The Venus & Adonis Dedication

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0521  Monday, 17 December 2012

 

[1] From:        Ian Steere <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         December 15, 2012 9:13:34 AM EST

     Subject:     The Venus & Adonis Dedication 

 

[2] From:        Scot Zarela <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         December 15, 2012 11:57:35 AM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Ven. Dedication 

 

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

     Date:         Monday, December 17, 2012

     Subject:     The Venus & Adonis Dedication 

 

 

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

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

Date:         December 15, 2012 9:13:34 AM EST

Subject:     The Venus & Adonis Dedication 

 

Hardy has joined the debate.

 

I should like, first, to acknowledge his principles. He has, in several private messages to me, indicated his disapproval. However, he has always allowed me to put my views to the forum.

 

Hardy rejects the existence of each of the two pillars to my case:

 

1. The overtly obsequious Dedication contains a pervasive theme of insult and rebuke. It is invisible to anyone who (quite reasonably) is expecting a eulogy;

 

2. It is extremely unlikely that this occurred by chance. That WS was also a master word-player brings the probability of deliberate punning to near 100%.

 

I have explained the reasoning which underpins the construction of each pillar (see original article). Hardy has ignored this justification in its entirety, as have others. He and they have made the unsubstantiated assumption that each pillar is illusory and, on this basis, have dismissed its use in any further construction.

 

It is impossible to debate rationally for or against the use of the pillars, until their underpinning is addressed. I have done so. Let others do so as well. Until then, the pillars stand.

 

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

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

Date:         December 15, 2012 11:57:35 AM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Ven. Dedication

 

A significant misreading in Mr. Steere’s article: the “heir of my invention” (which may prove deformed) is the poem; the patron, Wriothesley, is the “noble godfather.” No implication, not even “veiled,” that Wriothesley may be deformed or debased: so, no implied insult.

 

Mr. Steere’s basic fault appears to be a mistaking of the dedication’s tone: what he calls “grovelling” is simply respectful; the social distance between poet and patron is given decent acknowledgement; a witty elegance of phrase bridges the distance; an offering is made and it is left to the patron, as social superior, to accept or refuse.

 

If I may venture a reflection on character, it would take a mean-spirited poet, and one doubtful of his own gifts, to resent having to make such an approach, or to spit—secretly, for his own vicious amusement—on the very patron whose name he (evidently!) thought would be a grace to the title page of his poem.

 

– Scot

 

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

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

Date:         Monday, December 17, 2012

Subject:     The Venus & Adonis Dedication

 

Ian Steere writes above,

 

>I have explained the reasoning which underpins the construction 

>of each pillar (see original article). Hardy has ignored this 

>justification in its entirety, as have others. He and they have 

>made the unsubstantiated assumption that each pillar is 

>illusory and, on this basis, have dismissed its use in any 

>further construction.

 

I am sorry, but I have not ignored your arguments or your points. Scot Zarela above notes out some of the many points that I believe you completely misinterpret. You have no “smoking bed” and your assumptions are based on false premises and evidence. 

 

I simply find no merit in your arguments and see no reason to engage with you further. (i.e., this is my last word on the subject; others are free to write but I am through. I have better things to do such as to continue with my annotations of Lucrece, which I have been studying and writing about for countless years, having finished my diplomatic transcription of Q1, Modern edition, and annotations and collations of Venus and Adonis: http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Foyer/plays/Ven.html .) –Hardy 

 

Announcement: Latest Issue of Cahiers Elisabethains

 

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0520  Monday, 17 December 2012

 

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

Date:         December 17, 2012 6:20:45 AM EST

Subject:     Announcement: Latest Issue of Cahiers Elisabethains

 

The latest issue of Cahiers Elisabethains is now available: Cahiers Elisabethains 82 (2012).

 

* Please note also that article submissions are now open for the next issues of the journal. For details about submissions and/or subscriptions, please see the end of this message.

 

 

ARTICLES:

 

“Cruelty destroys all praise for honourable valour”: Reflections on Boudica in Petruccio Ubaldini (Samantha Frenee)

 

“Have Not They Suffer’d?”: Pain and Comedic Structure in The Merry Wives of Windsor (Kimberly Huth)

 

“What Warlike Noise Is This?” Hamlet, Sovereignty, and Lethe Wharf (Suzanne Stein)

 

 

NOTES:

 

Epic Antecedents of the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father: Reminiscence and Allusion? (H. Gaston Hall)

 

On the Last Four Lines of Paradise Lost (Joseph P. Jordan)

 REVIEW ARTICLE

 

Pedestrian Shakespeare and Punchdrunk’s Immersive Theatre (Colette Gordon )

 

 

PLAY REVIEWS:

 

En Midsommernatts Drom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), directed by Peer Perez Oian, for the Bergen Festival, Studio Theatre, The National Theatre, Bergen, Norway, 5 June 2012 (Stuart Sillars)

 

Macbeth, directed by John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg for the National Theatre of Scotland, Rose Theatre, Lincoln Center, New York, 7 July 2012 (Todd Andrew Borlik)

 

Dido, Queen of Carthage, by Christopher Marlowe, Actors’ Renaissance Season, American Shakespeare Center, Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, Virginia, 22 March, 2012 (Marina Favila)

 

Henry V, directed by Des McAnuff, The Festival Theatre, Stratford, Ontario, 3 July, 2012 (Dana E. Aspinall)

 

Julius Caesar, directed by Gregory Doran for the RSC, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 3 July 2012 (Peter J. Smith)

 

The Comedy of Errors, directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi for the RSC, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, April 2012 (Elizabeth Sharrett)

 

Twelfth Night, directed by David Farr for the RSC, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 25 April 2012 (Peter J. Smith)

 

The Tempest, directed by David Farr, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 7 May 2012 (Peter J. Smith)

 

Troilus and Cressida, directed by Mark Ravenhill for the RSC and Elizabeth LeCompte for the Wooster Group, The Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 9 August 2012 (Janice Valls-Russell)

 

Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Iqbal Khan for the RSC, The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1 August 2012 (Peter J. Smith)

 

Westward Ho!, directed by Perry Mills, for Edward’s Boys, Levi Fox Hall, King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon, 11 March 2012 (Elizabeth Dutton)

 

Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death, by Edward Bond, directed by Angus Jackson, Young Vic Theatre, London, 20 February 2012 (Laura Estill)

Hamlet, directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst, a touring production by Shakespeare’s Globe, the Bodleian Quad, Oxford, 25 July 2012 (Eleanor Collins)

 

The Winter’s Tale and Henry V, directed by Edward Hall for Propeller, The Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, 24 and 25 March 2012 (Neil Allan)

 

Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Peter Reid for AC Productions, Project Arts Theatre, Templebar Dublin, 18 August 2012 (Derek Dunne)

 

Les Trois Richard [The Three Richards], after Richard III, directed by Dan Jemmett, translated by Mériam Korichi, Amphithéâtre d’O, Montpellier, 7 & 8 June 2012 (Gaëlle Ginestet)

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS:

 

Richard Marienstras, Shakespeare et le desordre du monde, foreword by Elise Marienstras, edited and introduced by Dominique Goy-Blanquet (Gallimard, 2012) (Jean-Christophe Mayer)

 

Eric Rasmussen and Anthony James West, eds., The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) (Noriko Sumimoto)

 

Lois Potter, The Life of William Shakespeare: A Critical Biography (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) (R. S. White)

 

Joel B. Davis, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia and the Invention of English Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) (Danielle Clarke)

 

George Peele, The Troublesome Reign of John, King of England, ed. Charles R. Forker, The Revels Plays (Manchester University Press, 2011) (Charles Whitworth)

 

Bruce Danner, Edmund Spenser’s War on Lord Burghley, Early Modern Literature in History Series (Palgrave Macmillan 2011) (Joan Fitzpatrick)

 

Kevin A. Quarmby, The Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (Ashgate, 2012) (Eoin Price)

 

Sarah Carter, Ovidian Myth and Sexual Deviance in Early Modern English Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) (Atsuhiko Hirota)

 

William Baker and Kenneth Womack, eds., The Facts on File Companion to Shakespeare, 5 vols. (Facts on File, 2012) (Yves Peyré)

 

James Daybell, The Material Letter in Early Modern England: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of Letter-Writing, 1512-1635 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) (Kerry Gilbert-Cooke)

 

 

BOOKS RECEIVED (presented & commented):

 

David Carnegie & Gary Taylor, eds., The Quest for Cardenio: Shakespeare, Fletcher, Cervantes, and the Lost Play (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), xiv+420pp., ISBN 978-0-19-964181-9, £35.00.

 

Pascale Drouet, Mise au ban et abus de pouvoir: Essai sur trois pièces tragiques de Shakespeare, série Britannia (Paris: Presses Universitaires Paris Sorbonne, 2012), 318pp., ISBN 978-2-84050-852-6, €22.00.

 

Richard Hillman, French Reflections in the Shakespearean Tragic: Three Case Studies (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012), 236pp., ISBN 978-0-7190-8717-2, £60.00.

 

Thomas Betteridge & Greg Walker, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Drama (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), xx+688pp., ISBN 978-0-019-956647-1, £95.00.

 

Roger Kuin, ed., The Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney, 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), lxx+1382pp., ISBN 978-0-19-964540-4/541‑1 (pack: 978-0-19-955822-3), £250.00.

 

Stephen Bardle, The Literary Underground in the 1660s: Andrew Marvell, George Wither, Ralph Wallis and the World of Restoration Satire and Pamphleteering (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 184pp., ISBN 978-0-19-966085-8, £60.00.

 

Lady Margaret Douglas and Others, The Devonshire Manuscript: A Women’s Book of Courtly Poetry, ed. Elizabeth Heale, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series 19 (Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2012), xiv+278pp., ISBN 978-0-7727-2128-0, Can$24.50.

 

Peter J. Smith, Between Two Stools (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012), xii+292pp., ISBN 978-0-7190-8794-3, £65.00.

 

 

To order issues:  <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 

Submissions can be send to either of Cahiers’s assistant editors: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> or <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 

More information: <http://recherche.univ-montp3.fr/cahiers/>

 

With our best wishes for the festive season,

Jean-Christophe Mayer and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin

Co-General Editors

 

**************************************************

 

The Venus & Adonis Dedication

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0519  Friday, 14 December 2012

 

[1] From:        Ian Steere <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         December 14, 2012 5:34:58 AM EST

     Subject:     The Venus & Adonis Dedication 

 

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

     Date:         Friday, December 14, 2012

     Subject:     The Venus & Adonis Dedication

 

 

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

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

Date:         December 14, 2012 5:34:58 AM EST

Subject:     The Venus & Adonis Dedication 

 

Mari Bonomi and (less directly) Julia Griffin take issue with my interpretations.

 

I first posted my article some two weeks ago: for testing by the forum. It takes a couple of minutes to read and it is not difficult to follow. Here (I fear I have to keep reminding), is my summary of the key points arising:

 

1. The overtly obsequious Dedication contains a pervasive theme of insult and rebuke. It is invisible to anyone who (quite reasonably) is expecting a eulogy.

2. It is extremely unlikely that this occurred by chance. That WS was also a master word-player brings the probability of deliberate punning to near 100%.

3. The existence and content of the hidden theme point to an intimate relationship with Wriothesley, which had turned sour.

 

None of Ms Bonomi, Ms Griffin and any other respondent has disputed the reasoning in the article. Until this happens (and occasions a significant flaw) no one here is rationally justified in dismissing the consequences of the new evidence.

 

While we await any relevant analysis of the article (including, hopefully, Ms Bonomi’s logic for her assessment of it as “weak”), let me offer more food for thought. In my previous post I indeed wrote:

 

Evidence, in the form of the Dedication, points to a highly intimate relationship between poet and an aristocratic, effeminate young Narcissus. Its messages suggest that the poet – originally favoured by the aristocrat—was displaced. Moreover, they demonstrate, yet again, his wit. They give us an insight into his character. He was prepared to flatter and grovel with the best when it suited him—but he was no doormat. He balanced charm with calculated reprisal and boldness. He was able to recover (at least in part) his standing with the young lord (as confirmed by the Lucrece dedication).

 

Is it not wonderful and worthy of exploration that the passage remains valid in its essence if its first seven words are replaced with “The Quarto of Shakespeare’s Sonnets”? 

 

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

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

Date:         Friday, December 14, 2012

Subject:     The Venus & Adonis Dedication

 

I have been trying VERY hard to stay out of this thread but . . . 

 

1. I am not a logician

2. I am editor of SHAKSPER

3. Therefore, I should stay out of threads in SHAKSPER that are based on supposed logic 

 

The above is a syllogism: A + B therefore C

 

Below seems to be presented as logical (i.e., a syllogism):

 

1. The overtly obsequious Dedication contains a pervasive theme of insult and rebuke. It is invisible to anyone who (quite reasonably) is expecting a eulogy. (A)

2. It is extremely unlikely that this occurred by chance. That WS was also a master word-player brings the probability of deliberate punning to near 100%. (B)

3. The existence and content of the hidden theme point to an intimate relationship with Wriothesley, which had turned sour. (C)

 

In order for A + B to lead to C, both propositions must be true and C must follow logically from them.

 

If one cannot accept the validity of either A or B then C does NOT logically follow from them. 

 

Since I cannot be convinced by either A or B, I cannot accept that C logically follows from the two premises. (Premise A)

 

From Ian Steere’s perspective, A is valid and B is valid; therefore, C is valid. (Premise B)

 

New syllogism, A (= my perspective) PLUS (B = Ian Steere’s perspective) THEREFORE C (Ian Steere’s presentation is his reading—pet theory—that is not logically irrefutable as is being presented.

 

Syllogistically yours,

Hardy M. Cook

Professor Emeritus and

Former Composition and Technical Writing Teacher

 

PS: “Evidence, in the form of the Dedication, points to a highly intimate relationship between poet and an aristocratic, effeminate young Narcissus.” 

 

This is not a proposition as presented that can be demonstrated logically from the Dedication to Venus and Adonis. To be able to demonstrate such a logical conclusion would require additional factual biographical evidence that is not supplied. (What journalists call the "smoking" bed.)

 

PPS: The Quarto of Shakespeare’s Sonnets points to a highly intimate relationship between poet and an aristocratic, effeminate young Narcissus. Its messages suggest that the poet – originally favoured by the aristocrat—was displaced. Moreover, they demonstrate, yet again, his wit. They give us an insight into his character. He was prepared to flatter and grovel with the best when it suited him—but he was no doormat. He balanced charm with calculated reprisal and boldness. He was able to recover (at least in part) his standing with the young lord (as confirmed by the Lucrece dedication).

 

DITTO: This is not a proposition as presented that can be demonstrated logically from the Quarto of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. To be able to demonstrate such a logical conclusion would require additional factual biographical evidence that is not supplied. QED.

Early Modern Sexuality

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0518  Friday, 14 December 2012

 

[1] From:        Thomas Davis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         December 13, 2012 4:45:53 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: EM Sexuality 

 

[2] From:        Julia Griffin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         December 13, 2012 8:12:05 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Early Modern Sexuality 

 

 

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

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

Date:         December 13, 2012 4:45:53 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: EM Sexuality

 

Jess Winfield asks, “Where is Greenblatt when I need him?”

 

Not in the ranks of serious biographers of Shakespeare, I hope. But that’s a question for another day.

 

Tad Davis

 

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

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

Date:         December 13, 2012 8:12:05 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Early Modern Sexuality

 

Larry Weiss is slightly off the mark here. Shakespeare was, of course, to the left, politically. And he was a woman.

 

Julia Griffin

Shorthand and the Game of “Fetch”

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0517  Friday, 14 December 2012

 

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

Date:         December 13, 2012 1:42:07 PM EST

Subject:     Shorthand and the Game of “Fetch”

 

Though I’ve never had a dog, I am seeing the fun of the game “fetch” that Gerald Downs and I seem to be playing. Once more, he throws out sticky examples of corruption, and I scamper out into the field to bring one or another of them back into the charmed circle of “not-corruption.” Tail a’wagging, tongue a’lolling, what I carry back may be a little slobbered, and it may not even be the same stick as was thrown, but I do mean well.

 

Today’s sticks, my fellow puppies, are (1) the g-r-r-e-a-t stuffed apothecary ALLIGATOR passage in R&J and (2) the relative proximity of Q1 and Q2 to Brooks’ Romeus and Juliet.

 

Round (1) Toss! So I run out to look for the ludicrously obvious corruption claimed by Gerald Downs and others that is to be found in the Q1 passage describing just what is “stufft” in the different versions of Romeo’s memory of the poor Apothecary, whose

 

 . . . needie shop is stufft

With beggerly accounts of empty boxes;

And in the same an Aligarta hangs,

Olde ends of packthred, and cakes of Roses

Are thinly strewed to make up a show.

 

Here in Q1, “stufft” can mean also “supplied with stuff,” or “comprised of” as “my household stuff,” not necessarily “crammed to full capacity,” as appears to be the different usage in the Q2 version, “an allegater stufft”:

 

 . . . And in his needie shop a tortoyes hung,

An allegater stuft, and other skins

Of ill shapte fishes, and about his shelues,

A beggerly account of emptie boxes,

Greene earthen pots, bladders and mustie seedes,

Remnants of packthred, and old cakes of Roses

Were thinly scattered, to make vp a shew.

 

Different or unexpected usage is not the same as corruption. Except if your goal is to implicate difference as corruption. Fredson Bowers somewhere claimed, as self-evidently true, that “Editors edit,” so they can’t leave anything indeterminate or undetermined. The Corruption Detectives? They detect corruption, of course. 

 

And since corruption is s-o-o-o bad, R.G White and Gerald Downs seem to sneer at the errors they see in the textual variants. Though I may have gotten this wrong, Downs quotes White where White wonders whether “Sh’s ever describing an apothecary’s shop as stuffed with beggarly accounts of empty boxes is at an end when we . . . see [in Q1] how he was led to stuff the shop instead of the alligator.” So of course we are encouraged to believe that the Q1 text must be corrupt. (Pardon my messy recovery of Downs’s quote here.) Let me fetch further. (I think the quote indented below indicates that at least part of it is to be understood as having been written by Downs, though my own transcribing again may have fudged the case):

 

“And what was Shakespeare thinking? ‘I got it! Stuff the alligator for Q2! What will I (or Steven) think of next?’ Let’s let Shakespeare off the hook. Q1’s stuffing is a memory turkey.”   

 

I think White for Q1 and Downs (at least by ridiculing my suggestion that Q2 derives from Q1) denigrate the images of the apothecary’s shop found in both Q1 and Q2, or they’re simply ascribing those images to intervening non-authorial agents who left messy footprints. Again, I may be wrong here, but it seems that, for White, Q1’s stufft shop can’t be Shakespeare’s, and as for Downs’ evaluation of Q2, it is just too silly to contemplate that Shakespeare would have converted “stufft shop” to “An allegater stuft.” And if I follow Downs’ overarching argument, the “real” Shakespearean work lies somewhere prior to both Q1 and Q2.  

 

But wait! The game of Fetch continues: L’il Pup retrieves the relevant passage from Brooks’ Romeus and Juliet:

 

What by no friendship could be got, with money should be 

An apothecary sat unbusied at his door, 

Whom by his heavy countenance he [i.e. Romeo] guessed to be poor

And in his shop he saw his boxes were but few. 

And in his window, of his wares, there was so small a shew

Wherefore our Romeus assuredly hath thought,                       2571 

For needy lack is like the poor man to compel 

[emphasis supplied]  

 

Holding this up to Q1 and Q2, I see Shakespeare tentatively generating images in Q1, derived in part from Brooks vocabulary of “boxes,” “shew,” and “needy,” with Brooks’ repeated references to “poor” sliding into Shakespeare’s “beggerly,” and with the shop itself transformed and fleshed out first in Q1 and then further in Q2.  If we are looking for signs of an author at work, we may see here a text undergoing invention-in-progress in Q1 and then we see it revised for greater pathos in Q2. We’re supposed to recognize or realize how poverty hurts and how it tries to disguise itself with a brave show of empty boxes and unvendible artifacts. I propose that Shakespeare here typically expands into Q1 and expands again into Q2 the specific images meant to convey the impression and experience of witnessed poverty.  

 

But if we believe with White (or is it White and Downs also?), that our task is to scope out a lost original lurking behind Q1 and Q2, and we should merely find both extant texts somewhat ridiculous.   

 

But let’s return to play Fetch, eh? Scamper around, Stevie. Scamper more. Find that corruption stick, Stevie! What? No stick? Woof? Faked out again. But I’ll scamper back to try a different one.  

 

Round (2). Here it was my stick that I tossed that I hadn’t really fairly sorted out. I mentioned that Q1 was closer to Brooks’s poem than was Q2. And Gerald came back with “Erne suggests Q2 follows Brooks more than does Q1. That’s expected of a cut, memorial report.” To counter Erne’s claim, I should have laid out even more findings (like the apothecary shop discussed above) that I’m currently working up.  

 

First Stick Returned: An interesting analysis of Brooks and Shakespeare’s adaptations of the source poem is found in Jill Taft-Kaufman, “Rhetorical Implications of Shakespeare’s Changes in His Source Material for Romeo and Juliet,” in Martin Medhurst, and T.W. Benson, eds., Rhetorical Dimensions in Media (1984), 344-63. Many of the specifically Shakespearean variants in rhetoric and characterization that she describes show up only tentatively in Q1 but are more fully realized in Q2. (Note that this is my analysis; Taft-Kaufman doesn’t work with Q1.) Simply checking Taft-Kaufman’s findings with the Q1 text reveals that Brooks’s Juliet and the Juliet in Q1 for example most often display limited and stereotyped emotions, while the Q2 version displays far more strength, variety, and social/linguistic sophistication. Of course, one may argue that the 1597 memorial puppy responsible for Q1 and some of its flaws failed to retrieve most of the signs of Juliet’s elegant language out there in the super-inclusive field, or one may argue that those kinds of sophistications were all dropped by the acting company (those philistine editorial puppies) in preparing its performing text constrained by audience or actor or time capacities. But somehow the sophistications thus are missing from Q1 (regardless of their not being in Brooks, either), though they are present in Q2. Naughty puppy! 

 

Second Stick Returned: In my continuing search for sense, or at least sensible sticks, to bring back into our magic circle, I bring to your attention also: Jonathan Goldberg, “’What? in a names that which we call a Rose,’ The Desired texts of Romeo and Juliet,” in Randall M Leod, Crisis in Editing: Texts of the English Renaissance (1994), 173-201. After elegantly laying out many of the still unresolved textual enigmas and contradictions, Goldberg semi-concludes: 

 

There never was a final Romeo and Juliet, a single authoritative or authorial version of the play. There were only versions, from the start. Scripts to be acted, they presumed multiplicities and contingencies, the conditions of the theater (189).

 

So I'll likely continue fetching sticks, gnawing on found bones, relishing those sweet and meaty quartos and folios. Happy to play,

 

Steve Urpupowitz

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