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Steven Brake
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 01 January 2016
Posts: 638
Posted: 11 June 2024 at 6:57pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Andrew Bitner wrote: It seems that the weight of evidence lies on the side of De Vere. 

SB replied: There isn't. There's lot of conjecture, mostly unfounded, and arguments, usually contradictory.

Andrew Bitner wrote: An awful lot has to be assumed or hand-waved away to make Shakespeare (the man) into Shakespeare the playwright.

SB replied: Not really. There's the fact that many plays were published in his lifetime under Shakespeare's name, were performed by the theatrical companies that he was a member of, and with many being collected in a Folio by two men who'd known him for years as members of said theatrical companies.

There's the testimony of Ben Jonson, both flattering, if slightly backhanded, in his commendatory poem in the First Folio, and more disparaging, in later private remarks.

There's the lack of requirement to hide any supposed true identity, and also the knotty problem of the series of collaborators with whom Shakespeare (or "the author", if you'd prefer) would have worked with over the years, and who don't seem to have harboured any suspicions that the man they were working with wasn't an author. 

There's lots more, of course. 
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Dave Kopperman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 27 December 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3202
Posted: 11 June 2024 at 8:15pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Am I the only one who hears "Yakkety Sax" playing when this particular argument gets rolling?
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Byron Graham
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 19 September 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 930
Posted: 11 June 2024 at 9:31pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

There's three topics that I look forward to in the JB forum: behind-the-scenes comic book stuff; religious discussions (because unlike most places on the internet, it's usually well-behaved here); and the Shakespeare authorship question.

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Michael Penn
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Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 12520
Posted: 11 June 2024 at 10:09pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply


 QUOTE:
...the fact that many plays were published in his lifetime under Shakespeare's name

An Oxfordian would assert that this should be "under the Shakespeare name." And even a Stratfordian could assent to the change in the sense of the man whose names were quite variously spelled eventually was finalized into a brand not until as late as the 20th century.
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132580
Posted: 11 June 2024 at 10:46pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

If we must push the false narrative of the plays being published “under his name”, let’s not rush to obfuscate. The first time the name was used as a by-line it was hyphenated, “Shake-speare”. In Tudor theater there was much significance to the letter after the hyphen being lower case. Usually it meant a fake name.
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Mark Haslett
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Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 6249
Posted: 12 June 2024 at 2:31am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Cool link.

Stratfordian thinking is all clinging to tradition. Any Stratfordian has to answer for Joseph Hall who, in his satires of 1595, declares the author of Venus & Adonis is a “cuttlefish” hidden is his own “inky vomiture” who “shifts his fame onto another’s name.”

Then they need to explain why Thomas Edwards did the same thing in his “Narcissus,” (1595) saying the author of Venus & Adonis is a “masked” author who could not receive his laurels and, furthermore, wears purple-robes which only people of the rank of Earl or higher could wear at the time.

Then they need to explain why Ben Jonson’s assistant Richard Brome wrote lines in his 1638 play “Antipodes” describing Shakespeare as ‘that English Earle, that lov’d a Play and a Player so well’.

If the poet is actually Will Shaxper of Stratford, why would any one of these exist?

But exist, they do. There is no escaping them. They are clear and inescapable.

And they are not even a tenth of the known references to Shakespeare as a hidden poet or pseudonym.

How many such references are too many? Again, why would there even be one?
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Joined: 02 July 2009
Location: Norway
Posts: 3850
Posted: 12 June 2024 at 9:03am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I found Price's book illuminating. She deals with the facts at hand, the book is refreshingly free of speculations and unfounded theories. One of the reasons the authorship question has become muddled, are the many crazy theories concerning alternate authors*, secret codes and so forth. Price's book is an antidote to that. 

(* I'm not saying the case for Oxford is a crazy theory, but that there are certain crazy theories).


Edited by Petter Myhr Ness on 12 June 2024 at 12:50pm
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Scott Gray
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 August 2012
Posts: 20
Posted: 12 June 2024 at 11:39am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

sigh
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Jim Burdo
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 19 April 2020
Location: United States
Posts: 362
Posted: 12 June 2024 at 12:25pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The Baconists seem to have gone extinct.
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Steven Brake
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 01 January 2016
Posts: 638
Posted: 12 June 2024 at 3:06pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Mark Haslett wrote: Stratfordian thinking is all clinging to tradition.

SB replied: Not so. Stratfordians have often over-indulged their imagination, and there's a strong case that they've given much ammunition to Alternative Authorship theorists, but there's lots of scholarship too.

Mark Haslett wrote: Any Stratfordian has to answer for Joseph Hall who, in his satires of 1595, declares the author of Venus & Adonis is a “cuttlefish” hidden is his own “inky vomiture” who “shifts his fame onto another’s name.”

SB replied: Easily done. Hall didn't believe that Venus & Adonis had been written by William Shakespeare. This isn't proof. It's supposition.

Mark Haslett wrote: Then they need to explain why Thomas Edwards did the same thing in his “Narcissus,” (1595) saying the author of Venus & Adonis is a “masked” author who could not receive his laurels and, furthermore, wears purple-robes which only people of the rank of Earl or higher could wear at the time.

SB replied: "Narcissus" is elliptical, generally felt to allude to Shakespeare in stanza eight, but generally felt to be referring to a different poet in stanza nine. As above, it's pretty tentative stuff. 

Mark Haslett wrote: Then they need to explain why Ben Jonson’s assistant Richard Brome wrote lines in his 1638 play “Antipodes” describing Shakespeare as ‘that English Earle, that lov’d a Play and a Player so well’.

SB replied: He didn't. He wrote:

LetoyI tell thee,
        These lads can act the emperors’ lives all over,
        And Shakespeare’s chronicled histories*to boot,
        And were that Caesar*, or that English Earl*
        That loved a Play and Player so well, now living,
        I would not be outvied in my delights.

Shakespeare and the unnamed Earl are obviously different people, and there's nothing to prove that the latter is Oxford.

Mark Haslett wrote: How many such references are too many? Again, why would there even be one?

SB replied: The "references", or the ones you've provided, aren't really anything of the kind.  And why was it necessary to be so indirect? Members of the nobility weren't really supposed to write popular plays, but it was something to be frowned at rather than outright prohibited. 
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Steven Brake
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 01 January 2016
Posts: 638
Posted: 12 June 2024 at 3:17pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Michael Penn wrote: An Oxfordian would assert that this should be "under the Shakespeare name."

SB replied: True. A Marlovian, Baconian, etc, would claim the same.

Michael Penn wrote: And even a Stratfordian could assent to the change in the sense of the man whose names were quite variously spelled eventually was finalized into a brand not until as late as the 20th century.

SB replied: The notion of "Shakespeare" as a pseudonym that got mixed up with Will "Shaxper" (or "Shakspere", or "Shaxberd", or any one of the umpteen variants) is a massive red herring, and, as I've posted above, ignores the relationship Will of Stratford (let's call him that) had with Heminges and Condell, and the measures they took to commemorate the memory of the man they'd known.

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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132580
Posted: 12 June 2024 at 3:18pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Members of the nobility weren't really supposed to write popular plays, but it was something to be frowned at rather than outright prohibited.

•••

Who said anything about prohibition? Making money off play writing was “frowned at” but the degree to which that took the form of a prohibition depended on the character of the individual on the receiving end. DeVere seemed little concerned with what people thought of him.

At the same time he produced enough plays to be praised for them in his lifetime and to be lauded as “the best for comedy.”

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