Good Omens Question #5 ~ What's in a Name?

by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

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Unread postby Liz » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:39 am

Shadwell, witchfinder sergeant......

I wonder if there is any relation to Thomas Shadwell (c. 1642 – November 19, 1692) English playwright and miscellaneous writer who was appointed poet laureate in 1689. His productions display a hatred of sham, and a rough but honest moral purpose, according to Wikipedia. Here is an interesting story about him and Dryden:


Shadwell is chiefly remembered as the unfortunate Mac Flecknoe of Dryden's satire, the "last great prophet of tautology," and the literary son and heir of Richard Flecknoe:

"The rest to some faint meaning make pretence,
But Shadwell never deviates into sense."

Dryden had furnished Shadwell with a prologue to his True Widow (1679), and in spite of momentary differences, the two had been on friendly terms. But when Dryden joined the court party, and produced Absalom and Achitophel and The Medal, Shadwell became the champion of the Protestants, and made a scurrilous attack on Dryden in The Medal of John Bayes: a Satire against Folly and Knavery (1682). Dryden immediately retorted in Mac Flecknoe, or a Satire on the True Blue Protestant Poet, T.S. (1682), in which Shadwell's personalities were returned with interest. A month later he contributed to Nahum Tate's continuation of Absalom and Achitophel satirical portraits of Elkanah Settle as Doeg and of Shadwell as Og. In 1687, Shadwell attempted to answer these attacks in a version of the tenth satire of Juvenal.

However, Dryden's portrait of Shadwell in Absalom and Achitophel cut far deeper, and has withstood the test of time. In this satire, Dryden noted of Settle and Shadwell:

Two fools that crutch their feeble sense on verse;
Who, by my muse, to all succeeding times
Shall live, in spite of their own doggrel rhymes;

Nonetheless, Shadwell, due to the Whig triumph in 1688 superseded his enemy as Poet Laureate and historiographer royal. His son, Charles Shadwell was also a playwright. A scene from his play, "The Stockjobbers" was included as an introduction in Caryl Churchill's "Serious Money" (1987).
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Bix » Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:16 pm

fansmom wrote: Wensleydale (Adam’s friend) is a cheese and a town in Yorkshire, but also a character in a Monty Python sketch (the cheese shop with no cheese), and I’d guess the authors know their Python well.


Wensleydale is also the favorite cheese of Wallace and Grommet, don't forget!

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Unread postby Gypsylee » Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:05 pm


I haven't read all the posts, but..........
Crowley - crawling snake.
Agnes Nutter - she was considered a tad nutty.
Adam Young - supposedly the antichrist with the name of Adam?
Dog - poor thing, reduced to being a simple dog.
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Unread postby nebraska » Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:17 pm

Liz wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
KYwoman wrote: What, no fansite for Crowley??


Go figure! :perplexed:


I'm not so sure about that......

http://www.boukenshin.net/crowley/oranges.php

DITHOT, I pronounce Aziraphale as:

Ăz-er - ŭ-fāle


Stroch, I kept thinking of Lucifer, too.


The Crowley website is fabulous!! Is there a link to a corresponding Aziraphale site?

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Unread postby Liz » Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:27 pm

nebraska wrote:
Liz wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
KYwoman wrote: What, no fansite for Crowley??


Go figure! :perplexed:


I'm not so sure about that......

http://www.boukenshin.net/crowley/oranges.php

DITHOT, I pronounce Aziraphale as:

Ăz-er - ŭ-fāle


Stroch, I kept thinking of Lucifer, too.


The Crowley website is fabulous!! Is there a link to a corresponding Aziraphale site?


I think this is the one:

http://divine.just-peachy.com/
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Aug 12, 2006 3:26 pm

Interesting about Shadwell, Liz. The real Witchfinder General dates from that time too, maybe the name came up in the research they were doing?
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Unread postby nebraska » Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:20 pm

Liz wrote:
nebraska wrote:
Liz wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
KYwoman wrote: What, no fansite for Crowley??


[

The Crowley website is fabulous!! Is there a link to a corresponding Aziraphale site?


I think this is the one:

http://divine.just-peachy.com/


I saw this one but I didn't think it was as easy to navigate or find information. Maybe I just haven't spent enough time checking it out. thanks, Liz.

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Unread postby Endora » Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:39 am

Just to prove I did actually read it.... I agree with what was said on page 1 (theresa I think) about Newton Pulsifer but I'd go further. Pulsifer seemed to me to be one who repulses, one who rejects. And Newton, of course, is symbolic of science, reason. So the witchfinders were the rejecters of science.

And a slightly off topic observation. I've just finished the most recent Joanne Harris, Gentlemen and Players. She uses the same device there with the charcter names, in that the names are cryptic comments on their characters or her attitude towards them
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:04 am

Endora, thanks for the info on the new Harris book. I have read about it on her website but haven't yet had time to pick it up. Did you enjoy it?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Endora » Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:02 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Endora, thanks for the info on the new Harris book. I have read about it on her website but haven't yet had time to pick it up. Did you enjoy it?


Yes, it's an easy read and a clever plot. Some parts seem pretty obvious and at times you think you've guessed the outcome, but it has plenty of suprises. The characters are a bit two dimensional, but the plot makes up for it. Holiday reading, but good holiday reading. I'd recommend it with that proviso.
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:57 pm

Thanks, Endora! :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby fansmom » Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:41 pm

Endora wrote:And a slightly off topic observation. I've just finished the most recent Joanne Harris, Gentlemen and Players. She uses the same device there with the charcter names, in that the names are cryptic comments on their characters or her attitude towards them
I just finished it too, and would recommend it. (I liked it more than Chocolat.)

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Unread postby fansmom » Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:20 pm

Comment on Pratchett's and Gaimen’s use of characters' names. You may comment on any or all on this list, or add some of your own. Crowley . . .

Okay, I know we've finished the discussion of GO, but I heard something on the radio today that mentioned "The Wickedest Man in the World," Aleister Crowley. Anybody ever hear of him?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley

I'll admit I skimmed most of the article (the words " how ridiculous" popped into my head too many times), but I was intrigued by something at the end--

"He likewise crops up as a schoolboy, morbidly curious about the Whitechapel Murders, in Alan Moore's graphic novel From Hell."

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:29 pm

fansmom wrote:Comment on Pratchett's and Gaimen’s use of characters' names. You may comment on any or all on this list, or add some of your own. Crowley . . .

Okay, I know we've finished the discussion of GO, but I heard something on the radio today that mentioned "The Wickedest Man in the World," Aleister Crowley. Anybody ever hear of him?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley

I'll admit I skimmed most of the article (the words " how ridiculous" popped into my head too many times), but I was intrigued by something at the end--

"He likewise crops up as a schoolboy, morbidly curious about the Whitechapel Murders, in Alan Moore's graphic novel From Hell."


You know how to find them, Fansmom. :-O (Sorry I took so long to answer this. I've been out of town.)
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:21 pm

I've been on vacation too and am just catching up after being out a week. Fansmom, you have a talent for finding these connections! Thanks for sharing them and your TZ moments... :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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