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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Actors v Scholars
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1096  Thursday, 5 June 2003

From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Wednesday, 4 Jun 2003 10:06:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1079 Re: Actors v Scholars
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1079 Re: Actors v Scholars

We can't forget that many of Shakespeare's contemporaries were both
scholars and actors. Those with university education had studied their
sources to such an extent that that knowledge pervaded their writing and
surely their performances. It's no mistake that when Ben Jonson printed
his folio, he wanted to ensure that his readers understood his status as
a poet, i.e. his scholarly comprehension of his allusions and
references. In a sense, these were scholars who chose to perform and
write. Shakespeare may not have had an overwhelming desire to publish,
but it can truly be said for some of these playwrights who were also
poets, and especially of Shakespeare during the plague years, that they
had to publish or perish. They were rewarded for references to a more
advanced scholarly public, those who had the money and the opportunity
to become literate.

Brian Willis

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