Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-7mfl8 Total loading time: 0.385 Render date: 2021-12-03T14:27:02.354Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Shakespeare’s Life, Times, and Stage

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2007

Stanley Wells
Affiliation:
University of Birmingham
Get access

Summary

In the recent crop of Renaissance studies, Eric Sams’ The Real Shakespeare must surely stand as one of the more contentious titles. With the recovery of the first thirty years of Shakespeare’s life as his stated aim, Sams presents a quirky case, erecting a thesis about the chronology and authenticity of the dramatist’s early productions on the basis of speculation and uncertain seventeenth-century biographical statement. The claim that Shakespeare came from an illiterate Catholic background, the observation that he left school to help on the family farm, the view that he was clearly named and identified in the Parnassus plays, and the conviction that the Earl of Southampton was a powerful presence behind the 1594 novella, Willobie his Avisa, are among the most surprising aspects of Sams’ argument. Equally problematic is the insistent conflation of biographical fact and textual detail, as revealed in the parallels drawn between imagery of blood in Shakespeare’s drama and his supposed experience of the butcher’s trade. For Sams, texts constitute codes to be deciphered or puzzles to be resolved through authorial identification, and to this end he asserts (unconvincingly) that Edmund Ironside, Fair Em, Locrine, The Taming of a Shrew, the Ur-Hamlet and other unassigned plays are all from the pen of the dramatist.

Type
Chapter
Information
Shakespeare Survey , pp. 298 - 310
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1996

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×