I have no idea how to determine how old this interview with Stephen Greenblatt is, but I just found it so I'm linking it. Greenblatt is the author of "Will in the World", if you don't recognize the name. Normally I'd put up an Amazon link for that but I'm sitting in the waiting room at my garage and just don't really have the patience to do the necessary cutting and pasting :). Anyway, many of
the reviews of that book accused it of being something close to a love letter to Shakespeare from Greenblatt (fill in your own insinuations, there), and after reading it, I can see what they meant. It'll be interesting to see what the man has to say.
It's interesting right from the first paragraph.Did Shakespeare know that he was writing masterpieces? Probably not. According to Greenblatt he was just trying to keep the butts in the seats,so he had to appeal to everybody. Not the sort of answer you'd expect about your Hamlets and King Lears. Titus, maybe :). (I say that for the benefit of the oft-ignored Titus fans in my audience :)).
Another good quote, regarding "the reader who has enjoyed some Shakespeare but is not at all familiar with the mountains of scholarship and endless debates and has no theoretical background", which is the space I've always tried to play in: "First of all Shakespeare is about pleasure and interest...The idea that you actually need an advanced degree to understand Shakespeare is a joke." Exactly.
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