Shakespeare Solved® versions of these plays solve the mysteries surrounding them by taking us back in time to see the plays as they were performed for the first time in history.


This blog explains these new versions, and explores the life and times of Shakespeare, in order to build support for my new film versions of the plays.


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1. Shakespeare's Shylock SOLVED 2. Shakespeare's Othello Finally Identified 3. Shakespeare In Love Sequel SOLVED 4. The Real Romeo and Juliet 5. Shakespeare's Schoolroom

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mark Rylance Shakespeare Muse of Fire Interview


I just watched Mark Rylance's interview for the Muse of Fire documentary.

It's a brilliant interview, and you shouldn't miss it.




I had the pleasure of seeing him on Broadway, as Olivia in Twelfth Night and as Richard III. I wrote about them here and here.

I was very excited to see this interview, since Rylance is arguably the greatest living Shakespearean actor.

After watching the interview, there is no argument. He is the greatest living Shakespearean actor. 




In the process of performing so much Shakespeare (some 50 productions of Shakespeare and his contemporary playwrights) and in his capacity as the first artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe, he tore down the wall between the audience and the actors on stage in order to recreate the most authentic playing experience. This experience was very close to the one that Shakespeare knew, some 400 years ago.

In other words, no other actor understands how to perform Shakespeare the way Shakespeare would recognize.

But, Mr. Rylance did not go far enough. He did not take the final step in his lifelong journey to find the authentic Shakespeare form of performance.


As Olivia in Twelfth Night

In this excellent documentary, he explains how over the years he became accustomed to seeing the faces in the audience, and hearing the noises the audience made, whether it was a laugh, or a sigh, or a cough, or the silence they make when they are fully engaged in the play.

But sometimes the audience would speak back to the actors while they were performing. During a performance of Henry V, an impatient man said: "Move it along."

Mr. Rylance, to his great credit, took this as a challenge, and did not just reject their behaviour as rude and irrelevant. He actually began to anticipate people in the audience who would say things. Instead of thinking of the audience as something apart from the stage and the actors, he began to think of the people in the audience as actors, too! How brilliant! 

He realized that even if the audience is rude and interrupts the actors on the stage, it is "great" because they are engaged in the play. He and the other actors would try to play back to the audience if they spoke aloud to the stage.

What Mr. Rylance and his fellow actors were attempting was truly brilliant.

But they did not go far enough.


As Richard III

One of the very first discoveries I made when I started writing my own versions of Shakespeare's plays, is that the audiences in Shakespeare's time spoke back to the actors all the time. In fact, I think Shakespeare was so accustomed to this that he anticipated it in his writing, and he wrote certain moments in every play that not only expected audience feedback, but elicited it!

These moments in Shakespeare's plays are today called "soliloquies," when an actor speaks TO an audience. But nowhere does Shakespeare himself use the word "soliloquy." I am convinced that Shakespeare was writing "colloquies," where the actor speaks WITH an audience. Not a monologue but a dialogue.

Near the end of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech, as Ophelia arrives, he says: "Soft you now, the fair Ophelia!"

"Soft you now" means "be quiet" or "hush." Hamlet is not telling himself to be quiet. He is not telling Ophelia to be quiet. He is telling the audience to be quiet.

Why would the audience speak with Hamlet at this moment in the play? Well, he is trying to decide between living or killing himself. Naturally, the audience would be telling him to continue his struggle, and get revenge.


As Hamlet, in 1988

When Hamlet discovers Claudius at prayer, he doesn't know whether to kill Claudius or not. This is yet another example of how Shakespeare elicited a vocal response from the audience. In the audience there would be people who would say "Kill Claudius now and have your revenge!" while others would caution against it.

Again and again, in every single play, there are moments where Shakespeare not only expected the audience to speak, but was encouraging it.

Why?

Mr. Rylance makes an excellent point that performing a play is like a tennis match or a game of football. He is absolutely right. And I have never been to a sporting event where the crowd is absolutely silent.

Shakespeare knew this too. Arguably the greatest competition he had for his plays was a bear-baiting match, where the audience would bet for or against a bear that is torn apart by hounds. I suspect the audience for those kinds of events were very very loud, and it was one of the few times in their daily existence where they could shout as loud as they liked.


As Richard II, in 2003

That was what Shakespeare, writing plays, had to compete with. An Elizabethan theatre-goer might struggle to decide what to see as they stood outside the Theatre in Shoreditch: "Should I spend my money on Shakespeare's play Richard III, or spend my money on a bear-baiting match at the Curtain theatre, only a stone's throw away?"

Shakespeare had to allow his audience to vent their anger, let them yell, and let off some steam while watching his plays. People want to be heard and be seen. Going to a play was a spectator sport, where the audience could be just as important as the actors on the stage.

In fact, the audience is more important. Without the audience, there is no play. Without his audience, Shakespeare could not write. His audience was the light that guided and illuminated his plays. I wrote about this in greater detail here.

I truly wish that Mr. Rylance returns to the stage again, and performs some Shakespeare soon. I hope that he might try this approach with the audience. I think it would be a thrilling moment for him as an actor, and a revolutionary moment for the audience.

He has spent his professional life trying to tear down the wall that divides the actors from the audience. I think that wall would come crashing down as soon as he looks at the audience more often and speaks not to them, but with them.




Also, without Mark Rylance, who else is there that can or would devote so much of their life to Shakespeare? The world is in desperate need of actors with that ambition and talent. 

He has spent so many years blazing this trail, and discovering so much about Shakespeare that was all but lost. Without him, I fear we may lose it all again, and the wall that divides the audience and the actors will rise higher and higher.

I should add that, in the interview, he does discuss the authorship question in some detail. He believes that there is more to the story, for the authorship of the plays, than is found in the story of the man from Stratford. He has researched the possibility that the Earl of Oxford may have written them, or Mary Sidney, or Francis Bacon.

I don't believe that anyone else wrote the plays, but I don't believe that Shakespeare wrote them in a vacuum. For example, one of his artistic patrons was William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. Pembroke's mother was Mary Sidney. It is entirely possible that Shakespeare knew her, and she must have had a great influence over all of Shakespeare's plays.

In any event, as much as I am put off by Mr. Rylance's interest in these other authorship candidates, I could not help but agree with him that there is more to the story. I just have a different story, one he has not yet heard.

Also, as much as he has clearly studied the plays, and how to perform them, and the history of how they have been performed, I did not hear him speak about Elizabethan and Jacobean history. I wonder to what degree he knows what was happening in Shakespeare's lifetime, and how these events influenced, and could have produced, the man from Stratford.

Finally, there is a moment in the interview when one of the documentarians, Giles Terera, asks how a knowledge of the history of Shakespeare's life, or who in fact really wrote them, could make a difference to someone watching the play today. As Giles puts it: "How does that help my auntie enjoy the play?"

I would say that without the knowledge of the history of Shakespeare's life, or who wrote the plays, and why the plays were written -- we may never understand what the plays really mean. 

If we don't understand what they mean, then we are not truly appreciating what Shakespeare wrote, and the plays have over the course of 400 years have become corrupted. My work has been to strip the plays of our modern corruptions and return them to their proper historical context.

I hope you watch this remarkable interview, and I hope you watch the other free interviews from Muse of Fire. Also, you should not miss the Muse of Fire documentary itself. It is very entertaining.

Cheers,




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Friday, January 23, 2015

Ian McKellen's Shakespeare Muse of Fire Interview


I just watched Ian McKellen's full interview for the Muse of Fire documentary.

It's fantastic!




In case you haven't heard about it, Muse of Fire is a documentary with interviews with many of the greatest Shakespearean actors today: Judi Dench, Brian Cox, Mark Rylance, James Earl Jones, Tom Hiddleston, Ewan McGregor and so forth.

The documentary itself is a lot of fun, and you can get it online (here) but the filmmakers have given us a special bonus -- they put the full interviews online -- and for FREE!

You can find them here, on the Shakespeare's Globe Globe Player: 


I watched Judi Dench's interview recently (my thoughts here) and I couldn't wait to watch Ian McKellen's.

I could listen to Ian McKellen talk about Shakespeare forever, and to hear him recite Shakespeare is a greatly entertaining. It is just so wonderful to hear such an eminent actor, who has spent most his professional life working in Shakespeare, talk about something he so obviously loves.


As King Lear, with Sylvester McCoy as Fool


In case you don't know his Shakespeare work, and you only know him through the X-Men films and Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films, you must start watching them now. Some of them are available on DVD, like his magnificent King Lear, and Macbeth with Judi Dench, or his Richard III film.


As Macbeth with Judi Dench


I love how self-deprecating he is, when he says that he has had to work on Shakespeare, to slog through it during his career, while actors like Judi Dench are seemingly born knowing how to perform it!

He covers a lot of topics, and his insights are quite interesting, and I think they would be of special value to actors who are just starting their careers, or have turned to Shakespeare for the first time.


As Richard III


He speaks repeatedly about iambic pentameter, and demonstrates it with his handy Riverside edition of Shakespeare. What I enjoyed was how he explained that the language is not poetry, but dramatic verse. He reads Shakespeare to find how Shakespeare directs the actor through the language, and through the blank verse that predominates the plays.

He comes back to this over and over again. "It's all conveyed in the words." The story, the feelings, the meaning -- it's all in the words. It doesn't matter how old the actor is, what costume they wear, what the sets look like -- the words are of paramount importance. He fears that many actors are tempted to overact Shakespeare, when they should be just trusting the language -- it's all in the words.

He emphasizes the importance of the language, the actors and the audience. This "complicity" he describes between the actors and the audience, the smaller the theatre and more intimate the setting the better, where the real magic happens.


As Prospero in The Tempest


He demonstrates this process he has by looking at 5 lines in Romeo and Juliet and a few lines in The Winter's Tale. It is fascinating to watch how his mind works as he explores the meaning of the words, which leads to an understanding of the lines, then an understanding of the characters, then the scene, and eventually the entire play unfolds for him.

He has some very funny tips as well, such as using pauses to get the audience to pay attention to him, and using an Irish accent when reading Shakespeare!

Finally, he also said that the reason he has done so much Shakespeare in his career is because he loves the plays, he wants to bring them to more people by performing them, and he enjoys solving the problems inherent in the plays.

What I find interesting about this is that he never discusses the historical context in which the plays were written. I would be very curious to know if he has studied the Elizabethan/Jacobean world in which Shakespeare wrote. If he has not studied it, I think he should, since it might get him much closer to solving the plays.

I hope you watch this great and historic interview, and are inspired to watch the other Muse of Fire interviews and buy the online documentary. This type of project is long overdue, and if we want any more interviews like this, we should watch what we have available to us now.

Cheers,




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Monday, January 19, 2015

Was Shakespeare In Prison?


I recently wrote about Katherine Duncan-Jones’s theory that when Twelfth Night was first performed in 1602, the part of Malvolio was performed by Shakespeare himself.

In her invaluable book, Ungentle Shakespeare, She argues that Shakespeare, in performing Malvolio, was making fun of himself, and in wearing the yellow stockings and black garters, he is mocking his own coat of arms that had a similar design.


Stephen Fry as Malvolio

I agree, and found that Shakespeare also made fun of the same coat of arms, with the image of a falcon on it, by constantly referring to Malvolio as a “gull,” or a stupid bird. Shakespeare was ridiculing his own ambitious efforts to become a gentleman.

But there is more to this story.

Twelfth Night was first performed in the beginning of 1602 at the Middle Temple, one of the Inns of Court. The year before had been a very busy year in Shakespeare’s life.

On 7 February, 1601, Shakespeare’s acting company performed his Richard II play, about the deposing and murder of King Richard II. It was an old play, written about 1595, and was a special request by men associated with Shakespeare’s friend and patron, the Earl of Essex.


The Earl of Essex

As I have written before, the Richard II play has a very controversial political message, and may have been seen by Queen Elizabeth, and especially by her counsellours as a weapon against her.

The very next day, with hundreds of young men from the finest families, Essex led a failed rebellion against Queen Elizabeth, and her court which included Robert Cecil, her right hand man. Cecil was the most powerful man in England, arguably even more powerful than the queen herself. It was the greatest threat to a monarch in England’s history.


Robert Cecil

Essex and several of his co-conspirators were executed. Others were imprisoned, like Shakespeare’s other great friend and artistic patron, the Earl of Southampton. Many more men were made to pay heavy fines and then released.

Shakespeare’s playing company was questioned, but they were not punished. Despite their close connection to Essex, and the fact that they performed the Richard II play the day before, there is no record of any imprisonment or fines against them.

Months later, Shakespeare wrote his cryptic poem The Phoenix and the Turtle — in which he refers to an eagle, a fowl, a swan and a crow — perhaps to make amends for his association with Essex. Many scholars, including Katherine Duncan-Jones have concluded that the Phoenix in the poems refers to Queen Elizabeth. One piece of evidence to support this theory is the Phoenix portrait of the queen, from 1575:




In September of that year, Shakespeare’s father John died, and it is reasonable to believe that Shakespeare went back to Stratford around this time.

I have proposed a theory that Shakespeare also took this time to re-write a play that he may have staged before, perhaps as many as three times before, during the 1590s. 

It was a play that perhaps had the most personal meaning for him, and he may have found one more version of this play that would accomplish many things: it would help him mourn his father and honor his memory, it would help him and the rest of London mourn the passing of Essex, it would be something of a epitaph for not only Essex but also the other young men whose lives were lost in the reign of Queen Elizabeth (like Ferdinando Stanley, Lord Strange, who was rumored to have died of poison, and for whom Shakespeare had once been an actor/playwright) but the play could serve as an epitaph for the century that had passed. 

The play could also serve as a reminder that while Queen Elizabeth was a glorious monarch, and she had ushered in a Golden Age, there was much that was not so golden, and that London had become something of a prison, and there was something rotten in the state of England.

That play would was Hamlet.




I have written before that based on the evidence I have studied, the best estimate for the date when Hamlet (the play as we know it today) was first performed was on 10 November 1601. That day was Essex’s birthday.

In the version of Hamlet I wrote, I propose that Shakespeare was punished by the authorities for performing Hamlet in honor of Essex. I suspect that Shakespeare was put in prison and interrogated, in the Tower of London.

In order to punish him without resorting to physical torture, I think he was put in what might be described the scariest place in the Tower, a chamber known as Little Ease. This chamber is only 4 square feet, so the prisoner can never find any comfortable position to either lie down or stand up.


The Tower of London


Many scholars marvel at the idea that while other playwrights were punished with imprisonment and real physical torture, Shakespeare never was. Ben Jonson was in constant trouble with the law. Thomas Kyd was tortured by the authorities, and probably died from the wounds he suffered in prison. For all we know, Shakespeare might have been physically tortured, too. For all we know, these wounds may have contributed to his decline in health, and led to his death in 1616.

I propose that Shakespeare was in fact in trouble with Queen Elizabeth’s court, and Robert Cecil in particular. As I have written before, Shakespeare made Cecil a target in his plays over the years. Cecil can be found in the character of Richard III, in Don John in Much Ado, in Polonius in Hamlet, and so on. These are always unflattering depictions of Cecil, who at court was Essex’s nemesis. Since Shakespeare was Essex’s friend, then that would make Shakespeare and Cecil enemies, too.

I think that Shakespeare was released from prison for many reasons, not the least of which was the potential damage to Queen Elizabeth’s name and legacy if the most celebrated playwright in her nation was jailed.

If I am correct that Shakespeare was put in prison in November 1601, then he would have been released in time to write Twelfth Night and perform it in February 1602.

How curious then that the very next play Shakespeare writes, with himself as Malvolio, puts him in a prison.

In that scene, Sir Topas ridicules Malvolio, who is in what is described as a “dark room” inside Olivia’s house. In productions, such as the Shakespeare Globe, this room is made to look like a prison cell. 





Is Shakespeare referring to a specific place where he himself was imprisoned? Is he referring to the Tower perhaps, to Little Ease itself?

Sir Topas asks Malvolio if he knows about Pythagoras’s doctrine of metempsychosis, the transmigration of the soul, and how the human soul can be re-incarnated into another human, or even an animal. Malvolio shows he understands the doctrine, and uses an example: “That the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird.”

This is an odd statement, and it is unclear who the “grandam” is. The play is full of birds:  gull, wren, woodcock, and turkey-cock. He uses three terms for different hawks: haggard, staniel, and coystrill. 

Is it possible that Shakespeare is referring to his The Phoenix and the Turtle poem, which is equally full of birds? Is it possible that Shakespeare’s “grandam” is Queen Elizabeth, whom he is saying might be re-incarnated as a bird? 

After all, a phoenix is a bird that is reborn, and it is associated with metempsychosis.

Malvolio goes on to say that he doesn’t agree with Pythagoras and metempsychosis. As a Christian, he wouldn’t agree with such a pagan belief.

I should add that there may be some deeper significance to this moment. Hamlet says “we defy augury” and that there is a “special providence in the fall of a sparrow.” Augury is the pagan interpretation of the will of the gods by studying how birds fly. Hamlet is saying that he does not agree with this pagan belief, and that God has a hand in everything, even a sparrow’s death.

This language in Hamlet, which is so clearly reflected in Twelfth Night, would seem to suggest that Shakespeare was grappling with the loss of Essex, and found comfort in the thought that it was God’s plan that Essex would die when and how he did. 

Or, at the very least it suggests that Twelfth Night is not unrelated to Hamlet, and that both plays are not unrelated to the events of the Essex Rebellion.

Sir Topas tells Malvolio that he will not conclude he is sane unless Malvolio agrees with Pythagoras, and fears to kill a bird, a “woodcock” because it might contain the soul of the “grandam.”





A “woodcock” is a stupid bird. It is a synonym of“gull” which is how Shakespeare describes Malvolio, or rather himself as Malvolio.

With this in mind, it is possible to translate Sir Topas’s line: if you harm even a stupid bird, you harm the “grandam” who is Queen Elizabeth. If this is what this line means, then it supports the idea that Shakespeare, a stupid bird, was not harmed because it would have harmed the queen.

In this prison scene, Malvolio begs for four things: a candle, a pen, ink and paper. He wants to write to Olivia, to plead his case and beg for release.

If Shakespeare was in prison for having performed Hamlet in November 1601, these are the things he would have most likely requested. Shakespeare may have wanted to write to Queen Elizabeth to plead his case and beg for release.

Or, looked at another way, what are a candle, a pen, ink and paper to Shakespeare? The tools without which he could not live. They represent life. 

It is almost impossible to understand precisely what Shakespeare was writing and why he wrote what he did. But in looking at Katherine Duncan-Jones’s excellent and perceptive analysis of Twelfth Night, where she describes Shakespeare on stage, as Malvolio, the butt of all the jokes, in front of law students at the Middle Temple, laughing at him as he happily holds himself up to ridicule, it is also possible to imagine that they were also celebrating the fact that Shakespeare may have been imprisoned and is now free.

And like Malvolio, who is released from prison, and whose last line on stage is “I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you!” it is possible that Shakespeare, now free, is exacting his revenge on those who put him in prison by writing and performing this Twelfth Night play.

If we consider Twelfth Night -- performed almost one year to the day that Essex led his rebellion -- with this in mind, it becomes less a funny and diverting entertainment, and becomes a celebration of free speech and a victory over the often tyrannous political forces in Elizabeth’s court.

Whatever happened to Shakespeare, whether he was put in prison, whether he was tortured, or even if in fact he was never at all punished by the queen, Twelfth Night can be considered Shakespeare's revenge on the queen's court for having punished Essex so severely.

Cheers,




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Friday, January 16, 2015

Keira Knightley and Shakespeare


Congratulations Keira Knightley for her Oscar nomination!

I don’t usually write about nominations like this, but this is a special case.




I am so pleased that she was nominated. Her performance was so excellent in The Imitation Game. If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t miss it. It is the best film of the year.

But also, her work with Benedict Cumberbatch (nominated for Best Actor) was some of the greatest moments on screen in her career. The chemistry the two of them have together is unusually electric and exciting.

And while Benedict Cumberbatch is a great actor, and deserves acclaim and I do think he gave the best performance by a male actor all year, he could not have risen to that level without the superb assistance of Keira Knightley.

You might say that actors are only as good as the actors with them, and in this case, Keira and Benedict really pushed each other to perform at their very best.

Finally, it is exciting to see two such fine actors working together on screen. As you may have read here before here and here, I would love to see them together in this Shakespeare Solved series of films.




do hope that they don't wait too long to find projects to re-unite them in the future.

And as Keira has recently said, perhaps she should be the genius female next time!

Cheers,

David B. Schajer

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Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare's Henry V


Yesterday was the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, on 15 January 1559.




I have written about that coronation before (here), and I was trying to think of something new to write about her this year.

I read something not long ago that struck me, and I would like to share it with you.

Queen Elizabeth I was a romantic. And she could take a joke. It would seem that she had a very healthy, and bawdy, sense of humour.

As I was reading Neil MacGregor’s Shakespeare’s Restless World — which I reviewed not long ago (here), and you really must read it — he quickly mentions the importance of the character of Katherine de Valois in Shakespeare’s Henry V play.

He mentions that as much as Queen Elizabeth would have liked to consider herself descended from Henry V, she was not. She was descended from Katherine and her second husband, Owen Tudor.

Mr. MacGregor says that Shakespeare was very shrewd to include the “captivating” Katherine in the play, and to depict her and Henry V as “the celebrity couple of everyone’s dreams.”

What is striking about this, if Shakespeare wrote Katherine specifically for Queen Elizabeth’s entertainment, then it says a great deal about Queen Elizabeth.

When we first meet Katherine in the play, she is struggling to learn English from Alice, her lady-in-waiting. The scene is very amusing, but by the end it becomes something more. There is a bawdy punch-line to the entire scene. 

(If you haven’t seen it, the Shakespeare’s Globe production with Jamie Parker as Henry V is excellent. Olivia Ross as Katherine and Lisa Stevenson as Alice are superb, and they are the funniest I have ever seen.)

Here is a clip from that scene, but it does not include the  bawdy joke:




So, when Shakespeare wrote that bawdy joke, he knew that it would have entertained Queen Elizabeth.

As much as Shakespeare knew that a bawdy joke like that would have made the audience at the Globe laugh, he didn’t really write it for them. He wrote it for his queen.

The second time we see Katherine, it is a hilarious and very romantic scene where King Henry woos her.




This is a scene that would have entertained anyone at the Globe, and everyone at court. But again, if we look at it from the perspective of what it meant to Queen Elizabeth, there is a sweet romantic quality to the scene, that is somewhat unique in Shakespeare’s plays. The characters both reveal themselves to each other in ways that we have not seen before, and their vulnerability is very touching.

 This scene also has no bawdiness like the earlier scene. Why? Perhaps Shakespeare knew that to include more bawdiness might be politically incorrect.

What does this scene say about Queen Elizabeth?

Well, by the time she saw the play, around 1599, she was 66 years old, yet it would seem that she could still remember what it was like to be young, like Katherine, and to be wooed. She still had a heart that craved romance.

There are other characters in Shakespeare’s plays which I identify as written to resemble his queen, such as Portia in Merchant of Venice, and that other Kate, in Taming of the Shrew. I think they tell us about Queen Elizabeth’s other qualities, like mercy, and temper.

But for now, to honor and remember Queen Elizabeth I, it is enough to say that, from what he see in the Katherine/Henry V scenes, she was a monarch who had a great sense of humour and had the heart of an princess until her final years.

Cheers,


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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shakespeare and Orlando Bloom


Happy Birthday Orlando Bloom!

Wouldn’t he be great in some Shakespeare?




I saw him as Romeo in 2013, and he was great. I thought the play should have not had a modern setting, but other than that I thought the production was good, and that he should definitely do more Shakespeare.


On Broadway as Romeo


He would be great in any number of roles, such as Henry V, Coriolanus, and I think he would make a great Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew. I would love to see him as Mark Antony, in Antony and Cleopatra, too.

But even more than that, I would love to see him in my series of Shakespeare Solved films.

He obviously enjoys playing in period films, and period costumes, so why not the Elizabethan/Jacobean periods?

Whenever I see him, I think of Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, who was one of Shakespeare’s greatest friends and most loyal patrons. And oddly enough, it was for Southampton that Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet.


The Earl of Southampton, the real Romeo

Orlando Bloom would make a great Southampton, whose character is very prominent in my Shakespeare Solved versions of the plays.




What do you think?

If you agree with me that he should be in more Shakespeare, and should do this Shakespeare Solved series, please show your support on  facebookTwitterPinterestGoogle Plus or Tumblr.

Your support will really make a difference!

And your comments are always welcome!

Cheers,
David B. Schajer

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