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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: September ::
Shakespeare's Leap
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1777  Wednesday, 29 September 2004

[1]     From:   Todd Pettigrew <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Sep 2004 13:30:06 -0300
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1766 Shakespeare's Leap

[2]     From:   John Briggs <
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 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Sep 2004 01:49:54 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1766 Shakespeare's Leap


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd Pettigrew <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Sep 2004 13:30:06 -0300
Subject: 15.1766 Shakespeare's Leap
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1766 Shakespeare's Leap

Larry Weiss rightly notes that the "passing reference to "a wolf hanged
for human slaughter," [is] generally taken as a reference to Lopez".

That reference, I suspect Larry would agree, is extremely tenuous. For
one thing, Lopez was not "hanged for human slaughter" since he didn't
actually murder the Queen. More importantly the imagined wolf is one
hanged not recently (from the perspective of the characters), but long
ago, before the birth of Shylock:

        O, be thou damn'd, inexecrable dog!
        And for thy life let justice be accused.
        Thou almost makest me waver in my faith
        To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
        That souls of animals infuse themselves
        Into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit
        Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter,
        Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
        And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam,
        Infused itself in thee; for thy desires
        Are wolvish, bloody, starved and ravenous.

This "wolf", then, is hardly likely to be a topical reference.

t.

Todd Pettigrew
University College of Cape Breton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Sep 2004 01:49:54 +0100
Subject: 15.1766 Shakespeare's Leap
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1766 Shakespeare's Leap

John W. Kennedy wrote:

 >Shakespeare's great mastery was in character, and /Merchant/
 >is far closer in time to /Hamlet/ than, say, /Errors/.

I suppose it depends how you date 'Errors'.  Charles Whitworth in his
Oxford edition (2002) accepts that "...considerable ... evidence points
to the latter half of the year 1594...".  'Merchant' is usually dated
around 1596, and 'Hamlet' around 1600.

John Briggs

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