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Author Topic: Coalition forms to discredit Shakespeare's authorship
Catchfire
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posted 10 September 2007 02:40 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The aristo-hacks are back for another round
quote:
A group of distinguished artists and scholars have formed a coalition to reopen the debate on whether William Shakespeare was the true author of the plays and sonnets that bear his name.

Renowned British actor Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance, the former artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, are among the 300 members of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition.

"I don't think anybody could do it on their own," said Jacobi, in reference to Shakespeare's 37 plays and 154 sonnets.


Of course, they resort to the classic (and classist) argument that while a aristocratic bore like Sir Francis Bacon certainly could have captured the odious lower classes, a country bumpkin like Shakespeare wouldn't have had a clue when it came to Royalty:

quote:
Shakespeare, who was born in the 1500s, grew up in an illiterate lower-class household. The coalition argues that that background hardly jibes with his plays, which demonstrate detailed knowledge of language, the upper classes, an expertise in mathematics, history and law, and obscure references to places outside of England.

From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 10 September 2007 08:16 AM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I remember going to a talk by a decendant of Lord Oxford (or Sir Oxford) who was saying it was likely his ancestor that wrote it. There is some merit to the arguments that the amount of education needed to write these plays was only available to nobility. Still he was unable to provide anything conclusive and after all these years of looking that in itself says something.
From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Nanuq
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posted 10 September 2007 12:47 PM      Profile for Nanuq   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Of course Shakespeare's plays are also filled with scientific and historical errors that no educated man would ever have made, i.e, a seacoast in Bohemia, clocks in Caesar's Rome, etc. The work of a self-educated bumpkin or a brilliant aristocrat trying to fool others? Anybody's guess.
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
contrarianna
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posted 10 September 2007 04:01 PM      Profile for contrarianna     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
sorry, double post

[ 10 September 2007: Message edited by: contrarianna ]


From: here to inanity | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
contrarianna
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posted 10 September 2007 04:03 PM      Profile for contrarianna     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by contrarianna:
If Shakespeare was deprived of all education, or was illiterate (as were his parents), then there would be a case. There isn't.
His father was an alderman and, was at one time, the equivalent of mayor of Stratford, and would have certainly sent him to Stratford Grammar School--an education which would have, in many respects, shamed a modern Classics grad student.
It would be an excellent background for Shakespeare who would have the added advantage of not having his free ranging curiosity and genius ossified by a University education.
Stratford Grammar School

[ 10 September 2007: Message edited by: contrarianna ]



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Tommy_Paine
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posted 11 September 2007 03:22 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Next they'll say it was impossible for a humble corset maker to become a political analyst that was able to slice and dice upper class twit Edmund Burke.

This stuff about Billy Shakesdude gets trotted out every now and then, always by very well educated people who are very insecure with the idea that people have an ability to self educate.

To them, Bollocks I say.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
AfroHealer
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posted 20 September 2007 12:50 PM      Profile for AfroHealer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This posting on Blackhistory.tribe.net might interest you guys

"Publius Terrentius Afer (Known as “Terrence the Afrikan”) circa 185 B.C. to 159 B.C., is “the greatest of the Latin stylist” who wrote comedies, i.e. five act-structured plays that were later imitated by the European William Shakespeare, the world’s putative “greatest” playwright. "


Publius Terrentius Afer( the real Shakespeare )

[ 20 September 2007: Message edited by: AfroHealer ]


From: Atlantic Canada | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 21 September 2007 01:49 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pogo:
There is some merit to the arguments that the amount of education needed to write these plays was only available to nobility.

Not really. A fine classical education was available to the sort of social climbing middle class family that wanted to pay for it - and that was definitely his family, being son of an alderman.


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 21 September 2007 02:06 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think an interesting thesis might be that Shakespear's particular genius could only have come from being self educated.
From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 21 September 2007 02:51 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
excellent bio & historical background-setter:
Will in the World, by Harvard prof Stephen Greenblatt:
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/09/13/040913crat_atlarge

Drawing on surprisingly fertile decades of biographical scholarship, Greenblatt is not afraid to make definite assertions. He begins with a fine, disabused picture of Stratford circa 1564, when the poet was born.

Against the old notion of an expansive Elizabethan culture connected by the open English road, he draws a portrait of a society nearly Soviet, or perhaps South American, in its paranoias, public persecutions, and sudden, murderous changes of ideology.

.

[ 21 September 2007: Message edited by: Geneva ]


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
TemporalHominid
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posted 21 September 2007 08:31 PM      Profile for TemporalHominid   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I really don't understand the point of this useless, archaic, academic debate about the authorship of Shakespeare works.

Whether Ben Johnson, or Sir Walter Raleigh wrote them makes no diff to me. I enjoy them regardless.

The books reflect the pop and folk culture of a plague ridden England at the time. Beautiful, creative, populist works that aimed to please, to take the mind off (temporarily) the troubles of the time (plague, fire, malaria, and horrible cable T.V. reception)


Academic assholes have ruined Shakespeare for many people, trying to make it exclusive, trying to impress that it was and is only for the sophisticated and the highly educated.

Grade 2s and 3s love participating in Hamlet and Macbeth, and grade 8s enjoy participating in Romeo and Juliet and a Midsummer Night's Dream. That's endorsement enough for me.

[ 21 September 2007: Message edited by: TemporalHominid ]


From: Under a bridge, in Foot Muck | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged

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