Friday, August 21, 2009

A Bard by Any Other Name...

Who really wrote Shakespeare's plays and sonnets? Why would anyone even ask such an obvious question? We all know who Shakespeare was. Or do we? Join us on Wednesday, September 2 at 7 pm for "The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection" with Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld.

The author of a 2008 book by the same title, Dr. Blumenfeld subscribes to the "Marlovian Theory" of Shakespeare authorship: that the works attributed to William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon were actutally written by poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe. Furthermore, the Marlovians claim, Marlowe wasn't killed in a fight, as history says, but actually staged his own "death" and continued to write under the Shakespeare name.

The Shakespeare authorship question first surfaced in the 18th century, as critics began to compare the style, vocabulary, and erudition of Shakespeares writings with what is known of the man William Shakespeare of Stratford. How, they asked, could a glover's son with little education produce such superbly crafted language? How could a mere actor with little knowlege of the world write plays set in such diverse geographic locations as Scotland, Italy, and Egypt? And scholars asked, "Was Shakespeare merely a front man for another playwright or a group of playwrights?"

From this question, a number of theories have emerged, and Dr. Blumenfeld will share his. He believes that there were compelling reasons for Marlowe to "fake" his death and that there are many clues in Shakespeare's works that point to Marlowe's authorship. Whether you agree or not, you'll find the presentation lively and thought-provoking.

Dr. Blumenfeld has appeared on the Channel 22 program "Chattin' with Jeanine," and we are happy to have him visit with us, too. The program is free and open to all, but seating is limited, so please reserve a seat by emailing or calling 424-5021.

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