Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shakespeare's Imagery - Spurgeon 8 of 10

Dr. Spurgeon’s flawed research on Shakespeare and Bacon images – cont. (8)

(8) On page 24, Dr. Spurgeon writes "Mr. Wilson Knight has shown recently how constant is the "tempest" idea and symbolism in Shakespeare's thought, and, on page 25, "I never once find this analogy in Bacon". 

She will find it (by Bacon) in several places; she will find (Works Vll, p. 158), "Solon compared the people unto the sea and orators and counsellors to the winds, for that the sea would be calm and quiet, if winds did not trouble it"; she will find it in the Advancement of Learning, II, xxii, 6, "For as the ancient politiques in popular estates were wont to I compare the people to the sea, and the orators to the winds: because as the sea would of itself be calm and quiet, if the winds did not move and trouble it; so the people would be peaceable and tractable, if seditious orators did not set them in working and agitation; so it may be fitly said, that the mind in the nature thereof would be temperate and stayed, if the affections, as winds, did not put them in tumult and perturbation," and in Works, VI, I p 589, "Shepherds of people had need know the calendars of tempests in state . . . as there are certain hollow blasts of wind and secret swellings of the seas before a tempest, so there are in states" (Essay XV); "as by proof, we see the water swell before a boisterous storm" (Richard 3, Act 2, 3), and in (Bacon's Essay - Of Seditions and Troubles) "when any of the four pillars of government are mainly shakened or weakened (which are religion, justice, counsel, and treasure) men had need to pray for fair weather," (just as doubtless she has found the "windy orator” in King John, Act V, 1, where we have the "tempest" idea and the "fair weather which men have need to pray for" to calm the storm as well as the cause of the tempest which was religion (stubborn usage of the Pope).

Pandulph: "It was my breath that blew this tempest up,
Upon your stubborn usage of the Pope;
But since you are a gentle convertite,
My tongue shall hush again this storm of war
And make fair weather in your blust'ring land."

In place of Bacon's "hollow blasts of wind . . . before a tempest" we have in Shakespeare, "The Southern wind . . . by his hollow whistling in the leaves foretells the tempest and a blustering day" (I H4, 5.1.5), and in each case it was "the affections, as winds," that put men's minds "in tumult and perturbation," and caused the blustering. Here, then, is the very analogy which Dr. Spurgeon says "I never once find in Bacon”.

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