The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0515 Friday, 16 October 2009
Date: Thursday, 15 Oct 2009 14:10:32 -0400
Subject: 20.0513 The Book of William by Paul Collins
Comment: Re: SHK 20.0513 The Book of William by Paul Collins
>If the Folio hadn't appeared we'd still have nearly half the canon in
>editions printed before 1623.
Gabriel Egan's observations lead me to pose a question which I have used
as an icebreaker at dinner parties and which List Members might find
interesting to pursue:
We agree, I suppose, that Shakespeare is qualitatively unique ("in a
category by himself") or perhaps just vastly superior to other poets
("light years ahead") or maybe just "ahead of the pack" (with Thomas
Middleton running a close second), and that the name "Shakespeare"
evokes an awed respect shared by no one else (not even Middleton). My
question is at what point in the Canon did William Shakespeare become
SHAKESPEARE. Presumably, WS's shares of Two Noble Kinsmen and Henry VIII
don't add much to his aura. What about Tempest? Would Shakespeare be
SHAKESPEARE if he hadn't written any of the late romances? Surely Timon
isn't needed. What about the rest of the mature tragedies -- suppose he
stopped after the Scottish Play?
At the other end, would we remember Shakespeare as anything other than a
potentially interesting contemporary of Marlowe if he died after the
first tetralogy, Errors, Shrew, Two Gents, etc.?
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