he was not a she: sublimation of desire

Great Shakes. The Shakespeare industry. A large thriving occupation keeping out literature departments on the cutting edge of world leadership. Mix that with the present trend for “authenticity” a search for the genuine and we have the makings of a major media shindig. There is something about conspiracy theories, the idea we have been had in some way. Whether Kennedy, The Queen , The World Trade Center, we are talking of a conspiracy industry of which The Davinci Code is an example. One of the most enduring conspiracies is that Shakespeare is not the author of his works.

That is, a nominally educated  son of a glover was not the Bard of Avon. The most sticky alternative, one endorsed by Freud, Welles and Henry James is the proposition, the candidacy of the Earl of Oxford. .John Hudson is the latest, in a he was a she theory, the Bard was a woman of Italian background and Jewish descent. Even the celebrated Harold Bloom could not resist the Shakespeare pulpit when in Harper’s magazine claimed that Lucy Negro, an East Indian prostitute penned the works based on her feminist, post-colonial attitude, in part. Better he should continue the touchy feely exercises at Yales with the like of Naomi Wolf.

---What are your comments on the ‘Declaration of Reasonable Doubt'? Scholars and students are distressed about the debate… I think it is a lot of nonsense. The evidence that Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to him (which include a few collaborations with other dramatists) is irrefutable. Articles and books are written and films are made spending thousands of pounds in support of the conspiracy theory which has no basis whatsoever. This crap came about in the middle of 19th century when Shakespeare's genius flourished worldwide. It all started in the 1850s when the American teacher and writer, Delia Bacon (no relation to Francis Bacon), started to suggest that the plays had been written by a committee of people, led by Sir Francis Bacon....Read More:http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/article2450489.ece

This was from a very erudite and scholarly debunking article that can be read as definitive:

Pretty dramatic stuff, but the theory is fallacious, and the story is deeply flawed.

Written by Michael Posner, the Reform Judaism cover story is recycled from his 2008 piece in Queen’s Quarterly, and it highlights conclusions of John Hudson, credited with being a graduate of the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute and author of an 800-page unpublished book about the “real” author of Shakespeare’s plays….

Read More:http://www.executedtoday.com/2008/06/07/1594-rodrigo-lopez-shylock-inspiration/

…The overly credulous magazine piece has been structured to sway readers through half-truths and faulty reasoning. Like most people who propose alternative candidates as writers of the plays, the author first has to discredit Shakespeare’s authorship before he can go about laying the groundwork for his own favorite candidate. But Hudson’s reasons for doubting Shakespeare’s authorship, as reported by Posner, are naïve, false, or both. It’s claimed by Posner that we don’t know much about Shakespeare yet he seems to have known a great deal about many things—how did he acquire such a rich store of knowledge and experience? We also don’t have any surviving manuscripts in the man’s own handwriting, and there supposedly aren’t any contemporary reports about his playwriting. So we don’t really have proof that Shakespeare wrote the plays, and even some distinguished Shakespearean actors today doubt that he wrote the plays. Read More:http://www.bibliobuffet.com/book-brunch-columns-322/1304-anyone-but-shakespeare-062010a

---I think it’s fascinating, how we tend to hold onto the old ways of seeing things, even after having made a tremendous (and even courageous) shift of perspective by accepting the possibility of Oxford as Shakespeare.--- Read More:http://hankwhittemore.wordpress.com/tag/elizabeth-trentham/

The enigma of Shakespeare authorship, and what gives the deniers to portal from which to fulmigate centers around sexuality. In particular the ambiguous sexual orientation of Shakespeare, the effeminate element that portends plausibly to In the case of female authorship. In Richard Halpern’s “Shakespeare’s Perfume” he seems to nail the issue,though ostensibly he is not concerned with the authorship conspiracy theories. Sodomy at the time was a legal and theological category, and as he asserts, became enmeshed with aesthetic issues since the beginning of the Western and in this case English art and cultural scene; ” an aesthetics of the sublime” that provided an idealization and sublimation of desire:

Shakespeare’s sonnets, a sublimating interpretation has been both encouraged and complicated by the fact that most of the sequence’s poems are addressed to a young man. The most famous and–I will argue–the most profound instance of such an interpretation occurs in Oscar Wilde’s novella “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.” Wilde’s fictional critic Cyril Graham depicts Shakespeare as the victim of a largely desexualized but still somewhat intoxicating fascination with the beauty and personality of the man whom Graham “identifies” as a young actor named Willie Hughes. Graham goes on to argue that not only Shakespeare’s sonnets but “the essentially male culture of the English Renaissance” derives much of its inspiration from Ficino’s translation of Plato’s Symposium, wh

extols a decorporealized love between men. “There was a kind of mystic transference of the expressions of the physical sphere to a sphere that was spiritual, that was removed from gross bodily appetite, and in which the soul was Lord” .Read More:http://emc.eserver.org/1-2/halpern.html

…Halpern:In Shakespeare’s sonnets, the young man is sometimes depicted as sublimate, sometimes as sublimating agent–both product and radiant source of alchemical refinement. The waste remainder is associated primarily (though not exclusively) with woman, as in Donne. In fact, Shakespeare’s Dark Lady embodies every aspect of what Nicholas Flamel calls the “dark moist dominion of woman.” But if the young man serves as the sublimated opposite of the Dark Lady, this is not to say that he is free of feminine attributes. Indeed, sonnet  dwells at length on the young man’s androgyny, though this “master mistress” is depicted as an even purer version of the idealized Petrarchan mistress. In sonnet 5, intimations of femininity surround the perfume bottle. Donne, for instance, writes of perfume: “By thee, the greatest stain to man’s estate/ Falls on us, to be called effeminate” . Moreover, the distilling of perfume from flowers is used elsewhere in Shakespeare as a metaphor for female sexual pleasure. Of course, perfume would seem to evoke the sweet Petrarchan mistress (as in sonnet 20) and not her abjected “other.” Yet in the early modern period, perfume was frequently used to cover the smells of unwashed or diseased bodies. Donne, typically, expresses what Shakespeare represses. His fourth elegy apostrophizes perfume in the following terms:

Base excrement of earth, which dost confound
Sense, from distinguishing the sick from sound;
By thee the silly amorous sucks his death
By drawing in a leprous harlot’s breath. (57-60) ( ibid.)


James’s contemporary George Bernard Shaw was his infinite superior as a playwright, and he had no doubt Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to him. Shaw saw Shakespeare’s genius this way: “[he] was extremely susceptible to word-music and to graces of speech; he picked up all sorts of odds and ends from books and from the street talk of his day and welded them into his work.” Shaw was no Bardolator, however, and “harbored an animus against Shakespeare for elbowing out other important playwrights: ‘It was hard for a serious playwright to get a word in edgewise.’ ”…Read More:http://www.bibliobuffet.com/book-brunch-columns-322/1304-anyone-but-shakespeare-062010

At the same time, the magic power of the media could be used to re-define previous ideas. “Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Beethoven will all make films,” concluded Benjamin, quoting the French film pioneer Abel Gance, “… all legends, all mythologies, all myths, all founders of religions, and the very religions themselves … await their exposed resurrection.” Read More:http://www.schillerinstitute.org/fid_91-96/921_frankfurt.html

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