2010

Stephen Greenblatt's _Shakespeare's Freedom_

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0426  Friday, 5 November 2010

From:         Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         Friday, November 5, 2010
Subject:      Stephen Greenblatt's _Shakespeare's Freedom_

The University of Chicago Press has announced the publication of the latest book by 
Stephen Greenblatt

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=synopsis&bookkey=6021785

Synopsis: Shakespeare lived in a world of absolutes -- of claims for the absolute 
authority of scripture, monarch, and God, and the authority of fathers over wives 
and children, the old over the young, and the gentle over the baseborn. With the 
elegance and verve for which he is well known, Stephen Greenblatt, author of the 
best-selling _Will in the World_, shows that Shakespeare was strikingly averse to 
such absolutes and constantly probed the possibility of freedom from them. Again and 
again, Shakespeare confounds the designs and pretensions of kings, generals, and 
churchmen. His aversion to absolutes even leads him to probe the exalted and 
seemingly limitless passions of his lovers.

Greenblatt explores this rich theme by addressing four of Shakespeare's 
preoccupations across all the genres in which he 
worked. He first considers the idea of beauty in Shakespeare's works, specifically 
his challenge to the cult of featureless perfection and his interest in 
distinguishing marks. He then turns to Shakespeare's interest in murderous hatred, 
most famously embodied in Shylock but seen also in the character Bernardine in 
_Measure for Measure_. Next Greenblatt considers the idea of Shakespearean 
authority-that is, Shakespeare's deep sense of the ethical ambiguity of power, 
including his own. Ultimately, Greenblatt takes up Shakespearean autonomy, in 
particular the freedom of artists, guided by distinctive forms of perception, to 
live by their own laws and to claim that their creations are singularly 
unconstrained.

A book that could only have been written by Stephen Greenblatt, 
_Shakespeare's Freedom_ is a wholly original and eloquent meditation by the most 
acclaimed and influential Shakespearean of our time

From the Harvard Gazette

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/11/shakespeare-the-inventive-
conservative/

Shakespeare, the inventive conservative
Scholar Greenblatt says that even the Bard knew his creative limits

A new book by Stephen Greenblatt, the Shakespeare scholar who wrote the celebrated 
2004 biography "Will in the World," probes topics that the Bard pushed to their 
limits: beauty and the cult of perfection, murderous hatred, the exercise of power, 
and artistic autonomy.

Greenblatt observes in "Shakespeare's Freedom" that the playwright's linguistic 
inventions are a testament to his remarkable aesthetic autonomy. Indeed, Greenblatt 
notes, "Hamlet" alone contains 19 new words and 372 words already in circulation 
that had never been used in precisely that way. Yet, at the same time, Shakespeare 
seems to wrestle with the question of whether the artist -- or anyone else -- can 
truly be autonomous.

"There are boundaries," said Greenblatt, the John Cogan University Professor of the 
Humanities. "Now, Shakespeare may have encountered those boundaries much less than 
ordinary mortals, but there are things you want to say and things you can't."
Greenblatt acknowledges that while the book is called "Shakespeare's Freedom," it's 
just as much about Shakespeare's limits.

"I think Shakespeare understood that there was something wrong, something disturbed, 
about the dream that you could have no limits whatsoever," he said. "Any pleasure or 
value associated with having a life worth living would depend on your understanding 
that it was governed by constraints."

[ . . . ]

In writing "Shakespeare's Freedom," which began as a series of lectures that 
Greenblatt presented first at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt and 
later at Rice University, Greenblatt was keenly aware that issues that have 
preoccupied American society in recent years, from concerns about torture to 
anxieties about radical Islam, inevitably color his interpretation of Shakespeare's 
work and influenced the book.

[ . . . ]

Greenblatt is known as the father of new historicism, which advocates the reading 
and understanding of literature in its historical context. Yet he would be the first 
to point out that the way in which observers reconstruct the historical context is 
mediated by their present situation. Literature, or any work of art, is at once tied 
to a specific context and able to transcend that context as it takes on new meanings 
for different audiences.

[ . . . ]


_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions expressed 
on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor assumes no responsibility 
for them.

Evidence of Authorship

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0425  Thursday, 4 November 2010

From:         Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         Thursday, November 4, 2010
Subject:      Evidence of Authorship 

Editor's Message:

I began the Academic Response to Anonymous not to revisit the arguments concerning 
authorship but to discuss strategies academics might take in addressing questions 
arising from that film. In the most recent installment to this thread, David Kathman 
provided information about the film and its director. 

The film Anonymous is based on the book _Shakespeare's Lost Kingdom: The True 
History of Shakespeare and Elizabeth_ 
by Charles Beauclerk, a descendant of Edward 
de Vere. The film was originally titled _Soul of the Age_. Its director Roland 
Emmerich admits in a press release that he is an Oxfordian: "Once I examined the 
poems and plays through the lens of the life of the Elizabethan poet and dramatist, 
Edward de Vere, I knew I wanted to delve into it cinematically." Kathman explains, 
"the movie "Anonymous" is based on the "Prince Tudor 2" theory . . . that is also 
behind Charles Beauclerk's recent book "Shakespeare's Tragic Kingdom." Anyone who is 
interested can find reviews of the book at these links:

http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/the-ass-made-proud/

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ITfibf0wDV4J:calitreview.com/82
83+%2Bcharles+beauclerk%22+%2Bdescendant&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

An Oxfordian with whom I have been corresponding asks, "Would it not be better for 
the academic community to produce those hard cold facts than to engage in analyzing 
the psychology of Oxfordians?"

I am not the person in the best position to provide this information, but I will 
give it a start.

In the first set of responses to my query 
<http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2010/0423.html>, John W. Kennedy and Tom Reedy 
identify places to begin reading:

Kennedy: "I strongly suggest that anyone who wishes to undertake this battle study 
"Shakespeare's Lives", "Contested Will", "Shakespeare, In Fact", and the Shakespeare 
Authorship Page. And "Monstrous Adversary" would probably be a good idea, too."

Reedy: "Five academic publications addressing the issue were published in the mid-
1950s-early 1960s: The Shakespeare Ciphers Examined (1957), by William and Elizebeth 
Friedman; The Poacher from Stratford (1958) by Frank Wadsworth; Shakespeare and His 
Betters (1958), by Reginald Churchill; The Shakespeare Claimants (1962), by N. H. 
Gibson; and Shakespeare and His Rivals: A Casebook on the Authorship Controversy 
(1962), by George L. McMichael and Edgar M. Glenn. . . . Academics, prematurely 
congratulating themselves on their earlier job well done, stopped paying attention 
and never caught up, as Shapiro [in "Contested Will"] makes clear. The academic 
response -- when one was offered -- was made up of nothing but ridicule and 
invective, saving a few scattered responses by Jonathan Bate and Alan Nelson, and 
any in-depth rebuttals had to be made by informed and committed non-academics: 
Shakespeare, in Fact (1994), by Irvin Matus; The Shakespeare Authorship Page 
(started 23 April 1994) at http://shakespeareauthorship.com/ by Dave Kathman and 
Terry Ross, and The Case for Shakespeare: The End of the Authorship Question (2005), 
by Scott McCrea."


LOUIS MARDER
In 1999. Louis Marder, one of the participants in the Boston Mock Trial, post a 
version of a letter he had sent to Harper's with an extensive list of challenges to 
the Oxfordian positions: http://www.shaksper.net/archives/1999/1094.html

He called his submission "Tearing the Oxfordian Obsession to Tatters: A Select and 
Still Incomplete Compendium for a Proposed Book on the Authorship Question." What 
follows is a small quotation prefacing this long list of objections:

I know that nothing I say here will be acceptable to Oxfordians who believe more in 
their assumed faith and intense emotions rather than in the known facts. I believe 
that the following numbered statements are based on irrefutable facts. I accept as 
evidence anything written or printed and accepted without question by Shakespeare's 
contemporaries and those who knew him, regardless of when it was recorded. I also 
accept the existence of some recorded evidence based on hearsay or untenable 
tradition. A solid fact is one that can be accepted by both sides as true. When it 
accords with all else that we know it must be accepted. It cannot be discarded 
because it doesn't fit the alternate theory. If there is a so-called "fact," we must 
make sure it is used properly and fits the place where it is introduced without 
qualification.

[ . . . ]

I find no reason to disqualify Shakespeare because Oxfordians assert that 
Shakespeare could not have had the cultural heritage, courtly demeanor, taste, 
university and legal education, travel experience, knowledge of French and Italian, 
and sporting knowledge that Oxfordians believe are basic requirements for the 
author.

I find no valid reason to believe that Shakespeare is merely a name and that another 
man who assumed his name wrote the works. There is no reason to believe that 
Shakespeare was an unlettered country bumpkin who couldn't spell his name twice in 
the same way, an impostor, a usurer, a nom de plume, a literary fabrication, an 
illiterate grain merchant, an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Shakespeare is no phantom 
of the opera. The members of his company of actors would have suspected and known it 
if an illiterate ignoramus was giving their company the great plays that so pleased 
Eliza and James.

I believe it is an established fact that the less people know of the documented and 
printed truth, the less they have read of the orthodox literature, the more likely 
they are to accept and believe anything that others tell them. It has been truly 
said that the less a person knows, the more certain he is that he knows it. I have 
been led to feel that those Oxfordians who have read widely in Shakespearean 
biography have read merely to find items to feed their own speculative 
interpretations. They certainly disregard the other documented evidence that is 
there.

I write in the usual tradition that we have known "facts", printed on title pages 
and entered in official documents which were believed by his contemporaries and 
others for over three hundred years. These facts cannot be obliterated or drowned by 
pouring doubt over them and substituting for them conjectural, doubtful, 
presumptive, deductive, and speculative guesses, surmises, assumptions, hypotheses, 
inferences, extrapolations, probabilities, wishful thinking, and personal opinions.  
All this makes a case based on circumstantial evidence. It may sound credible from 
their point of view, but their point of view is all wrong. In the end it is only and 
still imaginatively circumstantial.

Can any number of such substituted conjectural and doubtful facts lead to a valid 
conclusion?  Virtually every argument presented by Oxfordians is based on 
controversial and manufactured interpretations of known evidence. No logic, no 
contrived syllogism can be applied when the basic premises are not tenable. A strong 
house can be built on sand, but it cannot stand long. "Not all the water in the 
rough rude sea can wash the balm" off the uncontested evidence of title pages and 
entries in the Stationers' Register (the Elizabethan copyright office) which prove 
the authorship of Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, no matter how the Stationers 
or printers spelled his name.

[ . . . ]

After his preface, Marder supplies 74 reasons why Oxford was not the author of the 
plays and poems. I encourage all who are interested to read this list: 
http://www.shaksper.net/archives/1999/1094.html

DAVID KATHMAN
I have already expressed my endorsement for The Shakespeare Authorship Page: 
http://shakespeareauthorship.com/.

However, some of Kathman's essays solo and with others are of particular interest:

Why I Am Not an Oxfordian
by David Kathman
http://shakespeareauthorship.com/whynot.html

KATHMAN'S SUMMARY FOR TRADITIONAL ATTRIBUTION
First of all, it may be useful to give a summary of the reasons for the traditional 
attribution. All the external evidence says the plays and poems were written by 
William Shakespeare. A man named William Shakespeare, from Stratford, was a member 
of the acting company which put on the plays. Heminges and Condell in the First 
Folio explicitly say that their "friend and fellow" Shakespeare was the author of 
the plays, and a monument to his memory was built in the Stratford church. There was 
no other William Shakespeare living in London at the time. There is no evidence that 
anyone else, including Oxford, was ever known as "William Shakespeare." Shakespeare 
of Stratford was consistently recognized as the author after his death and 
throughout the seventeenth century. There were abundant resources in Elizabethan 
London for such a man to absorb the knowledge displayed in the plays, despite 
Oxfordian attempts to claim otherwise; furthermore, there is no documentary evidence 
to connect the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford with any of Shakespeare's plays or poems, 
despite the fact that Oxford's life is quite well documented.

All this is perfectly standard evidence of the type used by literary historians; 
indeed, the evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays and poems 
published under his name is abundant compared to that for many of his fellow 
writers. Oxfordians, however, see such external evidence as an annoyance to be 
rationalized away; they have built up a picture of who the author must have been 
from reading the plays themselves, and that picture does not look like William 
Shakespeare of Stratford. A large part of the "evidence" used by Oxfordians is 
internal to the works themselves: reconstructions of what the author "must have" 
thought and what his background must have been like, and supposed allusions to 
events in Oxford's life, all taken from the plays and poems. Literary scholars have 
always treated such internal evidence with the utmost caution, especially when 
dealing with works written 400 years ago; interpretations are notoriously 
subjective, and whenever possible should be backed with external evidence. . . . 

KATHMAN'S CONCLUSION:
I have tried in this article to explain the major ways in which Oxfordian methods 
differ from those used by literary scholars, using Ogburn's book as a case study. 
Oxfordians typically ignore or rationalize away the external evidence, relying 
instead on notoriously subjective internal evidence; they apply a sometimes radical 
double standard in order to make Shakespeare look bad in comparison to other 
playwrights, and to make Oxford look good; they confidently interpret texts without 
looking at the context those texts appeared in; they are distressingly reluctant to 
criticize previous Oxfordian writers, even when those writers are clearly wrong. Not 
all Oxfordians are equally guilty of these things; there are some who, to their 
credit, have tried to raise the standards of the movement and put it on a more 
scholarly footing. Even if the worst of the bad scholarship is trimmed away, though, 
the heart of the Oxfordian case rests on double standards and enshrinement of 
subjective interpretations as fact. Ogburn's book is essentially an elaborately 
presented rationalization for his fiercely-held ideas about who should have written 
Shakespeare's works, dressed up in the trappings of scholarship but employing a 
series of double standards which make it impossible to disprove his basic thesis. 
This is a harsh assessment, but one which I believe would be shared by any 
Shakespeare scholar who took the time to work through Ogburn's book. I realize that 
Oxfordians will disagree with much of what I have written, but I hope that it 
nevertheless causes them to take a second look at some of their assumptions and 
methods. The one thing which unites Oxfordians and orthodox Shakespeareans is a love 
for Shakespeare's works, and even if we disagree about some very basic issues, we 
can agree that it does matter who wrote those works.

REEDY AND KATHMAN
How We Know That Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare: The Historical Facts
by Tom Reedy and David Kathman
http://shakespeareauthorship.com/howdowe.html

In addition to the documentary evidence that I have cited, there is also the 
stylometric analysis of Ward Elliott and Robert Valenza of the Claremont McKenna 
College Shakespeare Clinic. Background information about the Clinic and its work can 
be found here:

http://www.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/welliott/shakes.htm

The Claremont Shakespeare Clinic
In Search of Shakespeare 

Interestingly as Ward Elliott explains, "A great source of inspiration for the 
Clinic was Elliott's father, William Y. Elliott (1896-1979). Elliott père was a man 
of brilliance, commanding presence, and glowing memory. He was a poet, a Rhodes 
Scholar, a senior professor of government at Harvard, counselor to six Presidents, 
mentor to world notables - and a firm and outspoken believer that the True 
Shakespeare was not William Shakspere of Stratford but Edward de Vere, Seventeenth 
Earl of Oxford. To this day Elliott père is probably the most prominent academic 
ever to take the Oxfordian position firmly and publicly." 

Nevertheless, the Clinic concluded, "Shakespeare's known writing is consistent 
enough, and different enough from that of his contemporaries, to distinguish him 
from everyone else we tested. If Shakespeare's works were written by a committee, as 
some anti-Stratfordians claim, the committee was astonishingly regular and 
predictable in its range of stylistic habits. If they were written by any of the 
claimants we tested, or by the same person who wrote any of the apocryphal plays and 
poems we tested, that person was astonishingly irregular and unpredictable."

Several of Elliott's and Valenza's papers are available online.

"And Then There Were None: Winnowing the Shakespeare Claimants," January 1996. With 
Robert J. Valenza. Summary of 1992-94 Shakespeare Clinics' final report, 30 
Computers and the Humanities 191 (1996 with updated tables)(PDF). 
http://www.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/welliott/ATTWNrev.pdf

ABSTRACT: The Shakespeare Clinic has developed 51 computer tests of Shakespeare play 
authorship and 14 of poem authorship, and applied [hem to 37 claimed "true 
Shakespeares" to 27 play- of the Shakespeare Apocrypha, and to several poems of 
unknown or disputed authorship. No claimant, and none of the apocryphal plays or 
poems, matched Shakespeare. Two plays and one poem from the Shakespeare Canon. Titus 
Andronicus, Henry VI. Part 3. and "A Lover's Complaint.'" do not match the others.

Oxford By The Numbers: What Are The Odds That The Earl Of Oxford Could Have Written 
Shakespeare's Poems And Plays? With Robert J. Valenza. 72 Tennessee Law Review 323 
(2004)(PDF)
http://www.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/welliott/UTConference/Oxford_by_Numbers.pdf

Oxford By The Numbers: What Are The Odds That The Earl Of Oxford Could Have Written 
Shakespeare's Poems And Plays? With Robert J. Valenza. 72 Tennessee Law Review 323 
(2004)(PDF)
http://www.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/welliott/UTConference/Oxford_by_Numbers.pdf

ABSTRACT: Alan Nelson and Steven May, the two leading Oxford documents scholars in 
the world, have shown that, although many documents connect William Shakspere of 
Stratford to Shakespeare's poems and plays, no documents make a similar connection 
for Oxford. The documents, they say, support Shakespeare, not Oxford. Our internal- 
evidence stylometric tests provide no support for Oxford. In terms of quantifiable 
stylistic attributes, Oxford's verse and Shakespeare's verse are light years apart. 
The odds that either could have written the other's work are much lower than the 
odds of getting hit by lightning. Several of Shakespeare's stylistic habits did 
change during his writing lifetime and continued to change years after Oxford's 
death. Oxfordian efforts to fix this problem by conjecturally re-dating the plays 
twelve years earlier have not helped his case. The re-datings are likewise ill-
documented or undocumented, and even if they were substantiated, they would only 
make Oxford's stylistic mismatches with early Shakespeare more glaring. Some 
Oxfordians now concede that Oxford differs from Shakespeare but argue that the 
differences are developmental, like those between a caterpillar and a butterfly. 
This argument is neither documented nor plausible. It asks us to believe, without 
supporting evidence, that at age forty-three, Oxford abruptly changed seven to nine 
of his previously constant writing habits to match those of Shakespeare and then 
froze all but four habits again into Shakespeare's likeness for the rest of his 
writing days. Making nine such single-bound leaps from a distant, stylistically 
frozen galaxy right into Shakespeare's ballpark seems farfetched compared to the 
conjectural leaps required to take the Stratford case seriously. Note, for example, 
the supposition that the young Shakespeare, who was entitled to do so, might 
actually have attended the Stratford grammar school. It is hard to imagine any jury 
buying the Oxfordians' colossal mid-life crisis argument without much more than the 
"spectral and intangible" substantiation that it has received. Ultimately, this 
argument is too grossly at odds with the available documentary record and 
stylometric numbers for Oxford to be a plausible claimant.

Latest Findings of the Shakespeare Clinic

The Shakespeare Clinic:
Students to Report on Latest Findings
In Continuing Authorship Question

http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/news/pressreleases/article.asp?article_id=1491

In four years of testing, students in the original Clinics shortened both lists of 
claimants to zero. No claimant matched Shakespeare in style, nor did any play of the 
Shakespeare Apocrypha, Elliott says, and no one has successfully challenged their 
new-optics findings, which were reaffirmed April 6 with the publication of James 
Shapiro's Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?

The first and best book by a lit-department professor on the Authorship Question in 
more than a century, Contested Will, says Elliott, used old-optics analysis first to 
narrow the principal claimants to Francis Bacon and the Earl of Oxford, then to show 
that Shakespeare was a far more credible candidate than either of these.

This year's Clinic, again sponsored by the Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable, tested 
27 early plays-or parts of plays-of uncertain authorship, which are probably not by 
Shakespeare but by someone else, Elliott explains. Who else could have written them? 
Or, better, Which of the 16 other known authors of the early 1590s could not have 
written them? The students' assignment, again, was to shorten the list of credible 
claimants to have written the unassigned plays and sections.

For more information about the works of the Shakespeare Clinic, visit: 
http://www.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/welliott/shakes.htm.

Finally, I would recommend WAS THE EARL OF OXFORD THE TRUE SHAKESPEARE?: A COMPUTER-
AIDED ANALYSIS
by Ward Elliott and Robert Valenza
Claremont McKenna College
850 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, California 91711
April 7, 1991

http://www.shakespeareauthorship.com/elval.html

For three years a Shakespeare Clinic of Claremont Colleges undergraduates has been 
using computers to see which of 58 claimed "true authors" of Shakespeare's poems and 
plays actually matched Shakespeare's style. The focus in the Clinic's final year was 
on 27 poet-claimants, using both a new, modal test and a battery of more 
conventional tests. None of the poets tested matched Shakespeare. Walter Raleigh, 
the closest to Shakespeare by modal test, was 2.4 standard errors distant from 
Shakespeare's mean modal score, with not much better than a two percent chance of 
common authorship. John Donne, the most distant claimant, was 36.6 standard errors 
distant from Shakespeare. None of the three "leading" candidates with organised 
followings today -- Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere, 17th 
Earl of Oxford -- came out anywhere near Shakespeare. This paper concentrates on 
Oxford, the candidate with the largest following and the largest body of recent 
supporting literature. . . . 

COOK
I am not a specialist in authorship, and as I said I do not want to reopen the 
authorship debate. However, since my original query was concerned with ways to 
address those who might ask about authorship and in particular de Vere after seeing 
the film Anonymous when it is released, I though it important to provide a starting 
place for making the case that is self-evident to those of us who have studied the 
documents and the research and who have dedicated our professional careers to the 
study of William Shakespeare and his works. 

Enjoy!

Hardy M. Cook
Professor Emeritus
Bowie State University
and
Editor of SHAKSPER
www.shaksper.net
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions expressed 
on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor assumes no responsibility 
for them.
 

Shakespeare Virtual Special Issues

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0423  Thursday, 4 November 2010

From:         Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         Thursday, November 4, 2010
Subject:      Shakespeare Virtual Special Issues 

Shakespeare Virtual Special Issues

http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/articlecollections/shakespeare/

The editors of Shakespeare have selected articles from past issues of the journal 
which cover 4 key topics from the field of Shakespearean Studies. Each virtual issue 
is presented with a short editorial piece outlining the themes of the articles. 

HAMLET
This collection of articles on Hamlet shows the variety of modern approaches to the 
play that many commentators consider the pinnacle of Shakespeare's dramatic 
achievement. It's a ghost story, a political whodunnit, a love story, and a domestic 
tragedy all in one: not as separate stories but intertwined so that the hero is at 
once the jilted lover and the detective, the avenger and the philosopher. The play's 
many meditations on death are, in Graham Holderness's account, related to the 
religious murals that Shakespeare would have seen in the Guild Chapel in his home 
town, which his own father was instructed to destroy. John Shakespeare did the job 
so poorly (on purpose?) that what remains are shadowy glimpses of visions of 
redemption and final justice, rather like the imperfect visions that the play offers 
us. When pictures were first made to move in the late nineteenth century, 
Shakespeare's plays were soon made into short films. Judith Buchanan's analysis of 
two silent cinema Hamlets discusses the gains as well as the losses that attend the 
stripping away from this play the very thing we start with, Shakespeare's words. 
Like Holderness, Richard Wilson sees Hamlet to be alive with religious significance, 
but of a terrifying (and terrorist) kind. Hamlet's meditation on suicide invokes its 
active form expressed by those who "take arms against a sea of troubles, / And, by 
opposing, end them", not by succeeding but by defiantly dying while killing their 
enemies. Yet there is, of course, also a comedy of Hamlet inside the tragedy. Gunnar 
Sorelius explains how the voices and known gestures of famous actors from the 
Swedish stage were reproduced in a puppet-theatre performance of the Graveyard Scene 
from Hamlet in Stockholm in 1909. This was clearly personal satire, but it also 
manifested what Sorelius diagnoses as a genuine modernist anxiety about just what it 
is that humans do in impersonating other, fictional, human beings. Kevin Quarmby, a 
scholar and an actor, presents his accounts of performing in two famous Shakespeare 
productions, alongside Peter O'Toole in Macbeth and Jonathan Pryce in Hamlet. By 
turns serious and hilarious, Quarmby's essay embodies the inseparable entanglement 
of comedy and tragedy, both in the text and in the very processes that theatre 
practitioners have to go through over many weeks to ready their performances and 
then give them. This bundle of Hamlet-related essays from the journal Shakespeare is 
rounded off with a selection of reviews of productions of the play over the past six 
years, and an interview with one of the more celebrated performers of the role, 
David Tennant.

Articles 
Vanishing Point: Looking for Hamlet 
Graham Holderness 
Volume 1, Issue 2, December 2005

'Orgies of gesticulation'?: Pedigree and performance codes in Sir Johnston Forbes- 
Robertson's and Rugger Ruggeri's silent films of Hamlet 
Judith Buchanan 
Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2006

When the Cock Crew: The Imminence of Hamlet 
Richard Wilson 
Volume 3, Issue 1, April 2007

The Graveyard Scene in Hamlet as Puppet Theatre and Early Twentieth-Century Distrust 
of the Actor 
Gunnar Sorelius 
Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2008

A Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Study of Rehearsal and Performance Practice in the 1980 
Royal Court Hamlet and the Old Vic Macbeth: An Actor's View 
Kevin Quarmby 
Volume 1, Issue 2, December 2005

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Jonathan Miller) at the Tobacco Factory, 
Bristol, March-May 2008 
Peter Smith 
Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2008

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Gregory Doran) at the Courtyard Theatre, 
Stratford-upon-Avon (September 2008) 
Deborah Cartmell 
Volume 5, Issue 2, June 2009

Interview: David Tennant on Hamlet 
Abigail Rokison 
Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2009

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Michael Grandage) at Wyndham's Theatre 
in the Donmar West End season, May-August 2009 
Ann Thompson 
Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2009

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Gregory Doran for BBC TV), BBC Two, 29 
December 2009 
Yvonne Griggs 
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2010

REINVENTING DIGITAL SHAKESPEARE
This collection comprises the articles published in the special issue, Reinventing 
Digital Shakespeare (Volume 4, Issue 3). After an Introduction by Alan Galey and Ray 
Siemens, which probes the historical relationship between Shakespearean texts and 
new information technologies, the other contributors explore the development of 
online Shakespeare editions and resources, and discuss the impact of resources like 
these on Shakespeare teaching and scholarship. Paul Werstine tells the story of the 
development of an electronic edition of The Winter's Tale based on the New Variorum 
edition, and considers broader questions concerned with online editions of 
Shakespeare. Michael Best, founder and coordinating editor of the Internet 
Shakespeare Editions, discusses both the opportunities and the challenges offered by 
the online medium for the publication of texts, performance records, and contextual 
information. Peter S. Donaldson, director of the Shakespeare Electronic Archive at 
MIT, describes current projects to enable the online annotation of video clips of 
Shakespearean performances, to expand an online Hamlet archive, and to produce a 
collection on Shakespeare Performance in Asia including video records of 
productions. Peter Holland and Mary Onorato provide a history of the production of 
commercial CD-ROM and online Shakespeare materials. Christie Carson surveys the 
impact of digital technology on live performance and its dissemination, and suggests 
some critical and pedagogical responses. Jeremy Ehrlich discusses the use of 
electronic resources such as wikis, blogs, online editions and multimedia in the 
teaching of Shakespeare. Finally, Martin Mueller considers the far-reaching impact 
of digital technology on the practice of literary scholarship in general and 
Shakespeare studies in particular.

Special Issue Articles 
Introduction: Reinventing Shakespeare in the digital humanities
Alan Galey; Ray Siemens

Past is prologue: Electronic New Variorum Shakespeares
Paul Werstine

The Internet Shakespeare Editions: Scholarly Shakespeare on the Web 
Michael Best

The Shakespeare Electronic Archive: Collections and Multimedia Tools for Teaching 
and Research, 1992-2008 
Peter S. Donaldson

Scholars and the Marketplace: Creating Online Shakespeare Collections
Peter Holland; Mary Onorato

eShakespeare and performance
Christie Carson

Back to basics: Electronic pedagogy from the (virtual) ground up
Jeremy Ehrlich

Digital Shakespeare, or towards a literary informatics
Martin Mueller

RECENT WORKS IN SHAKESPEARE STUDIES
A feature of Shakespeare is the regular inclusion of articles surveying recent 
critical work in a given field, while offering new perspectives and future 
directions for new scholars. These articles are specially commissioned by the 
editors and written by internationally renowned academics. They have become 
compulsory reading for anyone engaged in work in the areas under discussion. This 
cluster of articles offers readers an opportunity to both review and update their 
awareness of recent debates and issues in key areas of contemporary Shakespeare 
scholarship. Beginning with a general survey of the discipline, Hugh Grady, in 
"Shakespeare Studies, 2005: A Situated Overview", suggests that the era dominated by 
New Historicism is drawing to a close and is being replaced by criticism which 
attempts to create Shakespeare's historical context empirically and scholarship that 
self-consciously interprets Shakespeare within the context of our own culture. 
Accordingly, this selection juxtaposes survey articles on Repertory Studies, 
contextualizing early modern plays through the perspective of the playing companies, 
and an analysis of work in the undying area of Shakespeare and biography with survey 
articles in what have become established fields in Shakespeare criticism in the late 
20th and early 21st centuries: cultural studies, film adaptation and ecocriticism.

Articles 
Shakespeare Studies, 2005: A Situated Overview
Hugh Grady
Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2005

Shakespeare and Cultural Studies: An Overview
Douglas Lanier
Volume 2, Issue 2, December 2006

Shakespeare on Film in the New Millennium
Ramona Wray
Volume 3, Issue 2, August 2007

Repertory Studies: A Survey
Tom Rutter
Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2008

The State of the Green: A Review of Shakespearean Ecocriticism
Sharon O'Dair
Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2008

'Author! Author!': Shakespeare and Biography
Graham Holderness
Volume 5, Issue 1, April 2009


SHAKESPEARE AND FILM
From sound in Shakespeare adaptations to Shakespeare in silence to a survey of 
criticism of Shakespeare on screen in the new millennium, the journal has a range of 
articles that are of interest to both the Shakespearean critic and film scholar. The 
first piece, Evelyn Tribble's "'When Every Noise Appalls Me': Sound and Fear in 
Macbeth and Akira Kurosawa's Kumonso-jo (Throne of Blood)", looks at one of the 
mostly justly celebrated of Shakespeare films, which brilliantly reimagined Macbeth 
in the context of mediaeval Samurai culture. Whereas many previous commentators on 
Kurosawa's film have noticed its use of space, Tribble focuses on its soundscape, 
and relates it to that of Macbeth itself. In the second, Judith Buchanan looks at 
two little-known silent films of Hamlet starring Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson and 
Ruggero Ruggeri, considering particularly how they were informed by their stars' 
earlier stage performances to illustrate how the success of both films was 
conditioned as much by extra-textual associations as by the intrinsic qualities of 
the films themselves. In "Sex, Lies and Videotape: Representing the Past in 
Shakespeare in Love, Mapping a Future for Presentism", Cary DiPietro uses John 
Madden's popular biopic to argue the case for a presentist approach to Shakespeare, 
while in "Shakespeare on Film in the New Millennium" Ramona Wray helps readers 
orient themselves in this rapidly growing field. Finally Yvonne Griggs reviews the 
TV film version of Gregory Doran's Hamlet, starring David Tennant.

Articles 
"'When Every Noise Appalls Me': Sound and Fear in Macbeth and Akira Kurosawa's 
Kumonso-jo (Throne of Blood)" 
Evelyn Tribble 
Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2005

"Orgies of gesticulation"?: Pedigree and performance codes in Sir Johnston Forbes- 
Robertson's and Rugger Ruggeri's silent films of Hamlet" 
Judith Buchanan 
Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2006

Sex, Lies and Videotape: Representing the Past in Shakespeare in Love, Mapping a 
Future for Presentism 
Cary DiPietro 
Volume 3, Issue 1, April 2007

Shakespeare on Film in the New Millennium
Ramona Wray
Volume 3, Issue 2, August 2007

Review of Shakespeare's Hamlet (directed by Gregory Doran for BBC TV), BBC Two, 29 
December 2009 
Yvonne Griggs 
Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2010

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions expressed 
on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor assumes no responsibility 
for them.

Q: Academic Response to Anonymous

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0424  Thursday, 4 November 2010

[1]  From:      Allston James <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      November 3, 2010 7:52:04 PM EDT
     Subj:      RE: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous 

[2]  From:      JD Markel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      November 3, 2010 9:12:16 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous
 
[3]  From:      David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      November 3, 2010 10:53:27 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous
 
[4]  From:      David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      November 4, 2010 1:15:35 AM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous
 
[5]  From:      Qadir H. <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      November 4, 2010 11:22:31 AM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous
 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Allston James <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 3, 2010 7:52:04 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous

I have often pointed out to Oxfordians that they indeed do begin with their 
conclusion rather than scholarly inquiry. They nearly always respond, well, how is 
that any different than Stratfordians beginning with THEIR conclusion?

It's a no-win situation, hence my own retirement from the debate. I am seldom 
bothered by ignorance as it can be addressed, but stupidity is something else, of 
course.

Allston James This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Humanities Division
Monterey Peninsula College

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         JD Markel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 3, 2010 9:12:16 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous

>And let us resist the Oxfordians' clever rhetorical device of giving 
>the name "Stratfordians" to the people who believe Shakespeare was 
>Shakespeare, as if the whole discussion were a tug of war on even 
>ground between two equally sound but apparently conflicting viewpoints"

I thought the deployment of toponyms in this debate arose from the complex 
class/caste and regional anxieties that fuels some of it. Not sound equals but the 
hauteur of "Oxford" over the lowly "Stratford," the latter could hardly be the home 
of the creator of the work signed Shakespeare. That was what I sensed I heard some 
two Brit anti-Strats speak the towns' names. Feel free to correct my American 
impression.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 3, 2010 10:53:27 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous

As a believer that on the available evidence the person who wrote most of what 
appears in many editions over several centuries as The Works of William Shakespeare 
was, indeed, William Shakespeare, son of John and Mary Shakespeare, of Stratford-
upon-Avon (1564-1616), I think it is nevertheless incumbent on all of us to 
recognize that terms like "evidence" and "proof" have less assured meanings in 
literary studies than they do in mathematics or physics. Over the past 30 years or 
so, I've looked at considerations of argument in logic, in physical science, in law, 
in social science, and in literature, and I cannot say that I have found any book or 
article that provides an irrefutable or even firmly persuasive set of criteria by 
which to evaluate and compare the truth-claims of the individual elements that 
comprise what we might call the data-set of information on the authorship issue.

Like the younger Gabriel Egan, I am disposed to assign higher probability of truth 
to title-pages and contemporary testimony (Meres, Jonson, et al), and to the 
proposition that active involvement in theatrical production, day after day and year 
after year, is likely to produce mastery of theatrical crafting, than to matters of 
social hierarchy. None of these, however, is on its own enough to prove that W. S. 
of Stratford wrote those plays, any more than the higher criticism (as I understand 
that term) can prove that God, of Heaven, did not dictate the Bible to one or more 
patient secretaries, rather than its being produced in bits and chunks by a good 
many very human agents over a long period of time. Like Hardy, I have to be prepared 
for the day when somebody finds in some London basement a letter, in handwriting 
that is as far as anybody can show is that of Edward de Vere, to Richard Burbage, 
that reads, "Dear Richard, here is a final draft of Hamlet; I know it's long, but I 
just can't bring myself to cut any more. In the intervals when I just couldn't work 
on that any more, I have done first drafts of Antony and Cleopatra, Winter's Tale, 
and the Tempest. I think a shift into romance a few years down the pike would result 
in excellent box-office for what will, I suppose, by then be the King's Men." 

I could wish, indeed, that some very able thinker with more knowledge and patience 
and skill than I have in philosophical argument would set her/himself to the task of 
working out a coherent and persuasive set of criteria for evaluating arguments in 
our field. Until then, we need to proceed as responsibly and thoughtfully and 
dispassionately as we can in advancing such arguments as we ourselves find 
persuasive, and in challenging those we do not.

I might add that the U.S. congressional election on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, makes 
it pretty clear that there are a lot of people (many of whom would shrink in horror 
from the higher criticism, at least of the Bible, if they knew what it was) for whom 
the kind of evidence that most scholars privilege does not effectively challenge the 
way they like to see things.

Critically,
David Evett

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 4, 2010 1:15:35 AM EDT
Subject: 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous

Joseph Egert wrote:

>This position merely pushes the problem one step backward in that 
>anti-Stratfordians may/will question the validity of the standards 
>themselves or any evidentiary rules yielding 'facts' inconvenient 
>to their favorite's candidacy.

One could, however, study a 'random' set of, say, one hundred historical 
controversies, whose ultimate resolutions are no longer contested by the bulk of 
both Strat and anti-Strat populations. Which scholarly methods early on were 
ultimately vindicated, as evidence accumulated toward a final uncontroversial 
resolution? Wouldn't such methods then prove the most fruitful in evaluating current 
controversies? Perhaps, such studies have already been done and have already 
demonstrated the superiority of 'orthodox' scholarly standards. Though past is not 
always prologue, it's still the way to bet.

This presupposes that anti-Stratfordians are driven by logic or reason, which they 
are not, as others have pointed out. They are driven by a visceral, emotionally-
based conviction that William Shakespeare of Stratford could not possibly have 
written those plays and poems; that the real author was a dashing, classically 
romantic tragic hero (the earl of Oxford, or whoever); that dark, sinister forces 
(Lord Burghley, in many Oxfordian scenarios) covered up the hero's authorship of 
these great plays and poems, and denied him the fame that he deserved; that later 
dark, sinister forces (the academic Shakespeare industry) continues to cover up "the 
truth" in a desperate effort to save their jobs; and that anti-Stratfordians are 
heroic seekers of truth, struggling against these dark forces to give their romantic 
hero the credit he was denied 400 years ago. This is basically the plot of Charlton 
Ogburn's "The Mysterious William Shakespeare", and it has a powerful emotional 
appeal to a significant subset of people who are exposed to it. Once this set of 
convictions takes hold, all "facts" and arguments are bent to fit it, and attempts 
to argue for the traditional attribution to William Shakespeare of Stratford are 
often seen as obstacles in the way of giving the hero his due.

Still, it's worth arguing against this sort of thing for the benefit of third-party 
observers and others who are just curious whether there's anything to this Oxfordian 
stuff. Much as Joseph Egert suggests above, I often defend the methods used by 
Shakespeare scholars by pointing out that they are the same basic methods used for 
any other historical question from 400 years ago. The evidence for attributing the 
plays of Christopher Marlowe and John Webster to those two men is actually much 
weaker (I would argue) than the evidence for attributing Shakespeare's plays to the 
Stratford man, but those attributions are uncontroversial; indeed, there is a group 
that believes that Marlowe wrote the works of Shakespeare after faking his death in 
1593. I also point out that the methods used by Oxfordians, if applied consistently 
and taken to their logical conclusion, leads one to the inevitable conclusion that 
Oxford wrote essentially all early modern English literature. This may seem like a 
reductio ad absurdum, but it is more or less the position taken by Michael Brame and 
Galina Popova in their book "Shakespeare's Fingerprints". (See Tom Veal's amusing 
review of this book here: http://stromata.tripod.com/id408.htm.) Similar arguments 
were used against Baconian ciphers a century ago, and have been used more recently 
against neo-Baconian ciphers (e.g. by Terry Ross here: 
http://shakespeareauthorship.com/bacpenl.html).

Arlynda Boyer wrote:

>Jon Stewart and his predecessor "Jon" Swift have it right ... the 
>best way to defeat an argument is to make it ridiculous. And in 
>this case, that won't be hard.

As I understand it, the movie "Anonymous" is based on the "Prince Tudor 2" theory, a 
particularly ridiculous strain of Oxfordianism that is also behind Charles 
Beauclerk's recent book "Shakespeare's Tragic Kingdom". In this scenario, Edward de 
Vere, 17th earl of Oxford, was secretly the son of Queen Elizabeth and her 
stepfather Thomas Seymour, born in 1548 to the 15-year-old Elizabeth and secretly 
placed two years later in the home of John de Vere to be raised as his son. (The 
two-year gap is needed because Seymour died in March 1549 but de Vere was not born -
- or "born" -- until April 1550.) Under many versions of this "theory", Elizabeth 
had numerous other sons, who were raised as various other noblemen. Then, once 
Oxford came of age, he became his mother Elizabeth's incestuous lover, and their 
son, born in 1573, was placed with the Wriothesley family and raised as the earl of 
Southampton. Meanwhile, Oxford wrote the plays of Shakespeare to tell his woeful 
tale to posterity, since he could not do so openly. In the 1590s he dedicated Venus 
and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece to his son/half-brother Southampton, and wrote 
the Sonnets to convince Southampton to beget a royal heir.

I'm sure that many of you think I'm joking, but I'm completely serious -- this is 
what some Oxfordians believe, including, apparently Roland Emmerich, the director of 
"Anonymous". The above scenario developed from the plain "Prince Tudor" theory, in 
which Oxford was either Elizabeth's son or her lover (with Southampton being their 
son), but not both. This theory caused a rift in Oxfordian ranks in the 1950s, and 
modern iterations of it have caused more recent rifts, between Oxfordians who 
embrace the Prince Tudor scenarios and those who think it's ridiculous, easily 
falsified claptrap that makes Oxfordians look bad. It's been my experience that 
Prince Tudor proponents are particularly immune from documentary evidence, and 
particularly dependent on internal "evidence" from the plays. The scenarios I've 
described above are wildly at odds with the documentary evidence, of course, but 
Prince Tudor proponents literally couldn't care less -- the only evidence they use 
is their interpretations of the Shakespeare plays and poems (especially the sonnets 
and narrative poems), which they are convinced contain messages from their hero that 
they need to bring to light.

Dave Kathman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Qadir H. <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 4, 2010 11:22:31 AM EDT
Subject: 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0422  Q: Academic Response to Anonymous

Believe me, Milton's God has more chance of subduing Satan than we do of convincing 
"Oxfraudians." As you have probably already noticed, they first assume the 
conclusion, then turn back groping for evidence and when their heads hit against the 
wall, they jump back to the conclusion claiming that they have not searched well 
enough yet. This kind of backward reasoning is hard to fight back, because it does 
not follow the rules of the game. Questions asked by students, I think, should not 
remain unanswered, but other than that, I believe "We grace the yeoman by conversing 
with him." (I'm wrenching the quotation out of context.)

Qadir H.
M. A. student of English Literature, Tehran, Iran.

 
_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions expressed 
on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor assumes no responsibility 
for them.

Typo in My Own Anonymous Post

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0423  Wednesday, 3 November 2010

From:         Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Subject:      Typo in My Own Anonymous Post

Sorry, folks. I just re-read my own post only to discover a SIGNIFICANT 
typo. My post should have read as follows.

Dear Tom and Tony:

I am afraid that I did not express myself as clearly as I had wished.

My entire point was that scholarly evidence IS scholarly evidence. THE 
reason that I cannot accept the anti-Strats is that they do not USE 
scholarly evidence. Were they able to and were that evidence to prove 
their case by standards of generally accepted scholarly evidence, then I 
would have to accept. Would I not? The problem is that this evidence 
does not exist because the truth is that William Shakespeare of 
Stratford-upon-Avon DID INDEED write the works attributed to him.

What I am concerned with is establishing a procedure by which academics 
and scholars can explain to the GENERAL PUBLIC how the Oxfordians, for 
example, distort evidence, use what they considered evidence that would 
not stand scholarly scrutiny, and outright lie or simply take their own 
fantasies for reality. 

How often are you each asked by non-academics when they learn that you 
teach or otherwise study Shakespeare something to the effect of "I have 
heard that Shakespeare really did NOT write the plays himself. What do 
you think?" Well, this sort of encounter happens to me a lot -- In fact, 
at lot more than I am even comfortable with. I usually respond something 
along the lines of "There is absolutely nothing to that."

When the film Anonymous is released the number of people who will be 
asking did he really do it (probably with a wink and a smile) will be 
increased a thousand fold. It doesn't even matter that the Oxfordians 
are upset about this film too -- that the screenplay is based on the 
work of someone so extreme that even orthodox Oxfordians don't want to 
have anything to do with his theories. Nevertheless, I am convinced that 
with the release of this film my dismissal will not even be considered.

When I first started teaching film in the early 1970s, I went to a 
screening of Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde" at a first run theater on North 
Avenue in downtown Baltimore. At the conclusion of the film, after 
witnessing the orchestrated, slow motion deaths of the Warren Beatty and 
Faye Dunaway characters, a young African-American woman, probably in her 
late teens or early twenties, got up from her seat in front of me, began 
waving her fits at the screen, and yelled "AND THEY CALL THAT JUSTICE." 
As I thought about what I had witnessed, it was obvious to me 

1. that this young woman had, on a deep level, believed that she had 
just seen something which had reproduced the HISTORICAL REALITY of the 
deaths of Bonnie and Clyde, 
2. that she had accepted what she saw on the screen to BE reality, 
3. that she was talking as if what she had seen in the fictionalized, 
cinematic version of a couple of ugly and trashy bank robbers was truth 
itself, and 
4. that she felt on a gut level that Bonnie and Clyde were beautiful and 
were ambushed and mercilessly slaughtered in a slow motion volley of 
machine gun fire which had been recreated on the cinema screen. 

I know the power of cinema and I know that once Anonymous is released 
that academic Shakespearean will not be able to simply dismiss the 
claims of disbelievers. I want to be prepared.

Hardy

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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