Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fellow Stratfordians talk about Shakespeare

I have just spent an enjoyable hour listening to 59 Stratfordian scholars, actors and others, including Prince Charles, talking for a minute each about why Shakespeare was William Shakespeare from Stratford-on-Avon. I would highly recommend this website to anyone who loves the Bard.

However, as, what is known as a "Stratfordian" myself, supporting the received case for Shakespeare of Stratford, I thought their arguments could have been even more convincing - and deeper.

The best slot, I think, comes from Stephen Fry, who alone used my favourite argument about Shakespeare's imagery. He quoted eminent Caroline Spurgeon's 1937 book " Shakespeare's imagery and what it tells us" which is on my coffee table, proclaiming it as "the proof" that Shakespeare's heart was in an English country garden and kitchen and in country sports, unlike Bacon's, Oxford's and Marlowe's.

The Stratfordian analysis
about those who would defraud Shakespeare of his plays is that they are resentful and jealous of his brilliance. Some speakers thought conspiracy theorists are people who:

a) are insufficiently informed
b) have hardly read the plays and "proof-text" i.e. make "proofs" from single lines and ignore wider counter-balancing arguments
c) dislike anyone so talented as to be "deified" so must "bring them down", even through irrational arguments.

In addition, I was amused by Stephen Fry's mockery of the idea that human beings can conspire. He thinks everyone is "like people we knew at school - people who make big mistakes" and therefore could not carry out a conspiracy.

Sigmund Freud, one of the speakers thinks, "committed patricide" in questioning Shakespeare's identity and "had a Freudian complex about him" himself. The knives are out....

Sadly, no one mentions that Shakespeare wrote constantly about God and used passages of the Bible. He loved poetically paraphrasing Scripture. The modern age is inadequately acquainted with theology. Actually, I suspect that the modern eye is programmed to skip the word "God" and ignores all Biblical allusions in Shakespeare and elsewhere.  However, this is evidence that Shakespeare was not the "blasphemer" and arch-atheist Marlowe, because arch-atheists do not relish wasting their precious thoughts on the Bible.

My own analysis of Shakespeare's imagery, which is moving apace, shows a phenomenon that I could not have predicted myself in advance. William Shakespeare wrote about "God" and "theology" (e.g. God's nature and sin) in his imagery, almost more than about anything else, certainly in the history plays. His dialogues are often inner theological meditations.

There may stronger arguments on behalf of Shakespeare than are aired on this attached website - but it is very good start. It is part of the "Shakespeare Bites Back" movement. The online presence of those who hold that Shakespeare was the man and writer is uplifting for me.  I am pleased to know the conspiracy against Shakespeare is being tracked in deadly earnest and that someone knows that there are so far "77 alternative identities" for the Bard.  It is also good to have some of the key experts on Shakespeare listed.

NB: this number "77 proposed alternatives to William Shakespeare" may omit "Corrolancia" and "Florio" who have been put forward by some Italians as "Guilliemo Shakespeare".

Online website is:

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