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Free eBook Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare – Wildlives.co

A Young Man From A Small Provincial Town Moves To London In The Late S And, In A Remarkably Short Time, Becomes The Greatest Playwright Not Of His Age Alone But Of All Time How Is An Achievement Of This Magnitude To Be Explained How Did Shakespeare Become Shakespeare Stephen Greenblatt Brings Us Down To Earth To See, Hear, And Feel How An Acutely Sensitive And Talented Boy, Surrounded By The Rich Tapestry Of Elizabethan Life, Could Have Become The World S Greatest Playwright A Pulitzer Prize And National Book Award Finalist I studied a lot of Shakespeare in college I just like that guy No one else can explore such huge themes so concisely and so beautifully, and I think he s the real deal.And he s hard to biographize, partly because we famously don t know a ton about him, but also I think partly because he was just something special Someone who wrote outside himself.So, for example, in this terrific biography, Greenblatt points out that it s kinda weird that Shakespeare s son died and he appeared not to deal with it at all he was writing some of his funniest comedies at the time WTF, say people who would like there to be neat connections between things And the answer isn t I argue that there s a big mystery that you should write your graduate thesis about It s just that Shakespeare was a tremendous literary power and he wrote what he wrote.Biographically speaking, there isn t much new in this book If you knew that Shakespeare was sortof a dick, that he left his wife the second best bed, and that a lot of his sonnets were pretty gay, you won t get your world rocked here But Greenblatt presents what we do know in a fun way If you ve read The Pulitzer winning Swerve, you know what an engaging writer he is Note Greenblatt subscribes to the boring and unimportant conspiracy theory that Shakespeare was a secret Catholic He wasn t and no one cares It s around chapter 9 for me that Will in the World moves from good to great, as Greenblatt gets into the serious analysis of Shakespeare s best works His comparison in this chapter between Merchant of Venice and Marlowe s terrific, savage Jew of Malta is the best I ve seen The essays that follow on Othello, Hamlet and Lear are brilliant, and they elevate this whole book from fun to indispensable.If you re looking to know about Shakespeare, you are now considering the correct book. To understand who Shakespeare was, it is important to follow the verbal traces he left behind back into the life he lived and into the world to which he was so open And to understand how Shakespeare used his imagination to transform his life into his art, it is important to use our own imagination There is no doubt he is an enigma, a man who quite possibly has had the greatest influence on the English language, and yet, strangely enough left very little personal correspondence behind It does seem like a man so gifted with words would have left behind mounds of letters, diaries, and journals If they did exist, they are long gone, burned, or buried, or wrapped around a fish for a servant girl, or used to make bindings for books It is interesting to think of a Shakespeare letter bound up in a book that is valued at a fraction of what his handwriting, hidden in the binding, would be worth It is as if Shakespeare erased himself, leaving only his monumental plays behind He married young, too young, to a much older woman It was not a happy marriage from what we know Much has been made of him leaving her the second best bed in his will He had three children Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith The later two were twins Hamnet died at eleven Hamnet Hamlet, quite possibly that play is the greatest ode ever written to a lost son Like all of the various aspects of life that Shakespeare observed or experienced, even the untimely and devastating death of his son, all of it, every scrap of it, contributed and influenced the stories the bard decided to tell Would Hamnet have grown up to be as tortured as Hamlet He heard things in the sounds of words that others did not hear he made connections that others did not make and he was flooded with a pleasure all his own I can only imagine the frustration that he must have felt being trapped in a marriage with a woman who could not even read the words he wrote He left his family in Stratford while he went to London to be an actor Some things can not be denied, and words must have been bubbling up in him like an overheated cauldron Christopher Marlowe was born in the same year as Shakespeare He was college educated, though his degree seems to have been obtained with some help from Sir Francis Walsingham He had everything that Shakespeare wanted, an education, debonair good looks, and a genius for playwriting As it turned out, Shakespeare had the most important one of the three Marlowe s influence on Shakespeare was profoundMarlowe was the only one of the university wits whose talent Shakespeare might have seriously envied, whose aesthetic judgment he might have feared, whose admiration he might have earnestly wanted to win, and whose achievements he certainly attempted to equal and outdoI do wonder what would have happened if Marlowe had lived another ten to twenty years Would Shakespeare have become Shakespeare Would he have conceded the field to Marlowe Would the competition have made him an even better playwright I have to believe it was lucky for Shakespeare that Marlowe exited life at the tender age of 29 I certainly wouldn t like to take a chance with an alternative history Christopher MarloweRobert Greene, a fellow scribbler, called Shakespeare the upstart crow which gives us an idea of an ambitious young man shouldering his way to the top He took off like a bolt of lightning writing plays that had his competitors dumbfounded, and had his audiences awestruck Stephen Greenblatt did not directly talk about the speculation that has swirled around Shakespeare for several hundred years, but the entire book could be considered an attempt to refutiate any thoughts that Shakespeare was merely a beard for someone else Societies to support one or another claimant have been created by people who are positive that Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, or Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford were the true authors of Shakespeare s plays Marlowe was a trickster, a spy, a counterfeiter, but it would still be quite the clever prank to become Shakespeare with a dagger protruding from his eye All three of the leading candidates to be the true Shakespeare are brilliant, fascinating men in their own right They are famous without being Shakespeare The odor lingering in the air like the dog fart smell that comes from that fat, slobbering pug at Grandmother s house is the most foul stench of people who can t believe that an undereducated lad from Stratford could write these plays He has been weighed, and measured, and found wanting They are of course forgetting about one thing Exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.synonyms brilliance, intelligence, intellect, ability, cleverness, brains, erudition,wisdom, fine mind artistry, flair the world knew of his genius talent, gift, flair, aptitude, facility, knack, bent, ability, expertise,capacity, faculty strength, forte, brilliance, skill, artistryOkay, I m going to name the white elephant in the room HE WAS A GENIUS Maybe he didn t have the most perfect credentials to become SHAKESPEARE, but he had the right brain He remembered everything he saw and heard and he was able to bring it all together and use it to make his stories than what anyone had ever experienced before They were authentic, personal, and incorporated new concepts that made the audience feel like they knew the characters in the same way they knew the pretty girl next door or their own grandfather or the smiling butcher down the street He placed his audience in the plays.He changed the world and with every new generation he continues to influence, teach, and elevate He left his family becausethere was something important within himWhat a tragedy it would have been if he had stayed in Stratford due to familial obligations He might have been a glover like his father He might have lived on the verge of bankruptcy his whole life like his father He might have strangled his wife and hanged He would have been a miserable, unfulfilled man nagged by a voice, a muse unused, who would whisper words of encouragement until the bitter end Unlike his generation of writers he was frugal with his money in London and invested wisely in real estate I too dabble in real estate so I always find it fascinating to read about his purchases and the sometimes convoluted ways the mortgage notes are written He bought his dream home in Stratford, a house called New Place with room for an expansive garden and a guest cottage He died in 1616 only a few years after retiring completely from the stage It was as if he d strayed too far from what had always sustained him New Place, StratfordThough there is too little known about Shakespeare, Stephen Greenblatt has written a very readable evaluation that examines what we know about the man, and what we know about the times Greenblatt convinced me that the clues to knowing Shakespeare are all there to be found coming from the lips of his greatest characters If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at I never thought this would happen to me, but while I was reading this book, I actually had a sense of nostalgia for Harold Bloom A woman I work with forced this book on me with the guarantee that I would adore it I later found out that she hates music like the Velvet Underground It s always people like that who are forcing book recommendations Not that there are people like that who hate the Velvet Underground I have a lot of faith that she is an isolated case.This book pretty much hit on every single thing I ever hate about books I know other people have said the writing was engaging, but I have to disagree One sentence was just a list of the types of businesses that existed in London in the late 16th century The businesses were grouped together in a way that let the author use some semi colons, and it seemed pretty clear to me that the whole purpose of the sentence was so that he could show he knew how to use semi colons If that is not the case, and the editors had to put those semi colons in, well god help us all.I think this book should be classified as historical fiction because every sentence is about how maybe this happened or if then Shakespeare could have thought There is a whole chapter devoted to speculating about whether Shakespeare had a happy marriage based on the marriages in his plays That makes me so mad Here s what I would read a book that compiles the documentary history related to Shakespeare and has a short explanation of what the document is I would be fine with that Speculation is so infuriating.I was dating this guy recently, and he only used the word film for movie, which drives me crazy And then one day, he asked me if I wanted to go have a romp in the sack, so I decided we should not go out any This is the book version of the phrase romp in the sack I am judging the soul of both this book and anyone who is passionate about it As to people who feel pretty neutral about it, you are okay, I will just assume the History of Elizabethan England class you took in college was only a survey. If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Nature Abhors a Vacuum Will in the World How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen GreenblattIs there a Shakespearean lover who does not know that there is precious little actual information about Shakespeare and as a result there are all these theories speculating about who he really was I ve read a few of them, and I ve always considered these to be crap that show us about the enthusiast of the theory than they do about Shakespeare I have read many books about Shakespeare, but none have provoked a mixed and reaction in me than Greenblatts There are some great weaknesses Read on As I was reading this what came into my mind was that celebrated statement, I think by AL Rowse that he was prepared to stake his reputation on the claim that all the Dark Lady from the sonnets 127 154 was in fact Emilia Lanier Never mind that it s never been clear that Lanier was a dark lady, let alone the Dark Lady or indeed, whether or not there was a real Dark Lady at all in real life By Jove, what if Shakespeare actually made the whole thing up What if Greenblatt wanted to give Rowse a run for his money when it comes to reinventing Shakespeare s life I m quite astonished that it found a publisher at all let alone that someone paid close to a million dollars to have it published I m not talking about being littered with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors the worst is the utter lack of scholarly accuracy e.g., Shakespeare hating Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare s Anti Jewishness, the meeting in Lancashire between Edmund Campion and the teenage Shakespeare, Falstaff as being a tribute both to Robert Greene and to Shakespeare s own father, the attempt at simplifying and normalizing the complex sexuality of Shakespeare, etc If you re into Shakespeare, read on.