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

Region’s 250th Little Free Library installed in Victoria

Greater Victoria now has the highest density of mapped little libraries in the country

PHOTO GALLERY: Cyclists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated, locals and visitors alike

Final HarbourCats home game of 2019 happening tonight at RAP

Tickets still available for Game 1 of the West Coast League finals; first pitch at 6:35 p.m.

WINE NOTES: Going gaga over B.C. Gewürztraminer

Robert Moyes offers up some interesting late-summer vino choices

Take your opportunity to sing at the Royal Theatre

Great Canadian Sing debuts Sept. 8 with inspirational music, talented performers, singalong format

For the Love of Fibre: Fibrations 2019 wrapup

Fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Tour de Victoria: Giving you the down low on detours around the region

Thousands of cyclists participating in ninth Tour de Victoria on Saturday

Christopher Auchter’s story headed to the international stage at Toronto International Film Fest

Old Massett totem pole raising revisited in Christopher Auchter’s documentary Now Is The Time

Saanich Peninsula student scores only scholarship for Canadians offered by top U.S. music school

Stelly’s grad Isaiah Carvalhal-Smith and his electric bass off to Boston after successful audition

Yellow Wolf Powwow draws dancers from across Canada

Saanichton event a celebration of Indigenous culture

Victoria-based elephant advocate fighting to end ivory trade

Founder of World Elephant Day hopes to spread awareness, add political pressure

Most Read