Author: Steve Sohmer

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.

Open Access (free)
Hamlet, adaptation and the work of following
John J. Joughin

8 John J. Joughin Shakespeare’s genius: Hamlet, adaptation and the work of following Adaptation: the following work and the work of following The issue of Shakespeare’s uniqueness keeps coming up . . . as cause both for acclaim and for dismay, together with a repeatedly documented cause for alarm concerning the indiscriminate appropriation of Shakespeare to underwrite, or to neutralize, cultural and political oppression. I suppose I am to be counted among those who take Shakespeare’s ‘position’ here as indeed a matter of his appropriability, as when Brecht

in The new aestheticism
Steve Sohmer

This chapter examines two aspects of Twelfth Night which support my suggestion that Shakespeare wrote the play for performance before the Queen. One is his repeated intrusion of anagrams; the word-game was popular at Court, and the Queen herself known to play at it. The second is the previously unrecognized subject of Feste’s ‘gracious fooling

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

Shakespeare’s own real-life drama that has been overlooked by his commentators and is key to appreciating his play. Twelfth Night begins with Viola convinced that her brother, Sebastian, is dead; with practically her first breath she tells us ‘My brother he is in Elysium’ (1.1.4). So what we will be confronted with in 5.1 is not merely a family reunion

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

We tend to separate Shakespeare from other authors; he appears timeless, and deserves to stand apart. But Shakespeare was, after all, a writer – a great writer, of course, but he was also an infant, adolescent, lover, husband, father, and man. Weren’t his own life experiences as important to him as, say, Antony’s or Bolingbroke’s, or more so

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

‘The Sonnets of Shakespeare offer us the greatest puzzle in the history of English literature.’ So began the voyage of Alfred Leslie Rowse (1903–97) through the murky waters cloaking the identities of four persons associated with the publication in 1609 of Shakespeare’s ‘sugared sonnets’: the enigmatic ‘Mr. W.H.’ cited in the forepages as ‘onlie

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Open Access (free)
Personal Shakespeare
Steve Sohmer

. And those early auditors had a stupendous advantage over even the best-informed of us: they breathed in the same milieu as Shakespeare and were alert to the same events, trends, personalities, conflicts, scandals, rumours, slang, parlour games, capers, larks, and jokes. What wouldn’t a modern scholar give to attend the Bankside Globe one drizzly May afternoon in 1600 to hear

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

a nod from William Shakespeare to Christopher Marlowe and his Hero and Leander (2.176). 2 In 1925 Leslie Hotson’s discovery of documents related to Marlowe’s violent death revived interest in the poet’s presence in the play. 3 In May of the same year Oliver W. F. Lodge identified Touchstone’s ‘it strikes a man more dead than a great

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Spectators, aesthetics and encompletion
Author: Chloe Porter

This book discusses early modern English drama as a part of visual culture. It concerns the ideas about 'making and unmaking' that Shakespeare and his contemporaries may have known and formulated, and how these ideas relate to the author's own critical assumptions about early modern aesthetic experience. The study of drama as a part of visual culture offers the perfect context for an exploration of pre-modern aesthetic discourse. The book expounds the author's approach to plays as participants in a lively post-Reformation visual culture in the process of 're-formation'. It then focuses on the social meanings of patronage of the visual arts in a discussion of Paulina as patron of Hermione's image in The Winter's Tale. The discussion of The Winter's Tale pivots around the play's troubling investment in patriarchal notions of 'perfection'. The book also explores image-breaking in Robert Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. This play presents an instance of onstage iconoclasm in the supernatural destruction of a demonic brazen head, a quasi-magical figure that had been depicted in English literature since at least the twelfth century. In focusing on the portrayal of invisibility in The Two Merry Milkmaids, the book explores early modern preoccupation with processes of visual construction in a play in which there is very little artisanal activity.

Steve Sohmer

Shakespeare’s twitting of ‘mice-eyed decipherers’ – the fustian riddle has proved an equally fatal attraction to the comedy’s spectators and commentators.’ 11 And there the case has stalled until now. One aspect of Shakespeare’s presentation of the M.O.A.I. crux – a tactic which makes its puzzle particularly alluring and vexatious – is its insistent

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind