• In the invigorating “Being Shakespeare,” now playing at the BAM Harvey Theater, Mr. Callow testifies in support of the playwright. His collaborator, the Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, has supplied all sorts of contextualizing facts, figures, segues and suppositions, allowing Mr. Callow to point his finger unwaveringly at the title character: He did it.
    • Shakespeare’s authorship has come under increasing fire in recent decades, with challengers disputing that a man of his relatively humble background could have amassed the knowledge — the book smarts, street smarts and existential smarts — to write the way he did. Various high-born types have been suggested instead, as well as the comparably middle-class but Cambridge-educated Christopher Marlowe.
    • Other writers may have presented the ties between Shakespeare’s life and work more thoroughly and insightfully (Garry Wills on the rhetorical flourishes of “Julius Caesar,” Stephen Greenblatt on the transformation of Shakespeare’s deceased son Hamnet into Hamlet). Still, “Being Shakespeare” has the propulsive energy of a particularly juicy membership-drive PBS special.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Advertisements