By Graham Holderness
Who was once Shakespeare and the way did he reside? Combining truth, culture and mind's eye, Shakespeare's many lives are instructed in nine attainable methods.
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Extra resources for Nine Lives of William Shakespeare (Shakespeare Now)
In the dedication to Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare depicts the writer metaphorically as a farmer, planting crops and hoping for a good harvest. ’ In Shakespeare’s case we can see his own rural and artisanal background coming through the conventional image. Here writing really is like the labour of the fields, both exacting and risky, dependent on the Shakespeare the Writer 29 accidents of climate and the vagaries of weather. Like the arable farmer, the writer must scatter his seed and leave it where it falls, hoping for the blessing of a good harvest, always conscious of the possibility of failure.
They weren’t burned in the Globe fire of 1613. They’re still out there. Somewhere. I’m sure of it. ’ Hawker wasn’t part of Malone’s circle, as he was a research scientist working on genetics in the Biology Department. But he found these loud common room altercations about lost manuscripts fascinating, and far more interesting than the saturnine taciturnity of his own colleagues, bioscientists who lived meagrely from one research grant to another, and were afraid to speak openly about their work for fear of plagiarism and poaching.
He could have jotted down notes or passages that occurred to him in the course of the day; other writers have found that walking through the busy streets can materially aid inspiration (p. 257). In both cases, what little is definitely known of Shakespeare serves as a template for the construction of two radically different images of Shakespeare as writer. In one scenario Shakespeare the writer needs peace and quiet for the prolonged and intensive labour of literary composition. He is also firmly fixed to a particular workstation, by the technical requirements of his writing implement and the size and weight of his literary sources.