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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: October ::
Shakespeare and Science
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1775  Thursday, 20 October 2005

[1] 	From: 	Gabriel Egan <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 18 Oct 2005 19:09:44 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science

[2] 	From: 	John Drakakis <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 19 Oct 2005 11:52:35 +0100
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science

[3] 	From: 	Mari Bonomi <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 19 Oct 2005 09:50:58 -0400
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science

[4] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 19 Oct 2005 19:06:51 +0000
	Subj: 	Re: Shakespeare and Science

[5] 	From: 	Peter Bridgman <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 20 Oct 2005 05:04:44 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 18 Oct 2005 19:09:44 +0100
Subject: 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science

Annalisa Castaldo asked:

 >Is there a work that collates and/or discusses the
 >way Shakespeare uses science or pseudo-science?

There's a discussion of the knowledge about where pearls come from (in 
relation to "Those are pearls that were his eyes" in Ariel's song) at 
the beginning of B. J. Sokol's _A Brave New World of Knowledge: 
Shakespeare's The Tempest and Early Modern Epistemology_ (Madison NJ: 
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003). Sokol goes on to write 
about archaeological evidence that someone at Jamestown was 
experimenting with weather-measuring (and what might even be thought to 
be weather-altering) technologies. Shakespeare, Sokol argues, would have 
known about this person and his characterization of Prospero was shaped 
by that knowledge.

Foregoing false modesty, I will add that my book _Green Shakespeare: 
 From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism_ (out from Routledge in their Accents 
on Shakespeare series in January 2006) argues that the latest science of 
our time returns us to scientific and philosophical ideas of 
Shakespeare's time in ways that Enlightenment thinkers would have found 
unimaginable. It turns out, for example, that what we humans do can 
alter the weather.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Drakakis <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 19 Oct 2005 11:52:35 +0100
Subject: 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science

It depends what you mean by 'science'.

I suppose The Tempest might offer the most obvious example.  There are 
some references to 'alchemy' and to medicine, and of course, to issues 
of astronomy.  Nothing quite like Jonson's The Alchemist though.  Does 
'witchcraft' come under the heading of 'science' and 'pseudo science' here?

It's a fascinating question

Cheers,
John Drakakis

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Mari Bonomi <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 19 Oct 2005 09:50:58 -0400
Subject: 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science

It's not scholarly, but what about Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare, by 
Isaac Asimov?  It explains the science in every play I believe.

Mari Bonomi

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 19 Oct 2005 19:06:51 +0000
Subject: 	Re: Shakespeare and Science

For Shakespeare and alchemy, check out THE CHEMICAL THEATRE (1980) by 
Charles Nicholl (ISBN 0 7100 0515 6).

Joe Egert

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Thursday, 20 Oct 2005 05:04:44 +0100
Subject: 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1761 Shakespeare and Science

Annalisa Castaldo asks ...

 >... can anyone suggest places where Shakespeare uses science
 >either as a plot device or as imagery?

Brother Lawrence's drug that induces catalepsy in Romeo and Juliet?

Peter Bridgman

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