This book will come as a revelation to Shakespeare scholars everywhere. It
reveals the identity of the playwright and Shakespeare’s colleague behind the
mask of Jaques in As You Like It. It pinpoints the true first night of
Twelfth Night and reveals why the play’s performance at the Inns of Court
was a momentous occasion for shakespeare. It also the identities Quinapalus, the
Vapians, Pigrogromitus and Feste, as well as the ‘Dark Lady’ of the Sonnets and
the inspiration for Jessica in The Merchant of Venice. And it solves
Shakespeare’s greatest riddle: the meaning of M.O.A.I. in Twelfth
Night. In sum, this book reveals William Shakespeare as a far more personal
writer than we have ever imagined.
Elizabethan writers frequently complained about what we call ‘close reading’,
i.e., that their readers imputed seditious and/or scandalous intentions to
the author. We take a close look at this practice, and how it should
influence our reading of Shakespeare today.
This chapter explains that Christopher Marlowe was the inspiration for Jaques
in Shakespeare’s As You Like It – and that Shakespeare wrote the play
to commemorate the seventh anniversary of Marlowe’s death. We take a close
look at how Shakespeare felt about his rival, mentor and friend.
This chapter pinpoints 27 December 1601 as the date of the first performance
of Twelfth Night – and demonstrates that Shakespeare wrote his play for two
audiences, one at Elizabeth’s Court, the other at the Inns of Court.
Gabriel Harvey has long been recognized as the inspiration for Malvolio in
Twelfth Night. This chapter explains how Shakespeare turned his late
friend Thom Nashe into Feste, and continued Nashe’s torment of Harvey from
beyond the grave.
Shakespeare’s M.O.A.I. riddle in Twelfth Night has been his most
intractable crux. This chapter provides the solution, and explains how a
mis-translation concealed the truth from scholars for 400 years.