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Home :: Archive :: 2013 :: April ::
Shakespeare the Grain-Dealing Tax Evader

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0164  Wednesday, 10 April 2013

 

[1] From:        Michael Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         April 8, 2013 5:48:27 PM EDT

     Subject:     Shakespeare Businessman 

 

[2] From:        Gerald E. Downs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         April 8, 2013 7:05:09 PM EDT

     Subject:     Shakespeare a Tax-Evading Hoarder 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Michael Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 8, 2013 5:48:27 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare Businessman

 

Obviously this matter of Shakespeare’s ruthless profiteering in times of famine has touched a nerve. 

 

Joseph Egert tries to whitewash it by calling it “grain dealing.” Bob Bearman pleads that Shakespeare 

 

wasn’t “doing anything illegal,” he was “simply found in possession” of more malt than “the less well-to-do.” 

 

Bearman leaves out the corn, the barley and the wheat, the money lending, the hard-hearted litigation over small amounts, but calls the poor and starving “less well-to-do.”  When they were hungry enough Shakespeare gouged them. John Drakakis wants to know “Why on earth should we think that the dramatist who wrote King Lear could not also be an absolute sod when dealing with his neighbours?"

 

The answer is that this is the same man who could write:

 

Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man,

That slaves your ordinance, that will not see

Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly; 

So distribution should undo excess, 

And each man have enough.

 

and

 

Take physic, pomp;

Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,

That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,

And show the heavens more just.

 

You can claim he was just faking it, but sincerity is the soul of art. These great works would never have endured if built on lies, hypocrisy, and guilt.

 

Michael Egan

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Gerald E. Downs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 8, 2013 7:05:09 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare a Tax-Evading Hoarder  

 

But is he alone?

 

Farmer Brown lived down our way,

Raised the best alfalfa hay;

Kept it for a rainy day,

Gosh-dern speculatin' jay.

His hay caught fire and burned one day.

He’s still got piles and piles, they say.

    Hoosier Hot Shots, “Piles of It”

 

Gerald E. Downs

 
 

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