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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
Shakespeare's Leap
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1802  Friday, 1 October 2004

[1]     From:   Mari Bonomi <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Sep 2004 10:20:48 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1792 Shakespeare's Leap

[2]     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Sep 2004 15:34:35 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1792 Shakespeare's Leap

[3]     From:   James Doyle <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Sep 2004 15:52:20 +0100
        Subj:   Shakespeare's Leap


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Sep 2004 10:20:48 -0400
Subject: 15.1792 Shakespeare's Leap
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1792 Shakespeare's Leap

Ms Quart asserts: "Saying "wolf" and "hanged" in the same sentence was a
complete reference to the Lopez affair for anyone in England"

Given the over 400 years between now and then, given that we have so far
as I know no original source documentation that Shakespeare knew/did not
know Lopes, given that so far as I know there are no extant documents
where someone who saw the original productions at the Globe asserted
that "oh, old Willie surely was talking about that evil Lopes with that
line!"...

As I say, given all these facts, no one can say in 2004 that the hanged
wolf is "a complete reference" to Lopes.  We can speculate that it is
such a reference.  We can even gather evidence to support this
interpretation.  But absent asking old Will directly, we can't know for
sure.

As someone who has herself fought the temptations to dogmatism about
works of art of which I am passionately fond, I find myself more and
more offput by people who declare "This IS the ONE and ONLY
interpretation of... "just about anything.  I even distrust the authors
themselves <g>... For after all, who knows what subterranean thought
processes have fraught the text with multiple meanings?

Though I must say that the postcard a student of mine decades ago
received from John Knowles in response to a query about _A Separate
Peace_ still satisfies: to paraphrase, he wrote the tree incident as he
did because he *wanted* his readers to think and wonder about what it meant.

Mari Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Sep 2004 15:34:35 +0100
Subject: 15.1792 Shakespeare's Leap
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1792 Shakespeare's Leap

This is really a red herring.

Shakespeare as likely got the 'wolf' image from any number of usury
tracts that were floating about at the time.  The usurer is wolvish and
eats up patriminies estates, and finally people etc.

Cheers
John Drakakis

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Doyle <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Sep 2004 15:52:20 +0100
Subject:        Shakespeare's Leap

Abigail Quart writes: Mr. Pettigrew, what other wolves were hanged? Is
that a traditional method for dealing with wolves?

 From the International Wolf Center, at
http://www.wolf.org/wolf/learn/iwmag/1999/wnt99/wnt99a2.asp:

In Anglo-Saxon times, if a wolf was caught alive, it was sometimes
hanged alongside criminals. Wolf bounties were set and taxes payable in
wolves' tongues, heads and pelts.

And a fable that is far too modern, but amused me none the less: The
Need for Vigilance, from http://www.cyberussr.com/rus/eng/eng-wolf.html

James

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