Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shakespeare's Imagery - Spurgeon 10 of 10

Dr. Spurgeon’s flawed research on Shakespeare and Bacon images – cont. (10)

(10) On page 29, she writes "On certain abstract subjects (such as the action of time) they (Bacon and Shakespeare) held diametrically opposite views'': and on page 29 she quotes from Lucrece.

"Time's glory is to command contending Kings
To unmask falsehood and bring truth to light".  

Dr. Spurgeon compared this passage with one from the Advancement of Learning, which has nothing whatever to do with time and truth; and to demonstrate once more how careless has been her comparison of the minds of Bacon and Shakespeare, on the preceding page of the same book she might have read Bacon's real view of time and truth, which is substantially the same as Shakespeare's "As time, which is the author of authors, be not deprived of his due, which is, further and further to discover truth" (Advancement of Learning, I, 4), and on page 220 she could have read that "the inseparable propriety of time is ever more and more to disclose truth." (1b., II, xxiv).

With regard to the action of time, Bacon and Shakespeare both enjoin that its order must be observed, for "men frequently err and hasten to the end when they should have consulted the beginning"; both compare the value of time to a man in sickness or in sorrow; both see that men are as the Time is and finally for them both, as for us, Time is the wisest Judge, the supreme Arbitrator.

Let us for the last time now listen to Bacon-Shakespeare.

"Time is the wisest of all things and the author and inventor every day of new cases" (Bacon).
"It is an argument of weight as being the judgment of time" (Bacon).
"The counsels to which Time is not called, Time will not ratify" (Bacon).
"Time trieth troth" (Bacon).
"Time is the old Justice . . . and let Time try" (Shakespeare).
"O Time thou must untangle this" (Shakespeare).
"I entreat your honour to scan this matter no further. Leave it to Time" (Shakespeare), for "Time must friend or end" and "the time will bring it out". 

We may perhaps return to Dr. Spurgeon's images of Shakespeare. We may perhaps try to show on some future occasion that her exhaustive analysis of these discloses not the Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon at all, but in part the real Shakespeare, the Shakespeare of Gray's Inn and St. Albans, that the Figure of Shakespeare which she writes "emerges", "although his senses, especially those of sight and hearing and taste were abnormally acute" was certainly not "a countryman through and through" nor "most interested in homely indoor occupations and routine." Dr. Spurgeon has attempted to fashion a Shakespeare to fit the Stratford shrine, but he cannot be made to shrink to this little measure. Despite her own efforts, she has found a Shakespeare "the most diversely minded, having an understanding of all varieties of human nature which has never been approached”.

In seeking Shakespeare she has discovered Bacon.
End of Spurgeon.

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