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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: July ::
Less said the better, it seems
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1262  Friday, 29 July 2005

From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Jul 2005 09:39:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.1254 Less said the better, it seems
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1254 Less said the better, it seems

I regret my comparison of two comedies to Romeo and Juliet (though R&J
begins with a comic structure). I don't regret my larger point: There
are a number of equally fine plays by Shakespeare's contemporaries that
would bear favorable comparison to most of Shakespeare's plays. And some
of these plays have an intertextual relationship with the plays of
Shakespeare. Why not read Taming of the Shrew with The Roaring Girl and
see if the latter is really any more frothy than the former. Or read The
Changeling with any number of Shakespeare's tragedies. It isn't a lesser
play.

I suppose that I am guilty of circular reasoning or special pleading
here.  After all, there needs to be some basis for designations of
"better," "worse," or "equal to." But I am influenced by those studies
which show that Shakespeare's exalted status was not a given in his own
lifetime, that he was made into the national poet. The unwashed masses
distinctly loved A Game at Chess. The purveyors of taste found Titus
Andronicus tawdry and of dubious value.

Jack Heller

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