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

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0212  Saturday, 4 May 2013

 

[Editor’s Note: The “Shakespeare the Grain-Dealing Tax Evader” (Businessman) Thread has taken off into several directions, some of which seem to me not to be useful to pursue. I will allow another round or two of the Businessman portion. However, if you wish to continue discussing any of the other topics (such as “Coal-Fog-Smog”) that have been included under this rubric, please do so by submitting them with a Subject that describes accurately that topic. –Hardy]

 

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

     Date:         April 26, 2013 9:40:31 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Businessman 

 

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

     Date:         April 26, 2013 1:02:48 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Businessman 

 

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

     Date:         April 26, 2013 2:43:24 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Businessman 

 

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

     Date:         April 27, 2013 11:27:13 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER:  Businessman 

 

 

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

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

Date:         April 26, 2013 9:40:31 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Businessman

 

Larry Weiss wrote:

 

> Wasn’t the reviewer Eric Sams, who provided both the forward 

> and an essay published in your treatise?

 

I’m sure Michael Egan will say that you’ve got that backwards . . . 

 

John Briggs

 

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

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

Date:         April 26, 2013 1:02:48 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Businessman

 

PS: Regarding an aside in my last post:

 

>(though I did find a site that gave a Catalan definition of “caliban” 

>as “moon”)

 

I recalled after firing off my last missive that a number of the moons orbiting the planet Uranus have been named after Shakespearean characters, so I checked and find that indeed, one of the lesser moons of Uranus has been named Caliban, which explains the rather abbreviated “definition” I found above. 

 

Which, BTW, makes me think that if Mr. Roe did find some European dialect where the word “caliban” means “outcast” or “pariah,” that the word probably derived from the Shakespearean usage, and not the other way around. If you look up “caliban” in an English dictionary you’ll find that one of the definitions is “a brutal or brutalized man” and that the term is taken from the name of Shakespeare’s character.

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         April 26, 2013 2:43:24 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Businessman

 

>“Upon the foggie air . . . ” describes the pollution in vivid imagery. 

 

How is this? Fog and smog are entirely different phenomena. Fog is a natural phenomenon, occurring over coastal areas whenever air and water temperatures and wind speed and direction are right. The burning of fossil fuels neither produces nor inhibits fog. There would be fog over the Thames estuary even if there were no city there.

 

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         April 27, 2013 11:27:13 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER:  Businessman

 

In pointing out the business realities underlying Shakespeare’s investment/gamble in purchasing/hoarding corn, Larry Weiss has said something with which I can at last agree wholeheartedly. Along with the grasshopper and ant to which Larry refers, I think of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat and seven lean kine, as it led to wise preparation for times of dearth and won him royal favor for a valuable service.  

 

Why can we not put Shakespeare in this context, rather than picturing him as the market-cornering villain suggested by the apparent fact that he violated an anti-hoarding law—one that may well have been misguided, misapplied, or corruptly diverted for the benefit of royal favorites—by planning ahead? Do we know that he actually profiteered from excessively high prices when the time came for him to sell? I’d like to know.  

 

Further, might he not even have distributed his grain at a charitably modest price, acting like Pharaoh as the guardian of his community’s welfare? A good many lawbreakers are also culture heroes, though I don’t think Shakespeare was a Robin Hood. Yet he had an admirable reputation in London for a sort of easy gentility, of a nature that makes the image of a market-cornering profiteer in Stratford notably incongruent. The devil is once again lurking in the details, and that is where the exorcists should direct their searching.

 

Fiat lux,

Tony Burton 

 
 

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