Justice Stevens, who dropped out of graduate study in English to join the Navy in 1941, is an Oxfordian -- that is, he believes the works ascribed to William Shakespeare actually were written by the 17th earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere. Several justices across the court's ideological spectrum say he may be right.
So what was Shakespeare like? Canny, sceptical, sympathetic: might Enobarbus, the humorously detached and yet emotionally entangled friend of Cleopatra’s Antony come closest to him...
And if we accept that these paintings were exercises in image-making — in 17th-century spin doctoring — then why not embrace the Cobbe painting? Even if Shakespeare didn’t actually sit for it, this is probably how he, like any other literary figure of the time, preferred to imagine himself: aloof, sexy, mysterious. And, more to the point, this is how most of us would prefer to imagine him too.
Richard, you remember, had been, and was then, plotting the destruction of his brothers, to make room for himself. Outwardly, the most loyal to the newly crowned king, secretly he could scarcely contain his impatience at the obstacles still in the way of his own elevation. He appears upon the stage, just after the crowning of Edward, burning with repressed hate and jealousy. The prologue is the utterance of the most intense bitterness and satire.
I think nothing equals Macbeth.
“How approach the plays? Well, here’s my notion: First ask ‘What kind of tension is [Shakespeare] exploiting this time? And for what kind of effects?’ Next, ‘What kind of situation (and development) does the play use for the exploiting of this tension?’ Next, ‘What kind of prime character is best adapted to this particular kind of excess?’ Next: ‘If that character, what subsidiary characters are needed, to fit the total recipe?’ And, finally, ‘If all that, what kind of images best lend themselves to this particular enterprise?’ Following along those lines, and in keeping with what we have already discussed with regard to topics in Aristotle’s Rhetoric, one approaches a text thus...”
"Love's Labour's Lost" is about the young king of Navarre, a region in Spain that borders on France, and his three single buddies pledging to lead austere lives for three years. No wine, women or song are allowed as the young men devote themselves to study and self-improvement.
The arrival of the French princess and her three attractive girlfriends puts the vow to an extreme test. You can guess the rest.
the biographical fallacy--the unqualified conviction that one can read the author’s life from the work and vice versa.
This fallacy is widespread in Shakespeare studies, true enough, but the business of wrenching passages out of dramatic context as evidence of the playwright’s personal beliefs usually reveals more about the critic than about Shakespeare.
This Small Extravagance, by James Longenbach, The Nation, June 2, 2009, review of Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare, by Jonathan Bate, Review-a-Day
Shakespeare and the Law: Othello and Racial Politics in America, The Federalist Society, Boston Lawyers Chapter and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company present A Staged Reading of Shakespeare's Othello, followed by a Panel Discussion on The Politics of Race in America Under President Obama, on May 4, 2009
Mistress Shakespeare, by Stanley Wells, review of On Shakespeare's Wife, by Germaine Greer, New York Review of Books, April 17, 2008
Married to the myth, by Charles Nicholl, review of Shakespeare's Wife, by Germaine Greer, Saturday September 1, 2007, The Guardian
For his Nose was as sharpe as a Pen, and a Table of greene fields by Michael Dobson, review of William Shakespeare, Complete Works: The RSC Shakespeare by William Shakespeare, edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, London Review of Books, May 10, 2007
The readiness to deconstruct is all by Carlin Romano, review of More images Shakespeare the Thinker by A. D. Nuttall, and Shakespeare's Philosophy by Colin McGinn, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 6, 2007
(via Arts & Letters Daily)
The true face of Shakespeare? by Peter Beal, review of The True Face of Wiliam Shakespeare Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel, translated by Alan Bance, The Times, London, April 18, 2007
(via Arts & Letters Daily)
'Words, Words, Words' by Anne Barton, review of The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups by Ron Rosenbaum The New York Review of Books, March 29, 2007
Shakespeare and the Uses of Power by Stephen Greenblatt, The New York Review of Books, April 12, 2007
'Words, Words, Words' by Anne Barton, review of The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups by Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Review of Books, March 29, 2007
Playwright of the Globe by Paul A. Cantor, Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2006
(via Arts & Letters Daily)
Who Owns Shakespeare? review by Rachel Donadio of Will in the World, by Stephen Greenblatt, New York Times, January 23, 2005
A Scholar of the Outre Returns to Shakespearean Basics, review by Dinitia Smith of Shakespeare After All, by Marjorie Garber, New York Times, January 11, 2005
'Hear Me More Plainly', review by Katherine A. Powers of The Arkangel Shakespeare, Washington Post, December 26, 2004
The Politics of Gratitude, by Peter J. Leithart, First Things, December 2004
The Stratford man, review by Terry Eagleton of Will in the World, by Stephen Greenblatt, New Statesman, November 15, 2004
Making the Angels Weep, review by Edward Short of The Age of Shakespeare, by Frank Kermode, Crisis, November 2004
Reinventing Shakespeare, review by Colm Toibin of Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, by Stephen Greenblatt, New York Times, October 3, 2004
The Writer's Tale, review by Richard Byrne: In a new biography, the founder of New Historicism finds a paper trail that links Shakespeare's life, beliefs, and morality, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 1, 2004
Shakespeare's Leap, by Stephen Greenblatt, New York Times, September 12, 2004
Fixing Strindberg, Shakespeare, et al.: What playwright’s ghosts endure, by Roger Sandall, Culture Cult
Average Bill, by Paul A. Cantor, review of Shakespeare by Michael Wood, Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2004
Dramatist of Forgiveness, review by Edward T. Oakes of The Age of Shakespeare, by Frank Kermode; Shakespeare, by Michael Wood; The Trial of Man: Christianity and Judgment in the World of Shakespeare, by Craig Bernthal; First Things, June/July 2004
Shakespeare's Coined Words Now Common Currency, by Jennifer Vernon, National Geographic News, April 22, 2004
An Unweeded Garden, by David Allen White, review of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (5th edition), edited by David Bevington, Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2004
The Bard, the Black, the Jew, by R. V. Young, First Things, March 2004
Company Man, by Terry Eagleton, reviewed of The Age of Shakespeare, by Frank Kermode, Nation, March 1, 2004
Why Shakespeare Is For All Time, by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal, Winter 2003
The destructiveness of Ressentiment Man, by Roger Sandall, Salisbury Review, Spring 2003
An Iranian Tale: Tehran audiences hadn't seen an English production of Shakespeare for 25 years. Director Dominic Hill had a few surprises for them, The Guardian, January 29, 2003
Writing about Shakespeare, by Frank Kermode, London Review of Books, December 9, 1999
Shakespeare’s Millennium, by Edward T. Oakes, First Things, December 1999
Berryman at Shakespeare, review by William Logan, of Berryman’s Shakespeare by John Berryman, The New Criterion, May 1999
Shakespeare: Made in America, by George Santayana, New Republic, February 27, 1915
Shakspeare knew that tradition supplies a better fable than any invention can. If he lost any credit of design, he augmented his resources; and, at that day, our petulant demand for originality was not so much pressed.
On Shakespeare, by Ben Jonson, Harvard Classics, at Bartleby
Shakespeare Insulter, by Chris Seidel
Open Source Shakespeare
Shakespeare On-line, by Amanda Mabillard
Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet, by Terry A. Gray