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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Shakespeare's Personal Faith
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0669  Friday, 8 April 2005

[1]     From:   Marcus Dahl <
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        Date:   Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 16:53:56 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 12:02:25 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[3]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Thursday, 07 Apr 2005 13:02:15 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0620 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[4]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 21:23:36 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[5]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 23:13:32 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

[6]     From:   Markus Marti <
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        Date:   Friday, 08 Apr 2005 01:08:22 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <
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Date:           Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 16:53:56 +0000
Subject: 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Dear All,

Just on a point of logic re: Peter Bridgeman's quite sensible assertion
that Shakespeare probably got the 'non nobis' section from Holinshed:

Drawing on a source (particularly a historical or common reference
source) does not mean that one agrees necessarily with the general
outlook (known or unknown) of the source's author.

The above seems particularly to be the case when the likelihood is that
certain sources were the most likely source for ANY author. e.g. there
were not that many chronicle histories of the reign of Henry V to which
Shakespeare or any of his contemporaries could have gone. If thus we
find Shakespeare has taken key elements from Holinshed's account we do
not thereby suppose him to be a closet Catholic because Holinshed
himself may have been Catholic.

All the best,
Marcus

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 12:02:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

The word "reformation" appears 6 times in Shakespeare's works, twice in
Henry VIII, in 1 Henry IV, Henry V, 2 Henry VI, and Love's Labour's
Lost.  Every use seems to suggest moral reformation. I couldn't say
whether it might also connote church or broadly religious reformation at
the time. For the specific references, enter "reformation" in the search
function at the Open Source Shakespeare page:
http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/

Jack Heller

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Thursday, 07 Apr 2005 13:02:15 -0500
Subject: 16.0620 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0620 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Once again a thread arises that brings out the scold in me. This is all,
part and parcel, either an uninformed or disingenuous discussion of
Formal Skepticism. I have from time to time urged Shakesper participants
to look into the matter via R. Popkin's History of Skepticism, and
Sextus Empiricus's The Outlines of Pyrhonnism; to no avail.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell

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[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 21:23:36 +0100
Subject: 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Abigail Quart has been doing a lot of internet research, and I commend
her industry.  She hasn't however come up with an English document
written before 1599 (the year Henry V appeared) that uses the word
'reformation' in the 'Protestant religious movement' sense.  If she
does, I will agree with her it is a strange word to come (in a
non-pejorative sense) from the mouth of a Catholic bishop.  Until then
I'll assume Canterbury is referring to the reformation of the young
king's character.

Concerning the pyx/pax business, I'm intrigued that Holinshed refers to
a pyx.  Does he also have a soldier being hanged for stealing it?  (I
assume that Bardolph is Shakespeare's creation).  Bardolph's booty is
clearly not a pyx as Pistol describes it as a "pax of little price" (a
pyx was/is a precious object, usually made of silver).  I do not agree
with Abigail's claim that Shakespeare's point is that "ANY looting was
forbidden".  If this were the case, Bardolph could have stolen a coal
shovel.  If WS turned Holinshed's pyx into a pax, it must be significant
that both were Catholic sacramentals, and both were banned objects in 1599.

 >Maybe "paxbread" is intended as this Duffy person insists.

This 'Duffy person' is professor of religious history at Cambridge, and
he insists nothing.  He wasn't talking about Shakespeare or Henry V.

 >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.

Alas not.  Fluellen tells us that he is "executed for robbing a church".

Peter Bridgman

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 23:13:32 +0100
Subject: 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

Peter Bridgman wrote:

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

And Peter Bridgman continues to miss the point - or deliberately evade it.

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

This is what Holinshed says:

". . .  causing his prelates and chaplains to sing this psalm: 'In exitu
[Israel] de Aegypto', [(Vulgate Psalm 113; Protestant Psalms 114&115)]
and commanded every man to kneel down on the ground at this verse: 'Non
nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam' [(verse 9 of Vulgate
Psalm 113; verse 1 of Protestant Psalm 115)] (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 . . ."

And this is what Shakespeare made of it:

"Let there be sung /Non nobis/ and /Te Deum/"

'Non nobis, Domine' only existed as the Protestant Psalm 115 ("Not unto
us, O Lord, not unto us,") and it appeared in the Anglican Psalter with
the title 'Non nobis, Domine', where it was specified as one of the
Psalms for Evening Prayer of Day 23.  It did not exist as a Catholic
liturgical item (it was the second half of Vulgate Psalm 113) and
Holinshed only mentioned its opening verse as the point at which Henry
gave the order to kneel.

'Te Deum laudamus' ("We praise thee, O God") was specified for Morning
Prayer throughout the year, where it was given the title 'Te Deum laudamus'.

To sum up: "Let there be sung /Non nobis/ and /Te Deum/" would be
perfectly intelligible to an Anglican audience, but would *not* be
perfectly intelligible to a Catholic one.  So, the question remains: did
Shakespeare misread his source (reading it in an Anglican sense, being
more familiar with the Book of Common Prayer than the Vulgate), or did
he choose to interpret it in an Anglican sense for his audience (who
would be more familiar with the Book of Common Prayer than the Vulgate)?

John Briggs

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Markus Marti <
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Date:           Friday, 08 Apr 2005 01:08:22 +0200
Subject: 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0657 Shakespeare's Personal Faith

I don't even know my own faith. I hope I haven't got one.

If I were an author, I would very much appreciate it if people wouldn't
attach a faith on me.

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