The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0165 Tuesday, 14 March 2006
Date: Monday, 13 Mar 2006 20:06:07 -0500
Subject: Chettle, Greene, Shake-scene
I would like to see Chettle's famous description of Shakespeare, "his
uprightnes of dealing, which argues his honesty, and his facetious grace
in writing", etc. kept in the biographical canon (sic). But Lukas
Erne's ""Biography and Mythography: Rereading Chettle's Alleged Apology
to Shakespeare," ES (1998), p. 430-40, disputes the applications of
Chettle's description to Shakespeare. Has Erne's attack been "accepted"?
I can think of two objections to it, that Peele (Erne's choice for
Chettle's object of description) remains a less likely Greene target
than Shakespeare ("the onley Shake-scene in a countrey"). Also
Chettle's reference to "schollers" is too grammatically ambiguous to
exclude Shakespeare; Chettle says that his defense of scholars is well
known, and now he turns to the objects of Greene's attack who may or may
not be scholars.
Does the listserv have an opinion about this? The Chettle bit is, after
all, a widely accepted piece of Shakespeare lore, as Erne points out.
Incidentally, does anyone know what defense of scholars Chettle is
PS I quickly checked the SHAKSPER postings, and there seems to be a
tendency to assume that Chettle wrote the Greene attack; but I believe
Erne deals with this.
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