2005

Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0332  Friday, 18 February 2005

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 11:56:05 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

[2]     From:   D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 11:13:30 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

[3]     From:   D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 11:24:41 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

[4]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 12:58:24 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

[5]     From:   Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 21:52:34 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 11:56:05 -0500
Subject: Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?
Comment:        SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

'Illiterate' is certainly a misleading term. 'Non-literate' would be
much more appropriate.

T. Hawkes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 11:13:30 -0600
Subject: 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

Louis W. Thompson comments

"It seems to me that the whole question of Anne's "literacy" is
misleading. Shakespeare wrote the bulk of his work for the theatre. The
writing was one backstage step toward the production. The script was not
meant to be read.

The play was to be encountered on stage, not on paper. Anne would have
been able to comprehend her husband's work whether or not she could read
or write."

Not so fast there. In the midst of the inarguable, there is an idea
which is very much arguable-in fact, simply not the case. There wouldn't
have been all those printings of plays if they were only supposed to be
"encountered on stage."

Obviously, they are not closet dramas, after the fashion of "Samson
Agonistes" or "Manfred," which are only meant to be read. But the
printing of the plays in Shakespeare's lifetime, and especially in the
revised second quartos, indicates that someone, most likely WS, but at
the very least one of his colleagues, considered them as documents for
reading as well as performing.

Cheers,
don

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 11:24:41 -0600
Subject: 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

I would like to offer two more brief comments.

1. People seem to be arguing over a precise definition of "literate," a
concept that defies such precision. If the issue is whether AS could
write her name, we don't know. The X's could mean that, but they don't
do so invariably. We don't know for certain whether she could read
either, and there's no reason why we should know.

2. I am gratified to learn that the X's offer further evidence of the
secret Jewishness of the Shakespeare family. That clearly lends strong
support to the theory that the plays were actually written by Sir
Francis Bacon.

Cheers,
don

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 12:58:24 -0500
Subject: 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

 >Is it because Anne signed her name with Xs (and so did one of her
 >daughters) that the issue of her literacy comes up? Here again, an
 >explanation that could account for it is that this was a secret Jewish
 >family.

It must give Mr. Basch a sense of satisfaction to be the cause of so
much mirth for members of the List.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 21:52:34 -0000
Subject: 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0323 Was Shakespeare's Wife Literate?

Norman Hinton writes ...

 >In the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, "literate" meant 'able to
 >read (not write) Latin' --  see the Middle English Dictionary under
 >"lettered".

This argument is backed up by the medieval loop-hole known as 'Benefit
of Clergy'.  A condemned person could escape the noose if they could
prove they could read.  Not prove they could write.  This meant being
able to read what became known as the "neck verse", the start of Psalm
51....

"Misere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam; et secundum
multitudinem misetationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam."  (Have mercy
on me, O God, in your faithful love, in your great tenderness wipe away
my offences - NJB)

When Ben Jonson was sent to Newgate on a murder charge after killing a
fellow actor in a duel, Jonson claimed benefit of clergy and "wiped away
his offences" by reading the neck verse.  His thumb was then branded
with a 'T', and he was free to go home.  The 'T' was for Tyburn, to
remind the lucky "cleric" that the benefit only worked once and next
time he would swing.

Peter Bridgman

_______________________________________________________________
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 Qu'ran

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0331  Friday, 18 February 2005

From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Feb 2005 09:49:26 -0000
Subject: 16.0310 Shakespeare and the Qu'ran
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0310 Shakespeare and the Qu'ran

Is Peter Bridgeman joking?  It seems that any Elizabethan literature
using the word "shake" is, to some poor souls, absolute proof that
Shakespeare the man penned every word.  I read in this list and
elsewhere that most rational beings now believe that Shakespeare had no
hand in the KJV bible.  Anyone reading that mighty book will be struck
at the often bad poetry within. In any case the difference in quality
is, in general, enormous compared to the great plays.  The bible, by its
own definition, is one of exposition rather than pure storytelling.

And another thing.  Why is there a politically correct movement to spell
the Islamic bible "Qu'ran"?  What is wrong with "Koran"?  The University
of Virginia, for one, have no problem with this.

Some on this list would have Shakespeare be he author of any work
written in his time.  Is this Bardolatry gone raving mad?

SAM SMALL

_______________________________________________________________
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 Spanish Delegation

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0329  Friday, 18 February 2005

From:           Tom Krause <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Feb 2005 06:28:57 -0500
Subject:        Shakespeare and the Spanish Delegation

It seems well-established that Shakespeare and the King's Men served as
"grooms of the chamber" (i.e., as courtiers, not actors) for the Spanish
peace delegation at Somerset House for 19 days in August 1604 -- the
document is in Schoenbaum, and the fact continues to be mentioned in
books about Shakespeare (including Gurr's "The Shakespeare Company
1594-1642", but not Greenblatt's "Will in the World").  But I've never
seen anyone attempt to connect this service with anything in
Shakespeare's plays.  Has anybody else?

Could there be a connection with the Spanish elements found in Othello
(first recorded performance November 1604), including Iago's name
(Spanish for James), Roderigo's name (admittedly also an Italian name),
Iago's use of the word "diablo" and the term "gennets" (Spanish horses),
the Turkish echo of the Spanish Armada, Othello's likely route to Venice
by way of Spain, and the fact that Othello kills himself with a "sword
of Spain"?  (Thanks to Elena Marin


The Turks

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0330  Friday, 18 February 2005

From:           John Webb <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Feb 2005 13:28:24 -0000
Subject:        The Turks

Every fortnight The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office prepares
an article which is printed in the Stratford Herald. (IMO The Birthplace
Trust ought to submit some of those articles to this list too. List
readers might find some of them interesting.)

This week's article (17th Feb) is titled "The Turks in the Time of
Shakespeare". The article was prompted by the recent acquisition, by the
Birthplace Trust, of a book "The General History of The Turks", printed
in 1603, and which was owned by Sir Henry Rainsford (1575-1622) who
lived at Clifford Chambers, near Stratford.

The article describes the Elizabethan fascination with the East, and
some of Shakespeare's references to the Turks, including the Turkish
cushions in Taming of the Shrew, the nose of the Turk in Macbeth, and
the plot of Othello.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

CFP: Shakespeare and the Reformation

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0328  Friday, 18 February 2005

From:           Douglas Brooks <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Feb 2005 10:43:51 -0600
Subject:        CFP: Shakespeare and the Reformation (3/15/05; MLA 05/Journal
Issue)

In conjunction with the theme of a future issue of the Shakespeare
Yearbook, "Shakespeare and the Reformation" (co-edited with Glyn Parry),
the journal will sponsor a special session at the upcoming Annual
Meeting of the MLA (Washington, D.C., December 27-30, 2004).

For both the MLA Session and the concomitant issue of the Shakespeare
Yearbook we welcome proposals for papers that explore the ways in which
Shakespeare's plays and poems engage with the spiritual and temporal
consequences of religious change in Elizabethan and Jacobean England.

Please submit title and 100-250-word abstract of proposed paper along
with a brief scholarly bio by March 15, 2005 to Douglas A. Brooks,
Editor, Shakespeare Yearbook (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  Digital submissions as
e-mail attachments in Rich Text Format or Microsoft Word are preferred.
  Proposed papers must not exceed eight double-spaced pages in Times New
Roman 12 point.

Those prospective contributors who are unable to attend MLA, but wish to
propose essays for the issue of Shakespeare Yearbook should submit
abstracts and brief scholarly bios to Douglas A. Brooks
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by May 25, 2005

The Shakespeare Yearbook (http://www-english.tamu.edu/pubs/sjb/)is an
international annual of scholarship relating to Shakespeare, his time,
and his impact on later periods. Maximum length for contributions is 35
double-spaced pages in Times New Roman 12 point. Citations should be
formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style.  The name of the
author/s should only appear in an accompanying cover letter.  All essays
are reviewed anonymously by two readers.
Glyn Parry is Senior Lecturer in History at Victoria University of
Wellington, New Zealand. He is the author of A Protestant Vision.
William Harrison and the Reformation of Elizabethan England (Cambridge
University Press, 1987, 2002), and has published essays in The
Historical Journal, The English Historical Review, The Journal of
Ecclesiastical History, The Huntington Library Quarterly, and History of
Science, amongst others.  He is currently completing an intellectual
biography of John Dee.

_______________________________________________________________
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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