Monday, March 9, 2009

Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt

Much of the life of William Shakespeare is a mystery. He carefully did not keep a diary nor send love letters to his wife. Shakespeare, the prolific writer who, in just over 50 years wrote an almost unbelievable number of remarkable poems and plays, did not leave many personal details of his life beyond public records (which are spotty 400 years later). There was not a market for biographies of famous playwrights in the 1600s, and many details of his life were not written down until he was long gone.

Yet, in Will in the World, Stephen Greenblatt attempts to explain Shakespeare’s life by reading what he did write: his plays. In a truly remarkable way, Greenblatt ties the Bard’s life into the context of Victorian England by visiting the context of his plays.

Despite being an English major, I am not very familiar with most of Shakespeare’s work, let alone his life. I found Greenblatt’s look at Shakespeare’s life through his plays be utterly fascinating. Even if none of the suppositions Greenblatt provides were true, understanding the cultural context of the plays will help me in my future studies of the plays. I loved this “literary” biography, and I’d highly recommend it to those interested in the cultural context of the Bard.

A more detailed review of Will in the World is on Rebecca Reads. This is my first read for the 2009 BiblioShakespeare challenge.

1 comment:

Gabbriel Claudio said...

Hola! Soy Gabriel Los Santos director de la compañía teatral ROMPERLANZAS, es una compañía de teatro binacional, cuyo nacimiento se produjo en argentina en el 2000 y ahora tambeén funciona en España. Nos dedicamos y nos apasiona la obra de Shakespeare. Trabajamos sobre sus textos traduciendolos de acuerdo a los requerimientos dramaturgicos que surgen de nuestra interpretación de la obra. Trabajo con una directora y estudiosa de Shakespeare de ciudadanía inglesa; Annikken O´Connell, quien vive en Buenos Aires, hace cuarenta años. Ya hemos trabajado sobre Titus Andrónicus, cuya versión se llamó ANDRONICO y sobre Medida por Medida, cuya versión se llamó M x M; ambas puestas en escena. Y trabajamos también sobre Hamlet y Otelo (dramaturgicamente) y sobre una versión de Medida adaptada a la época de la colonía en el litoral argentino. Como verá, nos apasiona realmente, por ello nos gustaría contactarnos con Stephen Greenblatt, a través de email o un teléfono. Desde ya le estoy infinitamente agradecido.
Atentamente Lic. Gabriel Los Santos (gabolossantos@hotmail.com, gabriellossantos@gmail.com)