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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: November ::
Jewish Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.2025  Monday, 29 November 2004

From:           Allan Axelrod <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 Nov 2004 16:35:02 -0500
Subject: 15.2017 Jewish Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.2017 Jewish Shakespeare

When I began reading in and about Shakespeare, I ran into an extensive
literature demonstrating that he must have been a superb falconer, an
experienced legal practitioner, a world traveler, a doctor, a herbalist,
a professional gardener, a sea-captain with twenty years before the
mast, and an entire string quartet: the text has now additionally
revealed to some that he was Jewish.

Such often-unpersuasive demonstrations could be usefully replaced by
those particularizing how deeply versed he was in one or another
subject, but lying content with the universal explanation that he was an
avid reader, and endlessly curious, with extraordinary powers of recall
for the appropriate occasion?  To be sure, it's difficult to believe
that any person's reading and curiosity would be sufficient to supply
the demonstrated contents of a mind like WS, but the alternative is to
go back where we started, and agree, impossibly, with specialist after
specialist that 'He must have been one of us'.

Allan Axelrod

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