Published on October 18, 2007
Shakespeare’s Fellow Poets: Shakespeare’s Fellow Poets Connection Sixteen: Connection Sixteen Edmund Spenser (1936) Stratfordian A. S. Cairncross in The Problem of Hamlet: “Like Leir, [King] Lear also, independently, drew on The Faerie Queen. The form “Cordelia” comes from Spenser alone.” (169) (1966) The Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare: “Spenser has been credited with making one of the earliest allusions to Shakespeare. In Colin Clouts Come home againe, the poet Aëtion is praised as a gentle shepherd whose muse, ‘full of high thoughts invention,’ does ‘like himselfe Heroically sound.’. …Numerous verbal parallels suggest that Shakespeare was familiar with Spenser’s work. A recent trend in scholarship has been the study of themes and techniques common to these two poets but modified by the demands of their respective genres.” (818-819) Slide3: Connection Sixteen Edmund Spenser (1990) Stratfordian Charles Boyce in Shakespeare A to Z: “[A]uthor of works that influenced Shakespeare. Spenser’s monumental epic poem The Faerie Queene (published 1590, 1598) provided the playwright with the inspiration for many passages, especially in the earlier plays and poems. The pastoral poems in Spenser’s Shepheardes Calendar (1579), and possibly his great wedding poem Epithalamon (1595), did the same for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Another of Spenser’s poems, ‘The Teares of the Muses’ (1591), may be alluded to in the Dream (5.1.52-53).” (612) Slide4: Connection to Shakspere William of Stratford ? No known connection. Spenser died in 1599, well within the time of Shakespeare’s fame as a poet and playwright. They were the two great poets of that decade. Yet Spenser never mentions William of Stratford and William never mentions Spenser. Edmund Spenser Slide5: Connection Sixteen Edmund Spenser Connection to Oxford: In The Fairie Queene, Spenser dedicates a sonnet to Oxford that stands above the other 16 in its astonishing deferment to Oxford’s special relationship to the Heliconian Imps (the offspring of the nine Muses), a relationship that would be reserved for someone of Shakespeare’s stature. Spenser and Oxford were nearly exact contemporaries. Receiue most Noble Lord in gentle gree, The vnripe fruit of an vnready wit: Which by thy countenaunce doth craue to bee Defended from foule Enuies poisnous bit. Which so to doe may thee right well besit, Sith th’antique glory of thine auncestry Vnder a shady vele is therein writ, And eke thine owne long liuing memory, Succeeding them in true nobility: Slide6: Connection Sixteen Edmund Spenser And also for the loue, which thou doest beare To th’Heliconian ymps, and they to thee, They vnto thee, and thou to them most deare: Deare as thou art vnto thy selfe, so loue That loues & honours thee, as doth behoue. Let’s remember that the offspring of the Nine Muses would include: Epic Poets, Love Poets, Sacred Poets Writers of Tragedies, Writers of Comedies Musicians, Historians, Astronomers, Dancers Connection Seventeen: Connection Seventeen John Lily (1902) Stratfordian R. Warwick Bond in The Complete Works of John Lyly: “[T]he great majority [of parallels] are too close to be the result of chance…but enough are given to prove Shakespeare’s intimate knowledge of the two parts of Euphues…. In the essay in the second volume on ‘Lyly as a Playwright,’ I have endevoured to show how Shakespeare is indebted to our author not merely for phrases, similes or ideas, but also in the more important matter of dramatic technique.” (I. 169) (1904) Stratfordian H.R.D. Anders in Shakespeare’s Books: “Lyly’s women, refined, witty, laughing, loving, or reserved, are the prototypes of many of Shakespeare’s female characters….Shakespeare’s first comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost, is in direct imitation of Lyly’s comedies….” (132) Slide8: Connection Seventeen John Lily (1962) Stratfordian R.A Foakes in his Introduction to the Arden edition of The Comedy of Errors. “There is no doubt that Shakespeare knew the elegant prose plays of John Lyly….” (xxxiii) (1962) Stratfordian G.K. Hunter in John Lyly: The Humanist as Courtier: ”The extreme formality of the structure of Euphues I am suggesting to be a measure of Lyly’s effort to organize the different levels of experience in this life so that they throw light on one another. He reflects and comments on the courtly world of Elizabeth by organizing into witty patterns different responses to its key ideas – ‘wit’, ‘honour’, ‘love’, ‘royalty’, etc. Seeing his work in this way we may see how far Lyly could be himself, and also the entertainer of Elizabeth and other vital creatures, and perhaps the largest single influence on that ‘spacious’ genre, Shakespearean Comedy.” (10-11) Slide9: Connection to Shakspere William of Stratford ? No known connection. Lyly never mentions William, nor does William ever mention Lyly. John Lily Slide10: Connection Seventeen John Lily Connection to Oxford: John Lyly was Oxford’s secretary. He dedicated Euphues and his England to Oxford. They worked together in producing plays. A.L. Rowse points out in Eminent Elizabethans: ”At the end of 1578 John Lyly had published his Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit, which had prodigious influence at the time. Lyly had been Burghley’s scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, supported at least in part by the great man. At this time he had lodgings in the Savoy, which was under Burghley’s authority; the proximity is enough to account for Oxford’s taking Lyly also under his wing. In 1582 he dedicated the sequel, Euphues and his England, to Oxford …: ‘I know none more fit to defend it than one of the Nobility of England, nor any of the Nobility more ancient or more honourable than your lordship.’” Slide11: Connection Seventeen John Lily Rowse also notes their involvement in the theatre: “[T]he Earl of Oxford and John Lyly used the great house within Blackfriars for performances of plays by their boys company.” From the dedication of Euphues and His England (modernized): “I could not find one more noble in court, then your Honor, who is or should be under her Majesty chiefest in court, by birth born to the greatest Office, & therefore me thought by right to be placed in great authority: for who so compares the honor of your L. noble house, with the fidelity of your ancestors, may well say, which no other can truly gainsay, Vero nihil verius [Nothing truer than truth].” Connection Eighteen: Connection Eighteen Anthony Munday (1955) Stratfordian John Russell Brown in the Introduction to the Arden edition of The Merchant of Venice: “Book III of Munday’s Zelauto…is especially close to The Merchant in the judge’s plea for mercy….” (xxxi) (1966) The Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare: “Munday’s first extant play is Fedele and Fortunio (1584)…and may have been used by Shakespeare as one of his sources for Much Ado About Nothing, where he might have found not only the general outline of his plot, but the idea for the characters of Dogberry and Verges as well.” (570) Slide13: Connection Eighteen Anthony Munday (1987) Stratfordian Samuel Schoenbaum in William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life: “On one occasion, however – so the evidence indicates – [Shakespeare] was called upon to doctor a play written by other hands, for which company is uncertain. That play survives, in damaged and chaotic shape, in a manuscript with the title ‘The Book of Sir Thomas Moore’. In its original form a fair copy by Anthony Munday…” (214) (1990) Stratfordian Charles Boyce in Shakespeare A to Z: “His first book was Zelauto (1580), a novel written in imitation of John Lyly’s famous Euphues. Its treatment of usury and Jews may have influenced The Merchant of Venice. Between 1594 and 1602 he wrote plays for the Admiral’s Men. Three of these works have survived: John à Kent and John à Cumber (1594) may have suggested elements of the comic sub-plot of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, and a pair of plays on Robin Hood (both 1598) may have influenced As You Like It….He was probably the principal author of Sir Thomas More, which contains a scene by Shakespeare.” (574, 575) Slide14: Connection to Shakspere William of Stratford ? No known connection. Munday never mentions William, nor does William ever mention Munday. Anthony Munday Slide15: Connection Eighteen Anthony Munday Connection to Oxford: Munday worked for Oxford, who was his patron; dedicated several of his works to Oxford, especially Zelauto; and joined Oxford’s acting troop, “Oxford’s Men.” A.L. Rowse points out in Eminent Elizabethans: “Oxford accepted many dedications, and received at least two authors into his service for a time – John Lyly and Anthony Munday.” (79) “In 1579 Anthony Munday had dedicated The Mirror of Mutability to him; Munday was taken into the Earl’s service, for the next year he dedicated to him Zelauto, the Fountain of Fame as his ‘servant’: ‘my simple self (Right Honourable) having sufficiently seen the rare virtues of your noble mind, the heroical qualities of your prudent person…’.” (96) And Charles Boyce in Shakespeare A to Z states: “Munday, originally a printer apprenticed to John Allde, turned to acting but was unsuccessful – he appeared with Oxford’s Men in the late 1570s and early 1580s.” (453) Language & Accolades: Language & Accolades Connection Nineteen: Connection Nineteen Word Creation The OED lists Shakespeare as the earliest known user (in public documents) of many words. Oxford’s letters and poems show an even earlier usage of these words (among others), many of which predate Shakespeare’s usage by more than 10 years. OED: Bifold a. Double, twofold; of two kinds, degrees, etc. 1609 Shakes. Tr. & Cr. v. ii. 144 (Qo.) O madnesse of discourse, that cause sets up with and against it selfe, By-fould authority. [1 Fol. By foule authoritie. Globe Bi-fold authority!] Oxford: “neyther can I suffer yt to enter my thought that a vayne fable can brandel the clearnes of yowre guyltles conscience sythe all the world doothe know that the crymes of Sir Charles Dauers were so byfolde, that Iustice could not dispence any farther” (Oxford’s letter of Nov. 22, 1601) Slide18: Connection Nineteen Word Creation OED: Despairing, ppl. a. 1591 Shakes. Two Gent. iii. i. 247 Hope is a louers staffe, walke hence with that, And manage it against despairing thoughts. Oxford: Yet luck sometimes despairing souls doth save, A happy star made Giges joy attain.” (Oxford’s poem: “Reason and Affection” in Paradise of Dainty Devices, 1576) OED: Disgraced ppl. a 1591 Shakes. Two Gent. v. iv. 123 Your Grace is welcome to a man disgrac’d Oxford: “doo not know by what ore whose aduise it was, to rune that course so contrarie to my will or meaninge, whiche made her disgraced” (Oxford’s letter of Apr 27, 1576) Slide19: Connection Nineteen Word Creation OED: Restoration (Later form of Restauration) 1. The action of restoring to a former state or position; the fact of being restored or reinstated. 1660 Jrnls. Ho. Comm. 30 May, The happy Restoration of his Majesty to his People and Kingdoms. [earliest mention in OED] But used by Shakespeare in 1603 in King Lear IV, 7, 26: Cordelia: O my deere father, restauration hang Thy medicine on my lippes Oxford: “But now the ground wherone I lay my sut beinge so iust and resonable, that ether I showlde expect sume satisfactione, by way of recompence, or restoratione of myne owne.” (Oxford’s letter of Oct. 25, 1593) Connection Twenty: Connection Twenty I Am That I Am (Sonnet 121) Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed, When not to be receives reproach of being; And the just pleasure lost, which is so deemed Not by our feeling, but by others’ seeing: For why should others’ false adulterate eyes Give salutation to my sportive blood? Or on my frailties why are frailer spies, Which in their wills count bad what I think good? No, I am that I am, and they that level At my abuses reckon up their own: I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel; By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown; Unless this general evil they maintain, All men are bad and in their badness reign. “I am that I am” are God’s words to Moses in the Geneva Bible at Exodus III, 14. Slide21: Connection Twenty I Am That I Am (Sonnet 121) Connection to Oxford: In a private letter, Oxford uses the exact same phrase in the exact same first-person reference, a usage that is startlingly unique. It takes a peculiar mentality to take God’s words to Moses and make them refer to oneself. Shakespeare does it in Sonnet 121. The only other known usage where the author uses the words applied to himself in the first person is Oxford in a letter to Lord Burghley dated October 30, 1584 (modernized): “But I pray, my lord, leave that course, for I mean not to be your ward nor your child. I serve her majesty, and I am that I am, and by alliance near to your lordship, but free, and scorn to be offered that injury, to think I am so weak of government as to be ruled by servants, or not able to govern myself.” This connection between Oxford and Shakespeare is intimate and unique. Connection Twenty-One: Connection Twenty-One Literary Accolades (1595) William Covell in Polimanteia: “Sweet Shak-speare.” (1598) Richard Barnfield's "A Remembrance of some English Poets" in Poems in Divers Humors: “And Shakespeare thou, whose hony-flowing Vaine, / (Pleasing the World) thy praises doth obtaine.” (1598) Francis Meres, Palladis Tamiai: “As Plautus and Seneca are accounted the best for Comedy and Tragedy among the Latines : so Shakespeare among ye English is the most excellent in both kinds for the stage. … [T]he Muses would speak with Shakespeares fine filed phrase, if they would speake English.” (1598-1601) Gabriel Harvey’s note on a blank page of Speght's translation of Chaucer: “The younger sort takes much delight in Shakespeares Venus, & Adonis : but … his tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke, haue it in them, to please the wiser sort.” Slide23: Connection Twenty-One Literary Accolades (1598-1601) From The Returne from Parnassus, Part I : “I'le worshipp sweet Mr. Shakspeare, and to honoure him will lay his Venus and Adonis under my pillowe.” (1603) From "A Mourneful Dittie, entituled Elizabeths Loss" (Anonymous): “You Poets all braue Shakspeare, Johnson, Greene, / Bestow your time to write for Englands Queene.” (1604) John Cooke in Epigrames: “. . . some other humbly craues / For helpe of Spirits in their sleeping graues, / As he that calde to Shakespeare, Iohnson, Green, / To write of their dead noble Queene.” Slide24: Connection to Shakspere William of Stratford ? In Aubry’s Lives: “Mr. William Shakespear was born at Stratford upon Avon, in the County of Warwick; his father was a butcher, & I have been told heretofore by some of the neighbours, that when he was a boy he exercised his father’s trade, but when he kill’d a calf, he would do it in high style, & make a speech…” Literary Accolades Slide25: Connection Twenty-One Literary Accolades Connection to Oxford: Praise for Oxford as a poet and dramatist is at a level appropriate for Shakespeare. (1584) John Soowthern, Pandora: “De Vere, that hath given him in part: / The love, the war, honour and art, / And with them an eternal fame…/ Among our well-renowned men, / De Vere merits a silver pen / Eternally to write his honour… / A man so honoured as thee, / And both of the Muses and me.” (1586) William Webbe, A Discourse of English Poetry:“I may not omit the deserved commendations of many honourable and noble Lords and Gentlemen in Her Majesty’s Court, which, in the rare devices of poetry, have been and yet are most skilful; among whom the right honourable Earl of Oxford may challenge to himself the title of most excellent among the rest.” Slide26: Connection Twenty-One Literary Accolades (1589) The Art of English Poesie: “Noblemen and Gentlemen of Her Majesty’s own servants, who have written excellently well as it would appear if their doings could be found out and made public with the rest, of which number is first the noble gentleman Edward Earl of Oxford….The Earl of Oxford and Master Edwards of her Majesty’s Chapel for Comedy and Enterlude.” (1598) Francis Meres, Palladis Tamiai: “The best for comedy among us be Edward Earl of Oxford.” (1613) George Chapman: “I overtook, coming from Italy… / a great and famous Earl… / Valiant and learn’d, and liberal as the sun, / Spoke and writ sweetly, or of learned subjects, / Or of the discipline of public weals; / And ‘twas the Earl of Oxford.” Slide27: Connection Twenty-One Literary Accolades (1622) Henry Peacham in The Compleat Gentleman (modernized): “In the time of our late Queene Elizabeth, which was truly a golden Age (for such a world of refined wits, and excellent spirits it produced, whose like are hardly to be hoped for, in any succeeding Age) above others, who honored Poesy with their pens and practice (to omit her Majesty, who had a singular gift herein) were Edward Earle of Oxford, the Lord Buckhurst, Henry Lord Paget; our Phoenix, the noble Sir Philip Sidney, M. Edward Dyer, M. Edmund Spencer, M. Samuel Daniel, with sundry others; whom (together with those admirable wits, yet living, and so well known) not out of Ennui, but to avoid tediousness I overpass. Thus much of poetry.” In lauding the great poets of the Golden Age, Peacham mentions Oxford, but not Shakespeare! The Shakespeare Dedicatees: The Shakespeare Dedicatees Connection Twenty-Two: Connection Twenty-Two Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton Slide30: Connection Twenty-Two Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton From the Dictionary of National Biography: “Southampton is the only patron of Shakespeare who is positively known to biographers of the dramatist. There is therefore strong external presumption in favour of Southampton’s identification with the anonymous friend and patron whom the poet describes in his sonnets as the sole object of his poetic adulation. The theory that the majority of Shakespeare’s sonnets were addressed to Southampton is powerfully supported by internal evidence.” Slide31: Connection to Shakspere William of Stratford ? No known connection. G. P. V. Akrigg admits in Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton: “We have no evidence as to when, where, or under what circumstances William Shakespeare first met the Earl of Southampton. We have only conjectures.” Samuel Schoenbaum admits in A Compact Documentary Life that even though William willed items to his “fellows Hemynges, Burbage, and Cundell” he strangely “neglects to mention Southampton.” (193) Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton Slide32: Connection Twenty-Two Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton From the Dictionary of National Biography: “At the time that Shakespeare was penning his eulogies in 1594 Southampton, although just of age, was still unmarried. When he was seventeen Burghley had suggested a union between him and his granddaughter Lady Elizabeth Vere, daughter of the Earl of Oxford. The Countess of Southampton approved the match, but Southampton declined to entertain it. By some observers at court he was regarded as too fantastic and volatile to marry at all.” Connection to Oxford: Lord Burghley sought a marriage between Southampton and Oxford’s daughter Elizabeth Vere at the time Venus and Adonis was published, dedicated to Southampton. Some Stratfordians believe that the marriage sonnets, were written at this time. Slide33: Connection Twenty-Two Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton “In 1594, when most of Shakespeare’s sonnets were probably written, Southampton was the centre of attraction among poetic aspirants.…The opening sequence of seventeen sonnets, in which a youth of rank and wealth is admonished to marry and beget a son so that ‘his fair house’ may not fall into decay, can only have been addressed to a young peer like Southampton, who was as yet unmarried, had vast possessions, and was the sole male representative of his family.” Perhaps the poet Oxford would write sonnets to Southampton at this time urging him to marry – his daughter. Connection Twenty-Three: Connection Twenty-Three William Herbert, Earl Of Pembroke Slide35: Connection to Shakspere William of Stratford ? No known connection. Pembroke never mentions William, nor does William ever mention Pembroke. William Herbert, Earl Of Pembroke Slide36: Connection Twenty-Three William Herbert, Earl Of Pembroke Connection to Oxford: Pembroke was at one time in negotiations with Burghley to marry Oxford’s daughter Bridget Vere. From the Dictionary of National Biography: In April 1597 …[Pembroke’s] parents were corresponding with Burghley respecting a proposal to marry him to Burghley’s granddaughter, Bridget Vere, daughter of the Earl of Oxford. …[T]he proposal came to nothing, although the match was agreeable to Herbert, and the Earl of Oxford wrote of him as well brought up and ‘faire conditioned,’ with ‘many good partes in him.’ Connection Twenty-Four: Connection Twenty-Four Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery Slide38: Connection to Shakspere William of Stratford ? No known connection. Montgomery never mentions William, nor does William ever mention Montgomery. Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery Slide39: Connection Twenty-Four Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery Connection to Oxford: Though Pembroke’s marriage never took place, Pembroke’s brother, Montgomery, did marry Oxford’s daughter, Susan Vere. From the Dictionary of National Biography: “After ‘long love and many changes,’ [Montgomery] was, in October 1604, ‘privately contracted to my Lady Susan [Vere, third daughter of Edward, seventeenth earl of Oxford], without the knowledge of any of his or her friends’…. On 27 Dec. the marriage took place at Whitehall with elaborate ceremony, in which the king took a prominent part….” Slide40: Connection Twenty-Four Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery Scholars often speculate how the unpublished plays in the First Folio got into the hands of the publishers. It is reasonable to think that if the author’s daughter were married to someone associated with the First Folio, that would be a likely means of transmittal. Susan Vere is the likely conduit for the transfer of the Shakespeare manuscripts to Montgomery and hence to the publishers. Connection Twenty-Five: Connection Twenty-Five Truth is Truth (1922) Levin Schücking in Character Problems in Shakespeare’s Plays: “A fundamental feature of Hamlet’s character is a fanatical sense of truth.” “Nay it is ten times true, for truth is truth To th’end of reckning.” (Meas. for Meas. V. 1. 45-46) (1604) In Latin “Vere” means “Truly” or “according to Truth.” Oxford’s motto, that of the De Veres, was Vero nihil verius (Nothing truer than truth, or Nothing truer than the true man). In a letter to Robert Cecil, Oxford plays upon the Latin meaning. “…for truth is truth though never so old, and time cannot make that false which was once true.” (Oxford’s letter to Robert Cecil, May 7, 1603) Hamlet Connections to Oxford: Hamlet Connections to Oxford Topical Connections to Oxford: Topical Connections to Oxford Book Connections to Oxford: Book Connections to Oxford Knowledge Connections to Oxford: Knowledge Connections to Oxford Fellow Poet Connections to Oxford: Fellow Poet Connections to Oxford Language Connections to Oxford: Language Connections to Oxford Dedicatee Connections to Oxford: Dedicatee Connections to Oxford Shakespeare is Oxford: Shakespeare is Oxford Truth is Truth though never so old, and time cannot make that false which was once true.
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William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing Much Ado About Nothing . Picture taken Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. This year, we will be reading
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