Books on Shakespeare
X-posted in my own journal...

But be ye hardcore Stratfordian or a brash Marlovian, there are several really good books about Shakespeare that I believe everyone interested in the topic should read. The first one is a book I think everyone should read!

Shakespeare on Toast

I've read a lot of Shakespearean essays, articles, and books that present Shakespeare in a very and righteously scholarly way, which is to say high falutin' with lotsa fancy (And oftentimes highly unecessary) words. Ben Crystal brings Shakespearean studies down to Earth, in a book that is pleasing not only to scholarly types but to the Hoi Polloi as well, and is a great book for anyone who does not know that much about the subject. He brilliantly points out aspects of Shakespearean and Elizabthean language by referencing Mos Def lyrics at one point.

Two more under the LJ cut!Collapse )

Exploring Shakespeare - Still a Mystery
This is an article from The Guardian that was published a few weeks ago about two seperate productions done by two well-known actors that try to explore the personality of William Shakespeare. Both productions take on different takes of what kind of man he was, all under the presumption that the author of the plays was the man from Stratford.

Bard labour: Patrick Stewart and Simon Callow tackle Shakespeare the man

What kind of a man was Shakespeare? A cold husband and a cruel father – or quite the party man? Patrick Stewart and Simon Callow recreate his life in two very different productions

'I've always thought," says Simon Callow ruminatively, "that Shakespeare was the kind of guy who goes to a party, nurses one glass, says nothing, and goes home with the prettiest girl in the room."

I imagine 1,000 biographers keeling over in horror. But Callow isn't joking. His new one-man show, which debuted last year in Edinburgh and is about to open at Trafalgar Studios in London, brings audiences face to face with the middle-class Midlands boy who grew up to be the world's most famous writer. The title is serious enough: it's called Being Shakespeare.

There is, however, a rival Bard in town. At the Young Vic, Patrick Stewart is reviving his performance as the playwright in Edward Bond's 1973 play Bingo – a revival that one critic praised for its "truly Shakespearian greatness". The Bardic battle is on: if they feel so inclined, Londoners will be able to do a direct compare-and-contrast.

Fictional representations of Shakespeare aren't unfamiliar: Anthony Burgess's 1964 novel Nothing Like the Sun spun a fantastical retelling of Shakespeare's love life, while the last story Rudyard Kipling ever wrote, Proofs of Holy Writ, worked up the eccentric theory that Shakespeare and Ben Jonson did an emergency rewrite of the King James Bible. Then, of course, there was 1998's Shakespeare in Love, which made an entire generation of moviegoers want to investigate Joseph Fiennes's codpiece.

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What's remarkable to me is that everyone talks about what a mystery this man is, how we know so little about him, and then they turn around and say he undoubtedly wrote the plays. How can people be so sure that this mystery man actually wrote anything other than a will and demands for money?


Another Shakespeare Controversy - Shake as Switch Hitter?
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
Shakespeare WAS bisexual it is revealed

Jan 8 2012 by Ben Goldby, Sunday Mercury

A TOP Shakespeare expert has branded the Midland bard bisexual – and said people should “get over it”.

The extraordinary claim by Professor Stanley Wells, President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, comes after gay Hollywood actor Sir Ian McKellen questioned the playwright’s sexuality.

Sir Ian controversially claimed there was “no doubt” that William Shakespeare had sex with men. And Professor Wells has backed the Lord of the Rings star’s comments.

“Of course Sir Ian is by no means the first to say so,” said Prof Wells. “It goes back centuries, especially because some of Shakespeare’s sonnets are unquestionably addressed to a male.

“Shakespeare had three children so clearly was not wholly gay. But he may have loved men as well as women.

“As the T-shirt that Sir Ian sometimes wears says, ‘Some people are gay. Get over it’!”
McKellen said: “No doubt Shakespeare was gay. His predilection was evident from his works. Married, with children, he left his wife in Stratford to live in London. I’d say he slept with men.

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Note there's nothing in here about the authorship controversy, but it is another example of rampant speculation about this playwright and what he was like. Note that people say there is "no doubt" he had sex with other men, while there is absolutely no explicit evidence to back up such a claim.


Movie Review: Anonymous
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
The movie Anonymous works on the premise that Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, wrote the famous plays attributed to Shakespeare. What's remarkable about this film is not the subject matter, which has been a famous anti-Startfordian theory for decades, but that this idea was made into a major motion picture.

Finally regular everyday people not familiar with this literary controversy will get a chance to find out about this subject, a subject to many orthodox Startfordians would prefer to bury.

Edweard de Vere is a major claimant as author of the Shakespeare plays in the authorship controversy, among a few other major and many other minor claimants. This film is a dramatization on the supposition that de Vere was the true author. We see the Earl attending plays in London, supposedly as just a patron of the arts. In truth he's been writing plays, and has been coercing Ben Johnson, a noted playwright of the time and the publisher of the original first folio of the Shakespearen plays, to produce the plays anonymously. It's an unplanned twist in the movie that brings Shakespeare to the fore as the front man for the plays.

Read the rest!Collapse )

Much Ado about Something...
Here is a short intro to the authorship controversy, from a documentary about the Christopher Marlowe movement.

It was this documentary that got me into the subject. I had heard of the controversy before, but it wasn't until I saw this documentary that I really started becoming interested in this subject!

This is a community for people interested in the Shakespeare authorship controversy. Whether Marlovian, Oxfordian, Pembrokian, or just simply a general doubter, all are welcome to discuss, examine, and share information about the intoxicating literary whodunit concerning the Shakespearean plays. Stratfordians also welcome, of course!

I created this community because I have become enveloped in this topic in the past several years. I am hoping to find like minded individuals who want to share their views.

This is a place for civil discussion and a sharing of opinions and information. Many people who get involved in this topic can develop strong opinions and oftentimes overflowing passion about their beliefs. Anyone getting too personal or derogatory will get booted and banned! Remember your manners.

If you want an overview of this topic, I recommend what is considered the most unbiased overview of the authorship question: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by John Michell.


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