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PBS Shakespeare Uncovered

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.347  Tuesday, 19 August 2014

 

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

Date:         August 17, 2014 at 8:36:51 AM EDT

Subject:    PBS Shakespeare Uncovered

 

PBS Shakespeare Uncovered can be streamed from links below:

 

The Tempest with Trevor Nunn

Hamlet with David Tennant

Richard II with Derek Jacobi

The Comedies with Joely Richardson

Henry IV & V with Jeremy Irons

 
 
Recent Additions to Lexicons of Early Modern English

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.346  Tuesday, 19 August 2014

 

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

Date:         August 18, 2014 at 10:48:39 AM EDT

Subject:    Recent Additions to Lexicons of Early Modern English

 

Recently added to Lexicons of Early Modern English

http://bit.ly/_leme

 

§  Stephen Batman, "A note of Saxon wordes" (1581)

§  Edmund Bohun, Geographical Dictionary (1693): 11,681 word-entries

§  Richard Boothby, A Brief Discovery or Description of the Most Famous Island of Madagascar (1646)

§  Thomas Dekker, O per se O (1612)

§  John Heydon, "A Chymical Dictionary" (English; 1662): 70 word-entries.

§  Gregory Martin, The New Testament of the English College of Rheims (1582)

§  Gerhard Mercator, Historia Mundi Or Mercator's Atlas (1635)

§  Guy Miège, A New Dictionary French and English, with another English and French (1677): 18,376 word-entries, 73,641 sub-entries

§  John Ogilby, Asia, the First Part (1673)

§  John Rider,  Bibliotheca Scholastica (English-Latin, 1589): 42,000 word-entries and sub-entries.

§  Richard Rowlands,  A Restitution of Decayed Intelligence in Antiquities (1605; Richard Verstegan; text replaced by an extended and analyzed version)

§  Nicholas Stone, Enchiridion of Fortification (1645)

§  John Thorie, The Theatre of the Earth (1601; place-names): 3,100 word-entries.

§  John Turner, A Book of Wines (1568)

 

Coming soon to LEME 

§  Ortus Vocabulorum (Latin-English, 1500): 25,500 word-entries.

§  Henry Hexham, A Copious English and Netherdutch Dictionary (1647): 33,000 word-entries.

 

Lexicons of Early Modern English is a growing historical database offering scholars unprecedented access to early books and manuscripts documenting the growth and development of the English language. With more than 600,000 word-entries from 184 monolingual, bilingual, and polyglot dictionaries, glossaries, and linguistic treatises, encyclopedic and other lexical works from the beginning of printing in England to 1702, as well as tools updated annually, LEME sets the standard for modern linguistic research on the English language. 

 

Use Modern Techniques to Research Early Modern English!

199 Searchable lexicons

148 Fully analyzed lexicons

664 546 Total word entries

444 971 Fully analyzed word entries

573 423 Total analyzed forms and subforms

444 972 Total analyzed forms

128 451 Total analyzed subforms

60 891 Total English modern headwords

 

LEME provides exciting opportunities for research for historians of the English language. More than a half-million word-entries devised by contemporary speakers of early modern English describe the meaning of words, and their equivalents in languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and other tongues encountered then in Europe, America, and Asia.

 

University of Toronto Press Journals

5201 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON, Canada M3H 5T8

Tel: (416) 667-7810 Fax: (416) 667-7881

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

www.utpjournals.com/leme

 

http://leme.library.utoronto.ca/

 
Shakespeare and Science

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.345  Monday, 11 August 2014

 

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

     Date:         August 8, 2014 at 10:58:57 AM EDT

     Subject:      Book Review: The Science of Shakespeare

 

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

     Date:         August 11, 2014 at 10:39:21 AM EDT

     Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: Shakespeare and Science 

 

 

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

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

Date:         August 8, 2014 at 10:58:57 AM EDT

Subject:      Book Review: The Science of Shakespeare

 

http://www.mcelhearn.com/book-review-the-science-of-shakespeare-by-dan-falk/

 

Book Review: The Science of Shakespeare, by Dan Falk

 

There’s always room for books aimed at the general public examining some obscure element of Shakespeare’s life or thought. Since we don’t know much about his life, or his thought – other than through the plays – there’s plenty of speculation in books like this. Some succeed in being interesting and thought-provoking; and some don’t.

 

Dan Falk’s The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) looks at Shakespeare in the context of the “scientific revolution” that took place following the Renaissance. Born the same year as Galileo, Shakespeare lived at a time when a new understanding of the universe, and of certain types of what we now call science, was taking shape. Falk, a science writer and Shakespeare buff, sets out to juxtapose the two: the new science of the 16th and early 17th centuries, and the plays of Shakespeare. As often with books like this, there is a lot of trying to fit a not-quite-round peg into a square hole.

 

First, the title is misleading; the book is not really about “science” as such; it is mostly about astronomy, and the history of the changes from the geocentric model of the universe to the heliocentric model, ushered in by Copernicus. Falk discusses this at length, going through the genealogy of universe revolutionizers from Copernicus to some English astronomers that Shakespeare may have encountered, either in the flesh or through books. There are many tenuous suppositions, but that’s the nature of most books about Shakespeare. He “may have” met so-and-so; he “might have” read a certain book; “perhaps” he knew a specific person. There’s lots of circumstantial evidence bandied about, and a great deal of attention to one scholar, Peter Usher, who seems to have discovered that, by playing some of the plays backwards at 45 rpm, one can see that Shakespeare was writing about the Copernican view of the universe; that Hamlet, in fact, is about nothing other than this topic.

 

We don’t even hear much about Shakespeare until page 116. There are a few brief mentions of him, but Falk goes on tediously about each of the people who contributed to the new understanding of the universe; certainly an interesting subject, in a book dealing solely with that topic, but it gets a bit tired here.

[ . . . ]

 

Best,

Kirk

 

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

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

Date:         August 11, 2014 at 10:39:21 AM EDT

Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: Shakespeare and Science

 

Gerald E. Downs wrote:

 

>I want to agree with Capell (a good judge) that Theobald’s

>‘beatified’ works best metrically and meaningfully. It’s hard

>to see why the “phrase” is vile unless it insults Catholic usage; 

>but th’OED doesn’t cite it early enough.

 

We’ve been through this before (e.g. SHK 15.1106): it’s a clear reference to “an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers” – the more apt because Steve Sohmer had already pointed out that Shakespeare himself played Polonius.

 

John Briggs

 
 
Shakespeare and the Visual Arts - Call for Papers - New Deadline

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.344  Monday, 11 August 2014

 

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

Date:         August 10, 2014 at 6:02:11 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare and the Visual Arts - Call for Papers - New Deadline

 

Call for Papers - New deadline

 

SHAKESPEARE AND THE VISUAL ARTS:

The Italian Influence

 

Edited by

Michele Marrapodi and Keir Elam

 

Critical investigation into the rubric of “Shakespeare and the visual arts” has generally focused on the influence exerted by the works of Shakespeare on a number of artists, painters, and sculptors in the course of the centuries. Drawing on the poetics of intertextuality, and profiting from the more recent concepts of cultural mobility and permeability between cultures in the early modern period, this volume will study instead the use or mention of Renaissance material arts and artists in Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Among the great variety of possible topics, contributors may like to consider:

 

- the impact of optics and pictorial perspective on the plays or poems;

- anamorphosis and trompe l’oeil effects on the whole range of visual representation;  

- the rhetoric of “verbal painting” in dramatic and poetic discourse; 

- the actual citation of classical and Renaissance artists;

- the legacy of iconographic topoi;

- the humanistic debate or Paragone of the Sister Arts;

- the use of emblems and emblematic language; 

- explicit and implicit ekphrasis and ekphrastic passages in the plays or poems;

- ekphrastic intertextuality, etc.

 

Contributors are invited to submit proposals by 30 September 2014 to the addresses of the editors below. They should send a one-page abstract of their proposed chapter on the relationship between the age of Shakespeare and Renaissance visual culture, including theoretical approaches to the arts in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Each abstract (approx. 300 words) should include the author’s name, email, affiliation, and title of the proposed contribution.

 

Prof. Michele Marrapodi

University of Palermo, Italy.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Prof. Keir Elam

University of Bologna, Italy.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
 
Shakespeare and Science

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.343  Sunday, 10 August 2014

 

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

Date:         August 6, 2014 at 1:30:50 AM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare's Science

 

Steve Sohmer had some interesting remarks on the “Science Thread.”

 

> In the Folio, Hamlet’s poem to Ophelia reads: “Doubt thou

> the starres are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move.” Now
> this has never made sense to me. Because Hamlet has been

> schooled in Wittenberg and that’s where Rheticus published

> the first edition of De Revolutionibus . . . and Copernicanism

> was taught there from at least 1543. So Hamlet knew (a) the

> stars are fire, and (b) the Sun did not move (or so they thought

> back then). Ophelia may not have believed the stars were fire,

> but as a good Catholic she certainly believed the Sun moved

> around the Earth every day.

> On the other hand, in the cockamamie Q1 Hamlet the

> poem begins “Doubt that in earth is fire, Doubt that the

> starres doe moue” which, of course, makes no sense at all.

> But the appearance of Earth in the first line is intriguing.

> I don’t think the recorder would have thrown in the Earth

> if it weren’t somewhere in the Hamlet’s poem.

 

Steve may be right that Hamlet’s poem is sic. Though most comment assumes an undescribed meaning, a few question the lines. Before going into that I’ll add some thoughts on the general topic.

 

I tend to agree with Hugh Grady that Shakespeare shared the geocentric “philosophy.” It helps to recall that Copernicus “was not a Copernican.” It’s highly unlikely that Shakespeare was on the cutting edge of a science that stumbled through concepts of infinity (Bruno), distant force, magnetism (Gilbert), inertia (Galileo, Descartes), multiple forces, elliptical orbit (Kepler), angular velocity, and gravity (A. E. Neuman).

 

Perhaps a way to understand claims for Shakespeare is to avoid these truly fascinating (& geometrically bewildering) topics by reading up on William Harvey’s research on the circulation of blood, a grasp of which is attributed to Shakespeare. The commonsense knowledge that blood ebbs and flows is not to be compared to working out the how. Back to Steve:

 

> My hunch is Shakespeare wrote: “Doubt that the starres

> are fire, Doubt that the Earth does move.” This would

> make excellent sense coming from a post-Copernican

> Protestant boy from Wittenberg . . .  writing to a Catholic

> girl (who’s ordered to a nunnery and imagines her dead

> father on a pilgrimage).

 

I think people misunderstand the nunnery business but that’s another subject. I’ve heard “Doubt thou” is usually misquoted yet I have a feeling ‘that’ is correct though ‘thou’ is indifferent. The passage is probably corrupt; so is the Q1 version (of course), which nevertheless may be partially right, as is often the case. I assume Shakespeare’s Hamlet makes sense, even in wordplay, when lack of sense signifies corruption. Here’s Q2 2.2.105–124:

 

Perpend,

I haue a daughter, haue while she is mine,

Who in her dutie and obedience, marke,

Hath giuen me this, now gather and surmise,

        To the Celestiall and my soules Idoll, the most beau-

        tified Ophelia, that’s an ill phrase, a vile phrase,

        beautified is a vile phrase, but you shall heare: thus in

        her excellent white bosome, these &c.

  Quee.  Came this from Hamlet to her?

  Pol.  Good Maddam stay awhile, I will be faithfull,

Doubt thou the starres are fire,                 Letter.

Doubt that the Sunne doth moue,

Doubt truth to be a lyer,

But neuer doubt I loue.

O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers, I haue not art to recken

    My grones, but that I loue thee best, ô most best belieue it, adew.

    Thine euermore deere Lady, whilst this machine is to him.

Pol. This in obedience hath my daughter shown me,           (Hamlet.

 

Clowns weren’t as serious in those days, so when I read that Shakespeare gave the word mostly to them I suppose sexual overtones in perpend, as in ‘perpendicular.’  I want to agree with Capell (a good judge) that Theobald’s ‘beatified’ works best metrically and meaningfully. It’s hard to see why the “phrase” is vile unless it insults Catholic usage; but th’OED doesn’t cite it early enough.

 

Often the phrase “&c.” indicates a stageritic bleep. That prompts Gertrad to ask a stupid question: ‘Did my putative son write “&c.” to your putative daughter?’ Such things are conveyed by signs augmenting the dialogue.

 

These notes emphasize that I could be wrong. The poem itself is of the same genre as “If I don’t love you, grits ain’t groceries” (where ‘Doubt truth to be a lyer’ sets the tone). The question is whether the first two Q2 lines are accurately rendered.

 

Shakespeare does assert elsewhere that stars are fiery and some ancient geeks supposed they were fire in substance—but there wasn’t much to go on besides meteors. What's undeniable beyond twinkles is that stars sensibly move. The sun burns. My guess is that the traits are transposed. Switch them back and the love letter is as ptolably tolemeic as the rest of the canon. Q1 reads:

 

                        . . . now to the Prince.

My Lord, but note this letter,

The which my daughter in obedience

Deliuer’d to my hands.

     King Reade it my Lord.

     Cor.  Marke my Lord.

Doubt that in earth is fire,

Doubt that the starres doe moue,

Doubt trueth to be a liar,

But doe not doubt I loue.

To the beautifull Ofelia:

Thine euer the most vnhappy Prince Hamlet.

My Lord, what doe you thinke of me?

I, or what might you thinke when I sawe this?

. . .

Shee as my childe obediently obey’d me.

 

Some still believe Shakespeare wrote this travesty. In Q2, Polonius’s ‘mark’ calls attention to Ophelia’s obedience; in Q1 it is remembered only as a redundancy. Hamlet was not unhappy when writing the Q2 letter. In Q1 Corambis asks the King’s opinion of him before attempting an elucidation. And “obediently obeyed” is as far from Shakespeare as one might go. However, ‘Doubt that the stars do move’ may get it right. Replace ‘in earth’ with ‘the sun’ and we have something Ophelia would understand. But it doesn’t say much about Shakespeare’s science.

 

Gerald E. Downs

 
 
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