Talk:Shakespeare's funerary monument

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Virgil and Roman naming conventions[edit]

Just a quick edit: the original author of this otherwise very good article wrote that Maro was Virgil's 'first name'. In fact, it was his last name. Virgil's full name was Publius Virgilius Maro, following the late Republican/Imperial model of Praenomen (first name) --> nomen gentile (clan name) --> cognomen (the 'known-by' name). The cognomen was originally an individual name, but by Virgil's time was inherited father-to-son and had come to identify families within the wider clan.Bedesboy 22:21, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Not a moniment and not authentic[edit]

> It is not known exactly when the monument was erected, but it must have been before 1623; in that year, the First Folio of Shakespeare's works was published, prefaced by a poem by Leonard Digges that mentions "thy Stratford moniment" [sic].

For your information, the word "moniment" does NOT mean a piece of memorial sculpture! Moniment is a long disused word of latin origin, which means a high pile of document papers. Therefor "thy Stratford moniment" obviously refers to the manuscripts of "shakesperean" works (which were most probably written by the Earle Oxenford)! (talk) 19:53, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Ha haha. Really, what a fantasy world you people occupy. Paul B (talk) 23:35, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

But what does "therefor" mean? TheScotch (talk) 07:25, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Holding a grain sack[edit]

The original monument showed a very different portait of Shakespeare, and showed him holding a grain sack, and not a cushion; he was also not holding a quill. Why isn't this mentioned in the article? (talk) 01:27, 8 September 2011 (UTC)daver852

It isn't mentioned because it isn't true. However the drawing from which this claim derives is discussed. It is the earliest known drawing and it is rather crude and inaccurate in some details. That's all. It's fairly typical of the kind of inaccuracies that one finds in such illustrations and which occur in others in the same book. Funeral monuments of the time never depict people "holding a grain sack", but it is common for people to be placed on cushions in the manner depicted in Shakespeare's memorial (e.g [1], [2], [3]). Also any such extensive recarving would leave a huge amount of physical evidence on the stone, which does not exist. Paul B (talk) 13:42, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

I will say it up front: I am sure that Christopher Marlowe wrote Shakespeare's plays. Having said that, the claims above by Paul Barlow are a stupid pack of lies that insults the intelligence of even the most causal inspector of the drawing. The drawing is not crude, it is not schematic, and it is typical of thet time to depict merchants with a sack. You are basing your claims on stupidity and wishful thinking.

The whole monument itself is, and looks like, 18th century kitch, not 16th century kitch, and there is no dispute that it was reworked to show the quill. Shakespeare was certainly not a writer, there is no doubt, and anyone who disputes this is mentally deficient. (talk) 05:32, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Anyone who thinks the monument looks remotely 18th century is deficient in the most basic education in the arts. To portray someone with a grain sack on a funerary monument would be totally contrary to all respectable conventions of church monument design in the era. Do you think they depicted butchers waving legs of lamb and bakers clutching crusty loaves? I found links to several images of cushioned torsos from the period in no time. Perhaps you can show me just one image of a merchant clutching a grain sack. Then perhaps we will learn who is telling a stupid pack of lies. As for the drawing, if you don't think this is "crude" and schematic, I suggest you do not try for a career in art criticism. Paul B (talk) 13:02, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Three images of the memorial to William Shakespeare in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon. (1) An engraving by Wenzel Hollar, date unknown, artist lived from 1607 to 1677. (2) An engraving made by George Vertue in 1723 and published in 1725 by Jacob Tonson to illustrate Alexander Pope's edition of Shakespeare's complete works. (3) A modern photograph of the monument.
To answer that question which is bound to be asked by some who come to this page, I think it would be useful to include in the article the picture to the right of this comment. --PBS (talk) 23:16, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the image. It's a rather clumsy jumble. Is there no accessible photo that depicts the monument directly, rather than at an angle? The engraving date is not unknown; it's 1656. This info is all already in the article, but I've added a gallery of images at the bottom in the article page. Paul B (talk) 18:20, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Paul it's also missing the monument image from Rowe, which is basically a tracing of Hollar directly on the engraving plate (hence the reversed shadows) with a different face. I have it on my other computer and I'll download it tomorrow. See Clark Holloway's monument page. I also have an image of Dugdale's original sketch, but I don't know if it will pass copyright muster since it was printed in RES in 1997. Tom Reedy (talk) 05:10, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Rowe Tempest.JPG


────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Hey Paul, this might be a more dramatic image to use for Gerard Vandergucht instead of the monument image, since it really shows his skill. Tom Reedy (talk) 23:07, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Yea, good idea. Done. Thanks Tom. Paul B (talk) 22:44, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

While a grain sack may be contrary to conventions of church monument design in the era, a woolsack is decidely not without precedent in English funerary art, and considering John Shakespeare's profession as a wool dealer (see his Wikipedia page, and in the illegal dealings of which he was accused of in 1582, cf. Lois Potter, The Life of William Shakespeare, p.43), the grain sack vs. cushion to-and-fro should more correctly be framed as woolsack vs. cushion, a different debate entirely. St. Cornelius at Linwood, Lincolshire has 15th century funerary brasses depicting woolsacks with knotted corners. See [4], as did some civic coats of arms, eg. Guildford, Surrey (see link below). A number of notable expert testimonies concurring that the effigy depicts a woolsack are presented, along with a useful analysis of the argument to the effect that this is what Dugdale depicted, can be found here: [5] So the assumption that a wool merchant would not have a woolsack on his effigy is really more of an open question than Paul might be willing to assume at present. Carfax6 20:03, 9 March 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Carfax6 (talkcontribs)

The utter desperation of this argument should be obvious to anyone who compares the images - you have to go back to find a fifteenth century flat brass to compare to a seventeenth century sculpted memorial. Even then, it doesn't bear the remotest resemblance. The cushion memorials, in contrast, are exactly contemporary, almost identical in design and are numerous. Devices on blazons are completely separate. And, of course, John Shakespeare was a glover - or leather merchant - not a wool merchant. Whether or not he was ever a dealer in wool, it makes no sense at all that that the memorial should depict one of his sidelines and not his main profession. Of course, there is zero evidence that this is John. The absurd article you link to makes a big-deal of the fact that Dugdale and others were worthy honest gentlemen who had no reason to deceive their readers (though of course no one has suggested they intended to deceive anyone), but then says next-to-nothing of the fact that they all identify the monument as to William, and the inscription refers to William. This whole argument is essentially silly. Even if there were some reason to say that the monument originally depicted John (which there isn't), it doesn't alter the fact that the memorial as Dugdale saw it was dedicated to William, clearly identified as the writer of that name. At least the old anti-Strat claim that it depicted William as a local trader rather than writer has some logic to it (though of course its contradicts all the evidence), but the John Shakespeare argument destroys its own rationale. Paul B (talk) 17:48, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Just throwing this image into the conversation. Tom Reedy (talk) 16:32, 11 March 2012 (UTC)


Where the hell did I get that from? Tom Reedy (talk) 19:18, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Probably from Macbeth. It's cursed, you know. Paul B (talk) 19:22, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Duncan: "Whence cam’st thou, worthy thane?"

Ross: "From Fife, great king".

I did it again in my edit summary just now! Tom Reedy (talk) 14:52, 26 May 2015 (UTC)