A reminder for today that supporting the idea that Oxford or Sir Francis Bacon or whoever wrote Shakespeare’s works is inherently classist and undermines the very essence of what makes Shakespeare great: the universality of his writing.
Shakespeare didn’t write to impress academics or to become reknown in literary circles, he wrote because he loved it and he loved acting and the theater, because he liked showing people up and he liked getting paid.
Shakespeare wrote a lot of plays where the main characters are noble, yes, but he wrote actors too — and teenage kids and poor grad students and nurses. His nobles aren’t memorable because they are grand but because anyone can relate to them, Hamlet’s not special to us because he’s a prince but because many of us can see our struggles in his thoughts and actions.
Do not let Oxfordians or Baconians take away what is special about Shakespeare: that he was an ordinary man writing plays not just for nobles or kings, for landowners or the highly educated elite but for ordinary people — for apprentices and butchers and merchant’s wives and maids. His company performed at court, but they also performed at the Globe, where you could get in for a penny if you didn’t mind standing in a crowd.
The Authorship Question isn’t really about discovering “who really wrote Shakespeare,” it’s about elitists being upset and confused and angry because the greatest works in the English language were written by the son of a well-off tradesman who never went to college.
I would also like to add that a lot of the Authorship Question also arises from a fundamental misunderstanding of early modern English culture. A lot of the records that we have for Shakespeare are business-oriented because those were the sorts of documents that were considered important. It’s not a fundamental disconnect from the solitary genius baring his soul though poetry (an idea that emerged via 19th century Romantics— before Wordsworth, sonnets were not considered to be confessional in nature). It’s just a matter of what archives were important to early modern people.
There’s not an absence of evidence, there’s an absence of archive, based on what Shakespeare’s contemporaries thought was important to preserve. We know about as much about Shakespeare’s life as we know about other Elizabethan playwrights. (This podcast offers more proof of this. The lecturer wrote for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and mentions that only seven lost years for an early modern subject was considered remarkably good going.) It’s only because Shakespeare was glommed onto as a secular Jesus in the 18th and 19th century (and the rise of biography as a genre starting with I think Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson) that knowing more about his life became an obsession, to the point where there were famous forgers and people began to think that an absence of evidence that they and their 18th/19th century contemporaries would have preserved was proof of a conspiracy.
As to the education argument— that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what English grammar schools were like during the Elizabethan era. The references and allusions in Shakespeare’s plays are perfectly consistent with the curriculum of a typical grammar school graduate. And speaking of the plays, they are fundamentally of the theater and for the theater. They flatter patrons (o hai there Banquo’s successively handsomer and kinglier descendants *cough*James I*cough), they play with what could and could not be done on a stage. They retell stories popular at the time (The Merchant of Venice is often considered to be a reaction to Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta).
Shakespeare wrote for people like him— for people like us. Not people who preserved the same things we do, or who learned the same things we do, but people who felt the same as we do.
Oooooh also I’m not gonna post pictures because I’m already easy enough to identify but NEWS I shaved half my head and it looks awesome* and I am very very pleased with that decision.
*it looks awesome as far as I’m concerned, anyway, and even if it doesn’t I don’t really care because fuck you I’m happy
I’ll be in the city a couple of times before I leave, don’t worry! I’ll let you know.
I see you, how beautiful you are. Let’s fuck until we forget that it will all be over in 3 weeks.
“Are you friends or more than friends?”
“More than friends.”
“How did you meet?”
“We were randomly placed as freshman-year roommates.”
“How did you get from there to the more-than-friends level?”
“It just kind of happened.”
why dont these words rhyme
but for some god forsaken reason pony and bologna do
Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home.
NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered.
It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute.
But if there is indeed life on Kepler-186f, it may not look like what we have here. Given the redder wavelengths of light on the planet, vegetation there would sprout in hues of yellow and orange instead of green.
Read more. [Image: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech]
In high school I did everything I could not to take my shirt off in front of other people. Like, I don’t think I showered once after gym class. Now though, thanks to a little more working out, a little more protein, my outside-self is catching up to my inside-self. And I feel pretty comfortable in my skin. And that feels good.
Let’s play a game.
Type the following words into your tags box, then post the first automatic tag that comes up.
you, also, what, when, why, how, look, because, never
YOU ADORABLE HOBBIT YOU
also I have accepted all of these people as my head people for the marauders
what do I do with all of these feelings?
(I don’t have one for when)
why would you do this to me?
HOW ARE YOU SO PRETTY
LOOK HOW HOT THEY ARE
because fuck you
Mine actually works as a poem, kind of:
You are a flawless human being
(none for also, shockingly)
so what’s the problem here because I don’t see one
like when you have shitty writing
why are you so stupid oh my god
how do i feel
but it looks so good now!
never not reblog
YOU ARE GOING TO BE ALONE FOREVER BECAUSE YOU’RE FUCKED UP AND NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THAT IN A RELATIONSHIP
(also the whole damn point of my story is that loss is permanent but being defined by that loss is not)
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU SAM
when did i become an angry queer person
WHY did that not occur to me? ever?
how did i miss this the first time around?
LOOK EVERYONE LIKES PORN EVERYONE LIKES SEX EXCEPT FOR YOU MOTHERFUCKER
because for our ‘about me’ posters in kindergarten we were supposed to write what our friends thought of us
I NEVER SEE PETER IN ANY MARAUDERS FANCASTS
Oh look, it’s the rest of my Fic Dump Day WIPs! I’m pleased by the assortment. Most of these are over a year old; I ran through them for formatting errors, but I mostly left them intact.
Cayendo (Supernatural) : Sam/Dean fic because nothing I read was the right shade of gritty and warped for me. Written in Spanish because fuck knows why, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
July 15th, 1533 (Doctor Who) : First-person Amy Pond, the first part of a longer story that I’d wanted to tell about Amy, Rory, the Doctor, and Atahualpa, because I am a history geek.
L’appel du vide (Doctor Who) : Doctor!Amy and Companion!Eleven AU, which was planned to be massively long and cover the entire history of Doctor Who. These are some of the “episodes” that got half-written before I got caught up in the details of Time Lord culture.
Private Detective (WTNV/Sherlock) : Sherlock and John are in Night Vale because reasons, and John gets turned into a hedgehog.
there will be no tenderness (Hannibal) : Murder family in the second-person future tense
Mirrors (Supernatural) : Dean goes to say yes to Michael and steps through the walls of reality. Next thing he knows, he has to team up with an ambiguously-gendered person calling themselves Sam Winchester and a very pretty, very weird woman named Castiel. Meanwhile, Deanna Winchester has a whole other host of problems.
Sherlock fic written back in 2012, just after the end of Season 2. A retelling of The Empty House, with focus on the relationship aspect and wildly-overwrought escapades to bring down the last man in Moriarty’s band. Not S3-compliant.
For Fic Dump Day, I’m posting six or seven abandoned stories, but this one was almost entirely finished, so it gets its own link.
This was the most emotionally draining, difficult piece of writing I have ever done. I was in a state of near-constant panic attacks just thinking about writing it, because Sherlock was very, very important to me at the time. Sherlock as an asexual character, and John as a biromantic character, were very important to me, and I was nearly in tears with frustration at not being able to find any stories about them having a relationship based off of that. I identified strongly as asexual and homoromantic back in February of 2012 when I wrote this story. I had also never seriously wanted to write and publish fanfiction before. Even though it’s not a particularly emotionally fraught story, it was huge, huge, huge to me, and I’ve just now gotten enough distance from the fandom and everything to go back to it. And hey, it’s not as bad as I thought!