“Brokering and improving source texts explains how his crowd-pulling plays rapidly had an audience, and how he rapidly came to be known as a man of the theatre. The pillaging of sources also accounts for the early dates of several plays, and the fact that plays with confusingly similar names, plots and characters existed before Shakespeare could have written them. Substantially freed from the need to conceive of scenarios, characters and plots, Shakespeare could focus on the writing, and the drama.” - Stuart Kells, Shakespeare’s Library
When we think of Shakespeare, too often the image comes to mind of a lone writer hunched over his parchment, scribbling away on his quill as the candle burns down to the wick. There are no books around him, no stories he is pulling from, just an author, his mind, and his pen. That’s not accurate though. That is a carefully curated image designed to raise Shakespeare to this higher level than all other authors. We have to think differently though. We have to see Shakespeare for what he was to properly appreciate the work behind the works.
That is what Eli and I will be discussing today, Shakespeare as a Writer. We will look at how he got his stories and honed his skills. Grab your quill and ink, it’s time to meet Shakespeare.
Shakespeare’s Library by Stuart Kells
Globe by Catherine Arnold
The Globe Guide to Shakespeare
Teller of Tales by Kevin MacLeod
Minstrel Guild by KevinMacLeod