Epistle to Daiphantus, or the Passions of Love

From page of Epistle to Daiphantus via Shakepeare Documented

Source: ‘An. Sc.’ [Anthony Scoloker?], extract from Epistle to Daiphantus, or the Passions of Love (William Cotton, 1604)

Text:
[From the introductory section]

It should be like the Neuer-too-well read Arcadia, where the Prose and Verce, (Matter and Words) are like his Mistresses eyes one still excelling another and without Coriuall for to come home to the vulgars Element, like Friendly Shake-speares Tragedies, where the Commedian rides, when the Tragedian stands on Tip-toe: Faith it should please all, like Prince Hamlet.

[From the poem]

His breath, he thinkes the smoke; his tongue a cole,
Then calls for bottell-ale; to quench his thirst:
Runs to his Inke-pot, drinkes, then stops the hole,
And thus growes madder, then he was at first.
Tasso, he finds, by that of Hamlet, thinkes.
Tearmes him a mad-man; than of his Inkhorne drinks.

Calls Players fooles, the foole he iudgeth wisest,
Will learne them Action, out of Chaucers Pander:
Proues of their Poets bawdes euen in the highest,
Then drinkes a health; and sweares it is no slander.
Puts off his cloathes; his shirt he onely weares,
Much like mad-Hamlet; thus as Passion teares.

Comments: Daiphantus, or the Passions of Love is a poem, printed in 1604, expressed from the point of view of a courtier, Daiphantus, whose character commentators have seen as being similar to William Shakespeare‘s Hamlet. The poem is credited to ‘An. Sc’, sometimes identified as the printer Anthony Scoloker, though he died in 1593, or a relative of his. When Hamlet was first performed Richard Burbage almost certainly took the leading role. The reference to Hamlet wearing only his shirt indicates an actual piece of stage business witnessed by the author.

Links: Copy at Early English Books Online

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