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1705Re: "auditory piracy"

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  • Mark Goodacre
    Jan 13, 1999
      Like Bob I am intrigued by the possibility that the first quarto of Hamlet
      (etc.) and its relationship to the folio version might shed light on the
      synoptic problem and I am grateful to Tim for bringing it up. I once went to
      see a performance of the first quarto of Hamlet, a real curiosity the most
      memorable part of which was indeed "To be or not to be; aye, there's the
      point". I seem to remember too that the line "O that this too too solid flesh
      would melt" was rendered "O that this too too sullied flesh would melt" (or
      vice versa?), which would be well explained by auditory piracy -- either word
      would make good sense.

      However in relation to the Synoptic Problem, and specifically the argument from
      length, several qualifications need to be made:

      (1) It is not the case that Matthew and Luke are consistently shorter than Mark
      in indvidual pericopae as Sanders demonstrated in _Tendencies_ (see several
      previous messasges on this).

      (2) The first quarto of Hamlet is overall shorter than the folio version. I
      remember this clearly because we had time to get a couple of rounds in before
      closing time (often the most memorable part of the evening). Now this means
      that the first quarto is shorter both in overall length and in individual
      particulars like the famous soliloquy (22 lines vs. 35 by Tim's count). This,
      then, is different from the situation in the Synoptics where Mark is overall
      shorter but sometimes in indvidual percipae longer.

      The following qualification from Bob is also right, I think, and all the more
      so if one accepts the conclusions of the recent book by Bauckham (ed.) on
      Gospel Audiences:

      > I am intrigued by the examples from Shakespeare, and the "auditory piracy"
      > concept, but the label does not transport well. The purposes of the
      > performances were different: Shakespeare had every reason to want to control
      > his intellectual capital. The evangelists, however, were more interested in
      > *spreading* the good news. They would be well pleased at the efforts of an
      > auditor to hear the Word and spread the News. This makes the concept all the
      > more interesting, although a different label is needed.

      But I for one would be interested to hear any more reflections on how this
      analogy from Shakespeare might help us get our nose out of the Synopsis.

      Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham

      Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre

      Synoptic-L Web Page: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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