2005

Who Was the Historical Decius Brutus?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0212  Tuesday, 2 February 2005

[1]     From:   Roger Schmeeckle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 31 Jan 2005 12:05:16 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0171 Who Was the Historical Decius Brutus?

[2]     From:   Philip Weller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 31 Jan 2005 19:56:05 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0171 Who Was the Historical Decius Brutus?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Schmeeckle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 31 Jan 2005 12:05:16 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 16.0171 Who Was the Historical Decius Brutus?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0171 Who Was the Historical Decius Brutus?

Cheryl Newton wrote:

 >Hi.  You took me back a few decades.  In my sophomore year of high
 >school, I was intrigued that Shakespeare presented Marcus Brutus as a
 >tragic hero, & Dante put him in the lowest cicrle of hell.  For years I
 >pieced together bits about him. Shakespeare appears to be closer to the
 >mark.

Appearances can deceive.

It seems to be assumed that the praise of Brutus as "noblest of them
all" is to be taken at face value.  However, if it is interpreted as
ironical, the implication is that Shakespeare did not regard the Romans
as very noble.

Brutus slays his benefactor, who may have been his father.

The play is entitled "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar," despite Brutus
lasting until the end, when he, too, is slain, by himself.  Is there
evidence elsewhere that Shakespeare views suicide as worthy of
admiration?  This suicide occurs after Caesar is said to be mighty yet,
his spirit walking the ground.  Why was the play not called "The Tragedy
of Brutus?"

Preceding works on Roman subjects include "The Lamentable Tragedy of
Titus Andronicus" and "The Rape of Lucrece," neither of which presents
Romans as worthy of admiration.  (That "lamentable" seems to be an
example of over-the-top sarcasm.)  I even doubt that one can find much
to admire in "Anthony and Cleopatra" and "Coriolanus," unless
Coriolanus' mother is advanced as a candidate for nobility.

Also, Anthony's "honorable men" speech  foreshadows an ironical
interpretation of the ending.

Roger Schmeeckle

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Philip Weller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 31 Jan 2005 19:56:05 -0800
Subject: 16.0171 Who Was the Historical Decius Brutus?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0171 Who Was the Historical Decius Brutus?

Thanks to all for the useful information.

-- Sincerely, Philip Weller Shakespeare Navigators
http://www.clicknotes.com

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S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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Lark

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0211  Tuesday, 2 February 2005

From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 31 Jan 2005 17:27:27 -0000
Subject: 16.0192 Lark
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0192 Lark

Abigail:

 >Robin Hamilton: I can't comment on Partridge. I'm sure he's omniscient

*NO* dictionary is omniscient (did I ever say or even imply that? --
wash my mouth out with carbolic soap) -- but as a +starting-point+, the
current Beale/Partridge (much better than the OED when it comes to
sexual slang) is where you begin.

 >but I don't have his book. My little Spears paperback slang dictionary
 >lists an 1800s OR BEFORE date for a 'to masturbate' meaning for 'lark.'

How long before?

Citations?

I could make-up a sexual connotation to *any* term in the English
language, and many were nonce-usages, leave alone the spread-effect (is
that the proper term?) where if one term in a semantic set takes-on an
extended (usually sexual) reference, *all* terms in the set take this on
by extension.

         But that's not the issue ...

 >But 'larking' as a word for 'a lascivious practise that will not bear
 >explanation' [Grose, A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue] finds
 >the definition in practice in the late 1700s.

But -- " late 1700s" -- that's about *exactly* the date I've been
arguing it emerges from -- *NOT* 1600.

 >Had Grose managed earlier
 >editions of his dictionary, it might be possible that he would have
 >found the word then, too.

Grose published his dictionary in 1785 -- I think that was the earliest
edition.

Shakespeare was writing in 1600 


Did the Bard Have Syphilis?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0209  Tuesday, 2 February 2005

[1]     From:   M Yawney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 31 Jan 2005 09:06:54 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0194 Did the Bard Have Syphilis?

[2]     From:   Louis W. Thompson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 31 Jan 2005 17:20:36 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0194 Did the Bard Have Syphilis?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           M Yawney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 31 Jan 2005 09:06:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 16.0194 Did the Bard Have Syphilis?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0194 Did the Bard Have Syphilis?

Larry Weiss wrote:

 >I read somewhere that the convoluted language of the
 >late plays,
 >especially the Shakespearean portions of TNK, are
 >signs of tertiary
 >paresis.  Is there anything to this?

The convolution had become a popular style in drama contemporary with
late Shakespeare.

While it is possible that the complex language could be a symptom of
something pathological, it seems more likely that Shakespeare was simply
adopting the techniques the new generation of Jacobean dramatists. Ford
is probably provides the best examples of this new style (and his
clotted syntax makes WT and TNK look like Mother Goose).

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis W. Thompson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 31 Jan 2005 17:20:36 EST
Subject: 16.0194 Did the Bard Have Syphilis?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0194 Did the Bard Have Syphilis?

I wonder how many diseases can be diagnosed with writing samples?

Louis W. Thompson

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

Shakespeare and the Invention of Metaphor and

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0210  Tuesday, 2 February 2005

From:           Norman Hinton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 31 Jan 2005 11:26:44 -0600
Subject: 16.0191 Shakespeare and the Invention of Metaphor and
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0191 Shakespeare and the Invention of Metaphor and
Language

I.A. Richards once said (to a Princeton Gauss Seminar, of which I was a
member) that reading Empson is like catching the flu, and he always had
to check when he felt awful to see whether he had recently picked up
something by Empson.

Before reading Empson on any Renaissance writer one ought to get a copy
of Rosamond Tuve's _A Reading of George Herbert_, in which she totally
demolished Empson's foolish readings of the Metaphysical poet.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

Date of King John

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0208  Tuesday, 2 February 2005

[1]     From:   Steve Sohmer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 31 Jan 2005 11:49:44 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0195 Date of King John

[2]     From:   William Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 31 Jan 2005 16:41:44 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0195 Date of King John


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Sohmer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 31 Jan 2005 11:49:44 EST
Subject: 16.0195 Date of King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0195 Date of King John

Dear Friends,

Your debate re the date of Shakespeare's King John -- and whether The
Troublesome Reign came before or after -- has been very stimulating. But
no one has mentioned Eric Sams's little piece in N&Q March 1988 (41-44)
which ascribes both plays to Shakespeare, i.e. The Troublesome Reign
having been written shortly after Shakespeare came to London in the
1580's. Is there any enthusiasm for this argument?

All the best,
Steve

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 31 Jan 2005 16:41:44 -0500
Subject: 16.0195 Date of King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0195 Date of King John

Michael Egan writes of KJ:

 > Examination of its Folio text (the only one we have) suggests also
 >that the play was never performed in its author's life time

I'd like more discussion of this assertion.  I don't know how F could
suggest performance date.

Bill Godshalk

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

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