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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: May ::
Failed Application
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0859  Tuesday, 3 May 2005

[1]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 May 2005 22:33:49 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0838 Failed Application

[2]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 May 2005 20:18:23 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0838 Failed Application

[3]     From:   David Basch <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 03 May 2005 11:27:04 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0838 Failed Application


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 May 2005 22:33:49 +0100
Subject: 16.0838 Failed Application
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0838 Failed Application

I am disappointed that Hardy Cook should choose to attack the only sane
part of David Basch's post.  It seems to me that Basch's summary of the
evidence regarding John Shakespeare's lack of gentility, and of similar
doubts over Mary Arden's, is unexceptional.  There is also nothing
exceptional about doubts over Mary Arden's religion, or her husband's.
The absurd inference about them both being 'secret Jews' need not detain
us, of course.  (That there *were* secret Jews in London and Bristol is
not surprising, of course.)

To describe Robert Arden as 'an adherent to the Old Faith' is somewhat
tendentious - because he died while Queen Mary was still on the throne,
he was in no position to be anything else.  It might (or might not) have
been a different matter had he died after 1559, but the next generation
were in a changed position - and the generation after that had even less
connection with the 'Old Faith'.

It is unwise to cite the television personality Michael Wood as an
expert on any of this.  After all, he speaks of 'Henry VIII's
Reformation' - which would have surprised a king who wrote against
Luther, and in return received from the pope the title "Defender of the
Faith".

John Briggs

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 May 2005 20:18:23 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.0838 Failed Application
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0838 Failed Application

David Basch  writes, "I raise this issue because William Shakespeare
through his work presents the profile of a hidden Jew. He knows Hebrew
since his work is filled with examples of it. He knows details of
traditional Jewish worship and the Talmud...Some of the methods the poet
used for this is similar to that used by Joseph in the Bible to
communicate to his brothers when Joseph displays to them that he knew
familial things. I have conveyed some of these communications to the
list and there is much more, confirming the poet's familiarity with the
Hebrew language and familiarity with Judaic life and practices."

As one familiar with *Christology* and having written a book as a
Biblical scholar, I can assure Hardy's membership that all is not lost:
Christians are of a Judaic-Christian culture.  Thus, the scholars I
cited who found circa 1,300 literary allusions in Will Shakespeare's
plays to the Bible would not be surprised by Will Shakespeare's
Judaic-Christian background.  I am not.  Nor am I surprised by my own
Judaic-Christian background, having been confirmed at age 13 in
Christian Sunday school, roughly the same age as Jesus disputing with
the Rabbis in the Temple, or the age of Jewish boys passing their own
*Bar*!  In other words, none of this argues that Will Shakespeare was
other than Judaic-Christian, and like myself, was familiar with both the
Old Testament and the New.

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <
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Date:           Tuesday, 03 May 2005 11:27:04 -0400
Subject: 16.0838 Failed Application
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0838 Failed Application

I am indebted to Hardy Cook for taking the time to fill me in on some of
Mary Arden's historical background. Much of this detail is new to me. No
doubt, the signs that Hardy Cook cites would indicate that Mary is
descended from a family associated with Catholicism, including through
her father's will that made such religious references.
It is to be noted that so did William Shakespeare's legal will contain
expressions of Christian religious faith. If this were all historians
had to go by, then the matter of Christian faith would have been proven
except for the quibbles between Protestants and Catholics as to which of
the two faiths the poet professed. But that is not all there is to it.

To begin with, speaking hypothetically, does anyone believe that, had
somewhere in this lineage there been a Jewish family, it would have been
left a different trail than those that have been found? What was found
could not be otherwise in an England in which for more than 300 years it
had been a crime for a Jew to reside and in which discovery of such
could have spelled expulsion or death. If a hypothetical Jewish family
wished to pass on property, its legal will would necessarily have had to
follow the period's conventional legal forms, which included expressions
of Christian religious faith.

We know today that there were in this England secret Jews, at least two
communities in Bristol and London. Perhaps there were others.  Hence, it
would not be beyond belief that occasionally there could have been
Jewish families hidden in this environment. If so, the evidence provided
by public wills would not give absolute certainty that all legaters were
Christian, though, admittedly, this would for the most part have been
the fact, that is, unless there were contra indications. As I have tried
to show, there were indeed some contra indications with respect to
William Shakespeare. For example, one of these indications is Richard
Shakespeare's legal will that referred to his son John, William's
father, as "Johannem Shakere."

Of course, as Hardy Cook pointed out, this alone is hardly compelling
contra evidence. But this datum does not exist alone. It can be
correlated with other findings that indicate that this name, which has
the Hebrew meaning, "false," was recognized by the poet who crafted an
artifact alluding to it and who created dramatic situations in his plays
(I count four) that enact biblical lines in which the word "sheker"
appears ("shakere" being another form of the very same Hebrew word).
What is more, in his plays, the poet displays considerable knowledge of
the Talmud. Aside from direct quotes and allusions, there are at least
two famous Talmudic controversies used in Hamlet as central features.
And there is much more besides this in his work that demonstrates his
knowledge of traditional, Jewish, religious culture as well as a command
of the Hebrew language. A taste of the latter has appeared in
Shakespeare Survey, as Florence Amit has presented to the list, and
other such indications have been presented by myself and appear in my books.

How did the poet come upon this knowledge and why did he choose to bring
it up in his work in ways that appear telltale? These are questions that
I have urged authorities and scholars to confront. In the meantime, I
have found my own answers to these questions which tell of a Jewish poet
who seems likely to have descended from families of hidden Jews. I have
presented accounts of these findings in my books and have continued to
compile new findings ever since, some of which appear on my web sites at
http://www.ziplink.net/~entropy and
http://www.ziplink.net/~entropy/codes.htm .

Larry Weiss makes an interesting suggestion for reviewing my work, in
which I and he post a $10,000 stake on the matter. That amount is a
little steep for me, but why is it needed? My findings are already
exposed through my books and I welcome examination of their contents and
would be happy to review any of this information with members of the
list. The only thing I would request is that such interchanges allow
true dialogue and communication and not empty charges and baseless
assertions.

David Basch

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