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The story of Timon was partly accessible to English readers in Shake-speare's time in Plutarch’s ‘Life of Antonius and Painter's Palace of Pleasure;' but in neither of these
; works were recorded any of the incidents given in the above series of parallelisms. The dramatist must have found them either in a Latin version of Lucian's 'Dialogues' or in the original Greek. No other source was open to him.
“There can be no doubt, we think, that a great resemblance may be traced between the Greek satirist and the English dramatist. The false friends of Timon are much more fully described by Lucian than by Plutarch. The finding the gold is the same; the rejection of it by the Timon of Shakspere is essentially the same; the poet of the play was perhaps suggested by the flatterer who came with the new ode; the senator with his gratulations is not
very different from the senators in the drama ; the blows and stones are found both in the ancient and the modern. There are minor similarities which might be readily traced, if we believed that Shakspere had gone direct to Lucian.” — KNIGHT's Shakspere, iii. 340.
MYSTERIES IN HEAVEN AND EARTH
“ There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Hamlet, i. 5. Lucretius :
“We see in heaven and earth many things for which we cannot possibly account.” 1
The first book of Lucretius was translated into English and printed in 1658; his entire work in 1682, or nearly one hundred years after the date of Hamlet.'
1 Quod multa in terris fieri, coloque tuentur,
Quorum operum causas nullâ ratione videre
Lib. I., v. 152. “This reflexion of Hamlet seems to be directly copied from Lucretius." Lewis THEOBALD, Works of Shakespeare, vii. 257.
FAUSTE, PRECOR GELIDA Shake-speare:
“ Fauste, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbrâ Ruminat, - and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan!” — Love Labor's Lost, iv. 2. Mantuanus :
“Fauste, precor gelida quādo pecus omne sub umbra Ruminat, antiquos paulum recitemus amores. - Ecloga Prima.
“ The good old Mantuan was Joh. Baptist Mantuanus, a Carmelite whose Eclogues were translated into English by George Turbervile in 1567. His first Eclogue commences with Fauste, precor gelida ; and Farnaby, in his preface to Martial, says that pedants thought more highly of the Fauste, precor gelida than of the Arma virumque cano. Here, again, the unlearned Shakspere hits the mark when he meddles with learned matters." - KNIGHT's Shakspere, i. 104.
CUPID'S TORCH Shake-speare :
“The little Love-god, lying once asleep,
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
“ Here under the plane-trees, Love, having placed his torch by the Nymphs, and been overpowered by gentle slumber, was sleeping. Then said the Nymphs to one another, 'Why do we delay ? Would that we could put out, together with this, the fire in the heart of mortals.' But as the torch inflamed also the waters, the Love-nymphs from thence draw warm water for their bath."1 - Palatine Anthology, ix. 627.
1 Ταδ υπό τας πλατάνους απαλφ τετρυμένος ύπνο
ευδεν "Έρως, νύμφαις λαμπάδα παρθέμενος: Νύμφαι δ' αλλήλησι, τι μέλλομεν, αΐθε δε τούτη
σβέσσαμεν, είπον, ομού πυρ κραδίης μερόπων. Λαμπάς δ' ώς έφλεξε και ύδατα, θερμόν εκείθεν Νύμφαι 'Ερωτιάδες λουτρoχoεύσιν ύδωρ.
The above epigram from the Anthology by Marianus was translated from the original Greek into Latin and printed in the sixteenth century; it has only recently been translated into English. It was not known, in Greek or Latin even, by Shake-spearean editors or commentators until 1878, or two hundred and sixty-nine years after Shake-speare had copied and published it from Marianus.
" At Lovers' perjuries They say Jove laughs."
Romeo and Juliet, ii. 2.
“Jove from on high laughs at lovers' perjuries.” 1
The above quotation from Ovid is taken from the Art of Love,' first printed in the English language in 1599. The play of “Romeo and Juliet' was printed in 1597.?
“ Vilia miretur vulgus ; mihi flavus Apollo
Venus and Adonis. Ovid:
Vilia miretur vulgus; mihi fluvus Apollo
Amores, i., xv. 35.
1 Jupiter er alto perjuria ridet amantum.
Ars Amatoria, i. 633. “This remark our poet probably borrowed from Ovid, or else from Tibullus, who has the same sentiment :
'Perjuria ridet amantum Jupiter, et ventos irrita ferre jubet.''
LEWIS THEOBALD, Works of Shakespeare, vii. 155. The elegies of Tibullus were first put in English dress in the latter part of the seventeenth century.
2 Mention is made of a black letter edition of the Art of Love,' 1513, but nothing is known of it.
The Venus and Adonis' was first printed in 1593, at which time Ovid's Amores' had not been translated into English. Jonson afterwards gave the following version of the lines quoted from it in the original by Shake-speare :
• Kneel, hinds, to trash : me let bright Phæbus swell,
With cups full flowing from the Muses' well.” Of this Latin motto, heading the 'Venus and Adonis,' Prof. Baynes says: “it is one which from the circumstances of the case could hardly have been chosen by one who did not know the original well." - Shakespeare Studies, 107.
Marlowe, who died in 1592, also translated the 'Amores,' but his work remained in MS. for many years after his death.
Shake-speare perpetrates a punon Ovid's name, and another on that of the tribe of Goths among whom he was exiled. See pages 149, 164.
NAME OF TITANIA
Midsummer-Night's Dream, ii. 1.
Metamorphoses. On the name' Titania,' as used in the ‘Midsummer-Night's Dream,' Prof. Baynes comments as follows:
“ The important point to be noted is, that Shakespeare clearly derived it from his study of Ovid in the original. It must have struck him in reading the text of the Metamorphoses, as it is not to be found in the only translation which existed in bis day. Golding , instead of transferring the term Titania, always translates it in the case of Diana by the phrase • Titan's Daughter,' and in the case of Circe by the line : Of Circe, who by long descent of Titan's stocke am borne.' Shakespeare could not therefore have been indebted to Golding for the happy selection. On the other hand, in the next translation of the Metamorphoses by Sandys, first published ten years after Shakespeare's death, Titania is freely used. . . . It is clear therefore, I think, that Shakespeare not only studied
the Metamorphoses in the original, but that he read the different stories with a quick and open eye for any name, incident, or allusion, that might be available for use in his own dramatic labours." - Shakespeare Studies, p. 212.
Another proof that Shakespeare in some instances went directly to the Latin original of Ovid's work, instead of Golding's translation of it, is found in the drama of Macbeth.' It is in the scene of the cave to which Macbeth has come for another interview with the witches. The scene opens thus : “1 Witch. Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed. 2 Witch. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd. 3 Witch. Harpier cries :— 't is time, 't is time.” The signal for the operations to begin is thus given by Harpier, one of the hounds in Actæon's pack, named by Ovid in his story of the fable. But Golding in his translation of Ovid converts the Latin names of these animals into their English equivalents, this particular dog being called in his version Greedigut. The author of the play adopted the Latin name.
"Our poet shews his great knowledge in antiquity in making the dog give the signal.” — UPTON'S Critical Observations on Shake
speare, p. 170.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE
“To be or not to be, that is the question.” Hamlet, üi. l. Parmenides :
“To be or not to be, that is the alternative." 1 Parmenides wrote in Greek, but his poem was not translated into any other language, not even into Latin, until two hundred years after 'Hamlet' was written.
1 “Ον έστι, μή όν ουκ έστι:
The famous dualism of Parmenides was Being and Seeming; the former, invariable, immutable, real, One; the latter, changing, developing, unreal, Many. The above formula, as its starting point, however, cannot have failed to impress itself on Bacon's philosophic mind, though he used it in a slightly different sense. One of his tracts, now lost, was entitled 'Existence or Nonexistence.'