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Help! Seeking examples of Shakespeare-themed products

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.174  Friday, 10 April 2015

 

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

Date:         Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 4:26 AM

Subject:    Help! Seeking examples of Shakespeare-themed products

 

Hello SHAKSPERians,

 

I’m giving a talk about Shakespeare as a business innovator at a marketing conference in London in a couple weeks (it’s similar to this talk that I gave at TEDX Bergen in the fall: http://goo.gl/aCcQdb), and I’m seeking examples of products that have Shakespearean themes— the more absurd the better.  

 

I know, for example, about the Rogue Brewing Company’s “Shakespeare Stout,” which is a pretty good beer, and also about the Flowers ale with the picture of Shakespeare on it.  

 

The rules of engagement for this are two: 

 

First, that the products cannot be niche souvenirs that one might buy at a Shakespeare festival.  So, no t-shirts from Ashland or Mary Arden Mints from Stratford.  These should be products that somebody would buy in a market or pharmacy or non-bardolatrous boutique.

 

Second, ideally the product won’t simply have the name “Shakespeare” on it, as there are other folks with that name.  I’m looking for products that have characters from the plays featured or William Shakespeare himself.

 

Of course, if books detailing this sort of thing come to mind, please let me know, but I’m primarily curious as to what instantly comes to the find minds in this group.

 

All best from Bergen, Norway,

Brad

 
 
Double Falsehood

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.173  Friday, 10 April 2015

 

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

Date:         April 10, 2015 at 12:45:15 AM EDT

Subject:    Double Falsehood

 

The methodology and claims both strike me as ambitious: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3032387/Play-Double-Falsehood-discovered-300-years-ago-said-Shakespeare-forgery-written-Bard-himself.html

 

Play discovered nearly 300 years ago said to be a Shakespeare forgery ‘was written by the Bard himself’, new research claims 

  • Double Falsehood was presented by Lewis Theobald in the 18th century 
  • Theatre impresario made it out to be an adaptation of a play by the Bard 
  • Claims met with scepticism, including from great poet Alexander Pope 
  • But new study of its language identifies playwright as the true author
  • Psychological theory and text analysing software lead to conclusion of University of Texas study which claims to model Bard’s ‘mental world’

By Tim Macfarlan 

Published: 12:59 EST, 9 April 2015 

 

A play discovered nearly 300 years ago and said to be a Shakespeare forgery was really written by the Bard himself, new research has revealed.

 

The work titled Double Falsehood was presented by theatre impresario Lewis Theobald in the 18th century as an adaptation of a Shakespeare play about a Spanish nobleman's ignoble pursuit of two women.

 

Theobald, a known scholar of Shakespeare, mounted his play at Drury Lane Theatre in London on December 13, 1727, claiming that it was a re-working of an original by the Bard and that he had three original texts. 

 

His claims were greeted with widespread scepticism in the eighteenth century, including from the great poet Alexander Pope, who had considerable clout.

 

But a new study of its language to build up a psychological profile of the writer ‘strongly identifies’ the legendary playwright as the true author.

 

Dr Ryan Boyd of the University of Texas said: ‘Research in psychology has shown some of the core features of who a person is at their deepest level can be revealed based on how they use language.

 

‘With our new study, we show you can actually take a lot of this information and put it all together at once to understand an author like Shakespeare rather deeply.’

 

The study applied psychological theory and text analysing software and goes beyond confirming authorship by word counts and linguistic regularities.

 

Mr Boyd explained: ‘This research shows it is indeed possible to start modelling peoples’ mental worlds in much more complete ways.

 

‘We do not need a time machine and a survey form to figure out what type of person Shakespeare was - we can determine that very accurately just based on how he wrote using methods that are objective and easy to do.’

 

Results showed the author of Double Falsehood was likely to be sociable and fairly well educated, findings that do not fit with accounts of Theobald as rigid and abrasive.

 

Theobald published Double Falsehood in 1728 and claimed it was based on three original Shakespeare manuscripts which have since been lost, presumably destroyed by a library fire.

 

Yet the authorship of the play has been hotly contested ever since.

 

To get to the bottom of the mystery 33 plays by the Bard, twelve by Theobald and nine by Shakespeare's collaborator John Fletcher, were examined in the study published in Psychological Science.

 

Software evaluated ‘function words’ including pronouns, articles and prepositions and words belonging to various content categories such as emotions, family, sensory perception and religion.

 

They also looked at ‘categorical writing’ which tends to be heavy on nouns, articles and prepositions and indicates an analytic or formal way of thinking.

 

People who rate high on this are likely to be emotionally distant, applying problem solving approaches to everyday situations while those who rate low tend to live in the moment and are more focused on social matters.

 

By aggregating dozens of psychological features of each playwright, the researchers were able to create a psychological signature for each individual and compare them with that of the writer of Double Falsehood.

 

Every measure but one identified Shakespeare as the likely author with Theobald identified as the best match only when it came to his use of content words.

 

But when the texts were analysed across individual acts, they found a more nuanced picture.

 

The first three continued to point the finger at Shakespeare, but for the fourth and fifth the measures varied between him and Fletcher.

Again, Theobald’s influence appeared to be very minor.

 

Boyd said: 'Honestly, I was surprised to see such a strong signal for Shakespeare showing through in the results.

 

‘Going into the research without any real background knowledge, I had just kind of assumed it was going to be a pretty cut and dry case of a fake Shakespeare play, which would have been really interesting in and of itself.’

 

[ . . . ]

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3032387/Play-Double-Falsehood-discovered-300-years-ago-said-Shakespeare-forgery-written-Bard-himself.html#ixzz3WvjwZaG9

 

Sean Lawrence

Associate Professor and Associate Head

Department of Critical Studies

University of British Columbia, Okanagan

 
 
Gobbo Name

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.172  Thursday, 9 April 2015

 

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

     Date:         April 8, 2015 at 4:11:43 PM EDT

     Subject:    Lawyers on Merchant of Venice

 

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

     Date:         April 8, 2015 at 7:22:43 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gobbo 

 

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

     Date:         April 9, 2015 at 6:51:00 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gobbo 

 

 

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

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

Date:         April 8, 2015 at 4:11:43 PM EDT

Subject:    Lawyers on Merchant of Venice

 

In response to William Blanton, for a Law Professor and avid playgoer at UCLA writing (very knowledgably) about Merchant of Venice, see Daniel Lowenstein, “Failure of the Act: Conceptions of Law in The Merchant of Venice, Bleak House, Les Misérables, and Richard Weisberg’s Poethics,” 15 Cardozo Law Review 1139-1243 (1994).

 

Alan Dessen

 

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

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

Date:         April 8, 2015 at 7:22:43 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gobbo

 

William Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >wrote:

 

> Professor Egan challenges my use of the word “changed” in 

>reference to what I called the change from “precedent” in Q1 

>to “President” in F1.He asserts that the Elizabethans used the 

>two words interchangeably, and that a scribe or compositor may

> havesubstituted “President” for “precedent” on a whim.

[...]

> In the 21 entries for “precedent,” Shakespeare always used it 

>in the legal sense when his characters were discussing something 

>legal or legal-like. 

[...]

> I believe that Shakespeare himself wrote the version of The
>Merchant of Venice thatHeminge and Condell included in the 

>First Folio, and that he was the one who marked-up Q1 to 

>produce that version.

 


Bill I’m having trouble following your argument or even why you are arguing it. The word appears as “precedent” in Q1 and as “president” in F, as you admit. It does not show up in a modern concordance as “president”. Gabriel is correct in saying that the two spellings were interchangeable, as the texts clearly demonstrate, in the same way that “been”, “bene”, and “bin” were interchangeable.

 

Tom Reedy

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

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

Date:         April 9, 2015 at 6:51:00 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gobbo

 

Two short responses to William Blanton regarding the spelling of president/precedent:

 

> Let's see how he used these two words.

> A Concordance to Shakespeare's Works

> lists 21 entries for "precedent" and

> only one entry for "president."

 

A concordance won’t give you access to Shakespeare’s spelling of president/precedent. Either it will give you a modern editor’s spelling choices (based on the modern distinction in meaning between ‘president’ and ‘precedent’), if it is a concordance to a modern edition, or it will give you the early modern compositors’/scribes’ spelling choices, if it is based on early quartos and the Folio. Neither can be used to make an argument about Shakespeare’s spelling of this word or these words.

 

Second point: taking Heminges and Condell’s marketing blurb for the First Folio as literally true is a mistake, since (as I pointed out) at least part of it is demonstrably untrue.

 

Gabriel Egan

 
 
Criticism of Erne

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.171  Thursday, 9 April 2015

 

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

     Date:         April 8, 2015 at 5:37:30 PM EDT

     Subject:    re Criticism of Erne

 

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

     Date:         April 8, 2015 at 6:34:07 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne 

 

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

     Date:         April 8, 2015 at 7:15:57 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne 

 

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

     Date:         April 8, 2015 at 7:54:26 PM EDT

     Subject:    Erne Criticism:  The Clue in Hamlet Q2 

 

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

     Date:         April 9, 2015 at 4:55:41 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: Erne 

 

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

     Date:         April 9, 2015 at 9:01:01 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: Erne 

 

 

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

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

Date:         April 8, 2015 at 5:37:30 PM EDT

Subject:    re Criticism of Erne

 

I was about to resign myself to not knowing what reply Lucas Erne made to Michael Hirrel’s article since I didn’t want to buy another copy of a book I already had just to read a 20-some page intro... but then I bethought me of Googlebooks.

 

Here is most of Erne’s Introduction to the Second Edition; the reply to Hirrel begins on p.14. Now I want to hear what Hirrel has to say in re-reply...

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=hppMS0sy7CQC&pg=PA23&dq=erne+shakespeare&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RJglVbTUN8PLsAXw6YDACQ&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=preface%20to%20the%20second%20edition&f=false

 

Bill Lloyd

 

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

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

Date:         April 8, 2015 at 6:34:07 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne

 

Tony Burton ingeniously suggest that

 

>Shakespeare’s company (and perhaps others) could obtain the 

>equivalent of copyright or at least common law legal protection if 

>they maintained a single unperformably overlong master text to

>register with the Stationer’s Office or to keep as the property of the 

>company.  The “master text” contained all those good lines and 

>thoughts and variants that could not be acted in a single play or

> before all audiences.  

 

Clever, but I can’t think of any reason a pirate could not select whatever portions he wants.  It is done today.

 

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

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

Date:         April 8, 2015 at 7:15:57 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne

 

I’d like to endorse Mike Jensen’s important point. Lukas Erne is one of the kindest, most courteous and personable Shakespeare scholars around. He is also one of the most invigorating. 

 

In 2008, I published a critique of Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist in a book that also has a chapter by Gabriel Egan, so Gabriel will be familiar with the essential points that follow. Erne had argued that the quarto texts, broadly speaking, represent theatre-based, acting versions of the plays, while the generally longer Folio versions were developed and extended for readers. Erne took the so-called ‘bad quartos’ of Hamlet, Henry V and Romeo and Juliet as his examples. My chapter focused on Henry V, and specifically the relationship between the 1600 quarto and the 1623 Folio texts. I set out evidence to suggest that the unusually short quarto was an abridgement of the Folio (or a similar) version, and compiled partly by dictation but mainly from memory. Cuts show up in Q 1600 that bring stage directions into conflict with one another: Gloster enters with the King in Q, shortly followed by ‘Enter Gloster’. Cuts produce other, related flaws too. As Gary Taylor argued in 1979 and again in his 1982 edition, the Folio is probably the earlier of the two texts and seems to belong to 1599, the year Essex left for Ireland (and returned). T. W. Craik, in a tightly argued Arden 3 edition, regarded Q as a text patched together for the sole purpose of producing a saleable, printed text. To this I merely added that Q largely preserves its speakers’ cues, and so seems to derive in part from a performance script. 

 

I took issue with some of Erne’s textual comparisons, and with Andrew Gurr’s suggestion that the Choruses in the Folio text were not performed in Shakespeare’s day. What all this boils down to is that Erne’s proposition that we distinguish between shorter theatrical texts and longer literary versions never quite holds: (a) some sort of performance script does seem to lie behind Q 1600; (b) nevertheless Q may well have been produced just as a reading edition; and (c) all play-texts are written with possible performance in mind, but also composed for actors and censors/appraisers who are the texts’ first readers. So it was never really a choice: one could be performance-minded and literary all at the same time. I do, however, agree with Erne’s claim in Book Trade that some printers and publishers seem to have favoured Shakespeare: Andrew Wise entered five Shakespeare quartos in the Stationers’ Register, and and Valentine Simmes saw nine of them into print, if one allows Q Hamlet 1603.

 

Duncan Salkeld

 

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

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

Date:         April 8, 2015 at 7:54:26 PM EDT

Subject:    Erne Criticism:  The Clue in Hamlet Q2

 

Erne Criticism:  The Clue in Hamlet Q2

 

To be read, or to be played?  An overlooked clue in Hamlet Q2 hints to the purpose.

 

The stage direction for Act 1, Scene 2 in Hamlet Q1 is undoubtedly just that—a stage direction.  It is clearly something different in Hamlet Q2, where it is a pun to be read.  The argument for a pun masquerading as a stage direction is published in Hamlet Works, in an essay entitled:

 

Transition from Corambis to Polonius:  The Forgotten Pun on a Diplomatic Scandal in a Hamlet Q2 Stage Direction.”

 

The first fifteen pages explain the historical incident underlying the pun.  Shakespeare and his audience lived the event; it is unknown to the community of Shakespeare scholars.  The Q1 and Q2 stage directions are analyzed on pages 15-19.  

 

To access the essay:

 

1)  Go to http:/Hamletworks.org.

(Warning: do not go to hamletworks.net, as this is an obsolete site.)

 

2)  Place cursor on the banner-head tab TEXTS.

 

3)  In the drop-down menu that presents, click on CRITICISM.

 

4)  Towards the bottom of the list that opens, click on the title of the essay:  “Transition from Corambis to Polonius….”  You may select either JPEG or PDF versions.

 

Or, this link will bring you directly to the PDF version.

 

http://triggs.djvu.org/global-language.com/ENFOLDED/SHIFF/CorambisPoloniusDraft15.pdf

 

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         April 9, 2015 at 4:55:41 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: Erne

 

Gabriel Egan wrote:

 

> Erne more or less admits that he can’t explain why the publication 

>of new Shakespeare plays fell so sharply after 1600. One possible 

>answer he doesn’t avail himself of is that Shakespeare’s general 

>popularity waned somewhat in the theatre and the bookshop.

 

If put like that, I think the statement is not wholly correct. I looked in the Database of Early English Playbooks (http://deep.sas.upenn.edu/index.html). For each year up to Shakespeare’s death I counted how many playbooks were published with his name or initials on the title page. The results are these:

 

1594: nothing

1595 (1 play): Locrine

1596: nothing

1597: nothing

1598 (3 plays): Richard II, Richard III, Love's Labour's Lost

1599 (1 play): 1 Henry IV

1600 (4 plays): 2 Henry IV, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice

1601: nothing

1602 (3 plays): Richard III, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Thomas Lord Cromwell

1603 (1 play): Hamlet

1604 (2 plays): 1 Henry IV, Hamlet

1605 (2 plays): Richard III, The London Prodigal

1606: nothing

1607 (1 play): The Puritan

1608 (4 plays): Richard II, 1 Henry IV, King Lear, A Yorkshire Tragedy

1609 (2 plays): Troilus and Cressida, Pericles

1610: nothing

1611 (2 plays): Hamlet, Pericles

1612 (1 play): Richard III

1613 (2 plays): 1 Henry IV, Thomas Lord Cromwell

1614: nothing

1615 (1 play): Richard II

1616: nothing

 

So in the years up to and including 1600, there were 9 playbooks published as being by Shakespeare. In the years from 1601 to his death, there were 21. What changed in the 17th century was that Shakespeare’s company stopped releasing his new plays to the publishers. What did not change was his popularity with the publishers. They made up for the lack of new releases from his company by printing old plays and apocryphal plays. If we forgo hindsight and put ourselves in the position of an ordinary reader at that time, who browsed in the bookshops around St Paul’s churchyard, we see that Shakespeare’s popularity did not wane in the 17th century. That reader would have seen newly printed Shakespeare playbooks arriving in the bookshops with the same regularity as in the 16th century.

 

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         April 9, 2015 at 9:01:01 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: Erne

 

P.S. I missed one. Parts one and two of The Troublesome Reign of King John were published together in 1611 and ascribed to "W. Sh.". That increases the post-1600 total from 21 to 22.

 

 
Lear Films

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.170  Thursday, 9 April 2015

 

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

Date:         April 8, 2015 at 5:17:54 PM EDT

Subject:    Lear Films

 

Richrad A Strier writes:  “I have not seen the Mendes Lear, so cannot comment on that, but I must take strong issue with Charles Weinstein’s claim that ‘there hasn’t been a successful screen version of King Lear.’”

 

The claim in question was not mine, but that of the Variety film critic David Benedict.  See http://shaksper.net/current-postings/29880-sam-mendes-king-lear?qh=YToxOntpOjA7czoyNToic3VjY2Vzc2Z1bCBzY3JlZW4gdmVyc2lvbiI7fQ%3D%3D

 

--Charles Weinstein 

 

 
 
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