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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
More Shakespeare Code ...
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1534  Thursday, 15 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Peter Bridgman <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 14:04:55 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1470 More Shakespeare Code ...

[2] 	From: 	Jack Heller <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 07:14:56 -0500 (EST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1517 More Shakespeare Code ...

[3] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 21:41:28 +0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1517 More Shakespeare Code...

[4] 	From: 	Alan Horn <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 18:14:11 EDT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1508 More Shakespeare Code ...


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 14:04:55 +0100
Subject: 16.1470 More Shakespeare Code ...
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1470 More Shakespeare Code ...

Robert Projansky writes of the Porter's scene in Macbeth ...

 >If Shakespeare were a secret recusant would he retail such
 >effective mockery of a martyr priest? And in the mouth of
 >so gross a character? Were the secret Catholics in the
 >audience to understand this mock to be included to put
 >the secret police off the scent?

Good question.  In answering it we might also consider the following 
exchange from Act 4 ...

MACDUFF'S SON:  Was my father a traitor, mother?
LADY MACDUFF:  Ay, that he was.
MACDUFF'S SON:  What is a traitor?
LADY MACDUFF:  Why, one that swears and lies.
MACDUFF'S SON:  And be all traitors that do so?
LADY MACDUFF:  Everyone that does so is a traitor, and must be hanged.
MACDUFF'S SON:  And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?
LADY MACDUFF:  Every one.
MACDUFF'S SON:  Who must hang them?
LADY MACDUFF:  Why, the honest men.
MACDUFF'S SON:  Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there are liars
and swearers enough to beat the honest men and hang up them.

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings?  John Gerard wrote a 
contemporary account of the hanging, drawing and quartering of the 
"traitor" Henry Garnet in St Paul's churchyard ...

" ... when he was cut up and his bowels cast into the fire, and his 
heart pulled out and showed unto the people with these words, which are 
ever used in such cases, "Behold the heart of a traitor", there was not 
heard any applause, or those that cried, "God save the King", which is 
always usual when the heart or head is held up in that kind".

I suggest that if the groundlings of St Paul's (i.e. the London mob) 
doubted the official line that Garnet was a traitor, it is quite likely 
that the writer for the Kings Men would have felt a certain pressure on 
him to come up with something like the Porter scene.  I further suggest 
that the poet's true feelings are closer to the lines given to MacDuff's 
son.

Peter Bridgman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jack Heller <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 07:14:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.1517 More Shakespeare Code ...
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1517 More Shakespeare Code ...

I have nothing more to say about Shakespearean Code (ie. 
wiskreccorshrip). I do want to say that on this exchange:

 >Quoting Joseph Egert
 >
 >>>Shakespeare's many audiences included political and religious sects of
 >>>all stripes,
 >
 >No.  Proto-Presbyterians, Puritans and Baptists did not attend the
 >theatre, and if they slipped in they would never admit it to a fellow
 >'fundamentalist.'
 >
 >V. K. Inman

Joseph Egert is more correct. Sufficient evidence can be found in 
scholarly publications on Dekker, Thomas Heywood, Middleton, Webster, 
their patrons, and on Foxe adaptations.

Jack Heller

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 21:41:28 +0000
Subject: 16.1517 More Shakespeare Code...
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1517 More Shakespeare Code...

To my listing Shakespeare's many audiences, VK Inman protests, "No. 
Proto-Presbyterians, Puritans and Baptists did not attend the theatre..."

Shakespeare's audiences were not restricted to public theaters outside 
the city limits, but included private playhouse gatherings and tour 
crowds in plague years. Enemies of the theaters could not help but take 
note of such events, if only to monitor and condemn these engines of 
corruption, while indulging in guilty pleasures themselves.

Regards,
Joe Egert

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Alan Horn <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 14 Sep 2005 18:14:11 EDT
Subject: 16.1508 More Shakespeare Code ...
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1508 More Shakespeare Code ...

Elliot H. Stone writes:

 >Did the audience that first saw Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible"
 >think it was written in a code"?
 >
 >I do not think that they did. They understood that it was an allegory
 >about a current political issue dressed up as the hysteria over witch
 >trials that took place centuries earlier.
 >
 >If you believe that the English audience that first viewed Hamlet
 >believed it was all about the Danish Kingdom and had no relevance to the
 >Elizabethan Court then your education is seriously impaired.

The Crucible is a play. The Crucible is a political allegory. Therefore, 
all plays are political allegories.

Alan Horn

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