Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Shakespeare Scribbles Away in A Room Myth - addition to chapter four

Shakespeare Scribbles Away in A Room Myth

In the Shakespeare Guide to Italy, I came upon the details of the character of Shylock the Jew. Richard Paul Roe makes it clear that whoever wrote this play in which Shylock appears, knew a great deal of information about Jewish customs, far more I believe than could be got by experience of travelling to Italy. But I know of no candidate as the author of the Shakespeare's plays that would fit them having a Jewish background, including Shakespeare himself. Moreover the details relating to Shylock seem to be very specific about his Jewishness.
This leaves us with a problem. For while one could accept that Edward De Vere did travel in Italy, picking up enough knowledge to write the plays, he would have great difficult in being accurate about what it would be like to be Jewish person and a specific person of that race precisely. Like any none Jewish person he would slip up in his writing. Though it might be possible these days for a writer to hang around a Jewish person and get the details correct about them, it would seem unlikely for an Elizabethan Earl to do that!
My personal theory is that the person who played Shylock was a Jewish man from Italy. This would not surprise me, since I have said that Shakespeare wrote the plays around the people he had to work with. As I have covered earlier in this chapter, I know for certain he used two actress'. One was older than the other. I even know their names! One of them was even 14 in the Play Romeo and Juliet, as Juliet was 14 at the time. And yes she was of Italian descent. Then there is the black actor used in various plays.
Shakespeare doesn't cast the actors. There is no auditions like in Shakespeare in Love. He writes the parts with the starting point of a black actor in mind, for example.
Actors audition for parts in modern times

I don't think Shakespeare was sat in some back room scribbling texts, quill pen in hand writing on bits of parchment. I think that idea is a myth. Instead it was more interactive than that. Shakespeare
De Vere in the Film Anonymous even perpetuates the myth  
Shakespeare in a fancy study the Victorian view of the myth
had the ideas and then the actors said lines they way they did, making suggestions too. Shakespeare then copied it all down. They bounced ideas around each other too! If you think about it that would make more sense to have loads of different views and experience. So if one of the actors had studied law, his experience would come into it. And so on with all the professions in the Shakespearean plays which William couldn't have been involved with or have much knowledge of. I think it was highly likely the whole company were involved with the writing process. They might have even sat around a table or in a circle discussing they idea that William had come up with for the play, with each member saying something with a free hand to speak. Some of them might have contributed more than others, due to their cleverness or egos! But it was probably more of a co-operative effort than anything else. If you think about it this actually helps the company to be more successful, since the entire enterprise requires plays to come out on a regular basis. This way the members ensure that they are not reliant on one man to write a play. However we know that they do give somebody the credit for the plays. But this to me points to the person who had the original idea for the play being given the credit, it was as simple as that.
It seems to me also that most of the other writers who followed Shakespeare's way of writing used the same technique. Which is why people think they can see other hands in the works. But if Shakespeare was simply writing down the words as spoken by one of his fellows, then even though it was somebody else doing it, it was still written by Shakespeare.
I did come upon the background to the play Othello, or if you like the original idea for it. It was the result of the line in one of the Sonnets were Elizabeth talks about angels and the black one killing the good one. This is Elizabeth showing the two sides of herself. In the Sonnets she says "the worser spirit" and Shakespeare uses this as the lead character in Othello, which he makes black - another reference back to the Sonnets. Desdemona is of course the good spirit. And by getting Othello to kill her, it thus fulfills the prophecy of Sonnet 144, that the bad angel would fire the good one out. In order to make this happen Shakespeare employs a Devil's advocate in the form of Iago. Which I think was played by Shakespeare himself! For who better to play it.
I think that over the years and how the theatre world has developed, that we have become entangled with how things are done and how things were done. So now we see it as somebody going into a room and writes down the words for the actors to speak and emerges later with a fully worked up play. Then the actors are cast! Though it's like that today, it doesn't mean it has always been done like that!
As I have shown with the above, none of the modern ways ever applied to a Shakespeare play. Shakespeare would be like a duck out of water in the modern system. I actually believe the modern way was around at the time of Shakespeare, but it was considered boring, being about tales of how London Bridge was made etc.
With the Civil War and the closing of the theatres the Shakespeare technique was eventually lost, only the modern form of a single person writing the parts on their own has survived. Leaving us confused of how William Shakespeare fitted that role! Which of course he didn't. 

Copy of how it was performed

I have recently found a bit more to back up the fact a single person didn't write the plays, but they were done in a the way I describe above. Thanks to Ben Crystal. He is an actor and he discovered that the disjointed rhyme in certain sections of the play is meant to be like that, simply because it is meant to convey things like arguments, between the characters, including raised voices. Plus in Hamlet one of the characters is ignoring what the others are saying and just making his point over the other actors.
Ben found out that if the lines were presented in the normal way, that is letting each character finish speaking before the next one speaks, it doesn't mean anything. But allowing the actors to jump in before the other one has finished, the combined effort not only makes sense but rhymes too!
Now I think that shows that the text was either copied down direct from watching the play. Or more likely the text was written as the play was being performed. Thus proving that one man did not write a Shakespeare play. It also rules out the lords and nearly all the rival candidates as they would need to be present when the play was being worked up. Highly unlikely that Oxford and the other Earls would mix with the scum of the earth actors on a play like that.    

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