Discussion:
Shakespeare and Robert Burns
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Don
2018-01-04 03:37:24 UTC
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I've been reading in the Complete Works of Robert Burns, downloadable
from Guttenburg for free in Mobi, and notice a couple parallels with
Shakepeare that are interesting.

In large, similarities are there, concerning biographies from poets of
adjacent ages, both of whom compete on the world stage as most
popular. Not sure about differences between Scots and EME points of
comparison, but both are probably national heroes, in the Coleridge
sense.

Looking through the Burns Complete Works brings out background
dimensions of great interest, I think, in the way that Burns was
impacted by his family's misfortunes, followed by his own. Compared
to Burns, Shakespeare seems to have been very successful, except that
he doesn't express much about family or identity with homeland.

Yet, like Burns, Shakespeare evidently went to school on the history
and literature of his country. Burns not only wrote original poetry,
but seems to have been writing from songs and poems that are part of
Scotland's culture, and no doubt contributes a good deal to what
otherwise would be lost, notwithstanding Child's English and Scottish
Popular Ballads (1904). He would deliberately add improved versions
of songs and poems from miscellaneous sources, then send his copy to
an archive with notes on what he did.

Shakespeare, we know, did a great deal to re-create histories and
royalty from another age, borrowing freely, and doing much to
popularize court and kingship among the populace. Interesting that
both Burns and Shakespeare seem to have biases about who deserved to
survive The Swamp, with Burns swinging the longer broadsword.

Probably most of us think Shakekspeare did this with encouragement
from several sources concerned with development of English literature?
That would square with Coleridge's ideas of Hero Worship. But the
comparison of Shakespeare and Burns on this point seems to assure us
they both were aware of preserving and encouraging their works for
posterity (poetic fame), assuming that Shakespeare and Jonson were in
accord about publishing the FF in 1623, after Jonson published his own
works in 1616, the first noted English author to have done so.

My conclusion, so far as I've read, is that Burns and Shakespeare
differ greatly physically, in love interests, national concerns worth
dying for, and attitudes toward life and enjoyment of it; which do
seem to illuminate his talents. And the comparison seems worthy for
us, if only because we are left without a flesh and blood Shakespeare,
for the most part. And though we aren't sure about Shakespeare's
alternates in the Authorship controversy, Burns seems to prove the
case for a commoner who rises above conditions and is accounted a
genius and popular national hero. bookburn
John W Kennedy
2018-01-04 16:43:03 UTC
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Post by Don
I've been reading in the Complete Works of Robert Burns, downloadable
from Guttenburg for free in Mobi, and notice a couple parallels with
Shakepeare that are interesting.
In large, similarities are there, concerning biographies from poets of
adjacent ages, both of whom compete on the world stage as most
popular. Not sure about differences between Scots and EME points of
comparison, but both are probably national heroes, in the Coleridge
sense.
Yes, though Burns does not attain to the rank of Sir Walter Scott, who,
in the public sculpture gardens of Scotland, outranks even kings.
Post by Don
Looking through the Burns Complete Works brings out background
dimensions of great interest, I think, in the way that Burns was
impacted by his family's misfortunes, followed by his own. Compared
to Burns, Shakespeare seems to have been very successful, except that
he doesn't express much about family or identity with homeland.
Yet, like Burns, Shakespeare evidently went to school on the history
and literature of his country. Burns not only wrote original poetry,
but seems to have been writing from songs and poems that are part of
Scotland's culture, and no doubt contributes a good deal to what
otherwise would be lost, notwithstanding Child's English and Scottish
Popular Ballads (1904). He would deliberately add improved versions
of songs and poems from miscellaneous sources, then send his copy to
an archive with notes on what he did.
Shakespeare, we know, did a great deal to re-create histories and
royalty from another age, borrowing freely, and doing much to
popularize court and kingship among the populace. Interesting that
both Burns and Shakespeare seem to have biases about who deserved to
survive The Swamp, with Burns swinging the longer broadsword.
Probably most of us think Shakekspeare did this with encouragement
from several sources concerned with development of English literature?
That would square with Coleridge's ideas of Hero Worship. But the
comparison of Shakespeare and Burns on this point seems to assure us
they both were aware of preserving and encouraging their works for
posterity (poetic fame), assuming that Shakespeare and Jonson were in
accord about publishing the FF in 1623, after Jonson published his own
works in 1616, the first noted English author to have done so.
My conclusion, so far as I've read, is that Burns and Shakespeare
differ greatly physically, in love interests, national concerns worth
dying for, and attitudes toward life and enjoyment of it; which do
seem to illuminate his talents. And the comparison seems worthy for
us, if only because we are left without a flesh and blood Shakespeare,
for the most part. And though we aren't sure about Shakespeare's
alternates in the Authorship controversy, Burns seems to prove the
case for a commoner who rises above conditions and is accounted a
genius and popular national hero. bookburn
--
John W. Kennedy
"The blind rulers of Logres
Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
-- Charles Williams. "Taliessin through Logres: Prelude"
Don
2018-01-05 02:29:13 UTC
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On Thu, 4 Jan 2018 11:43:03 -0500, John W Kennedy
Post by John W Kennedy
Post by Don
I've been reading in the Complete Works of Robert Burns, downloadable
from Guttenburg for free in Mobi, and notice a couple parallels with
Shakepeare that are interesting.
In large, similarities are there, concerning biographies from poets of
adjacent ages, both of whom compete on the world stage as most
popular. Not sure about differences between Scots and EME points of
comparison, but both are probably national heroes, in the Coleridge
sense.
Yes, though Burns does not attain to the rank of Sir Walter Scott, who,
in the public sculpture gardens of Scotland, outranks even kings.
I had a short but intense go-around with someone at a news group in
Scotland over usage of "Scottish" instead of "Scotts," which I
attempted to justify using a citation from the OED, showing an
instance where Sir Walter Scott refers to "Scottish Lowlanders"
slightingly. This was not accepted by my accuser, who was very
defensive, not of Scott, but the Scotts language and history, probably
of Lowlanders, too.
Post by John W Kennedy
Post by Don
Looking through the Burns Complete Works brings out background
dimensions of great interest, I think, in the way that Burns was
impacted by his family's misfortunes, followed by his own. Compared
to Burns, Shakespeare seems to have been very successful, except that
he doesn't express much about family or identity with homeland.
Yet, like Burns, Shakespeare evidently went to school on the history
and literature of his country. Burns not only wrote original poetry,
but seems to have been writing from songs and poems that are part of
Scotland's culture, and no doubt contributes a good deal to what
otherwise would be lost, notwithstanding Child's English and Scottish
Popular Ballads (1904). He would deliberately add improved versions
of songs and poems from miscellaneous sources, then send his copy to
an archive with notes on what he did.
Shakespeare, we know, did a great deal to re-create histories and
royalty from another age, borrowing freely, and doing much to
popularize court and kingship among the populace. Interesting that
both Burns and Shakespeare seem to have biases about who deserved to
survive The Swamp, with Burns swinging the longer broadsword.
Probably most of us think Shakekspeare did this with encouragement
from several sources concerned with development of English literature?
That would square with Coleridge's ideas of Hero Worship. But the
comparison of Shakespeare and Burns on this point seems to assure us
they both were aware of preserving and encouraging their works for
posterity (poetic fame), assuming that Shakespeare and Jonson were in
accord about publishing the FF in 1623, after Jonson published his own
works in 1616, the first noted English author to have done so.
My conclusion, so far as I've read, is that Burns and Shakespeare
differ greatly physically, in love interests, national concerns worth
dying for, and attitudes toward life and enjoyment of it; which do
seem to illuminate his talents. And the comparison seems worthy for
us, if only because we are left without a flesh and blood Shakespeare,
for the most part. And though we aren't sure about Shakespeare's
alternates in the Authorship controversy, Burns seems to prove the
case for a commoner who rises above conditions and is accounted a
genius and popular national hero. bookburn
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