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.
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