Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Watson's heir

Among the archived essays in the Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection blog is an article by Ros Barber, an excerpt from her Ph.D. dissertation on Marlowe in fact and fiction. The essay concerns the well-known lines in the margin of a book by William Covell, Polimanteia (1595).

All praise
Sweet Shak-
As Barber explains, orthodox Shakespeareans (Stratfordians) believe that Gaveston refers to a poem by Michael Drayton. However, the reference much better fits the character Gaveston from Marlowe's play Edward II.  And since Marlowe and Watson were well-documented mates (being in a street fight together), and since both poets wrote Latin as well as English verse, and since Watson was deceased, the author is "Watsons heyre" ... This all adds up to Covell believing the author of Edward II (now known to be Marlowe) to be the author of Venus and Adonis and Lucrece (by the new poet "sweet Shakespeare").
Barber concludes, this is one of many examples in Shakespeare scholarship that demonstrates "how an 'error' according to orthodox scholarship can be read at face value and treated as correct when viewed through a Marlovian lens." The entire essay can be read at the M-SC blog.

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