The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0317 Tuesday, 18 April 2006
Date: Monday, 17 Apr 2006 21:18:03 -0400
Subject: 17.0313 Caracalla
Comment: Re: SHK 17.0313 Caracalla
>[Centerwall] is much less convincing when he argues that the
>passages he quotes show the knotted syntax characteristic of
>Chapman's dramatic verse, for the extracts he prints read
>perfectly clearly to me in a way that is true of little of
>Chapman's tragic verse. But then he argues, too, that the
>simple dramaturgy of Caracalla indicates that it must be a
>very early work, perhaps Chapman's first play, and here he
>falls into the common trap of assuming that dramatists produce
>more complicated plays as they mature, something the chronology
>of Shakespeare's plays shows to be untrue (Pericles?!) but something
>which underpinned the ambitious and mistaken chronologies
>created by, say, Malone.
"Complex", like "simple", is a dangerously multivalent word, both often
degenerating into the merely evaluative, or even the phatic. When I, for
one, think of "complexity" in Shakespeare, I think first of "Cymbeline"
(which, if I recall aright, Malone indeed misplaced as early).
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