Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
The pat ...more
I had no strong opinion about the authorship question before reading the book, but Shapiro argues persuasively that William Shakespeare did indeed wr ...more
I'm no expert on the authorship question, but I did have my doubts about Shakespeare, after reading up on the other "candidates". While Shapiro (a Stratfordian) didn't wipe away all my doubts, he did something far more important. He illustrated the authorship question.
His book is not so much a nitpicky detail about why someone or other probably wrote Shakespeare, it's rather a look at why Baconians and Oxfordians a ...more
I had expected a strong overlap between Shapiro's book and the parallel sections of Schoenbaum's Shakespeare's Lives, the 400 year history of attempts to create a Life of Shakespeare. But there is no replication. Shapiro is no less scholarly, but he goes further in striving to understand the creators, and gullible victims, of the idea that Shakespeare did not write the works attributed to him.
The book is unusual in coming from a genuine Shakespearean scholar (most avoid this subject like the pla ...more
For years, as an English teacher, I encountered students, particularly back in the '80s and '90s, who would ask me who really wrote Shakespeare. (Some would ask if they had to read the plays since it wasn't proven that there was a Shakespeare who really wrote them. G ...more
I really liked the section of the book I read in print though. It was filled with interesting tidbits about what we know--and don't know--about Shakespeare's life. The analysis of why the question of "who really wrote Shakespeare" is ...more
I do, in fact, believe that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays and poems attributed to him. And James Shapiro does too. In this brief but enlightening volume, he reviews the history of alternative S ...more
That was highly interesting .. Then he talked about Oxford and Bacon who many people believe to be the true Authors .. he couldn't talk about everyone who was suspected because there are too many so he took the two who are most likely and have the most follow ...more
Shapiro explores the authorship debate from historical and sociological perspectives. It's a refreshing change. Although the overall goal is to refute alternative claims, specifically those supporting Bacon and de Vere, the approach is as much concerned with why those claims evolved as it is with their potential validity.
The parallels Shapiro draws with the rise of new critical approaches in the nineteenth century and the questioning of sources behind the Bible and the works of Homer are well dr...more
I really do not care who Sh ...more
This reading was dense. It was a lot of sifting through the works of others, and worked more as a lexicon than as a stand-alone academic work. In fact, I often felt at though this were a 280-word dissertation, with a bibliography that rivals the material itself in size. Much of the work was confusing, if you're not already an expert in the general background of Shakespear ...more