Papers by SHAKSPER Members Seeking Critical Advice
As a service to its members, SHAKSPER makes selected papers for which the author would like comments available for a short time on the SHAKSPER server.
The following papers are currently available:
ABSTRACT: William Shakespeare is the central figure of this play. Obviously, (with some much needed humility) my conception of him. And of course, my conception of him only at a particular time in his life. To call this moment a mid-life crises would be to equate Will with a used car salesman of our day, or a clerk at the Inns of Court in his. That’s not how I see him.
But it is a crisis, however far beyond his mid-life he is at 43. A crisis of art and faith: his art because he’d begun to lose faith in his subject – mankind. Faith in god? He’s long past that. Though he dare not admit such treason to a breathing soul. But faith in the worthiness or goodness of man, or any reason to hope for improvement? None. And that’s a tragedy, at least it was for my appreciation of Shakespeare in 1609.
Will comes into the Globe Theatre even on cold mid-winter mornings with his anxiety stained on his fingertips – uneasy and under pressure, within and without. He’s been jumping through theatrical hoops since he was twelve years old. He’s discontent with the hoops he’s designed recently, not sure he has another hoop on the horizon.
So here he comes, discontent, looking for hope or a worthy tale to tell, or trouble, any trouble, any thing to ignite his increasingly “sonnetted heart.”
NOTE: These papers are in PDF format; the free reader is available here.