Monday, February 12, 2007

Shakespeare Never Went To Sea

It's articles like this one about Shakespeare's experience at sea that I really enjoy. 

Simple premise -- Shakespeare didn't know how much time was meant by the nautical concept of a 'glass'.

Evidence -- passages from The Tempest and All's Well That End's Well seem to indicate that he thinks it means one hour, when actually it means half an hour.

Conclusion -- Shakespeare never went to sea.  Or, at the very least, he was not an experienced sea-traveller. (They do offer up the possibility that he travelled once in his life and simply forgot the specifics of the term over the years).

Real conclusion -- <em>For believers in “alternative Shakespeares”, the sea-glasses are more of a crux. The 17th Earl of Oxenford and Sir Henry Neville, to take two popular current candidates, each crossed to the continent several times. Oxenford, according to his partisans (though non-Oxenfordian scholars disagree), even sailed with the English fleet opposing the Armada, subjecting himself to the discipline of a sailor.</em>



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