Shakespeare Wasn’t Shakespeare As Such

Radio’s To the Best of Our Knowledge has an interesting show on Shakespeare, modern poetry, and language here. Of note, Arthur Phillips talks about imitating Shakespeare by writing in a Shakespearean style. He says he didn’t think Shakespeare was thought to be the greatest English playwright during his lifetime or even many years afterward. He said he may have been thought to be about as good as another playwright whose work we’ve lost entirely.

4 thoughts on “Shakespeare Wasn’t Shakespeare As Such”

  1. My father used to say he was convinced that Shakespeare’s works were not written by Shakespeare at all, but by another playwright of the same name.

  2. Yeah, I don’t know how popular that idea is, but I think it’s ridiculous. Phillips talks about it in the radio show. It’s an imagination issue. Somehow, your father and others don’t believe a person like Shakespeare (whatever they believe about him) is capable of doing the work he did (which may be over-glorified too).

    I mean no disrespect to your dad or anyone who thinks this way.

  3. Not to worry, my dad was completely kidding. What could be more ridiculous than to suggest that the plays weren’t written by Shakespeare, but instead by someone of the same name? His name is practically all we know about him. This was exactly the kind of absurd joke that most tickled my father’s funny bone.

    In the same vein, he was interviewed once by the local news about a UFO craze long, long ago. He said very seriously that he thought the reports were exaggerated, and that 99% of the reports of alien visits were groundless. The interviewer didn’t turn a hair, reported it completely straight. “Local scientist suggests no more than 1% of UFO reports are on the level.”

    By the way, taking another opportunity here to give my Internet provider a bad name: it seems that what your comment board is allergic to in my recent posts is a little downloaded app from HughesNet satellite service that monitors our daily usage and warns us if we’re getting close to our daily (!) limit (!) of 425MB (!). When I uninstalled the HughesNet Status Meter app, I could suddenly post here again. HughesNet tech support, meanwhile, steadily laid the blame on Apple, but it was Apple that figured out how to make things work by ditching the status meter app. Yay Apple. Boo HughesNet.

    I am not a cyberterrorist!

  4. I’m sorry I missed the part “of the same name.” That is ridiculous. I like your dad.

    HughesNet needs to figure out how to provide a good service. Perhaps there’s a good internet service market in your area of middle America.

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