There are many “questions” about Shakespeare’s life and work. There’s of course the big Authorship question, but also a whole bunch about his married life, that other woman, whether he was even heterosexual, who was Mr. W.H.…and then there’s questions within the work itself: was Hamlet mad? Did Gertrude know? Sullied or solid? :)
Some questions annoy people, and we take the position that it’s not really a question at all. Others, though, tend to merit lively discussion.
Which are your favorite questions? You’re at a party and you hear people discussing Shakespeare – which topic do you studiously avoid, and which do you jump in with an “Excuse me, I couldn’t help overhearing…”
As is probably obvious to my regular readers, I’m always interested in questions about the work more than the man. While it’s interesting to me (mostly as a married man) whether Shakespeare was happily married or shotgunned into it, I just don’t think we’ll ever know.
For the record, I realize that “questions about the work” could be considered simply “preference of interpretation” and thus there is no right answer. What I’m talking about is Shakespeare’s original intent. If we went back in time 400 years and watched these plays performed (assuming we could understand a bloody word of it!) would we see someone playing Hamlet as mad, or just putting on an antic disposition?