Did Shakespeare really write his plays?

Did Shakespeare really write his plays?

‘Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare’ author James Shapiro in conversation with William Dalrymple centered around the question of whether “Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare.”

James Shapiro traced the identity of Shakespeare during 16th century Elizabethan England, saying it was a period of “trade” and also a “greatest theatre going culture,” even before the Globe Theatre was built.

He asserted that Shakespeare “lived in an age which had undergone a religious reformation” and “political and all kinds of social issues were worked out” in public.

Dalrymple amusingly asked how Shakespeare managed to concentrate, to which Shapiro joked “he wrote all these plays before tea or coffee was introduced in England”.

He said that there had been an investment in proving that “Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare” and rejected these “speculated biographies” which dominated the minds of recent intellectuals. He asserted that “Shakespeare was indeed the one who wrote Shakespeare.”

He claimed that “Shakespeare was a spectacular listener” and the “greatest interviewer of all time,” who used to question travellers in his tavern about details of their journey which he then transformed into imaginatively timeless pieces.

He said he still felt the “ghostly presence” of Shakespeare when he saw his plays performed in London. He tried to keep aside his “personal investment” from his research, and to be “interested only in the work which illuminates the world”.

Someone from the crowd asked if anybody today could write like Shakespeare, Shapiro answered “Tom Stoppard.”

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