Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Shakespeare and Harper Magazine

I picked up a copy of the April 2007 Harpers Magazine this week. Right now their website is still showing the March issue. Anyway, the April cover has a half page ad that says "How Shakespeare conquered the World" by Jonathan Bate. Its an essay. I have never brought Harper before, but I brought this one because of Shakespeare.

Anyway the essay is called "The Mirror of Life: How Shakespeare conquered the World". It basically speaks about how the Golden era had a number of wellknown playwrites and poets, but why did Shakespeare become the most famous? I mean, I never knew that Edmund Spenser was considered the greatest Elizabethan poet, nor did I know that Ben Jonson wrote and performed plays. I also had no idea that Shakespeare himself was an actor. I did know about Christopher Marlow, but only because he was murdered at a young age.

The essay goes on to mention, " of the ways in which writers endure is through their influence on later writers."

All sorts of interesting characters are mentioned in this essay - including Thomas Betterton, Nicholas Rowe, David Garrick, John Dryden, Margaret Cavendish, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher. None of whom I have heard of before.

I'd better start doing some reading.

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