Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Love's Labours Won
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0828  Thursday, 28 April 2005

[1]     From:   Melvyn R. Leventhal <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 13:26:41 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

[2]     From:   Melvyn R. Leventhal <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 13:26:41 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

[3]     From:   Melvyn R. Leventhal <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 13:26:41 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

[4]     From:   John Briggs <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 22:11:13 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

[5]     From:   William Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 21:52:09 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

[6]     From:   David Basch <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 23:36:46 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0798 Love's Labours Won


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melvyn R. Leventhal <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 12:24:08 EDT
Subject: 16.0810 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

 >I suppose it is "possible"; but it is highly improbable [that LLW is
Much Ado].  Please
 >remember that Meres was not presenting a catalog of Shakespeare's works,
 >but, rather, a list of those of his works which he and the public found
 >particularly worthy.  There was just not enough time for MA/N to have
 >achieved sufficient regard to be included if it had been written in the
 >early part of the range [summer of 1598] given by the Oxford editors.
  Also, please bear
 >in mind that "Palladis Tamia" required time to be accepted for
 >publication and set up in print.  Meres did not have the advantage of
 >desktop publishing.

First, Mr. Weiss is speculating that Meres was listing works which "the
public found particularly worthy."  There is no evidence in the language
of Palladis Tamia that public perceptions were important to Meres's
opinion. The "achievement of sufficient regard," by anyone other than
Meres, was not a requirement for inclusion in the list.  Second, as I
already noted, Professor Zitner has stated that Palladis Tamia was more
than up-to-date because it included a reference to another
non-Shakespearean work that was published eight days after September 7,
1598, i.e., the date of Palladis Tamia.  Finally, while there of course
would have been an interval between submission of the work to the
printer and the printing itself there is no way of knowing the length of
that interval and whether changes were made by Meres in the course of
the printing.

Melvyn R. Leventhal

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melvyn R. Leventhal <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 13:13:00 EDT
Subject: 16.0810 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

 >Mr. Leventhal's analysis is interesting, but I don't think it makes its
 >case that MA/N had to be LLW because it was omitted from the
 >bookseller's "list."  That list was an inventory of books the seller had
 >on hand.  There are a great many books that had been printed before 1603
 >which are not on the list, presumably because they were not in stock.
This is the most likely explanation for the omission of MA/N.

Mr. Weiss misses my point -- and Mr. Erne's -- probably because I did
not state it clearly. My apologies to Mr. Erne and Mr. Weiss.

The debate over the "bookseller's list" centers on whether it proves
that LLW was, without a doubt, a lost play. T.W. Baldwin argued in his
1957 book on the subject that it does; and the Oxford editors are on
record as agreeing with him.

In fact, since Much Ado was: a) printed before August 1603 (the date of
the bookseller's list), and b) known to Meres in time for inclusion in
Palladis Tamia, and c) not listed alongside LLW in Palladis Tamia and
the Bookseller's List -- LLW could be a reference to Much Ado.  In other
words, Mr. Baldwin cannot rule out LLW as a possible alternative title
for Much Ado.

The critical points made by Lucas Erne (and marginally reinforced by me)
are: a) Much Ado COULD BE another name for LLW and b) therefore,
contrary to the hypothesis of T.W. Baldwin, the Bookseller's List does
not prove that LLW is a lost work by Shakespeare.

Melvyn R. Leventhal

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melvyn R. Leventhal <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 13:26:41 EDT
Subject: 16.0810 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

 >Mr. Leventhal's prodigious analysis is most striking for its failure to
 >address the internal evidence at the end of LLL that a sequel was
 >contemplated.

Please state the "internal evidence" that a sequel was contemplated for
LLL and that also rules out Much Ado as that sequel.  After all, "The
Merry Wives of Windsor" was not named "The Return of Falstaff."  In
other words, even if a sequel was "contemplated" please explain why it
could not be the play Much Ado About Nothing.  LLL was written no later
than 1596 and Much Ado appeared two years later.

Thank you.

Melvyn R. Leventhal

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 22:11:13 +0100
Subject: 16.0810 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

Duncan Salkeld wrote:

 >Kathy Dent must be broadly right (as usual). Pierce Penniless his
 >Supplication to the Devil is an example of the early English genitive,
 >and Summers Last Will and Testament an example of the more modern
 >usage.

Actually, it's the other way around.  The 'his' form is a later
(Elizabethan?) form affecting to believe (by a process akin to folk
etymology) that the genitive 's' was a contraction of 'his', whereas in
fact the 's' simply represented the OE/ME genitive.  The apostrophe was
introduced in the 17th century to mark this totally non-existent elision.

 >Pilgrim's Progress, I believe, used the apostrophe. No apostrophe was
 >used for the title of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in the Stationer's
 >Register 1600, Q1, Q2 and F. Possessive apostrophes were not used in
 >common English or secretary hand prior to 1625.

Perhaps I should point out that it is the "Stationers' Register"!

John Briggs

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 21:52:09 -0400
Subject: 16.0810 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0810 Love's Labours Won

 >Duncan Salkeld writes: "Kathy Dent must be broadly right (as usual).
Pierce Penniless his
 >Supplication to the Devil is an example of the early English genitive,
 >and Summers Last Will and Testament an example of the more modern usage."

Jonathan Hope, Shakespeare's Grammar, 39, discusses the "his genitive,"
noting that it can be found in both Old English and Middle English -- as
well as Early Modern English, of course.

Bill

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005 23:36:46 -0400
Subject: 16.0798 Love's Labours Won
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0798 Love's Labours Won

John Briggs wrote:

 >>David Basch has a genius (and I do not use the word lightly) for firmly
 >>grasping the wrong end of the stick.  He may well be right that "Love's
 >>Labour's Lost" is marginally more probable than "Love's Labours Lost",
 >>but the former case would mean 'the labour of love (or Love) is lost',
 >>and the latter 'the labours of love (or Love) are lost'.  As Todd
 >>Pettigrew has pointed out, 'to lose one's labour' is proverbial for
 >>'wasting one's effort', and actually used by Shakespeare....

Let me clarify my role on this issue. I gave what the late Yale scholar
Leslie Hotson thought of this matter. I respect Hotson's opinion since I
have found him thorough in his scholarship and wise on many issues.

I would observe that to lose one's labor may be proverbial as "wasting
one's effort," but this is not quite the same as "losing love's labor,"
which seems to be a special usage. If you assume, as Hotson did, that
love's labour is difficult and painful, to lose it is to be rid of this
cursed condition. This does occur to the four young men in LLL since all
four lose love's labor by achieving their love. In each case, as noted
in the play, "Jack has got his Jill." Only a skewed look at this play
could bring the conclusion that these fellows were not successful in
love and their effort was wasted, even though they must nobly wait a
year to accompany the princess in mourning her father.

It follows then that only a play in which love is not successful would
answer the condition of Love's Labor's Won. That is why the suggestion
of Much Ado About Nothing would not meet this condition since we have
here again successful love and not love's painful labor forever won.
Hotson found this condition achieved in Troilus and Cressida, Troilus
having WON a lifetime of love's labor, a painful condition of
unsuccessful love.

Hotson's view may ultimately be found wrong, but it is not at all
ridiculous as a suggestion and is an end of the stick I proudly have
grasped.

David Basch

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

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.