2006

HAMLET's Thirties

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0121  Monday, 6 March 2006

From: 		Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 06 Mar 2006 00:53:36 +0000
Subject: 	HAMLET's Thirties

Steve Sohmer writes [SHK 17.0071]:

 >I have argued elsewhere that Hamlet was conceived prior to the
 >marriage of Old Hamlet and Gertrude. Under prevailing law, that
 >made him a bastard eigne whose right to the succession could have
 >been vacated had Gertrude born Claudius a son in wedlock.

Dr Sohmer draws his conclusion from the following passage (Act 3;Sc2) 
among others:

     "Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
      Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
      And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen
      About the world have times twelve thirties been
      Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands
      Unite commutual in most sacred bands."

Dr Sohmer interprets Phoebus' "thirty times" as thirty days, not years; 
and the "thirty dozen moons" as an additional 360 synodal months.

Does anyone else, past or present, agree?

Skeptical,
Joe Egert

[Editor's Note: I would like to give exegesis of _Hamlet_ a rest from 
list discussions for a while. I agree with Holger Schott Syme 
perceptively wrote on November 15, 2005:

Unquestionably _Hamlet_ is a play worthy of much critical attention, but 
its exegesis takes up an excessive amount of space on this listserv (and 
it is of course no coincidence that it's usually the same 10-15 people 
driving those discussions). The list has many well-established figures 
as lurkers who only very occasionally participate in discussions, but 
that is not, I don't think, a sign of academic snobbery or indifference; 
rather, the kinds of arguments that keep reappearing in slightly 
different guises on this list are simply irrelevant to the vast majority 
of scholars working in the field today . . . I frankly don't understand 
why some subjects which _should_ be allowed to develop (the recent 
debate over stage-railings is a case in point: to theatre historians at 
least that's a subject worthy of extended discussion!) are treated the 
same as issues that are clearly only of interest to an extremely 
self-selecting group (almost any thread on _Hamlet_, for instance). My 
main objection is that many of the latter threads incessantly go over 
ground covered in innumerable previous discussions, are more or less out 
of touch with the current state of the field, and often revolve around 
subjects well-treated in the existing (older) literature. 
<http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2005/1893.html>]

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Authentication Article

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0120  Monday, 6 March 2006

[1] 	From: 	Bob Grumman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 3 Mar 2006 18:46:32 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0107 Authentication Article

[2] 	From: 	Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Saturday, 4 Mar 2006 01:24:32 EST
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0097 Authentication Article


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bob Grumman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 3 Mar 2006 18:46:32 -0500
Subject: 17.0107 Authentication Article
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0107 Authentication Article

 >I am, however, puzzled by one of his conclusions found in Chapter 11
 >page 364 in which he deals with the Elegy by W.S. Dedication "---Just
 >so 'W.S.' affirms that, in performing 'this last duty of a friend to 
William
 >Peter.
 >
 >(*1) I am herein but a second to the priviledge of Truth who can warrant
 >more in his behalf, than I undertooke to deliver.
 >
 >The language of the Elegye's dedication, with its denial of ulterior 
motives,
 >mercenary or sycophantic, echoes Ford's dedications in other respects."
 >
 >It would appear to my ear that in fact what' W.S.' is saying is- "That 
I have
 >no intention of telling the Truth"!

No, he's saying that his effort is merely a seconding of what reality, 
or the actual facts of the matter, would show.  Like a painter saying 
his painting was nothing compared to the real thing.

That the poem is a satire seems far-fetched to me.

How many of his dedications did Ford sign, "W.S.," by the way?

--Bob G.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Saturday, 4 Mar 2006 01:24:32 EST
Subject: 17.0097 Authentication Article
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0097 Authentication Article

Bob Grumman noted:

 >Kennedy early on opposed the attribution, then was later the first to
 >advance Ford as the author--but with very little foundation other than
 >his view that Shakespeare could not have written a poem as bad as
 >Kennedy thought the Elegy.  I believe others were first to argue that
 >Ford wrote the elegy with what I'd call scholarly arguments.

This comment raises an issue that should be important to members of the 
group. The question of priority is old, vexed, subjective and subject to 
bias. If anyone were to "propose" a new opinion on SHK, would he have a 
scholarly claim, or must that honor always go to first mention in a 
peer-reviewed publication? To my mind the matter depends on two primary 
questions. First, the public nature of the Internet ensures that posts 
on the group are for all to search and are not private correspondence. 
Why should a novel opinion not be recognized? Second, an opinion without 
argument loses its force.  After all, a correct solution may be offered 
for bad reasons. If one hopes his suggestion will be accepted, he should 
argue the case.

In respect of "Elegye", Richard Kennedy argued Ford's authorship 
(despite Grumman's memory) as any may see by searching the 1996 thread. 
Brian Vickers properly credited the direction of his own thinking to 
Kennedy, but that is not to say Monsarrat was in any way indebted to 
Kennedy. The question remains: Does a peer-reviewed journal trump the 
Internet, despite priority in date?  The issue must also remain trivial 
until someone is credited for an opinion you expressed a while back. If 
discussions on this group are worthwhile, that could happen.

It is my guess that in his recent rehabilitation feeler Foster could not 
resist the slight to Kennedy and the informal group with which he 
participated until his downfall. Another feeling from Priorityville is 
that the person first suggesting Ford as Elegye's author was no other 
than Foster himself, who made the case in 1989. It is clear in hindsight 
that had Foster publicized the stylometric evidence for Ford's 
authorship the attribution would have been made then.  But was Foster 
curious enough to pursue that candidacy?

At any rate, I believe there is some potential for Internet groups as 
sources to be cited in scholarly work; but that potential has not been 
met for Shakespeare studies. One obvious reason is that an ambitious 
character with something to say will reserve his opinion for 
publication. And why not?

Gerald E. Downs

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Arden3 Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0118  Monday, 6 March 2006

From: 		Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 3 Mar 2006 15:44:08 -0500
Subject: 17.0106 Arden3 Hamlet
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0106 Arden3 Hamlet

First, let me absolve John Briggs.  I share his dismay at the pricing of 
the second volume of the Arden 3 Hamlet and his lament that the first 
volume will not include a reduced facsimile of Q1 as other "bad quartos" 
have been provided for other plays-which is an admirable thing for Arden 
3 to do.  But he did not echo my further misgivings about Arden 3, and I 
don't share his feeling that Jenkins' 1982 edition gives us a "text 
already out of date."

John-Paul Spiro seems to share my high opinion of Jenkins' edition, 
although I can't imagine that many of his "everyday readers" really want 
"to make their own choices" from among the three early texts of Hamlet. 
  Most readers do indeed want "someone else to do the work"; and this is 
what editors do-or should do, or used to do; and Mr. Spiro and I agree 
that Jenkins did it about as well as it gets done.

An edition of a literary work is something different from an archive of 
its earliest texts. David Kastan, one of the Arden 3 general editors, 
once told me (and for publication) that the goal of the series was to 
present the work in its full literary context, which means, I think, 
that the notes and introductions (which John Briggs seems to dismiss as 
tangential), are quite significant to the worth of an edition.

I value such things as the Bertram and Kliman Three Text Hamlet, and 
Kliman's Enfolded Hamlet, and Tronch-Perez's Synoptic Hamlet, and Rene 
Weiss's and Norton's facing page Lears (which, however. clearly 
demonstrate that perhaps 95% of these "two different plays" are 
identical). But I don't consider them editions of the play, much less 
authoritative editions, as Paul Doniger suggests. They give us the raw 
materials for an edition, and as such, they are very valuable, as are 
the Arden 3 facsimile bad quartos, and Hinman's facsimile First Folio, 
and so on. But they don't attempt to provide for "a generation [and 
especially a new generation] of students, scholars, readers, and 
playgoers" (stolen from Al Magary) a version of the work that is 
sufficiently rich and reliable to aspire to being authoritative or 
definitive.  This is what Arden 2, and even Arden 1, aspired to; this is 
what Jenkins at least came within shouting distance of achieving.

To what degree and how the editor should make his reader aware of 
differences between the text of early versions is an open question.  I 
have no real objection to the Arden 2's using reduced italic type under 
the main text, or to Riverside's relegating textual notes to an appendix 
after the play.  Most readers most of the time aren't interested, and 
those who are can inform themselves.  I share Tad Davis's sense that the 
Folger editions have become intrusive and confusing with their system of 
typographical indicators; I tend to feel the same about Norton and 
indented passages. If a reader does want more or less continual 
information about this sort of thing, Bertram and Kliman et al. are 
where to go.

Al Magary-whose postings on Shaksper I admire, but now, I guess, not 
unreservedly-condemns me to wandering lonely on the moor in foul 
weather. He says that Arden 3 is a product of its times.  Just so; and 
lamentably just so.  Al finds Q1 "playable"; of course it is, since it 
is about 1500 lines shorter than the more authoritative versions.  And 
since both of these versions (Q2 and F) are far too long for what we 
suppose of Elizabethan performance, does not this suggest that Hamlet is 
not properly considered as just a play-script, but is perhaps a literary 
artifact? Al also quotes with seeming approval Marjorie Garber's 
characterization of Q1 "To be or not to be" as "authentic," but is the 
passage not clearly a less than minimally successful attempt to recall 
the version we know from Q2 and F? Al, is a dry house worth it?

Finally, Gabriel Egan consoles my expectation that the Jenkins edition 
will be withdrawn when the Arden 3 Hamlet appears with the good news 
that it will still be in the libraries.  I had of course been fearful 
lest the Arden 3 editors track down and pulp all surviving copies of 
Jenkins. For this relief, much thanks.

Tom Pendleton

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

no country for old men?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0119  Monday, 6 March 2006

[1] 	From: 	Marvin Bennet Krims <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 3 Mar 2006 11:51:44 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0105 no country for old men?

[2] 	From: 	Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 3 Mar 2006 14:58:18 -0500 (EST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0105 no country for old men?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Marvin Bennet Krims <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 3 Mar 2006 11:51:44 -0500
Subject: 17.0105 no country for old men?
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0105 no country for old men?

Judging from the Sonnets, Shakespeare seemed to have negative feelings 
about his own aging, even young as he was when he wrote them.
	
Does anyone have ideas about Shakespeare's own attitudes about aging and 
the aged.
	
Marvin Krims
	
[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 3 Mar 2006 14:58:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 17.0105 no country for old men?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0105 no country for old men?

I am surprised to find another listmember who has read The Old Law, 
which was co-written by Thomas Middleton, William Rowley, and Philip 
Massinger. Whenever the Oxford Middleton gets released, one benefit will 
be to have such plays more readily available. I would disagree with Mike 
Jensen's reference to the debate not being gender specific. In this 
play, the old law requires the deaths of the elderly at different ages 
for men and women. Sexual desire motivates getting rid of an old wife. 
(It has been a while since I last read the play, but I think women had 
to die at 60, men at 80.) The desire for inheritance motivates getting 
rid of an old man.  The Old Law is a mighty strange comedy, dated around 
1618.

Jack Heller

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

An XML Schema for Shakespeare's Plays

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0117  Monday, 6 March 2006

From: 		Peter Paolucci <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Sunday, 05 Mar 2006 22:43:59 -0500
Subject: 17.0068 An XML Schema for Shakespeare's Plays
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0068 An XML Schema for Shakespeare's Plays

Gabriel Egan wants to know what I think of David Crystal's Shakespeare 
markup project, and how it relates to my own particular project.

Crystal's tagging (using Antony & Cleo as an example) does not use a 
Schema to define its elements; it uses a different and older technology 
called a DTD.  At one point DTDs and Schemas were competing, but it has 
subsequently become clear (to my team at least) that Schemas are 
preferable because they are more robust and can handle more 
sophisticated searches better than DTDs.  Schema also handle multimedia 
better and faster.

Nevertheless, Crystal's work is valuable and I am learning much from it. 
He defines parameters (tags) that my project would term "dramatic," 
things such as play:title, play:character, chorus, character names, 
prose, song, songtitle, speaker:sex and so on.  He has also has 
(rightly) defined special entities to handle odd characters such as 
letters with diphthongs and ligatures.

Crystal designed his code to correspond to a Penguin edition and he 
wanted also to preserve line breaks, even empty lines (!) and 
distributed lines (i.e.: one metrical line shared by two or more 
characters).   This was *very* helpful to me in my own thinking about 
format and layout as editorial concerns.

I do not know if Crystal used the guidelines for editing and producing 
variorum editions, or even if they were available when he began his 
work, but they certainly are essential these days.

I want to imagine a much more robust and interdisciplinary resource that 
codes not only for dramatic and editorial (textual) parameters, but also 
integrates these with linguistics, stylistics, grammar, criticism, 
Renaissance history, Shakespeare's biography, and an "inter-textual" 
category that maps ideas in Shakespeare to his other literary 
influences.  The project is ambitious, but we are primarily interested 
in creating the architecture for the information more that managing to 
get it all populated with data; that may only happen long after I have 
passed over to a better place!  Deep coding, as it's called, means 
layering multiple XML elements over top of every aspect of the text, 
even punctuation and spacing.

So yes, even though I want to expand Crystal's parameters and negotiate 
between XML and the various other standards that are coming into play 
(TEI, editorial best practices, etc), I have learned from his work and 
he's worth looking at.

One codicil.  In my undergraduate days, the most sophisticated kind of 
tool you could use on Shakespeare's works was a concordance.  What a 
wonderful day that was for me when I discovered that resource!   The OED 
was (and still is) a wonderful help to scholarship, but it had to be 
built through the mind-numbing process of painstakingly recording each 
word and its location. Those of us working on this new area are excited 
by the prospect of developing tools that will empower critical insight 
into Shakespeare in all kinds of new and yet unanticipated ways, but the 
patience required is significant.


_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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