Shakespeare VISAvis: SO WHO WROTE SHAKESPEARE? ACT ONE.

Robert Light tackles the big question in a four-part series on who wrote Shakespeare?

“Who is the greatest artist outside music? Wilhelm of Stratford!”

– Ludwig van Beethoven.

The greatest musician’s opinion of the greatest writer, William Shakespeare. Notice how the composer placed our suspect in the whereabouts of Stratford. So did the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets published seven years after his death. The Folio dedication by Shakespeare’s friend, the first Poet Laureate of England, Ben Jonson, praised the author as “the Swan of Avon” and made mention of his “Stratford Monument.” There, case closed!

Yet, and yet again, as a theatre professional, one is asked “Who wrote Shakespeare?” Do we doubt the authorship of Bach, Michelangelo, da Vinci, or Ludwig of Vienna. No. So what’s the freaking problem with Shakespeare?

When did this evil seed of doubt sprout in the mind of the general public? It started early and lasted long. Diligent researchers found only deeds, court summons, receipts, corporate shares, land deeds, and a will. No letters, journals or annotated books in dusty oak chests. This absence of evidence become evidence of absence for the Immortal Bard.

Gentle Will Shakespeare gave us 38 plays and 154 sonnets. He wrote over 850,000 words with a vocabulary of some 25,500 words. A lexicon twice that of Christopher Marlowe. All from a country bumpkin from Stratford?

So the throngs continue to doubt this Shakespeare wrote that Shakespeare. Why? Symmetry, or really the lack of it. A nobody from a market town grows into the Everyman for every one? Doubtful in deed. In Act Two we explore why we scan Shakespeare with such an unhealthy skepticism. In a word, the cause is symmetry. Damn dull symmetry. See you in Act Two.

– Robert Light is the Artistic Director Vancouver Island Shakespeare Arts.com

 

 

Just Posted

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

UVic art display showcases craft of bookmaking

Art of the Book 2018 is in the Audain Gallery at UVic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Aug. 11

Celebrate local food with Feast of Fields in North Saanich

21st Feast of Fields on Vancouver Island is at Kildara Farms on Aug. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.

RIFFLANDIA: Local artists thrive under festival model

Bands like Current Swell, one of the 2018 headliners, made their mark at RAP

Baseball’s HarbourCats wind up WCL season with loss to Pickles

Victoria needed a win to make the league playoffs, now looks ahead to 2019

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

REVIEW: Ever wanted to be young again? Theatre Skam’s Concord Floral will make you think again

Strong acting in an interesting theatre space, writes Sheila Martindale

Brad Pitt says he has given Jolie Pitt millions since split

Actor Brad Pitt denies Angelina Jolie Pitt’s claim that he has paid no meaningful child support.

WINE LOVERS UNITE: Victoria festival offers numerous tasting options

Parkside Hotel and Spa hosting Victoria International Wine Festival

Farquhar Auditorium updates image for 40th season

The Farquhar at UVic ushers in new season Sept. 22

THEATRE SKAM: Young cast brings Concord Floral to life in vacant downtown retail space

Former office supply store a unique venue for telling mysterious tale of youth with secrets

Schedule released for world junior hockey championship in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria ready to host, as Canada conducts training camp in Kamloops

Five things to do this B.C. Day long weekend

Check out these great community events in Greater Victoria

5 things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Check out dragon Boats, artists, football and more

Most Read