Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Shakespeare Day

I feel obliged to point out that today might have been William Shakespeare's birthday. He was baptized on April 26th, 1564. It is assumed by some (and contested by others) that in those days, baptisms in the Church of England took place three days after a child's birth. It's known that Shakespeare did die on April 23rd, 1616, so the symmetry of it all was probably hard to resist. That and the fact that the 23rd is also the Feast of St. George, mythical dragon-slayer and patron saint of England. Lacking any hard evidence for the Bard's birth on this day, and reluctant to celebrate something as morbid as a deathday, I'll just call it Shakespeare Day.

My intention was to get up a long post about The Authorship Controversy today, tracing the whole history of the anti-Stratfordians--supporters of Bacon, Marlowe, or Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford. But I just finished two longish posts this week, and I'm not really ready to get all into it right now. So, I promise this post will be forthcoming, after I finish the two Merchant of Venice  films and before I start anything else. Somewhere in there there will also be a hiatus while I--as has become my wont--consider the future of this blog, given its, um, rather modest readership and my limited time.

So, happy Shakespeare day. Even if you don't believe he wrote all these marvelous plays, narrative poems and sonnets, the guy must have had some excellent karma to get the credit, don't you think?  Personally, I'm a traditionalist. And the undercurrent of snobbery in the arguments of many of these nay-sayers annoys me. What really seems to bother them is that William Shakespeare simply lacks the proper pedigree. Keats wasn't an aristocrat, either, and his poetry still leaves Byron's in the dust.

Well. I'll get into that later. For now, light a candle for the Bard, whoever he was. His work continues to teach us that evil exists, but courage matters. That pain is unavoidable, but not unendurable. And that our greatest gift is not reason, or even imagination, but love.


  1. Happy Birthday to the Bard! Love the picture with his hat! Too cute.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts about the authorship controversy. I'm fascinated with it, but haven't done enough research to form my own opinions...

  2. I haven't really digested it all, either, Traci--but I have a friend who recently "came out" to me as a "passionate Oxfordian," so I was inspired to think about it, and do some more reading--should be a fun post to write.

  3. Sweet Will is 446 years old! Wow! And he doesn't read like a day over 430 years, don't you think? How my math . . .? Thanks for the smile, Gayle.