New Blog: Guy Earl of Warwick


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0373  Friday, 10 September 2012


From:        John Peachman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 9, 2012 1:41:28 AM EDT

Subject:     New Blog: Guy Earl of Warwick


I am just letting list members know that I have started a blog dedicated to discussion of a play called The Tragical History, Admirable Atchievments and various events of Guy Earl of Warwick, printed in 1661 by Thomas Vere and William Gilbertson.

To answer the obvious question of why I’d dedicate a whole blog to such an obscure play, the reason is that I suspect that, although printed in 1661, Guy of Warwick is actually a work from the Elizabethan period, and that the play’s clown, called Sparrow, is a satire on Shakespeare. The idea is not original. It was first proposed by Alfred Harbage in 1941, but didn’t gain much traction until decades later when Helen Cooper revisited it in ‘Guy of Warwick, Upstart Crows and Mounting Sparrows’ (in Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson: New Directions in Biography, 2006). Since then, the idea has attracted more attention. Helen Moore has discussed it in her edition of Guy of Warwick for the Malone Society (2006), as has Katherine Duncan-Jones recently in ‘Shakespeare, Guy of Warwick, and Chines of Beef’ (Notes and Queries, March 2009) and Shakespeare: Upstart Crow to Sweet Swan: 1592 - 1623 (2011), 12-13.

 I have been studying Guy of Warwick for a number of years, and have had three papers related to the subject published in Notes and Queries. Full-text versions of these papers are available on the blog, but a very brief summary of my (radical) hypothesis is as follows:

1. In The Two Gentlemen of Verona Shakespeare used the characters of Lance and Crab to satirise Thomas Nashe and Ben Jonson for their roles in the Isle of Dogs affair. Since The Isle of Dogs was played in July 1597, Two Gentlemen must be later than anyone has previously supposed. I proposed a date in late 1597 or early 1598.


2. In retaliation to being satirised in Two Gentlemen, Jonson wrote Guy of Warwick in collaboration with another playwright [currently unidentified], using the clown Sparrow to satirise Shakespeare. Based on my proposed dating of Two Gentlemen, I suggested that Guy of Warwick was probably written in the first or second quarter of 1598.


As you can see, my overall hypothesis includes a significant reappraisal of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The argument for it does not rely at all on any link with Guy of Warwick, which is a supplementary hypothesis. So even if you think you may not be interested in Guy of Warwick, you might like to at least read my Two Gentlemen paper.

The blog is at

John Peachman

Call for Papers: ‘On Page and Stage: Shakespeare, 1590-1890’


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0372  Thursday, 6 September 2012


From:        BSA <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 6, 2012 6:42:08 AM EDT

Subject:     Call for Papers: ‘On Page and Stage: Shakespeare, 1590-1890’


British Shakespeare Association


The Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies – Bangor-Aberystwyth, the British Shakespeare Association and the School of English, Bangor University, are pleased to announce:


‘On Page and Stage: Shakespeare, 1590-1890’


8th December 2012 – a one-day conference at Bangor
 University Conference Organisers: Stephen Colclough & Andrew Hiscock


Guest Speaker: Professor Andrew Gurr (Reading University)

Shakespeare editor and author of ‘Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London’


This one-day conference focuses upon performances, interpretations and publications of Shakespeare in the pre-modern period in the UK and beyond. It is envisaged that delegates will be addressing this subject from a number of disciplinary perspectives and presentations on the following subjects would be particularly welcome:

  • Shakespearean Performances 1590-1890s and Performance Reportage
  • Shakespearean Theatre History 1590-1890
  • World Shakespeares 1590-1890 
  • Critical Responses to Shakespeare 1590-1890: e.g. journalism, diaries, correspondence 
  • Reading Shakespeare 1590-1890: e.g. criticism, education, annotated editions 
  • Material Shakespeare 1590-1890: mise-en-scène and mise-en-page 
  • Shakespeare as Political Icon 1590-1890

These and other related subjects will be considered for presentation at this conference. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent to the conference organising committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than Friday 12th October 2012. All abstracts should include the proposer’s name, title, mailing address, email address, institutional affiliation, student/employed status.


Have You Looked at the SHAKSPER Web Site Lately?


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0371  Thursday, 6 September 2012


From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Thursday, September 6, 2012

Subject:     Have You Looked at the SHAKSPER Web Site Lately?




A gentle reminder that there is a wealth of information at the SHAKSPER web site:


At the About tab—


  • You can learn general information about the list and read some of the essays I have written about it; 
  • You can also read about the SHAKSPER “Team,” about the SHAKSPER Advisory Board and about the SHAKSPER Book Review Panel; and 
  • You can read about SHAKSPER Netiquette and how to cite SHAKSPER;


At the Scholarly Resources tab—


  • You can find my “Selected Guide to Shakespeare on the Internet”; 
  • You can find the SBReviews, the SHAKSPER Book Reviews; 
  • You can find the past SHAKSPER Roundtable Discussions; 
  • You can find papers from SHAKSPER members seeking critical advice; 
  • You can find the SHAKSPER Library of Essays and Reference Files; and 
  • You can find my past Cook’s Tours and my Shakespeare Pedagogical Resources.


Then there are tabs to the Archive, Current Postings, and Announcements as well as a tab about PlayShakespeare, the site that hosts SHAKSPER.


I believe that there is much useful information available and worth a visit to the site if you have not been there or not been there lately.


Best wishes, 

Hardy M. Cook

Professor Emeritus 

Bowie State University 

Editor of SHAKSPER: The Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference <>   

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (SHAKSPER) 

World Shakespeare Festival 2012: Troilus and Cressida


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0370  Wednesday, 5 September 2012


From:        Anna Kamaralli <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 4, 2012 8:52:12 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Cressida


Thank you so much to all those offering perspectives on the current Troilus and Cressida, especially Tom, with that tremendous injection of inside information.


I do admit to being baffled by the idea of actors continuing to rehearse with a gurney, because the actor for whom it was standing in was no more responsive! I am also struggling to imagine Elizabeth LeCompte and Mark Rylance being in the same room without some kind of matter/anti-matter nuclear implosion taking place. If anyone knows how they negotiated directing the composite scenes, I’d love to hear it.


A feature of Cressida’s performance history is that she highlights the impossibility of a woman on stage being presented as ‘unmarked’. I refer here to Deborah Tannen’s article (New York Times Magazine, 1993: ), in which she explores the idea that, while men can be marked by their appearance, they can also choose to be unmarked, provided they conform more-or-less to the norms of their culture. Women, however, are always marked one way or another, by their clothes, choice of hairstyle, whether they wear makeup, and so on. What the designer does with Cressida can mark her in an extreme way, like Francesca Annis dressed as a courtesan, but she remained just as marked when Juliet Stevenson wore a sensible Edwardian dress, because it marked her as ‘not the slapper you assumed she is’. It sounds as if the costume change in this production marked her removal out of her home culture, and the requirement that she now conform to what was ‘normal’ elsewhere.


A quick response to Larry:


>We used to have rollicking conversations here about whether or not 

>it is possible to recover Shakespeare’s “intent.”  Perhaps not, or 

>maybe not entirely or not with great certainty; but it is frequently 

>possible to be certain of things he did not intend.


At the most literal level, of course, we can say with confidence that Shakespeare was not working with the intention of having his lines spoken in the accents of Native Americans, filtered through film interpretations. But communication in the theatre doesn’t work in a purely literal fashion. It is entirely plausible that Shakespeare had the intention of presenting the Trojans as a people of a distinct but diminished culture, the knowledge we have of which is distorted by the nostalgia and condescension of the group whose values have taken over. This might be seen as a means of conveying that intention. Even if you feel confident about Shakespeare’s intention, you won’t be able to transmit it to a modern audience using all the same tools he did, so we continue to seek around for new ones. Which is what keeps theatre alive.


Call for Ideas on Othello


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0369  Wednesday, 5 September 2012


From:        Bob Evans <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 4, 2012 10:09:52 PM EDT

Subject:     Call for Ideas on Othello


For possible inclusion in the beginning stage of a collection of essays on Othello (with a major publisher), please send very brief proposals (a few sentences at most) of possible essay topics to Robert C. Evans at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

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