April 1, 2013 |
Oh, Will, you bad, bad Bard. All the time I've been defending you from the elitists and snobs who refuse to credit the idea that you, a mere glover's son, could have penned some of the most lyrical passages and memorable characters in the English language…. And how do you pay me back for sticking up for you and your authorship? As it turns out, by acting like a greedy, grasping robber baron. Amid all the centuries of grousing that the world doesn't know very much about William Shakespeare the man, researchers at Aberystwyth University in Wales have unearthed perhaps a wee bit more that we would like to know.
April 1, 2013 |
The Bard of Avon, who championed the downtrodden in plays like "Coriolanus," was a conniving character in his personal life, British researchers claim -- a tax dodger who profiteered in food commodities during a time of famine. William Shakespeare was fined repeatedly for illegally hoarding grain, malt and barley for resale during a time of food shortages. He also was threatened with jail for avoiding taxes, according to the study of court and tax archives by researchers at Aberystwyth University in Wales.
February 4, 2013 |
In America, we paved paradise and put up a parking lot. In Britain, they put up a parking lot and paved over a king. As my colleague Henry Chu reported : More than 500 years after his death in battle, scientists announced Monday that they had definitively identified a skeleton unearthed in northern England last summer as that of Richard III, the medieval king portrayed by William Shakespeare as a homicidal tyrant who killed his two...
April 23, 2012 |
Today is the 448th birthday of William Shakespeare -- that is, if you believe the widely held assumption that the Bard was born on April 23. Like many things involving the greatest playwright in the English language, the day of his birth is shrouded in mystery. Shakespeare is believed to have been born on this day in 1564 but there is no official record that confirms it. The future writer was baptized on April 26 and it was customary at the time for infants to be baptized three days after birth.
October 28, 2011 |
"Anonymous" — starring a sizable swath of Britain's resident acting class — is an ambitiously biting (gnawing?) literary whodunit turning on the Shakespeare question. As in, who really wrote all those seminal plays and sonnets, a long-running scholarly debate that (unlike the actual author) apparently will never die. That might sound like costume drama taken to deadly boring academic extremes. But surprisingly, in director Roland Emmerich's usually effects-heavy hands ("Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow" and oh so many more)
April 17, 2009 |
Were Homer more proximate to us in time, perhaps we'd worry the details of his daily life as furiously as we do William Shakespeare's. Perhaps -- but probably not. Homer, after all, wrote in Greek and, though Robert Fagles' and Richmond Lattimore's translations are everything a contemporary reader could want, their language is not the poet's.
March 10, 2009 |
The Bard, or not the Bard? That is the question posed by Monday's unveiling of a centuries-old portrait of a dark-eyed, handsome man in Elizabethan finery. Experts say it is the only portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his lifetime -- in effect, the sole source of our knowledge of what the great man looked like. But they can't be certain. In the shifting sands of Shakespeare scholarship, where even the authorship of the plays is sometimes disputed, nothing is written in stone.
July 20, 2008 |
If all the books ever written about William Shakespeare were strung together, they would ring the Earth. Yet for all these many inspired analyses, ardent appreciations, outrageous theories, convoluted interpretations and soporific rehashings, Shakespeare himself remains enigmatic, and his works still yield buried treasures and unforeseen illuminations. So the books keep coming. Jess Winfield adds a particularly bright link to the chain.
March 16, 2008 |
The day after the Pennsylvania primary, April 23, will be the 444th birthday of William Shakespeare. As we take a brief respite from nonstop election coverage to raise a glass to the Bard -- for surely Democrats and Republicans alike can agree on Shakespeare's genius? -- it's worth noting some words that do not appear in Shakespeare's works: "Democrat," "democracy," "republic," "Republican," "primary," "pundit," "delegate" ... not even "vote."