The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0243 Monday, 13 May 2013
Date: May 13, 2013 6:25:16 AM EDT
Subject: A New Source for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Larry Weiss may mean to imply that a work in Greek may have been beyond Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s knowledge of Greek is debatable, I understand.
But Andreas Divus’ Venice translation of all of Aristophanes’ works was available by 1538.
“Scholars passably competent in Latin could read all of Aristophanes’ works in Andreas Divus’ Venice translation as early as 1538; what is far more remarkable is that the plays were all published in Italian translation only seven years later. Literary theorists at the time were well aware of the significance of this feat, and envisaged the impact that it might have on contemporary comedy.
But it was Divus’ Latin translation that was reprinted several times within only a few years, and it was his book that probably explains the speed at which knowledge of Aristophanes spread all over Europe: Peace was performed in Cambridge, for example, in 1546. Indeed, despite the early Italian translation, it was in England that Aristophanes seems first to have been taken seriously as an ancestor of Early Modern comedy, an author whose scripts offered a wealth of ideas and scenes that could be developed by contemporary playwrights. Matthew Steggle’s chapter takes up the story in the English Renaissance, asking the question: what was it in Aristophanes that Ben Jonson and his contemporaries found so consistently stimulating?”
Nevertheless, I would like to thank Larry Weiss for his comment because he warmly referred to me as “Kimura-sensei” and indeed, as an adjunct faculty member with a few posts here and there at small colleges in the mountainous Western part of Japan, that is what people call me here. My “Midsummer Night’s Dream” paper is now also available at http://independent.academia.edu/MarianneKimura
It has been getting a lot of views at Slideshare and I’m extremely grateful for the attention my solar-energy idea is attracting.