Aug 23 • 31M

The Chris Hedges Report Podcast with Elizabeth Winkler on her book “Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies: How Doubting the Bard Became the Biggest Taboo in Literature.”

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Chris Hedges
Covering US foreign policy, economic realities, and civil liberties in American society.
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There is scant evidence that William Shakespeare authored the plays and sonnets attributed to him. But questioning the authorship is an unacceptable heresy among Shakespearean scholars who liken it to believing the moon landing was faked. These scholars have built their academic careers on the foundations of the Shakespearean myth, writing long biographies that are almost all based on hypothesis and conjecture. They are the guardians of the one true church, and like grand inquisitors arrogantly dismiss intriguing arguments to be made for other authors including Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford, Christopher Marlowe, Mary Sidney, Francis Bacon,  and others. Or perhaps, like the King James Bible, published in 1611 after several years of work by a committee of 47 scholars and clergymen, the plays were a collaborative effort by several talented writers and poets. Even the most adamant defenders of Shakespearean authorship concede that some of the plays attributed to him, such as Pericles, contain the work of other authors. What is not in dispute is that even raising this issue is a literary taboo. But this is not an idle question, for a writer’s past and experience illuminates his or her work, despite what the post-modernists preach. The Shakespeare narrative fits perhaps too neatly into popular mythology – the story of a poorly educated glover’s son who arrives in London from a rural village and conquers the stage and writes the most immortal verse in the English language. Joining me to discuss the debate is Elizabeth Winkler author of “Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies: How Doubting the Bard Became the Biggest Taboo in Literature.”