Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fooled by the Folio

The paradigm is shifting. Current Shakespeare scholarship is catching on: "For many in the profession today, Shakespeare was not an author with a literary career but because constructed as such in the 1623 First Folio and then by subsequent generations." Shakespeare and Spenser: Attractive Opposites, Oxford U. 122 (page link)

This is because—during his lifetime—there is no evidence that Stratford's William Shakspere had a literary career. When he died in 1616 not a single literary tribute, nor epistolary reference, was offered by any contemporary poets; nor was there so much as a prosaic mention by anyone in the town were he'd lived most of his life. William did not become known as the author until the "rash enterprise" known as the Shakespeare First Folio in 1623.