Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shakespeare, Hold the Bacon

Everybody's got their favorite Shakespeare conspiracy theory. It seems astounding that only one person, and someone of such humble beginnings could have created the greatest works of art in Western Literature's canon, and such a passel of them to boot. There are the theorists that insist that the more educated and gentlemanly Francis Bacon produced most of the plays and sonnets commonly attributed to the Bard of Avon. Others have argued that contemporary Elizabethan dramatist Christopher Marlowe penned many of the Shakespeare plays.

There have also been many researchers who have filled in the gaping holes in the Shakespearean biographical corpus with speculations that William was a bisexual, was a Catholic in overwhelmingly Protestant times, and/or had many extramarital affairs.

Today I catalogued a book that theorizes that William was not Francis Bacon, and moreover, would never have gotten near any bacon, as Shakespeare was a proud Jew (Shylock, notwithstanding). David Basch's The Hidden Shakespeare: A Rosetta Stone, (West Hartford, CT: 1994) postulates that there are many hidden clues throughout the Shakespearean oeuvre, particularly in the seeming anti-Semitic "Merchant of Venice" that point to to the Bard being a proud, if closeted, Son of Israel. I prowled a little bit through this thin volume, but the argument was as cleverly hidden in its pages as Willy's Hebraic lineage. Shakespeare, this author is not. Oy!

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