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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Shakespeare's Personal Faith
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0657  Thursday, 7 April 2005

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Apr 2005 13:48:29 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[2]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Apr 2005 20:01:26 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[3]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Apr 2005 17:40:29 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[4]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Apr 2005 23:01:40 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[5]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 01:42:04 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Apr 2005 13:48:29 -0400
Subject: Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Dear Norman Hinton,

I didn't write

'writing writes itself and no one can know what is really meant'

You did.

T. Hawkes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Apr 2005 20:01:26 +0100
Subject: Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

"Reformation" may have been a word unknown in WS's time, but "reform"
and "reformer", in the context we understand in this thread, were
certainly common enough.

m

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Apr 2005 17:40:29 -0400
Subject: 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Peter Bridgman wrote:

"The following quote, from a Protestant site called 'What was the
Reformation? A Brief History', seems to agree with me ..."

Nice site. http://www.orlutheran.com/html/refwhat.html

Maybe it doesn't agree with you all that much. For instance, right
before your quote comes:

"The Word Reformatio

Yet long before applied to the work of Martin Luther, the word
reformation had a long and varied history. According to Heiko Oberman,

 >      The word reformation was as popular in the Middle Ages as
democracy is
 >today -- and it meant as many things to as many people . . . Then
 >reformation meant return to original ideals. The Church was to emulate the
 >model of the early Christian community, to be united again in love; or a
 >monastic community was to regain sight of the original, authentic
principles
 >of the founder of their order. With regard to the individual reformatio
 >stood for the renewal of man and woman.2
 >
 >In the eleventh through the thirteenth century, many in Europe took up the
 >ideal of "apostolic poverty" and harshly criticized the wealthy
established
 >Church and called for "reformation," which in that case meant
repentance and
 >return to Christ's way of life.3 The word could technically refer to
 >reestablishing universities according to their original usage, e.g.,
 >reformatio in pristinum statum. As one of their slogans, the
 >fourteenth-century conciliar movement adopted the phrase, "reformation of
 >the church in head and members" (reformatio ecclesiae in capite et in
 >membris), which was basically an appeal to an ethical reform of both
people
 >and leaders within the church.4
 >
 >As has been often noted, it is interesting that Luther rarely used the
word
 >reformation to describe the work he had undertaken. When he did, it
was with
 >a marked difference. The reformation he undertook was a reformation of
 >doctrine rather than ethical renewal. And the reformation of doctrine
 >occurred through the preaching of the Gospel of justification by grace
 >through faith. And in all this Luther differed substantially from all
 >medievals and so-called forerunners of the reformation. In his own
words....
 >
 >   ....However, they do not want to be reformed (as they say) by this
former
 >mendicant monk. Yet this same mendicant monk . . . has reformed them
 >considerably. I have, God be praised, reformed more with my gospel than
 >perhaps they have done with five councils. So far they have done nothing
 >more in the councils than play around with unprofitable matters that
do not
 >concern the Christian church. However, now our gospel comes along, takes
 >away indulgence, abolishes pilgrimages, puts a stop to bulls, checks
 >covetousness, and achieves marvelous results.6
 >
 >Ultimately, for Luther man could not be reformed completely this side of
 >heaven. Only Christ's return could accomplish that. The real aim in this
 >life for Luther was forgiveness, not reformation."

So. "Reformatio" or "reformation" was being used to describe religious
change as far back as WHEN? The Middle Ages! "Eleventh through the
thirteenth century." Yet there's Wycliffe, who was ranting about
"reform" in the 1300s which keeps that association of "reform" with
changing the Church ongoing throughout the fourteenth century.

Here's a site that refers to John Wycliffe as "The Reformer."
http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/john-wycliffe.html

This site refers to the "personal reformation of John Wycliffe" so it's
entirely possible for Henry V (by association of words and ideas only)
to be linked to protestant reformation VIA personal reformation:
http://www.lwbc.co.uk/reformation_of_wycliffe.htm

Here's a reference from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15722a.htm

Jan Hus wasn't English, of course, but there he was, promoting
Wycliffe's teachings and getting burned at the stake in the fifteenth
century.

Then there was Martin Luther "rarely" mentioning "reformation" in the
16th century.

So tell me again that the word "reformation" was not a loaded,
explosive, hot button word coming out of the mouth of a Catholic cleric.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Apr 2005 23:01:40 +0100
Subject: 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

John Briggs continues to insist that Shakespeare got his 'Non nobis' and
'Te Deum' from the Book of Common Prayer.

It seems however that he got them both from Catholic historian Raphael
Holinshed ...

". . . the King when he saw no appearance of his enemies, caused the
retreat to be blown; and gathering his army together, gave thanks to the
almighty God for so happy a victory, causing his prelates and chaplains
to sing this psalm: 'In exitu de Aegypto', and commanded every man to
kneel down on the ground at this verse: 'Non nobis Domine, non nobis,
sed nomini tuo da gloriam' (a worthy example of a godly prince.)  Which
done, he caused 'Te deum', with certain anthems to be sung, giving laud
and praise to God, without boasting of his own force or any human power"
   (Signet ed. John Russell Brown,  p198).

Peter Bridgman

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 01:42:04 -0400
Subject: 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0646 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Bridgman again:

 >Besides, there are moments in the play when Henry's Catholicism is very
 >evident.  For example, he orders Bardolph's hanging for stealing a pax.
 >A pax or 'paxbread' was, as Duffy explains, "a disk or tablet on which
 >was carved or painted a sacred emblem, such as the Lamb of God or the
 >Crucifix. This pax was ... taken [after being blessed by the priest at
 >Mass] to the congregation outside the screen, where it was kissed by
 >each in turn ... [It was] clearly a substitute for the reception of
 >communion".
 >
 >I realize I need to be gentle here. Bardolph was hanged for stealing a
 >worthless object. The point being that ANY looting was forbidden.

Now, on Mr. Bridgman's side, there does seem to be some argument as to
the meaning of "pax" since the original Holinshed reference was to a
"pyx." A "pyx" is a container for the Eucharist and could, quite
possibly, be worth something. Some sources seem to think "pyx" and "pax"
are the same. But that would only mean that Shakespeare took the thing
whole out of Holinshed and didn't think about it much.

However, not everyone agrees that "pyx" and "pax" are the same. On this
site, "pax" is listed as being "ceremonial embrace given to signify
Christian love and unity:"
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:Ka0YD1ABWWQJ:www.absp.org.uk/publicatio
ns/3sodd.doc+Shakespeare+pyx+pax&hl=en

In fact, if you plan to play Scrabble, it might help you to know that
"pax" is a "kiss of peace" and "pyx" is "a box in which coins are kept
for testing."
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:4WpXrRhvxEwJ:www.chambersharrap.co.uk/c
hambers/ebooks/scrabble_hints.pdf+Shakespeare+pyx+pax&hl=en

Here, "pax" clearly refers to a kissing ritual, while "paxbread" is the
object being kissed:  "Another central part of the ceremony was the pax
where just before his own communion "the priest kissed the corporas on
which the host rested, and the lip of the chalice, and then kissed the
paxbread, a disk or tablet on which was carved or painted a sacred
emblem, such as the Lamb of God or the Crucifix.""
http://www.shu.ac.uk/emls/06-2/brunvol.htm

Maybe "paxbread" is intended as this Duffy person insists. But Holinshed
said "pyx" and Shakespeare said "pax."

So we are left with the uncomfortable suspicion that Wicked William
altered Holinshed just the teensiest wee bit and hanged Bardolph for
stealing a kiss.

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