Tag Archives: Shakespeare play

400 Years After Shakespeare’s Death

The Cobbe Portrait, William Shakespeare

On April 23rd, 1616, it is believed that William Shakespeare passed away. While we don’t have records of his death, we do have records of his funeral which occurred two days later on April 25th, 1616.

At the age of 52, Shakespeare left behind a body of work that has captivated pop culture and has been the favored subject of academia (think of your high school literature classes) for the past 400 years. Shakespeare’s works have lead to an unparalleled phenomenon across cultures and well past his time.

This blog has continually looked for Shakespeare from searching for Shakespeare in bookstores in Taipei, Taiwan to visiting a bookstore with his namesake in Berkeley, California. Speaking of books, we’ve reviewed the Star Wars Shakespeare-style books, have shared our own stories about Shakespeare, and have made so many freaking posts about Shakespeare loot it’s kinda ridiculous.

Confirmed by Science: A New (to Us) Shakespeare Play

ShakeHead
For years, Professor Brean Hammond of Nottingham University has been convinced that Double Falsehood, a romantic tragi-comedy credited to Lewis Theobald, was more than based off of Shakespeare’s lost play Cardenio. In 2010, The Guardian quoted Professor Hammond as saying:

I don’t think you can ever be absolutely 100% but, yes, I am convinced that it is Shakespeare…This version of the Shakespeare play has been doctored. Theobald cut out material that he didn’t think appropriate, but this was quite common. Shakespeare was very frequently rewritten in the 17th and 18th centuries.

While Theobald claimed that his own play that came out in 1728 Double Falsehood was based off of Shakespeare play manuscripts, critics at the time, the most vocal being fellow writer and rival Alexander Pope, said that Theobald’s claims were unfounded and were never further looked into. The Independent notes that:

Double Falsehood, also known by the title “Distressed Lovers”, is based on the “Cardenio” episode in Don Quixote and appears be taken from the 1612 translation of Cervantes’ novel by Thomas Shelton. It wasn’t included in Shakespeare’s First Folio and there is little written evidence to link it to the Bard.

The 18th century poet Alexander Pope was among the loudest voices to decry Theobald’s claims that the play had Shakespearean origins soon after it was published.

But all of that changed in the 20th century, when critics agreed that Theobald’s claim should be more thoroughly investigated. Professor Brean Hammond is one of the most vocal modern proponents of the idea that Double Falsehood is an edited version of Shakespeare’s Cardenio, and now two researches at The University of Texas at Austin, Ryan L. Boyd and James W. Pennebaker, have analyzed Shakespeare’s plays and Double Falsehood using software to analyze the “psychological signature” of the texts to see if the play did indeed match Shakespeare’s other works.

And it did.

Shakespeare Nerd Status: +1,000 (Happy Birthday to Me!)

I’m turning 30 this year. I can’t say I’m exciting about it, but I do have an exciting birthday lined up.

And by exciting I mean I’ll be attending a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that is followed by a lecture by a Shakespearean on my actual birthday, which falls on a Friday.

This is me:

At a Shakespeare seminar, where I spoke, none the less.
At a Shakespeare seminar, where I spoke, none the less.

This is what I do for fun: