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Scholarly Papers for Comments

Papers by SHAKSPER Members Seeking Critical Advice

Shakespeare

 

As a service to its members, SHAKSPER makes selected papers for which the author would like comments available for a short time on the SHAKSPER server.

 

The following papers are currently available:

 

“Catananche caerulea – A New Identification of the Love Potion Flower in A Midsummer Night’s Dream” By J.D. Markel < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >: icon Catananche caerulea – A New Identification of the Love Potion Flower in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

ABSTRACT: This essay asserts that the aphrodisiac plant in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,heretofore identified as Viola tricolor, is actually Catananche caerulea, commonly known as Cupid’s dart.  Additionally, this essay argues the flower that grows from the blood of Adonis in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, heretofore identified as an anemone, is also Catananche caerulea.  It is further argued that the flower that grows from the blood of Adonis in Shakespeare’s poem Venus and Adonis, usually identified as an anemone, is actually Viola tricolor.

You should send your comments directly to the author J.D. Markel < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >; or if you wish, you may start a thread through the normal SHAKSPER channels by sending it to the list at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

The Alchemist’s Tragedy by Jay Alan Quantrill < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >:  icon Alchemist_2-5-14 (Revised February 4, 2014

ABSTRACT: William Shakespeare is the central figure of this play.  Obviously, (with some much needed humility) my conception of him. And of course, my conception of him only at a particular time in his life.  To call this moment a mid-life crises would be to equate Will with a used car salesman of our day, or a clerk at the Inns of Court in his.  That’s not how I see him.

But it is a crisis, however far beyond his mid-life he is at 43. A crisis of art and faith: his art because he’d begun to lose faith in his subject – mankind.  Faith in god?  He’s long past that. Though he dare not admit such treason to a breathing soul. But faith in the worthiness or goodness of man, or any reason to hope for improvement? None. And that’s a tragedy, at least it was for my appreciation of Shakespeare in 1609.

Will comes into the Globe Theatre even on cold mid-winter mornings with his anxiety stained on his fingertips – uneasy and under pressure, within and without.  He’s been jumping through theatrical hoops since he was twelve years old. He’s discontent with the hoops he’s designed recently, not sure he has another hoop on the horizon.

So here he comes, discontent, looking for hope or a worthy tale to tell, or trouble, any trouble, any thing to ignite his increasingly “sonnetted heart.” 

You should send your comments directly to the author Jay Alan Quantrill < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >; or if you wish, you may start a thread through the normal SHAKSPER channels by sending it to the list at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

“Shakespeare and Chess Again: A proposal for an alternative reading of pawn(s) in King Lear, King John, and The Winter’s Tale by José Luis Oncins (Universidad de Extremadura) < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it icon Shakespeare and Chess Again

ABSTRACT: For the last three centuries, Shakespeare’s plays have been continuously glossed, commented on and annotated. However, there still remain quite a few obscure passages and complex words which continue to puzzle and cause debate as to their precise meanings. One such word is pawn, glossed as a pun in some editions of King Lear, and passed over in silence in other plays where it appears in similar contexts.  This essay proposes an alternative reading of the word in King Lear, King John and The Winter’s Tale. The hypothesis put forward is that Shakespeare was indeed hinting at the various senses of this word and exploiting its punning potential in these three plays. This suggestion is supported by a series of examples of similar rhetorical exploitation of this polysemic word as found in several contemporary authors. These examples will demonstrate that the various senses of the word were indeed very much alive in Elizabethan England –and quite probably in Shakespeare’s mind. 

You should send your comments directly to the author José Luis Oncins at < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >; or if you wish, you may start a thread through the normal SHAKSPER channels by sending it to the list at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

NOTE: These papers are in PDF format; the free reader is available here.

 

 

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