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Anti-Shakespeareans

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0328  Wednesday, 10 July 2013

 

[1] From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         July 10, 2013 1:48:48 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Anti-Shakespeareans 

 

[2] From:        Michael Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         July 10, 2013 7:10:20 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Anti-Shakespeareans 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         July 10, 2013 1:48:48 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Anti-Shakespearean

 

Michael Egan offers this semantic contribution: 

 

>I think it is unfortunate that you now employ the term 

>Anti-Shakespearean for those who harbor some doubts 

>about you know what. I understand the rationale, having 

>read Shakespeare Beyond Doubt, that the man is not to 

>be separated from his context. I agree, but the term 

>suggests that Doubters dislike Shakespeare. Quite the 

>opposite is true which is why they are interested in you 

>know what. The works and their writer need to be placed 

>in their true context.

 

Is everyone sitting down?  Are you ready?  I agree with Egan.  It seems to me that those who deny Shakespeare’s authorship are not “against” Shakespeare, certainly if by “Shakespeare” we mean the discipline rather than the man.  On the contrary, they revere the works so much that they cannot acknowledge that they were composed by a mere upper-middle class actor and businessman from the provinces.  Since the term is susceptible of being understood as being phobic about the works, “anti-Shakespearean” can be misleading.  On the other hand, I also agree with Stanley Wells, et al. that “anti-Stratfordian” is too confining, disregarding Shakespeare’s crucial London connections.

 

I suggest that we hunt for a term that gives Shakespeare his full historical scope while acknowledging that the Oxfordians, Baconians, Marlovians, et sim. do not reject the works but rather follow one or another conspiracy theory as to who wrote them.  Perhaps it is as simple as taking a hint from the clerics and calling them “Shakespeare heretics.”  Arians, for example, would justifiably object to being called “anti-Christian,” but they shouldn’t object to being called heretics as they admittedly deny an element of the orthodox creed.

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Michael Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         July 10, 2013 7:10:20 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Anti-Shakespearean

 

Dear Hardy

 

I have also read Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? ed. Shahan and Waugh (LLumina 2013) and hope that others do too. 

 

[Editor’s Note: No. –Hardy]

 
 

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