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Occupation Discovering why the Droeshout engraving of Shakespeare has two LEFT arms.
Introduction Welcome to the Sidney-Oxford Rivalry theory of Shakespeare authorship. This theory suggests that Sidney's _Defense of Poesy_ is, in part, an attack on the poetics of the Earl of Oxford; and that Edward de Vere now lies in Oblivion, having lost his good name and fame during the Style Wars of the sixteenth century. Assisting in this 'forgetting' were a group of 'laureate' poets, and Oxford's militant Protestant (Sidneian!) son. This blog examines criticisms of Oxford and Shakespeare, linking these authors through their perceived faults. My starting point is the Folio engraving of Shakespeare. Expert tailors have determined that the Figure shows two left arms (the right front side of the mismatched doublet is the back part of the left), implying that the author is incapable of 'right' or correct writing. The Droeshout cuts a disproportionate figure, and Jonson's encomium is similarly deformed by extravagant figures. Jonson had accused Shakespeare of 'making monsters' and Oxford was thought by some to be one. The authorship question revives ancient mimetic rivalries concerning the uses and abuses of wit and poetry.
Interests Attack of the Laureate Poets. No matter how delightful or fashionable Shakespeare was -for Jonson he set an inexcusably bad example: WILLIAM DINSMORE BRIGGS Studies in Ben Jonson Harl. 4064, f. 238, Scorne or some humble fate, light thick, and long endure on the ridicoulous state of our pied courlings [sic], and secure race of selfe loving Lords, that wallow in the floud of their great birth and bloud while their whole lief affords no other graces but pride, lust, oathes, and FACES, and yet would have me deeme of them at that high rate as they themselves esteeme perish such surquedry orewhelm'd with dust, tis only virtue must blazon nobilitie.
Favorite Movies Epigraph to Jonson's 'Workes': "Neque, me ut MIRETUR turba, laboro: / Contentus paucis lectoribus" - " I do not expend my efforts so that the multitude may *WONDER* at me: I am contented with a few READERS" ***************** How about one reader? ***************** Cartwright, William, Jonsonus Virbius ...Blest life of Authors, unto whom we owe Those that we have, and those that we want too: Th'art all so good, that reading makes thee worse, And to have writ so well's thine onely curse. Secure then of thy merit, thou didst hate That servile base dependance upon fate: *Successe thou ne'r thoughtst vertue, nor that fit, Which chance, and th'ages fashion did make hit; EXCLUDING THOSE FROM LIFE in AFTER-TIME, Who into Po'try first brought luck and rime: Who thought the peoples breath good ayre: sty'ld name What was but noise; and getting Briefes for fame Gathered the many's suffrages, and thence Made commendation a benevolence: THY thoughts were their owne Lawrell, and did win That best applause of being crown'd within.. To the Deceased Author of these Poems (William Cartwright) Jasper Mayne For thou to Nature had'st joyn'd Art, and skill. In Thee Ben Johnson still HELD SHAKESPEARE'S QUILL: A QUILL, RUL'D by sharp Judgement, and such Laws, As a well studied Mind, and Reason draws. Thy Lamp was cherish'd with suppolied of Oyle, Fetch'd from the Romane and the Graecian soyle. (snip)
Favorite Music Greville, _A Dedication to Sir Philip Sidney: Neither am I (for my part) so much in love with this life, nor believe so little in a better to come, as to complain of God for taking him [Sidney], and such like exorbitant worthyness from us: fit (as it were by an Ostracisme) to be divided, and not incorporated with our corruptions: yet for the sincere affection I bear to my Prince, and Country, my prayer to God is, that this Worth, and Way may not fatally be buried with him; in respect, that both before his time, and since, experience hath published the usuall discipline of greatnes to have been tender of it self onely; making HONOUR a triumph, or rather TROPHY OF DESIRE, set up in the eyes of Mankind, either to be worshiped as IDOLS, or else as Rebels to perish under her glorious oppressions. *Notwithstanding, when the pride of flesh, and power of favour shall cease in these by death, or disgrace; what then hath time to register, or fame to publish in these GREAT MEN'S NAMES, that will not be offensive, or infectious to others? What Pen without blotting can write the story of their deeds? Or what Herald blaze their Arms without a blemish? And as for their counsels and projects, when they come once to light, shall they not live as noysome, and loathsomely above ground, as their Authors carkasses lie in the grave? So as the return of such greatnes to the world, and themselves, can be but *private reproach, publique ILL example, and a fatall scorn to the Government they live in*. Sir Philip Sidney is none of this number; for the greatness which he affected was built upon true Worth; esteeming Fame more than Riches, and Noble actions far above Nobility it self.
Favorite Books Today? Michael McCanles - Jonsonian Discriminations. 'Jonson and 'Vera Nobilitas'. quote - 'The vera nobilitas argument lies at or near the centre of most subjects and themes Jonson treats in his nondramatic poetry.'...'(Jonson attempted)to construct a political and social semiotic in which the outer signifier of public honor designates accurately an inner signified of personal virtue and achievement.' Blog motto: Not Occam's Razor, but Vico's magnet.