The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0116  Thursday, 10 June 2011

From:         Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         June 9, 2011 4:34:22 PM EDT
Subject:      Re: SBReview_14: Arden3 MV
Professor Halio writes:
>Regarding the name "Shylock," I am grateful to Drakakis for pointing me to Stephen Orgel's essay, "Imagining Shylock," which argues that the name is not of biblical derivation, but an English name. Orgel traces the name "Shylok" to Englishmen in Hoo, Sussex, as early as the fifteenth century. (This essay came out well after my edition, or I certainly would have noted it, as Drakakis does.) Nevertheless, given many of the other biblical references from the Old Testament, including the names Tubal, Leah, and Chus (or Cush), Shakespeare could have been reminded of Shelah, or Shelach, Shem's grandson, and then Anglicized it. All the names derive from descendants of Noah, including Jessica, or Iscah, although Orgel disputes that derivation as well.<
Indeed, Dr Drakakis (p 165) chooses the Bishop's Bible's 'Selah' over the Geneva Bible's 'Shelah' in his translating Genesis 10:24: "Arpharad begate Selah, and Selah begat Neber." ('Arpharad" may be an Arden3 typo for Bishop's "Arphaxad", and "Neber' an Arden3 typo for Bishop's 'Heber'.) The 1560 Geneva verse in fact reads (with each long 's' modernized and diacritics removed): "Also Arpachshad begate Shelah, and Shelah begate Eber." Dr Halio's Oxford edition (p30) also notes Geneva's "marginal gloss to GEN 10;24" (actually to 10:21's "sonnes of Eber") --  which gloss reads: "Of whome came the Ebrewes or Iewes." (No doubt Dr Halio has by now been alerted to his edition's misciting on p 22 'Rachel' rather than 'Rebecca' as "obtaining Esau's birthright for her other son.")
Earlier Dr Drakakis (p 89) has John Coolidge arguing that "Jessica's elopement is a repetition of Jacob's absconding with Leah." In fact, Coolidge's 1976 piece (p 247) has Jacob absconding with both "Rachel and Leah." Rachel, having stolen her father's idols (like Jessica her father's jewels) may be an even closer counterpart to Jessica than Leah.
Congratulations to both Profs. Halio and Drakakis for their superb works of scholarship.
Joe Egert
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