365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

171. Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?

with 2 comments

Just finished reading this article, and it certainly got me thinking.

As you may know, I am one of those people who likes to plug their ears and go “la la la” when people start speculating that Shakespeare either didn’t exist or didn’t write the plays we credit to him. Mature, I know, but it’s just that I’ve built up a hero in my mind and I really, really don’t want that shattered.

I really haven’t done enough research on the subject (on purpose) to really drum up an opinion, but I am curious to hear thoughts of some other folks…so comment away. I’d love to hear what you have to say!


Written by Caroline Mincks

March 21, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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2 Responses

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  1. I haven’t read the article you linked yet, but if it makes you feel any better, Dennis Krausnick (founding member of Shakespeare & Company, who led this past weekend’s intensive) asserts that it is next to impossible that someone other than Will created this body of work.

    Apparently London was a town of only a few hundred thousand people at most (I stupidly didn’t write down the figure, but think Richmond city or smaller). Everyone knew everyone, and the Elizabethans are a notoriously gossipy group. People would have known who was actually writing the plays, defeating the purpose of a pseudonym–or they would at least have been talking (and writing) about the true identity of the mysterious playwright.

    It’s only one person’s opinion, but he certainly stated his case effectively! : D


    March 23, 2010 at 11:30 PM

  2. Beyond that, Alex, every actor or playwright who has ever participated in developing a play knows how much the process is helped by workshopping it. Plays aren’t novels. It’s hard to write them – iun final form – in a cabin in the woods or a garret over a tavern.

    Shakespeare was part of an established company of talented actors – especially the clowns. It’s hard for me to imagine that, even in their compact rehearsal periods, there weren’t occasions when some actor asked for a rewrite or played some brilliant bit of improv which wound up in the play. Kinda hard to imagine Will saying, “Okay, I’ll make a note of that and get you something tomorrow.” Far more likely that he did rewrites on the fly – with everyone waiting.

    'Rick Gray

    March 24, 2010 at 7:46 AM

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