Favorite shakespeare scholars


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In this slideshow, I present my favorite scholars of Shakespeare. It will be noted that one is a journalist and two are scholars of Giordano Bruno. But no matter, they are great, original, perceptive Shakespeare scholars!!

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Favorite shakespeare scholars

  1. 1. This presentation will introduce you to my threefavorite Shakespeare scholars My favorite Shakespeare scholars are unconventional, and their work on Shakespeare is fresh and original. r
  2. 2. The first one is a noted journalist andserious and devoted Shakespeare fan; I would also call him an expert connoisseur of productions of Shakespeare’s works…..
  3. 3. His name is Ron Rosenbaum• He wrote a totally wonderful, delightful, thoughtful book called The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascos, Palace Coups (New York: Random House, 2006)• On page 378, Rosenbaum writes, “As I was writing this chapter I was also watching a tape of the BBC- TV’s production of Romeo and Juliet and found myself arrested by a passage I’d long overlooked, one that almost seems as if Shakespeare were directing our attention to the notion of a secret play.”
  4. 4. What was the passage that arrested Rosenbaum’s attention so?• It was the speech by Juliet’s mother, where she advises her daughter to look favorably upon Paris, who wishes to marry Juliet.
  5. 5. Romeo and Juliet, Act I, scene iiiLady Capulet: What say you? can you love the gentleman?This night you shall behold him at our feast;Read oer the volume of young Paris face,And find delight writ there with beautys pen;Examine every married lineament,And see how one another lends contentAnd what obscured in this fair volume liesFind written in the margent of his eyes.This precious book of love, this unbound lover,To beautify him, only lacks a cover:The fish lives in the sea, and tis much prideFor fair without the fair within to hide:That book in manys eyes doth share the glory,That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;So shall you share all that he doth possess,By having him, making yourself no less.
  6. 6. Rosenbaum writes:…on another level it’s about a book, a textthat has a secret story locked within it.The secret story to be found “within tohide,” obscured from he direct glanceperhaps, only to be found “written in themargent.” Only by finding that secret story canone then “share all that he (the author ofthe secret story, that is Shakespeare) dothpossess.” (pages 378-9)
  7. 7. Ron Rosenbaum’s observation was both brilliant and prescient !!!• I read his book in 2006, when it came out. A few years later I was wondering why Romeo and Juliet started with 2 obscure people discussing coal. After a circuitous route of research, I decided that Romeo and Juliet was an allegory about Mankind and the Sun. And then I happened to reread Rosenbaum’s book and found the passage speculating about a secret play.
  8. 8. I was intensely pleased to find that someone with Rosenbaum’s profound understanding of Shakespeare had spotted something that might support what I had found.(Thank you, Mr. Rosenbaum, if you arereading this. Your book is wonderful on so many levels!)
  9. 9. And I wonder if reading Ron Rosenbaum’s book unconsciously prepared my mind to embrace theradical idea of a secret play in Romeo andJuliet. (I made my discovery in 2010, four years after reading The Shakespeare Wars.)
  10. 10. Another Favorite Shakespeare Scholar I would like to introduce you to is Hilary GattiShe is famous for her scholarly work on GiordanoBruno. I find her books to be so full of passionateengagement with Bruno. Reading her work, you canfeel you have partly penetrated the mind of GiordanoBruno. She cares deeply about this man, who sufferedso much, and brings his ideas to life in an erudite andimmensely detailed way.
  11. 11. Hey, wait a minute!• I said Hilary Gatti was a famous scholar of Giordano Bruno, right?• So where does Shakespeare come in?• OK, she only wrote a little bit about him.• But it’s very, very good indeed!!!!• First, you have to get ahold of a copy of Gatti’s The Renaissance Drama of Knowledge (London:Routledge) 1989
  12. 12. I will not go into so many details here• (That would be telling.......)• But let me merely say that Gatti got almost everything right.• And I JUST love where she suggests that Shakespeare “carried out a deliberate erasure of his personality and personal faiths, and with good reason.” (p. 116)
  13. 13. What then follows is my favorite sentence from Gatti’s book:• “For had (Shakespeare’s) dramas been fully understood by the public, it is unlikely that he would have been able to pass those years of prosperous retirement at Stratford where he would be enshrined, shortly after his death, in a statue which shows him as a wealthy, self- satisfied bourgeois citizen.” (p.116)• “Good heavens!” was what I thought when I first read that. That is the sort of thing you won’t hear in college, I guess!
  14. 14. • I shall just leave it there, without drawing too many conclusions and so forth.………As Hamlet said, “And still your fingers onyour lips, I pray.”THANK YOU to Hilary GATTI !!!!A brilliant star of a scholar in the academicfirmament!
  15. 15. The third scholar is the late Dame Frances YatesI will not go into details here either.Let me just say that if you rummage carefullythrough her works you will easily find her viewson Shakespeare.She was mainly a scholar of Renaissancethought. She also specialized in Giordano Bruno.Her books are classics. You can read themblissfully for hours. Was there anything aboutthe Renaissance that she did not know?
  16. 16. The End• I thank you, dear reader, for your patience in carrying on with this slideshow until now.• I am much in your debt.• You can read my other slideshow called The Secret of Shakespeare if you wish to see the secret play in more detail.