The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0939  Wednesday, 14 May 2003

From:           James Conlan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 May 2003 20:03:57 +0000
Subject: 14.0930 Re: Barque does not bark
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0930 Re: Barque does not bark

I am afraid John Kennedy's post condemning the hypothesis that
Shakespeare went to Italy as "Anti-Strat propaganda" confuses the
reevaluation of Shakespeare's biography against the historical record
with the very different project of assuming the biography of Shakespeare
is correct in order to reattribute the plays that Shakespeare authored
to someone else entirely.

In a previous post already archived, I suggested that the expenditures
of the John Shakespeares are fully consistent with an absence from
Stratford at a time in William Shakespeare's life when it was both
customary and fashionable for English gentlemen to travel abroad and
complete their educations.  As the idea that Shakespeare studied at
Stratford until he was 18 has been simply posited without any evidence
beyond non-attendance at Oxford or Cambridge to support it, the
suggestion that Shakespeare studied in Italy because of the plays'
geographical accuracy is more precisely called revisionist scholarship.
The idea of William Shakespeare's Italian study was explored long ago by
Ernesto Grillo.  In contrast, the Oxfordian hypothesis declares that the
Earl of Oxford wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare because
Shakespeare cannot have been educated anywhere else but in
Stratford-on-Avon, and so, despite all attribution evidence to the
contrary, plays that allude to post-1605 events like _Macbeth_ and _The
Tempest_ must be attributed to someone who was dead in 1604.

JP Conlan
University of Puerto Rico

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