HomeAbout the AuthorRenaissance WritingRenaissance LinksOther WritingSpeechesDonna's BlogSlideshowsNuggets
Donna N. Murphy
Clue from Thomas Nashe?



Did Thomas Nashe insert a subtle clue that Marlowe wrote Shakespeare in his Have With You to Saffron-Walden?  In this pamphlet, Nashe mentioned Richard Harvey, a minister who was the brother of Nashe's nemesis, Gabriel Harvey. 

Nashe wrote that Richard, who supported the philosopher Ramus, placed the ears of an ass on the head of Aristotle:

This is that Dick that set Aristotle, with his heels upward, on the school gates at Cambridge, and asses’ ears on his head; a thing that, in perpetuam rei memoriam, I will record and never have done with…This is that Dick of whom Kit Marloe was wont to say that he was an ass, good for nothing but to preach of the Iron Age. [1]

Can you think of a Shakespeare play in which a character sports asses’ ears on his head? Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, of course. What’s more, Bottom is associated with religion, as was Richard Harvey, misquoting the Bible: “The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream was" (IV.1.218-21). [2]

Nashe published Have With You to Saffron-Walden in 1596, while A Midsummer Night’s Dream dates from 1595-96.  Nashe’s report, “This is that Dick of whom Kit Marlowe was wont to say that he was an ass” may be a subtle clue that Marlowe had recently turned Richard into an ass onstage via proxy, by turning Bottom into one in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  


[1] The Works of Thomas Nashe, Vol. III, 85.

[2] The correct quotation is: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9.



Marlowe, Queen Elizabeth, and the Archbishop of Canterbury
Did Marlowe go to Scotland after his "Death"?
Clue from Edmund Spenser?
Clue from Thomas Nashe?
Marlowe, Shakespeare and Religion
How Shakespeare Thought Like Marlowe
The Nature of Genius
Shakespeare's Knowledge of Italy
Shakespeare Was an Adept
Why it Probably Wasn't the Earl of Oxford
Why it Probably Wasn't Sir Francis Bacon
Why Marlowe's Death is Dubious
The Wise Man's Paradox
Christopher Marlowe's Writing
Marlowe-Shakespeare Similarities
Methodology
Copyright 2014 by Donna N. Murphy