Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 407. Thursday, 31 December 1992.
Date: Monday, 28 Dec 92 17:06:00 UT
Subject: RE: Shakespeare on PBS (Frontline)
With regard to Ronald Dwelle's comment on the *Frontline* program
on the Authorship Issue, I must admit it was not entirely
successful in its method of presentation. In no way, however, was
the show meant to be a "debate." It would have been a marvellous
idea to have Rowse, Schoenbaum, Ogburn, and Powell interacting;
but the method of intercutting interviews always gives the
appearance of being one-sided.
Having produced a three-hour live program this year on the
Authorship which did have taped segments as well as a live debate
Moderated by William F. Buckley, Jr., I can tell you that it is
extremely difficult to present a balanced view on the subject. It
is also difficult to separate the crusade or fringe factions
which can discredit any topic. Yet there is a core of great
interest in the subject pursued by some dedicated scholars
working with primary documents, worthy of regard by any of us
with a passion for Elizabethan history and literature. The
Authorship Question has, I know, alienated some but has created an
intense curiosity in the Works of Shakespeare themselves, which
is certainly part of our jobs as teachers, and just as much a
topic for discussion as, say, Mel Gibson's performance in
*Hamlet,* but in no way should it be deemed "foolishness."
Life is full of parallels and coincidences, and some of the
parallels of Oxford's life and work may be nothing more than
that--coincidence--when compared with the works of Shakespeare.
But when the coincidences tally into the hundreds and hundreds,
you have to stop and think there might be something in all this.