Author Topic: David Allen White on King Lear  (Read 609 times)

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Offline Matto

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David Allen White on King Lear
« on: August 14, 2019, 10:54:40 PM »
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  • King Lear Conferences

    I am excited. I just purchased these two conferences by Professor David Allen White about King Lear to support Bishop Williamson. I realized I was remiss in not supporting Bishop Williamson in some way other than by my prayers and reading his letter. So now I have paid some of the debt that I owe him.

    And I love King Lear. I will probably read it again after listening to these conferences. Nothing moved me in all of literature or drama or any art at all, more than the death of Cordelia. Nothing. Only the Bible and sacred writings inspired by the Holy Ghost have the power over my soul that King Lear does. But I do believe the Bard was also inspired by the Holy Ghost even though his art was profane and not sacred. The Bard.

    In listening to the introduction to the website, I came to the conclusion that I agree with Bishop Williamson's idea of a loose connection of resistors who keep in contact with each other and support each other. That is kind of how Cathinfo is run. It is a collection of Catholics from different groups who differ on Church politics but for the most part share the same faith. For the most part. 

    I know this is old news, but it is new to me.
    I Love Watching Butterflies . . ..

    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: David Allen White on King Lear
    « Reply #1 on: August 16, 2019, 09:53:57 AM »
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  • I wish these were more affordable.
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    I have DAW's Brideshead Revisited lectures, they are quite good. 
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    King Lear is my favorite Shakespeare play.  It is certainly the bleakest, and I think Shakespeare was (at least in part) trying to warn his countrymen how metaphysically regressive their Protestant trajectory was. 
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    The Shakespeare as a Catholic thesis is one I am wholly committed to.  DAW gives very worthy defenses of this thesis and obviously integrates it into his critiques, and I am happy to note that it is an idea broadly accepted in the mainstream scholarly Shakespeare circles as well.  I am not sure if it is the dominant view of contemporary Shakespearean scholars, but it is certainly a notable one.  Even the Jєωιѕн editor of the Norton edition of the Complete Works (and one of the most widely respected contemporary Shakespearean critics), Stephen Greenblatt, buys into it.
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    Matto, you might look into the countess of Oxford, Clare Asquith.  She is an independent Shakespearean scholar who has done a lot of heavy lifting to vindicate Shakespeare as a Catholic and extract and make explicit the Catholic meaning of his plays.  She wrote a book called Shadowplay.
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    Offline Matto

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    Re: David Allen White on King Lear
    « Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 09:59:44 AM »
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  • Matto, you might look into the countess of Oxford, Clare Asquith.  She is an independent Shakespearean scholar who has done a lot of heavy lifting to vindicate Shakespeare as a Catholic and extract and make explicit the Catholic meaning of his plays.  She wrote a book called Shadowplay.
    Thanks Myth. I put her on my to do list. I have a lot on my desk right now to get to so I should not take on many more tasks. But I love finding clues and asking Our Lady to undo the knots.
    I Love Watching Butterflies . . ..

    Offline claudel

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    Re: David Allen White on King Lear
    « Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 12:53:22 PM »
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  • Let me add a few words to this thread, as this is a topic I know something about.

    That Shakespeare was probably a Catholic has been virtually a truism among Shakespeare scholars since the time of A. C. Bradley (1851–1935). I was introduced to the thesis in the mid-sixties, when I was in college, through the then-famous edition (still very recommendable to students and casual readers, may I add) of the collected works prepared and edited by G. B. hαɾɾιson (1894–1991).*

    Unfortunately, there is also very good reason to believe that Shakespeare had strong ɧoɱosɛҳųαƖ inclinations, upon which he regularly acted. This is discussed fully and frankly by the great Joseph Sobran in his brilliant contribution to the authorship controversy, Alias Shakespeare.** If you can find a copy, my advice would be to get it and read it. It is both beautifully written and profoundly insightful. (I would offer to lend you my own copy, but as it is autographed to me by Joe, it won't be getting out of my sight till you know when!)
    ___________________________
    * No one is perfect, of course. Despite hαɾɾιson's virtues as a scholar, he was sadly also a Vatican II enthusiast and a member of the committee that crafted the first version of the Novus Ordo Missae in English.

    ** An admission against interest in the spirit of full disclosure: DAW hates this book.

    Offline Mithrandylan

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    Re: David Allen White on King Lear
    « Reply #4 on: August 16, 2019, 08:37:46 PM »
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  • Claudel, do you find the Oxfordian theory credible?
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    Offline Clemens Maria

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    Re: David Allen White on King Lear
    « Reply #5 on: August 16, 2019, 08:51:22 PM »
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  • I miss Joe Sobran, RIP.  He and Pat Buchanan are my favorite columnists. I have no idea about who Shakespeare was and I don’t care too much one way or the other.  I’ll let the scholars fight it out.  It won’t make his works any less enjoyable.

    Offline Matto

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    Re: David Allen White on King Lear
    « Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 08:58:24 PM »
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  • I wanted to thank Mithrandylan for telling me that Cordelia means "honest heart". While I was sitting before the Blessed Sacrament I had a thought about King Lear, as to why the death of Cordelia, a phantasm in the mind of the Bard, was so tragic and so heartbreaking. I found that she was a figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and when she dies it signified the death of the Blessed Mother before she is espoused to the Holy Ghost and before the Annunciation and because of this Our Blessed Saviour never comes into the world and all of the world falls into the hands of the devil and there is no salvation and no hope for anyone ever again. (before her wedding [is that correct? Was it before her wedding or after her wedding but before she bore a child? I haven't read of seen the end of Lear in a while. In that case it would be that the Blessed Mother was murdered before Our Lord was born and God died with his mother. Either way God is defeated by the devil, an impossibility but a thought of souls in despair]). Only Our Lady was Immaculate, her cleanliness was our only hope as the good God could never come into an unclean vessel. That is why it is the most heartbreaking moment in all of literature because it is the most tragic thought possible written by the greatest writer ever. Universal damnation.

    Does these thoughts make sense to you?
    I Love Watching Butterflies . . ..

    Offline claudel

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    Re: David Allen White on King Lear
    « Reply #7 on: August 17, 2019, 10:42:59 PM »
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  • Claudel, do you find the Oxfordian theory credible?

    Yes. After having been a lifelong scoffer, I became a convinced Oxfordian some twenty years ago. It was Sobran, both in the book and in person, who pointed me to the heavy hitters in the authorship controversy, especially Charlton Ogburn, whose landmark study The Mysterious William Shakespeare establishes that the entire chronology of Shakespeare's life and work that has been developed by the "orthodox" scholars, usually now called Stratfordians, is a house of cards, wherein a moderately plausible supposition is premised and then promptly conscripted in support and justification of another one and then another one—and so on ad infinitum in an almost entirely fact-free daisy chain. In Alias Shakespeare, Sobran provides several examples of this phenomenon, one of the most presumptuous yet most widely believed of them being the chronology of Hamlet.

    If you are interested in pursuing the matter, the places to begin are these websites: The De Vere Society, the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, and the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition. Should you later wish to go more deeply, I could prepare a list of books and articles for you when my time permits. Just drop me a line.


     

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