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The Archbishop Wasn't There? So Forth.
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1008  Wednesday, 16 November 2006

[1] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 14 Nov 2006 14:17:55 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.1002 The Archbishop Wasn't There? So Forth.

[2] 	From: 	David Evett <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 14 Nov 2006 16:26:03 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.1002 The Archbishop Wasn't There? So Forth.


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 14 Nov 2006 14:17:55 -0500
Subject: 17.1002 The Archbishop Wasn't There? So Forth.
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.1002 The Archbishop Wasn't There? So Forth.

Joe Egan and Bruce Young seem to confuse my exegesis of the Archbishop's 
argument as an essay on Shakespeare's own attitude.  I have seldom if 
ever made that kind of mistake.  For example, Shakespeare probably did 
not himself advocate the murder of all lawyers however much people like 
to quote Dick the Butcher as if his words reflected the author's own 
opinion.

I do not know, or overmuch care, whether WS's personal sympathies lay 
with Lancastrians or Yorkists, whether he was a jingoist or pacifist, 
etc.   All I was trying to do was explain the significance of the 
Archbishop's speech.  It doesn't matter whether or not William 
Shakespeare, Joe Egan, Bruce Young of Larry Weiss endorses its conclusions.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Evett <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 14 Nov 2006 16:26:03 -0500
Subject: 17.1002 The Archbishop Wasn't There? So Forth.
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.1002 The Archbishop Wasn't There? So Forth.

Light is shed on the military elements of *H5* by the Fortinbras thread 
in *Hamlet,* especially the Folio additions to 4.4''"Two thousand souls 
and twenty thousand ducats / Will now debate the question of this straw" 
and the way "divine ambition"  runs huge risks "Even for an eggshell" 
(is that a source text for *Gulliver's Travels*?). I find it pretty hard 
not to read what follows ironically: "Rightly to be great / Is not to 
stir without great argument [I assume there ought to be another negative 
hereabouts] / But greatly to find quarrel in a straw / When honor's at 
the stake." The word 'honor" invokes Hotspur and Falstaff, and beyond 
them the chivalric revival in the late 90s of which James Shapiro makes 
much in *1599* in connection with Essex and other things. Honor, as 
strongly as the Ghost (see the foil [pun intended] provided by Laertes), 
is calling Hamlet to vengeance (a topic treated in comic terms in *Ado,* 
*TN,* and *AWW*, also of this period), even as Augustine and Erasmus are 
urging Christian cheek-turning.

This is a place where it would really be nice to know whether and if so 
when the Folio-only material was performed--if it shone directly on the 
events of the late 90s but was held back at the time as questioning too 
closely the Irish wars, or represents later reflection. The similar 
ambiguities in *H5* seem to me less strongly marked.

I've just come from teaching the end of the *Aeneid,* by the way (which 
I think Shakespeare knew, though most scholarship on his classical 
reading confines his familiarity with that poem to the first half), and 
it is easy to discern very similar ambivalence in that hugely 
influential work.

Mock-chivalrically,
David Evett

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