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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
More Shakespeare Code ...
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1460  Monday, 5 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Steve Sohmer <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 3 Sep 2005 10:44:24 EDT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1452 More Shakespeare Code ...

[2] 	From: 	Stefan Andreas Sture <
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	Date: 	Sunday, 4 Sep 2005 21:22:07 +0200
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1452 More Shakespeare Code ...

[3] 	From: 	Jan Pick <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 3 Sep 2005 19:20:18 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1452 More Shakespeare Code ...


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Steve Sohmer <
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Date: 		Saturday, 3 Sep 2005 10:44:24 EDT
Subject: 16.1452 More Shakespeare Code ...
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1452 More Shakespeare Code ...

Dear Friends,

I'm familiar with Clare Asquith's work, both her 'Shadowplay' and her 
articles. One cannot encounter these documents without admiration both 
for her ingenuity and her scholarship. But she is more polemicist than 
scholar. She conveniently overlooks the fact that Shakespeare wrote a 
play about the assassination of an absolutist Bishop of Rome ('Julius 
Caesar') and in 'Othello' rejects both the cult of virginity and the 
doctrine of merit.

There are scores of Catholics in Shakespeare's plays, as there were in 
his family and his England. And his texts are dotted with allusions to 
defunct Catholic holy days (e.g., the Feast of Saint James the Greater), 
rituals (e.g., confession, creeping to the cross, the Holy Saturday 
rites), and dogma (e.g., purgatory).

But to infer from these references that Shakespeare was a recusant 
Catholic and, indeed, a polemicist for the old religion is to 
appropriate him in a way which is inappropriate, given the established 
facts of his life and a broad view of his canon. He was remarkably 
tolerant. Then again, so was the religious settlement contrived by 
Elizabeth, Nicholas Bacon, and Mathew Parker in 1559.

Shakespeare was possessed of a universal sympathy, a quality alien to 
conspiracy theorists and polemicists alike. One would like to see an end 
to the excesses of the Counter-Reformation.

Hope this helps.

Steve Sohmer

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Stefan Andreas Sture <
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Date: 		Sunday, 4 Sep 2005 21:22:07 +0200
Subject: 16.1452 More Shakespeare Code ...
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1452 More Shakespeare Code ...

I can't help but think of Ozzy Osbourne's comment in the early 80s, when 
he was accused of putting backward messages in his songs (worshipping 
Satan), he said he had enough trouble making sense the right way. 
There's a far cry between Ozzy and Will, I know. But I do deeply believe 
that writers wish to make sense and tries to put it right in front of us.

Yours,
Stefan A Sture
http://www.quicktopic.com/31/H/4tmfaY2kjZd

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jan Pick <
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Date: 		Saturday, 3 Sep 2005 19:20:18 +0100
Subject: 16.1452 More Shakespeare Code ...
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1452 More Shakespeare Code ...

It always amazes me that some scholars seem to think the Elizabethans 
were too stupid to spot all these hidden codes!  Frankly, if we were 
told that from tomorrow the only state religion in England to be allowed 
was Hinduism I think our grandchildren would probably be as aware of the 
forms and philosophy of Christianity as William Shakespeare would be of 
Catholicism. I heard the author interviewed on R4 with Stanley Wells and 
agreed with him that if you set up a theory then work to prove it and 
ignore anything that works against it - or as in her case claims it to 
be a deliberate anti-stance - it makes for a deeply flawed argument.

Jan

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