -0500
Subject: 15.0771 Oldcastle
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0771 Oldcastle

Tom Pendleton writes:

 >Bill Godshalk is right, too, about the glosses on "old lad of the
 >castle" in Humphreys. But since Shakespeare claimed in the epilogue to
 >2H4 that Falstaff wasn't to be understood as Oldcastle, it's hard to
 >imagine that the phrase isn't a pun playing on that supposition,
 >regardless of what the brothel in Southwark was called.

In Humphreys' Arden edition of 2HenIV, the disclaimer reads like this:
"for anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already a
been killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died martyr, and this
is not the man" (Epilogue 29-32).

But could this be a reference to The Famous Victories of Henry the
Fifth, wherein Sir John Oldcastle does appear and plays a Falstaffian
role, not the role of blissful martyr.  The parallels between The Famous
Victories and 2HenIV - HenV plays were used by Seymour Pitcher to claim
that Shakespeare wrote Famous Victories, and by others to claim that
Famous Victories is a source for Shakespeare's plays.

Could it be that Shakespeare is distancing himself from his source, and
his character Falstaff from the similar character Oldcastle in the
Famous Victories?  Perhaps Falstaff was never called Oldcastle, but
behaved like Oldcastle in the Famous Victories, and Shakespeare wanted
to reinforce the fact that his Falstaff was not, nor had ever been,
Oldcastle.

Of course this does not deny Tom's idea that Falstaff was associated
with Oldcastle, but I think it changes the spin.

Bill Godshalk

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.