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The Lethal Text – Everyone and Someone

  • Hunter S (379 posts)
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    The Lethal Text – Everyone and Someone


    Indeed, William Shakespeare is the Invisible Man of his time. His name on a title page or a dedication; a sole, ambiguous attribution by a contemporary; six signatures all spelt different ways. He owned no books, wrote and received no letters. He was never paid for what he wrote; never arrested either, unlike a number of his contemporaries; never questioned or tortured, even after the use of his work in support of the Essex rebellion.

    How do you torture someone who doesn’t exist?

    The plays, of course, did not write themselves – but nor were they composed by Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon, who was barely literate. The name Shakspere is thought to be a phonetic spelling of the Norman name Jacques-Pierre; the name Shakespeare or Shake-speare is a contrived pun, deliberately chosen for its classical connotations, a soubriquet for Athena, the ‘spear-shaker’. The two names are not the same, either in spelling or provenance. But they are close enough for the misdirection.

    Ben Jonson elegises him as ‘My Beloved, The Author’ in the title of his riddling Preface to the 1623 Folio edition. ‘William Shakespeare’ was a nom-de-plume and a nom-de-guerre, a pseudonym or more properly an allonym adopted by the writer in question, who speaks from behind a mask, and speaks very directly to us today. His identity has been known now for almost a hundred years – since J Thomas Looney exposed it in his definitive work of literary-historical detection, Shakespeare Identified in Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1920). This ground-breaking investigation establishes the identity of The Author beyond reasonable doubt. A century later, thanks to the lazy, self-interested intransigence of Academia, Shakespeare’s identity is still not widely known – and this despite the fact that de Vere is so explosively relevant to our own times…(more at link)

    If you haven’t read it yet, “Shakespeare Identified” is a fascinating exploration of the Shakespeare Authorship Question, and also a great Detective Story.


    Enthusiast, nenagh, daleanime and 3 othersIdaho progressive, Haikugal, djean111 like this
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