Who Was William Shakespeare?

Who was the real person behind the pseudonymous William Shakespeare? For well over 200 years well-known literary figures and theatrical commentators have cast serious doubts over the genuine authorship of Shakespeare’s Folio first collated by John Heminges and Henry Condell and finally published by Thomas Thorpe in 1623. Currently, many mundane facts that have been unearthed about the Stratford actor William Shakspere of Stratford upon Avon do not correspond exactly to the complex picture we have subsequently drawn of the renowned Elizabethan playwright and poet “William Shake-speare”. This edition of Shakespeare’s Qaballah explores the character, skill and experience of the anonymous author and collates those serious doubts and theories on authorship for the layman. Subtitled “A Companion to Shakespeare Studies”, the 3-volume work may also be considered an in-depth miscellany, a compendium, a series of in-depth articles or reviews, or a general reference book for those wishing to know more about the social, historical and cultural background to the great English Bard’s literary and theatrical endeavours. It contains over fifty mini-biographies of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, alongside reviews of some 38 plays notably the Comedies, Tragedies, Romances and Histories as well as an analysis of the poetry attributed to the illustrious “Swan of Avon”.

Part One deals mainly with the authorship controversy; with an examination of some eight major candidates currently being proposed as the real author of the 1623 Folio. Part Two deals with the structural devices of Elizabethan theatre and literature while Part Three deals with the history plays and poetry attributed to “William Shakespeare”. Each section has several appendices covering Neo-Platonic and historical timelines including an introduction to cryptography for those hoping to uncover any secret messages hidden in Shakespeare’s work. This companion to Shakespeare studies makes a comparative analysis of those Elizabethan authors presumed to have contributed to or written the 1623 Folio, their talents, skills and facts of their life that might shed light upon or contribute towards resolving the controversial authorship debate. It is crammed with detailed information about the authorship controversy itself, the nature and style of Elizabethan theatre, the literary circles of the time, the histories of the monarchs featured in the history plays, and the dramatic and theatrical techniques employed. With every hope that Shakespeare enthusiasts, students of literature as well as theatre professionals should find interesting and revelatory. 

The links to my publications are as follows:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/8182537193
https://www.cyberwit.net/publications/1721

Published by Leonidas Kazantheos

For as long as I can remember I have been passionate about the arts, social change and the sustainable environment. After more than thirty years of voluntary and professional involvement commuting between Yorkshire and Lancashire while working in those areas I finally relocated to Buxton in 2013. This was after the birth of our son Gaspard and to further the career of my French partner, Francoise Collignon who is currently seeking work in the tourism sector. In 1988 I became the Regional co-ordinator for the National Artists Association in Manchester and helped promote the artistic revival in the region. At the turn of the millennium in 2001, while pursuing my vocational interest in symbolism and the natural world, I became involved in environmental conservation and the protection of green space in W. Yorkshire. I was elected editor for Calderdale Friends of the Earth, a monthly postal and online newsletter. In my spare time I was preoccupied as a writer, natural archivist and amateur poet. Over a period of five years I also worked briefly as an architectural technician, landscape designer and mural artist near Holmfirth where I gained invaluable insights into restoration and the development of Green Field and Brown Field sites. In my mid-forties I relocated from Halifax, W. Yorkshire to Manchester where I worked as an artist and freelance set designer for several photographic, film and video companies. My work recieved reviews in Hotshoe International, Avant Magazine, NME, The Face, the Big Issue and one shot (The Wolf) became a best-selling poster for Athena Posters. In the late 80’s I became an active member of the National Artists Association and a subscriber to the Design & Artists Copyright Society. I assisted in the instigation of the first Multi-cultural Arts Conference and the first Black Arts Forum in Manchester. I became editor of a quarterly Arts Magazine concerned with promoting and supporting artist’s initiatives in the region. Nevertheless, in my spare time I wrote numerous articles on the natural world and researched aspects of Dream Symbolism and the study of semiotics and gestalts in literature and art. I was involved as facilitator for the local allotments and helped set up a local nature reserve at Hough End. Finally, I was encouraged by a close mentor in America to write more seriously about the work of the literary genius William Shakespeare and to pursue a role as a poet. Although somewhat reluctantly over the past four years I have given poetry performances, workshops and readings in Manchester. I have recently published an anthology of my poetry entitled “Parthenogenesis” and a companion to Shakespeare studies entitled “Shakespeare’s Qaballah”. I am currently working on a screenplay entitled “Not Without Mustard” about the life of Edward de Vere.

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