The first literary result of the foundation of our industrial system upon the profits of piracy and slave-trading was Shakspere
. It is our misfortune that the sordid misery and hopeless horror of his view of man's destiny is still so appropriate to English society that we even to-day regard him as not for an age, but for all time.
His unfinished poem "Shakspere
" juxtaposes Shakespeare's mortality and fame, and he confesses to Robert Bridges that when composing Floris, he could never match Shakespeare's authenticity: "In reading Shakespeare one feels with despair the scope and richness of his gifts, equal to everything; he had besides a sufficient experience of life and, of course, practical knowledge of the theatre" (Corres., 1:368).
Bonn, 1846), 395; Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Lecture IX," in Lectures and Notes on Shakspere
and Other English Poets (1811-12), ed.
Hobbyists have searched obsessively for coded messages in Shakespearian texts (and in Martin Droeshout's peculiar portrait of the Bard, which serves as the frontispiece to the First Folio), seeking to prove that "Will Shakspere
" of Stratford was not the true author of the plays.
Our research in this essay has also benefited from such earlier scholarship on wordplay as Leopold Wurth, Das Wortspeil bei Shakspere
(Wein und Leipzig: W.
Baldwin, William Shakspere
's Small 1 M/ine and I.esse Creeke, vol.
Bennett Nolan, "Shakspere
Crosses the Rhine," The Shakespeare Association Bulletin 21, no.
His name has been spelled several different ways throughout history, including "Shakspere
" and "Shaxberd."
's Predecessors in the English Drama (1884), he saw Swinburne and Symonds with their morbid delight in decomposing thought into "fantastic shapes," their cultivation of "every eccentricity" in "the repertory of vicious rhetoric" and their attempt to "out-Ossian Ossian in the tumid extravagance of their epithets and turns" as modern exponents of a degenerate style appearing periodically through the ages.
Whether spelled Shakespere, Shackspeare, Shakespear, Shakspere
, Shaxspere, Shakspeare, Shackespeare, Shackspere, Shackespere or Shakespeare (2), his name is instantly recognized anywhere in the world, as his plays have been read and analysed from a variety of perspectives--dramatic, philosophical, philological, psychoanalytical, historical, religious, musical, feminist, etc.
Decorated with friezes from Shakespeare's time, the pen is also hand-engraved with a reproduction of one the most famous portraits of the playwright and a line from the original parish register marking his baptism: 'Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere
.' Sue Croxford, head of retail at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: "We were delighted to work with John Hall and OMAS to create a rare and beautiful pen for this milestone."
Later comes the famous letter from Abraham Lincoln to the American actor James Hackett, offering a "small attempt at [Shakespearean] criticism." On the essay front, we get Ralph Waldo Emerson's memorable "Shakespeare; or the Poet"; Herman Melville's "Hawthorne and his Mosses," comparing Nathaniel Hawthorne to Shakespeare; Walt Whitman's "What Lurks behind Shakspere
's Historical Plays?" discovering in these plays' unloving disposition toward feudal England a kind of anticipation of America; and essays by William Dean Howells, Jane Addams, T.S.