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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: June ::
Upstart Crow
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0357  Thursday, 7 June 2007

[1] 	From: 	William Godshalk <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 15 May 2007 15:11:28 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0338 Upstart Crow

[2] 	From: 	J. Richard Forbing <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:31:41 -0700
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0338 Upstart Crow

[3] 	From: 	Rose Frankfort <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 15 May 2007 20:42:11 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0338 Upstart Crow


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		William Godshalk <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 15 May 2007 15:11:28 -0400
Subject: 18.0338 Upstart Crow
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0338 Upstart Crow

I would like to note that Peter Alexander believed the "upstart crow" 
was a reference to Shakespeare as an actor, not to Shakespeare as a 
poet. Greene is complaining that Shakespeare the actor was "beautified 
with our feathers," i.e. our words, our plays. And now he has the 
effrontery to write plays himself.

Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		J. Richard Forbing <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 15 May 2007 16:31:41 -0700
Subject: 18.0338 Upstart Crow
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0338 Upstart Crow

A small tangent, but related: reading this discussion, I was recalling 
that Greene's most famous work was his series of "deathbed" writings. I 
believe these included the "upstart crow" bit, but also Greene's 
expressions of regret over a dissolute life, wherein he decried his 
various means of debauchery. The reason I bring this up is, in high 
school I wrote a paper wherein I proposed what I believed (in the 
arrogant omniscience reserved for the pubescent) to be an "original" 
hypothesis that Shakespeare had written the description of Falstaff's 
death in Henry V as a parody of Greene, as revenge for the upstart crow 
bit. Remembering it now, I poked around on the Internet to seek what 
scholarship had produced on this subject. I see some mention of Greene 
as model for Falstaff on Wikipedia (and I'm off to the bookstore to give 
Stephen Greenblatt's book another look, as I hadn't noticed a reference 
on previous perusals), but I was wondering if anyone could point me in 
the direction of any more substantial discussion or debate?

Pardon my ignorance if there has already been a good deal of discussion 
on this somewhere, I subscribe to this list as a Shakespearean actor 
rather than an academician (won't even finish my bachelor's for another 
year).

Looking at it now, after years in the theatre, I sometimes wonder if 
Greene's attack was as serious as most of us assume. As I read it, it 
seems that the "Shake-scene" stuff could be real vitriol, or it could be 
more like Ben Jonson's mocking of Shakespeare in various writings-- a 
good friend, fellow professional, and sometime competitor giving someone 
he knew a bad time. Of course, there's no real way of knowing, it is 
just a reading that reflects my personal experience of how theatrical 
types relate in the present day.

--Jeremy Forbing

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Rose Frankfort <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 15 May 2007 20:42:11 -0400
Subject: 18.0338 Upstart Crow
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0338 Upstart Crow

Does anyone know who first came to the conclusion that the "upstart 
crow" was Shakespeare?  I can't find any contemporary references.  The 
first reference I have is around the 1770's by Tyrwhitt and Malone.

Rose Frankfort

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