The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0062 Wednesday, 12 January 2005
Date: Tuesday, 11 Jan 2005 16:40:21 -0000
Subject: 16.0053 Greenblatt Discussion Forum
Comment: Re: SHK 16.0053 Greenblatt Discussion Forum
David Basch writes ...
>John Falstaff was patterned on none other than John Shakespeare, the
>poet's father. The similarity is in manner, the love of wordplay and
>life and a cynical view of how society operates.
What a bizarre statement. We know from the fact John Shakespeare was
elected mayor that he was respected locally. We also know he was
enterprising. We know from the various legal cases he was involved in
that he was litigious and we suspect from the College of Arms
application that he might have been something of a snob. We also know
from the Stratford recusant lists and the Borromeo testament that he was
loyal to the old faith. Loyal enough to lose his position in the town
But we certainly don't know if his manner was Falstaffian. Nor if he
had a love of wordplay (if so, it must be a semiotic joke on John's part
to sign his name with an X all his life). And if John had a cynical
view of how society operated (what evidence is there for this?), he
cannot have been alone in Catholic Warwickshire.
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