That little candle…..

Posted By on December 16, 2009

When I saw the candle in the “lunatic fringe” theme, I knew it was the theme for me….after all, here we are, dear reader, on the extremest verge of hypothetically rational thought, being assailed by every last pop psychologist in the phone book as nutcases for not accepting the “divine William,” as Herman Melville sardonically termed him, as the godfather of English literature.

I hadn’t quite made the connection to the Portia quote, but the unconscious has a way of leading the willing, like mad Edgar leading his blind father, to the creative fusion that that brings those half-hidden truths to the surface.

Lunacy.

Candle.

De Vere.

A lunatic light broadcasts a soft glow over the landscape of the internet, a beacon in dark times….

Dover cliffs are fearsome steep. Look down at your peril.

You see, Portia’s quote has played a special role for me over the nearly a decade that I have had to reflect on the historical and literary meaning of the de Vere Bible.  It was my serendipitous discovery, sometime in 1992, that two generations of scholars had erroneously traced the origin of Portia’s evidently Biblical phraseology to Mtt. 5.16:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good workes, and glorify your father which is in heaven.”

But, you see,  it wasn’t Mtt. 5.16 at all.

No, as I transmitted to Professor Naseeb Shaheen, who was then completing his book,  Biblical References in Shakespeare’s Comedies (1993), it was Philippians 2.15:

The words "naughtie....worlde," coupled with the imagery of the shining candle, indubitably connects Portia's phrase to Philippians 2.15, as Professor Shaheen acknowledged.

The words "naughtie....worlde," coupled with the imagery of the shining candle, indubitably connects Portia's phrase to Philippians 2.15, as Professor Shaheen acknowledged.

Shaheen agreed with me.

Its time to stop keeping that a secret.

About the author

Roger Stritmatter is a native liberal humorist who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Contrary to rumor, he does not live on North Avenue. He does, however, work on North Avenue. A pacifist by inclination, one of his heroes is John Brown. But he thinks that Fredrick Douglass, another of his heroes, made the right decision. Stritmatter's primary areas of interest include the nature of paradigm shifts, the history of ideas, and renaissance literature, the latter a field in which he has published extensively

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