Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rumblings from the Internets

A few new news clips worthy of note:

The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition that was blogged about here back in April is beginning to generate some public and media attention.

The Guardian calls it the harbinger of a "literary conspiracy theory that refuses to go away, and which has a growing army of supporters all over the globe." [ADDENDUM from the comments: The BBC does present a more sympathetic take on the situation. Thanks to jhm for pointing this out.]

The reason for the press attention was because of a recent public signing of the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt by the acclaimed Shakespearean actors Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance at a performance of Rylance's new play... deep breath... The Big Secret Live - I Am Shakespeare - Webcam Daytime Chat-Room Show.

The London Telegraph gave this dramedy a begrudging thumbs up, unwilling though the reviewer was to sign on to the main premise, the same premise as the Declaration, that the Shakespeare authorship issue is a real and serious issue--poke fun at it though we may (and probably should).

One review that escaped my notice last month was this great little writeup of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival's production of All's Well That Ends Well in The Denver Post, in which the reviewer says All's Well will always be a difficult play to stage until de Vere's authorship of Shakespeare is recognized.

Author, author!

Let's be frank: In Shakespeare, there are no problem plays, only problematic interpretations.

The root of the issue is the refusal by entrenched academic and ancillary industries to acknowledge that many think Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the actual author of the plays, sonnets, etc. attributed to William Shakespeare.

Once de Vere's life is illuminated, we see that this play is filled with biographical details, beginning with Bertram's petulant refusal to consummate his forced marriage to Helena, continuing with "stepsister" Helena's budding confusion over her relationship with Bertram, moving forward with Bertram's profligate behavior throughout, climaxing in the famous "bed trick," and culminating with the resurrection of Helena.

Next time around, we suggest an adaptation in which Bertram is modeled on de Vere and Helena as Anne Cecil. Problem solved: The story is a clever metaphor for actual events with which the entire Elizabethan court was familiar and knowledge of which we owe ourselves and our posterity the pleasure.

1 comment:

jhm said...

The BBC is also on the case, and has a more sympathetic view (more than the Gardian citation at any rate).