The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1398 Thursday, 8 July 2004
Date: Wednesday, 7 Jul 2004 10:04:42 EDT
Subject: Shakespeare's Fellows 1597-8
I thought I'd point out to any SHAKSPERians who may not have seen it an
important article in the latest issue (7.1) of Early Theatre. (For a TOC
and abstract see http://www.crrs.ca/early/volumes.htm). This is David
Kathman's "Reconsidering _The Seven Deadly Sins_". Kathman
demonstrates-- beyond a reasonable doubt it seems to me-- that the
acting company represented by the 'platt' of _The Second Part of the
Seven Deadly Sins_ is really the Lord Chamberlain's men around 1597-8.
We have been taught, and the 'fact' is enshrined in many reference
books, that this platt shows Lord Strange's men or a related company
c1590, but this is really only a hypothesis that hardened into a
probable-fact through constant citation and the absence of a stronger
counter-hypothesis. Kathman's analysis shows that the names in the platt
are more compatible with what is known of Shakespeare's company c1597-8;
but the clincher is some new information he has discovered concerning
the dates of apprenticeship of two of the boy actors named therein.
I won't go into more detail here-- the article speaks for itself. I find
this exciting because in significant ways it expands our knowledge of
the company Shakespeare was writing for just as he was entering his
prime. This is the company for whom 2 Henry IV and Much Ado About
Nothing were written.
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