Common words in 'Titus Andronicus': the presence of Peele.
Reacting to both Robertson and Wilson, Hereward Price defended the structure even of the most suspect part of the play, arguing forcefully that Act I's construction was superior to anything any of the contemporaries of Shakespeare's early career, let alone Peele, could have devised.(3) Price's arguments, and a readiness after two world wars to admit to the full extent of the violence possible in human life, seemed to settle the matter in Shakespeare's favour, although some doubts remained. Voicing his own, J. C. Maxwell in the Arden edition conceded that `the structure of the whole play suggests Shakespeare rather than Peele. It may seem tempting to assert roundly that the whole play is by Shakespeare and no one else.... My only defence is that I can never quite believe it while reading Act I'.(4) But by the early 1960s, when almost all critics had come to see their task as demonstrating the unity of literary works, Shakespeare was overwhelmingly accepted as sole author.
A number of recent findings and arguments however have suggested that the play's authorship needs to be re-examined. MacD. P. Jackson, `the best of the disintegrators',(5) has cogently summed up the evidence of others and supplied more of his own in a recent article in Studies in Bibliography.(6) Jackson distinguishes two different strata in the play, which he labels Part A (I.i, II.i, and IV.i) - scenes marked by an unusually low, non-Shakespearian, proportion of feminine line-endings - and Part B, the remainder, which falls within the usual Shakespearian range.(7) Many kinds of verbal, syntactical, metrical, stylistic, structural, and bibliographical data that he marshals from the work of others or presents for the first time confirm the very sharp distinction between I.i (and to a less startling extent, II.i, and still more ambiguously, IV.i) and Part B. The evidence also points towards Peele as the author of I.i and perhaps (with more Shakespearian revision?) of II.i and IV.i. It includes: the phrasing and placement of stage directions;(8) the structure of speeches (opening with a vocative followed by an imperative);(9) the structure of lines (line-endings in the form of preposition or conjunction plus possessive pronoun plus monosyllabic noun);(10) the syntax (the fondness for a possessive leading into a relative clause);(11) the metre (the low percentage of feminine endings;(12) the patterns of stress variation from the iambic template(13)); the vocabulary (parallel passages;(14) compound words;(15) verbal looseness and repetition;(16) rare words;(17) function words(18)); the style (Shakespearian images;(19) alliteration;(20) figures of speech(21)). Despite the large amount of independent evidence,(22) Jackson rightly concludes that the matter cannot finally be settled until an exhaustive examination of verbal parallels has been undertaken.(23)
Pending that, I would like to offer other independent vocabulary tests which confirm Jackson's findings. Rare words leave one kind of watermark in a text, function words serve as a countermark; the distinctive locutions of the parallel-passage hunters of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries constitute another kind of trace; but what is most striking about the suspect parts of Titus Andronicus is the lazy repetition of a few common words the author has retrieved from his wordbox and keeps on reshuffling. At times he may let them sink below the top of the pile, but he soon gropes again for his favourites. Nothing, it need hardly be said, could be less like Shakespeare. After summing up the results - `Act I, the product of a mind working mechanically, is a tissue of cliches' - John Dover Wilson adds of Peele that `No dramatist of the age is so apt to repeat himself, or so much given to odd or strained phrases, which once coined, or borrowed from some one else he will produce time after time in his various poems and plays'.(24) But although Wilson describes the habits of Act I's author well, he does not quantify them, and he does not identify the most characteristic locutions of all.
The danger in testing for attribution through common words is that their frequency varies so much with context. Storm darkens the middle acts of King Lear, but not the first or last acts. Rome rules some Shakespeare plays, but may as well not exist in others. But because authorship is undisputed in Shakespeare's three later Roman plays, we have grounds for comparing Titus Andronicus' Roman vocabulary, its most symptomatic, against Shakespearian norms.
In no other Shakespeare play does Rome appear as often as in Titus Andronicus, but that is only because of its overwhelming frequency in I.i. In that scene's 495 lines, Rome occurs 44 times, Rome's, Roman, and Romans 9, 8, and 7 times, for a total of 68, or once in every 7 lines.(25) In the Part B that conforms in other matters to Shakespearian norms, these words occur a total of 54 times, once in every 36 lines. Now of course Act I is a special, very public scene, about a very Roman Roman, and it is understandable that the word should appear there more frequently than elsewhere. But the whole of Titus is emphatically Roman, and the frequency of Roman terms in Part B closely matches those in Julius Caesar, one in 38 lines, and Coriolanus one in 34, and the Rome and derivatives and Egypt and derivatives (Egyptian, gipsy) in Antony and Cleopatra), one in 39.
If Titus' return to Rome with his conquests provokes an unusual preoccupation with romanitas, so do the assassination of Caesar and the funeral orations of Brutus and Antony in III.i-ii of Julius Caesar, or the return of Coriolanus at the head of the Volsci in Coriolanus V.ii-vi. In these roughly 500-line stretches (568 and 543 lines) Rome-words are at their densest in each of these plays, but occur at a rate of only one in 25 and one in 20 lines. Is the first act of Titus Andronicus really so much more Roman that it warrants a barrage of Romes almost three or four times more intense than in the key confrontations in Shakespeare's undisputed Roman plays?
Since the three less public scenes in Part A that follow I.i employ Rome at rates barely more frequent (one in 34, 26, and 32 lines respectively for II.i, II.ii, and IV.i) than in Part B the obsessive frequency of the lemma in I.i obviously depends considerably on context. Nevertheless it will soon become apparent that I.i's rate, far in excess of any Roman concentration of comparable length in Shakespeare, reflects not a Shakespearian capacity to focus a topic but a collaborator's inattention to his own repetitiveness.
In the 81-line central sequence of the concluding scene of Titus Andronicus, there is a burst of 14 Rome-words, or more than one every 6 lines. This stretch of the scene, beginning with Marcus's proclamation to `You sad-faced men, people and sons of Rome', and ending with Titus' son Lucius being hailed as emperor, is a deliberate recapitulation of the first sequence of I.i, Marcus' nomination of his brother Titus as emperor and Titus' fatal nomination, in reply, of Saturninus in his place. Perhaps the frequency of the Roman vocabulary here could be interpreted as proof that to create a Roman civic atmosphere Shakespeare at this early stage of his career, in V.iii as in I.i, needed to intone Rome again and again. But in fact the pattern in V.iii varies from once in 39 lines in the remaining 118 lines of the scene to this dense 1-in-6 spatter in the centre, a pattern quite unlike the even distribution of Roman terms throughout the long I.i. This distinct pattern in V.iii seems in keeping with both the conscious desire to reapply at one particular point the stress placed on Rome throughout Act I and the localized lexical bursts found in all of Shakespeare's work.
Deliberate verbal concentrations for particular rhetorical or thematic purposes abound in Shakespeare. Honour, for instance, always a charged term, can at times create a powerful force field. Honour and derivatives like dishonour and honourable occur 32 times in 1 Henry IV (1:99 lines), but mostly in four dense clusters: in I.iii, Hotspur's first scene, revolving around his `pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd moon', in III.ii, where Hal dedicates himself to taking on `this same child of honour and renown', in V.i, Falstaff's catechism on honour, and V.iii, the echoes of his catechism as he looks at the fallen Blunt. Words deriving from honour reach their highest frequency in any undisputedly Shakespearian play,(26) in All's Well That Ends Well, 52 times or 1:59 lines. Of these, nineteen occur in the 581-line stretch from II.i to II.iii, which includes the King's aria on the reality as opposed to the mere name of honour or virtue. Almost half (9 out of 19) of the honour words in II.i-iii crowd into the fifty lines around this thematically central outburst.
But in Titus Andronicus honour and its kin occurs 47 times, once in every 58 lines, only slightly more frequently than in All's Well, but 35 times in Act I, once every 14 lines, and a mere 8 times in Part B, one in 240.(27) There seems no dramatic, thematic, or rhetorical reason for the word to recur 17 times more frequently in I.i than in the undoubtedly Shakespearian part of the play. But an explanation is not hard to find. Throughout his work honour and related words provide George Peele with his preferred verbal putty, always at hand to fill any gap.
Other abstract words like virtue, gracious, noble, right, cause, fortune, favour, fame, worth, and the like,(28) are also exceptionally frequent in I.i by comparison with Part B and the Shakespearian norm, and again without any particular local reason: noble, nobility, and inflections and compounds, 23 times in Act I, 1:22, 11 in Part B, 1:175; grace, gracious, and compounds, 14 in Act I, 1:35 lines, 14 in Part B, 1:137; virtue, virtuous, and inflections, 8 in Act I, 1:62, none in Part B; right, righteous, and upright, 10 in Act I, 1:50, 6 in Part B, 1:321; favour, favourer, and inflections, 6 times in Act 1, 1:99, once in Part B, 1: 1923; cause, 7 in Act I, 1:71, 4 in Part B, 1:481; fame, 5 in Act I, 1:99, none in Part B; worth and derivatives, 6 in Act I, 1:83, 5 in Part B, 1:385; arm or arms, in the sense of `weapon(s)', and derivatives, 6 in Act I, 1 :83, 8 in Part B, 1:240. Other favourites in I.i include love and derivatives, the succeed complex (succeed, successful, successfully, successive), and as Dover Wilson points out (these do reflect local subject-matter, though the rates are nevertheless high) return, desert, triumph, empery.
In I.i the stylistic result of these statistics - and of a marked tendency for the scene's author to redeploy any word or phrase, not just his regular stand-bye, once activated in his mind - is a sludgy soup of repetition and rehashed abstraction. Here Marcus explains why Titus deserves to be emperor (I italicize casual as well as recurrent offenders):
Ten years are spent since first he undertook
This cause of Rome, and chastised with arms
Our enemies, pride; five times hath he returned
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
In coffins from the field.(29)
And now at last, laden with honour's spoils,(30)
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.
Let us entreat, by honour of his name
Whom worthily you would have now succeed,
And in the Capitol and senate's right,
Whom you pretend to honour and adore,
That you withdraw you and abate your strength,
Dismiss your followers, and, as suitors should,
Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
Saturninus replies, rather surprisingly, `How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!', and Bassianus:
Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy
In thy uprightness and integrity,
And so I love and honour thee and thine,
Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
Gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich ornament,
That I will here dismiss my loving friends,(31)
And to my fortunes and the people's favour
Commit my cause in balance to be weighed.(32)
Saturninus immediately adds:
Friends that have been thus forward in my right
I thank you all, and here dismiss you all,
And to the love and favour of my country
Commit myself, my person, and the cause.
Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
As I am confident and kind to thee.
A captain then announces:
Romans, make way. The good Andronicus,
Patron(33) of virtue, Rome's best champion,(34)
Successful in(35) the battles that he fights,
With honour and with fortune is returned ....
Fifty-seven repetitions in 38 lines, or one in just over two-thirds of a line (1:0.68). It might seem that we could discount the three occurrences of dismiss, since they at least are occasioned by the action; but the formulaic repetition (Saturninus: `dismiss ... friends ... favour ... commit ... cause'; Bassianus: `friends . . . dismiss . . . favour ... commit ... cause') shows that verbal tics override appropriateness to the situation.(36)
Need it be said that of all writers in the world Shakespeare is the furthest from the automatism here? Not only is this repetition compulsion decidedly not Shakespeare's, it is just as decidedly the hallmark of Peele. In, for instance, the first scene of The Battle of Alcazar (published 1594, the same year as Titus Andronicus, though both were probably written several years previously), we read this. Italics indicate repetitions within The Battle of Alcazar, capitals links with Titus Andronicus.
Abdelmelec's family are hailing his return to free them from the usurping Muly Mahamet. `Our Moors', reports Abdelmelec's brother, have seen
A glorious comet that begins to blaze,
Promising happy sorting to us all.
The widow of another of Abdelmelec's brothers chimes in:
Brave man AT ARMS whom Amurath hath sent
To sow the lawful true SUCCEEDING seed
In Barbary, that bows and groans withal
Under a proud usurping tyrant's mace,
RIGHT thou the wrongs this RIGHTFUL king hath
Distressed ladies and ye dames of Fess,
Sprung from the true Arabian Muly Xarif
The lodestar(37) and the HONOUR of our line,
Now clear your watery eyes, wipe tears away,
And cheerfully give welcome to these ARMS,
Amurath hath sent scourges by his men,
To whip that tyrant TRAITOR king from hence
That hath usurp'd from us, and maim d you all.
Soldiers sith RIGHTFUL QUARRELS aid
SUCCESSFUL are, and men that manage them
Fight not in fear as TRAITOR and their FERES(38)
That you may understand what ARMS we bear,
What lawful ARMS against our brother's son,
In sight of heaven, even of mine HONOUR'S WORTH.
He ends his long speech:
As for the lawful true SUCCEEDINC prince,
Ye neither think your lives nor HONOURS dear
Spent in a QUARREL just and HONOURABLE.
Calcepius Bassa at once vouches his support:
Such and no other we repute the CA USE, That forwardly for thee we undertake, Thrice puissant and RENOWM'D Abdelmelec, And for shine HONOUR, safety and crown, Our lives and HONOURS frankly to expose....(39)
In this case, 42 repetitions in 29 lines, or again one in just over every two-thirds of a line (1:0.69).(40) Many of the repetitions involve words popular in Part A of Titus Andronicus (honour, of course; arms; right; succeed); others become buzz words only within. The Battle of Alcazar; and still other words, though not unusually frequent there, and hence not counted as repetitions, are Peele favourites in Part A of Titus and elsewhere (fere, renowmed ). Other Peele mannerisms insistent in Titus are also immediately evident here, like the characteristic vocative plus imperative speech-openings, and the `of our line / to these arms / by his men / and their feres' type of line-ending.
Similar patterns can be found elsewhere in The Battle of Alcazar and in Peele's other works, especially his plays Edward I and David and Bethsabe and his commemorative poem `The Honour of the Garter', where his subject allows him to rise to `honour' five times in eight lines.(41)
If we add up key repetitive favourites in Part A of Titus Andronicus - Rome, honour, virtue, noble, grace, right, fortune, cause, favour, worth, arms, and their derivatives - the total comes to 194 in I.i (1:2.6 fines), 18 in II.i (1:7.5), 2 in II.ii (1:13), 11 in IV.1 (1:11.7) in Part A, and in Part B, 113 (1:17). Omitting Rome and derivatives, because of the degree to which they reflect context, the totals and frequencies come to 126 in I.1 (1:3.9), 14 in II.i (1:9.6), 1 in II.ii (1:26), 7 in IV.1 (1:21.5) in Part A, and in Part B, 59 (1:33). These figures confirm the quite exceptional status of I.i, and show a marked but somewhat lesser distinctiveness in II.i (continuous with I.i in the 1594 Quarto), and a pattern in II.ii and IV.i much less sharply dissimilar to Part B.(42) These results, paralleling Jackson's very closely, suggest that Shakespeare may have revised the four scenes in Part A, whoever is responsible for them, the more thoroughly the later they come in the play.
And there seems little doubt that the person responsible for Part A was Peele. To take just one other word. In a play where there are so many sets of brothers - Titus and Marcus; Saturninus and Bassianus; Alarbus, Chiron, and Demetrius; Lucius, Quintus, Martius, Mutius, and their twenty-one nameless brothers - the word brothers is hard to avoid. Unless you use brethren, as the author of I.i does four times (1:124 lines), and as the Shakespearian Part B does only once (1:1923). I.i on the other hand uses brothers once (1:495), Part B 7 times (1:275). In the prologue and the first scene of The Battle of Alcazar, another play about brothers (and in this case fratricide), brethren occurs seven times, brothers not at all. Unlike Peele, Kyd prefers brothers to brethren; Marlowe prefers brethren to brothers, but much less emphatically than Peele, in just under two cases in three. Of course to be conclusive such preferences will have to be checked in all dramatists of the period,(43) but for the moment many different kinds of tests point to patterns in Titus' I.i, and to a lesser extent lI.i, that are Peele's and no one else's.
Two final points. I have used The Battle of Alcazar most for comparisons because it seems close in date to Titus - 15 8 9 has been suggested as a likely date of composition for both - and because Titus may well have influenced Peele to select the battle of Alcazar for a dramatic subject. The battle was both recent history (1578) and still of immediate consequence (it had led to Spain's invading Portugal), and provided Peele with another chance to vent the anti-Spanish feelings evident in his other works. But it also has for villain, in Muly Mahamet, a Machiavellian and Marlovian Moor, reminiscent of - if lifeless in comparison with - Aaron in Titus Andronicus. As all critics agree, Aaron is the best (and most Shakespearian) thing in Titus, and his unexpected relationship with his son the best thing about him. It is interesting then to notice that the most recent editor of The Battle of Alcazar, describing the dumb show within the play's prologue, observes: `Why the Moor's son is introduced here is difficult to see, for his role in these murders has no historical authority and no significance in the play that follows'.(44) Although Aaron's son says nothing - he is only a babe - he has a powerful impact at the end of Titus Andronicus. Peele's choice of Muly Mahamet for villain and of Muly Mahamet's son for a superfluous part at the start of The Battle of Alcazar would be a natural consequence of his recent share in Titus Andronicus.
How much his most recent part in Titus influenced the writing of The Baule of Alcazar can be seen in one remarkable passage. It has often been suggested that the two matched tableaux of the sacrifice of Alarbus and the killing of Mutius are slightly later inserts, within the original period of composition, in Titus' opening scene.(45) Both passages bear the stylistic hallmarks of Peele evident throughout the rest of the scene, and both seem to underlie the speech Abdelmunen's widow, Rubin Archis, makes to Calcepius Bassa:
Rubin that breathes but for revenge,
Bassa, by this commends her self to thee.
Resigns the tokens of her thankfulness:
To Amurath the God of earthly kings
Doth Rubin give and sacrifice her son,
Not with sweet smoke of fire, or sweet perfume,
But with his father's sword, his mother's thanks
Doth Rubin give her son to Amurath (lines 356-63)
This passage seems almost to fuse the two deaths of sons in the first scene of Titus Andronicus: the death of Alarbus, in a mother's son offered for sacrifice, and the perfumed smoke of the sacrificing fire (`And entrails feed the sacrificing fire, / Whose smoke like incense cloth perfume the sky,' I.i.144-5), and the death of Mutius, in a parent's losing a child without complaint, and the verbal flash of the father's sword.(46)
The dumb show at the beginning of The Battle of Alcazar's Act IV also seems to derive from Titus Andronicus. In the Roman tragedy the banquet at which Titus serves up to Tamora her sons baked in a pie is integral to the plot, to the play's revenge pattern, and to the fondly identified echoes of Procne's revenge for the rape of Philomela in Ovid (Metamorphoses VI.424-674). In the African tragedy the `bloody banquet' of the dumb show in Act IV merely indicates that death - death in battle, and even in one case death by drowning - lies ahead for four of the characters: after Sebastian, Muly Mahamet, the Duke of Avero and Stukeley `Enter to the bloudie banket', then enter `to them Death: & 3 Furies ... one with blood to Dy lights: one wth Dead mens heads in dishes: another with Dead mens bones'.(47)
Peele himself almost certainly provides Aaron's first words in Titus Andronicus. Aaron's opening soliloquy at the beginning of II.i marks a sudden change in style from I.i (though the two scenes are continuous in Q), a sudden volley of Marlovian music, but it is also riddled with Peelean repetitions, philologisms, and phrases.(48) Peele is well known for imitating Marlowe in The Battle of Alcazar and Edward I.(49) In view of the fact that the stage direction at the end of the Q scene that corresponds to the break between I.i and II.i in F is `Exeunt. Sound trumpets, manes Moore' (C29), and that this leads into the emphatically Mar lovian `Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top' it is worth noting that in the first scene of Edward I the stage direction `Exeunt Lords. Manet Queene Mother' is followed by a soliloquy so Marlovian that it embarrasses its editor.(50) Even the speech in Jackson's Part A that seems at first least like the Peelean voice of I.i itself fits Peele's patterns perfectly.
That Peele wrote at least I.i and II.i and perhaps a first version, if no more, of II.ii and IV.i of Titus Andronicus remains a hypothesis, and it should be tested by the kinds of exhaustive studies of the entire output of the dramatists working in the late 1580s and early 1590s that computer versions of the corpus are beginning to make possible. But it seems a hypothesis much more likely to be confirmed - and refined - than refuted.
(26) Apart from Measure for Measure, where most occurrences are the vocative `your honour'. (27) This in fact is well below the roughly 1:1 10 lines average in the Shakespeare canon, which however reflects both the vocative `your honour(s)' (interestingly, not used in Part A of Titus Andronicus, but not uncommon generally in Shakespeare and occurring twice in Part B) and the oaths `by/upon mine/your/his honour' (also common in some Shakespeare plays but absent from Titus Andronicus). But Shakespeare in his part of Titus Andronicus may deliberately have eschewed a word his collaborator had abused. (28) Such words, like honour, of course reflect Peele's sickening fondness for direct compliment to Elizabeth I and her court. In The Arraignment of Paris (1584) Venus happily agrees that Paris should have awarded the prize for beauty not to her but to Queen Elizabeth: `So fayre Eliza, Venus doth resigne/The honour of this honour to be thine' (lines 1245-6, The Araygnement of Paris, ed. R. Mark Benbow, in The Dramatic Works of George Peele (New Haven, 1970), 114). (29) In Q1 the passage continues here: `from the field, and at this day, / To the Monument of that Andronicy / Done sacrifice or expiation, / And slaine the Noblest prisoner of the Gothes'. These lines seem to contradict the subsequent sacrifice of Alarbus (I.i.96-149), which many think a later insertion within the original phase of composition. In his note on I.i.35-6 Waith observes that the author may have failed to mark these lines for deletion', though they were deleted in Q2 and thereafter. Marco Mincoff (Shakespeare: The First Steps (Sofia, 1976), 212-13) and MacD. P. Jackson (`Editions and Textual Studies', Shakespeare Survey, xxxviii (1985), 247-8) disagree. For a thorough discussion of revisions within the scene, see Stanley Wells, Re-Editing Shakespeare for the Modern Reader (Oxford, 1984),79-125. (30) As Robertson notes ((1924), 179), this echoes Peele's `Eclogue Gratulatory' (1589), st. 19: `Laden with honour's spoil'. Seeking to disprove Robertson's method of establishing attributions by locating parallel passages, Arthur M. Sampley, in `"Verbal Tests" for Peele's Plays' (SP, xxx (1933), 473-96), tried to kind other occurrences in Elizabethan literature of the locutions that Robertson claimed were proof of Peele's handiwork, but could find none for this phrase (483, and cf. nn. 35 and 43 below). (31) Notice how a phrase develops into a formula in this scene. `My loving followers" at I.i.3 establishes the pattern of initial `f' and an associated `my'; then come `friends, followers favourers of my right' (line 9), the close echo, here in `my loving friends' (line 53), of the start of the series, then three more rapid repetitions, `my fortunes and the people's favour' (line 54), `Friends . . . forward in my right' (line 56) and `favour of my country' (line 58). Since however these phrases are not exact repetitions I have not italicized them. (32) `Weighed' recurs within twenty lines, at I.i.73. (33) Cf. I.i.1: `Noble patricians, patrons of my right'. (34) Cf. I.i.151: `Rome's readiest champions'. If as many suspect lines 149-96 form a later insert, `Rome's readiest champions' would have originally followed `Rome's best champion' only 32 lines later. (35) Sampley (`Verbal Tests', 490) could find no other Elizabethan instance of `successful in' than the one Robertson had cited, in Peele's Battle of Alcazar, I.ii.35. Cf. nn. 30 and 43. (36) To confirm that these repetitions are not intentionally elegant variations, we could note that `gracious ... Rome' might be added at the beginning of Saturninus' list, and `Rome ... gracious' at the end of Bassianus', in two lines that have nothing to do with each other: `Gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich ornament', and `Rome, be as just and gracious unto me'. (37) A favourite Peelean term. (38) This Peelean favourite occurs only once in Titus Andronicus - and nowhere else in the Shakespeare canon - in Part A's IV.1. (39) For comparative purposes, I have modernized the spelling in volume 2 of the Yale edition of Peele, The Dramatic Works of George Peele (New Haven, 1961), 300-1 (lines 97-114. 147-54, or I.i.44-61, 94-101), in which The Battle of Alcazar is edited by John Yoklavich (40) I selected passages from Titus Andronicus and The Battle of Alcazar that in both instances seemed highly repetitious from the first, but I did not choose them to provide a matching concentration of repetitions. In both cases I was surprised to discover how many more repetitions there were than I had first noticed. (41) See David H. Horne (ed.), The Life and Minor Works of George Peele (New Haven, 1951), and The Dramatic Works of George Peete (1961), in which Edward I is edited by Frank S. Hook. (42) II.ii and IV.i, nevertheless, like II.i, both contain some unmistakeable Peelisms: see next n. (43) Interestingly, the article supposed to have dealt one of the deepest blows to the method of testing attribution by hunting for parallel passages also curiously confirms - against its own intent - the likelihood of Peele's authorship of Part A of Titus Andronicus. Sampley (`"Verbal Tests"') lists words and phrases used by Robertson and H. Dugdale Sykes to attribute plays to Peele, and where he can he shows other occurrences of these words in Greene, Kyd, Marlowe, Nashe, Shakespeare, Spenser, in works by other writers of the period, and in NED. But in Sampley's thorough sampling 17 words or phrases in Titus Andronicus (architect, bright and grey, chases in the sense of `park'; feere; gallop the zodiac; gratulates; laden with honour's spoils; palliament; Prometheus tied to Caucasus; remunerate; sacred wit; salute . . . with tears; sequestered; successful in; to virtue. . . consecrate; wreak as a noun; wise Laertes' son ) occur outside this play either uniquely in Peele (11 instances) or with far greater frequency in his work than in that of any other writer (6 instances). Eight instances of these words occur in Titus I.i, three in II.i (four if one counts `To villainy and vengeance consecrate' as a recycling of Peele's `To virtue ... consecrate'), two in II.ii, one in IV i In the very short (26 lines) II.ii, as in I.i, the word panther also appears, a word used more frequently by Peele than by any other writer Sampley notes apart from Greene, and occurring in Shakespeare outside of Titus' Part A only once, in Titus II.iii, in continuation of the plot line started at the end of I.i, where the word also occurs. The line in II.ii, `Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase' also contains not only the Peelism chase', but also his characteristic fondness for alliteration, his habit of recycling line-endings, and the superlative, all found in his line The fattest fairest fawn in all the chase' (The Arraignment of Pans, I.i.7).
The odds against these pronounced Peelisms occurring by chance in each of the scenes otherwise identified as being closer to Peele's norms than to Shakespeare's - and occurring so many times in the longer scenes - must be enormous. (One of these Peelisms occurs every 56 lines of Pan A, and one in 641 lines of Pan B; three and a half per scene in Part A, and one to every third scene in Pan B, though the scenes there are on average longer.) Either Peele had at least a major hand in the scenes of Part A; or, like the creationists' God planting fossils to mislead scientists, Shakespeare assiduously copied, for four scenes only. the obvious and the obscure characteristics - the exceptional and the commonplace locutions, even the proportion of humdrum function words, the imagery, the alliteration, the metre, the syntax. the line and speech structures, even the stage directions - of a writer he already had nothing to learn from. (44) Yoklavich, The Dramatic Works of George Peele (1961), 239; cf. also 349. (45) Alarbus: Wilson (1948), pp. xxxiv-v; Maxwell (]953), 5n; Stanley Wells (1984), 99; Waith (1984), 85n, 88n. Mutius: Wilson (1948), p. xxxvi; Wells, 99-100; Gary Taylor, cited in Waith (1984) 96n. (46) As I comment elsewhere: although the father's sword here seems to imply a mode of sacrifice to be employed in lieu of fire, it seems likely that Peele intends Rubin Archis merely to offer her son, alive and armed with his father's sword, into the service of Amurath. Not that he makes this easy to infer the lines above constitute the whole of Rubin's only speech in this scene, and her last in the play, and it is only Bassa's response, more than ten lines later - that Amurath "shall receive the imp of royal race, / With cheerful looks and gleams of princely grace" - that suggests a gentler fate for Rubin's son' (`Mutius: An Obstacle Removed in Titus Andronicus', forthcoming). (47) Yoklavich (331) provides a hypothetical reconstruction of the dumb show' hut I follow here first the bare Q stage direction, then the theatrical plot' of the play also cited by Yoklavich. (48) Most arrestingly, Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach' (line 7), which matches both Peele`s Descensus Astraeae (1591), line 4 (Gallop the zodiac and end the year') and his Anglorum Feriae (1595), line 24 (Gallops the zodiac in his fiery wain'), and `Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus' (line 17), echoed in Edward I, line 787 (To tie Prometheus' limbs to Caucasus') (cf. Robertson (1924), 180-1, 178). (49) Cf. The Dramatic Works of George Peele (1961, 50-1 and 225. (50) Hook, The Dramatic Works of George Peele (1961), 50,
(1) The campaign began with Did Shakespeare Write `Titus Andronicus'? (London, 1905) and lasted until An Introduction to the Study of the Shakespeare Canon: Proceeding on the Problem of `Titus Andronicus' (London, 1924). (2) Titus Andronicus, ed. Wilson (Cambridge, 1948), p. xxxii. (3) `The Authorship of Titus Andronicus', JEGP, xlii (1943),55-81; Construction in Shakespeare (Univ. of Michigan Contributions in Modern Philology, 17, May 1951). Gary Taylor, in his `The Canon and Chronology of Shakespeare's Plays' (Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor with John Jowett and William Montgomery, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion (Oxford, 1987), 115), comments: `Arguments from construction (Sampley, Price) are also unreliable, and at most suggest that Shakespeare wrote the "plot", from which he - and possibly someone else - worked.' Cf. Arthur M. Sampley, `Plot Structure in Peele's Plays as a Test of Authorship', PMLA, li (1936),689-701. (4) Titus Andronicus, ed. Maxwell (1953; London, 1968), p. xxvii. (5) A. D. Nuttall, Timon of Athens (London, 1989), 37. (6) `Stage Directions and Speech Headings in Act 1 of Titus Andronicus Q (1594): Shakespeare or Peele?', Studies in Bibliography, xlix (1996). (7) On Jackson's own basis for distinguishing between the two strata (a non-Shakespearian percentage of below 4 per cent of lines with feminine ending in Part A and a Shakespearian rate of above 4 per cent in Part B), II.ii should also join Part A according to the rates for feminine endings established in Marina Tarlinskaja, Shakespeare's Verse: Iambic Pentameter and the Poet's Idiosyncrasies (New York, 1987), 193, where II.ii has a rate of 3.8 per cent rather than the 4.1 per cent from T. M. Parrott's 1919 figures that formed the basis for Jackson's division in his Studies in Attribution: Middleton and Shakespeare (Salzburg, 1979), 152. (According to both Parrott's and Tarlinskaja's figures, there is a clear gap between scene II.ii and the next lowest figures, the 5.5 per cent and 5.9 per cent (Parrott) or 5.6 per cent and 6.4 per cent (Tarlinskaja) of scenes II.iv and V.ii, respectively.) Except where summarizing Jackson's work I will therefore treat II.ii as belonging to Part A throughout the remainder of this article.
When we apply to II.ii the function-word test in Jackson's `Stage Directions ...', the scene proves to have a very unShakespearian rate of and, 7.07 per cent (even higher than in I.i), although a Shakespearian with rate of 0.94 per cent (but for a word with this frequency, the sample is too small). This brief scene also has some crisp echoes of Peele (cf. Robertson 1924), 177 and n. 43 below) and the characteristic Peelean recyclings (lines 11-12, and the echoes of II.i.1 in II.ii.22 and II.i.1 18 in II.ii.26), but not the abstract vocabulary, described below. (8) Jackson (1996). (9) Titus Andronicus, ed. Wilson (Cambridge, 1948), pp. xxvii, xxxi; Jackson (1996). (10) Jackson (1996). (11) Maxwell, p. xxiv. (12) Philip W. Timberlake, The Feminine Ending in English Blank Verse (Menasha, Wisc., 1931); Jackson (1979), 151-4. (13) Tarlinskaja, 124. (14) Robertson (1924), 176-98; Wilson (1948), pp. xxvii-xxxii, 101ff. (15) Alfred Hart, cited in Jackson (1979),152. (16) Wilson (1948), pp. xxvii-xxx. (17) Jackson (1979),152-4. (18) Jackson (1996). (19) Albert Feuillerat, The Composition of Shakespeare's Plays (New Haven, 1953), cited in Jackson (1979), 152, 157n. (20) R. F. Hill, `The Composition of Titus Andronicus', Shakespeare Survey, x (1957),60-70, p.60. (21) Hill, 66-8. (22) To which should be added the work of Ward Elliott and Robert Valenza and their team at Claremont McKenna College, who on a May 1994 computer test of 17 parameters found that the `early' (Part A) section of Titus Andronicus diverges significantly from Shakespearian norms in 8 cases, more even than the 7 of the Fletcherian parts of Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen. `Matching Shakespeare, 1994: Computer Testing of Elizabethan Texts for Common Authorship with Shakespeare', Release 1.00 (Claremont, Cal.: Claremont McKenna College, 1994). (23) Jackson (1996). (24) Wilson (1948), pp. xxix-xxx. (25) Titus Andronicus, ed. Eugene M. Waith (Oxford, 1984). I have also used Michael J. B. Allen and Kenneth Muir (eds), Shakespeare's Plays in Quarto (Berkeley. 1981), Charlton Hinman (comp.), The Norton Facsimile: The First Folio of Shakespeare (New York, 1968), and Marvin Spevack, The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare (Cambridge, Mass., 1973).
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|Publication:||Notes and Queries|
|Date:||Sep 1, 1995|
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