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

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

Astrocolor bringing unique funk-synth sound to the Capital Ballroom

Victoria band known for their festival shows making a rare appearance on their home turf

VIDEO: Ballet Kelowna brings steamy story, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Island

Okanagan ballet company brings a classic tale to the Cowichan Valley

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read