Friday, January 22, 2010

Blog Like Shakespeare?

http://www.copyblogger.com/blog-like-shakespeare/

Copyblogger is one of the most respected sites on the net for those in the business of being bloggers.  So when our dear bard shows up in the title of one of their posts, I know it’s going to get some traffic.  The premise is an interesting one:

…he mastered the art of writing for completely different audiences. He appealed to the ultra elite, to regular theater-goers who never missed a performance, and to the illiterate mobs in the cheap seats. And he managed to satisfy each audience magnificently.

I’m wondering how true that is, or if the author of this article just needed to back up his argument and brought out Shakespeare to do it?

Where my historians at?  Is the above correct?  Would you say that Shakespeare was actively addressing three distinct audiences, or even that an Elizabethan audience broke down that way?

6 comments:

Brian said...

I would agree that Shakespeare’s play attracted a economically diverse group but mostly the emerging middleclass. However, I do not think Shakespeare wrote intentionally for all groups except his sonnets which were written for the royals and elite. What he and the other Elizabethan playwrights did was to create a form of entertainment that made them money and gave them fame. That was their intention and we are lucky that Shakespeare words were so universal and that his works appealed to so many diverse people in his time and ours.

Duane said...

Not sure what you mean about the sonnets, Brian, since the major collection was published without his consent, as best we can figure (certainly late in his career). Are you referring to the handful that were passed around among friends? I've never understood whether that was a more casual thing, where he'd write one for somebody (not for money) and then they'd be all proud that they had a Shakespeare original, and show it off. I suppose that goes into the whole "wealthy patron" model, though, so who knows.

Brian said...

Yes--I believe--that sonnets in general were written for or dedicated to wealth patrons and of course written by wealth young men as a as a way to show their education or their love for someone--like Hamlet's sonnet to Olivia. Not--I believe--as the plays were for entertainment to make money and fame.

Kenna M. Kettrick said...

I don't know that the Elizabethan audience broke down so neatly into those three categories, but I would agree that parts of the plays appealed to the groundlings and other parts to a more educated elite--it's clear that some references were to a higher level of education, and also very probable that a lot of the clowns were written to appeal to the groundlings: less verbal acrobatics, more silly jokes.
(Although--even Shakespeare's stupid jokes are more witty than one might expect...)

Also, I think that Shakespeare was intelligent and canny enough to write to his audience, absolutely. Whether that stems from intentionally trying to reach those three categories (or whatever) or from making money, we can never know. Not that those two have to be separate things, mind you. Will was a clever fellow.

Volga said...

Hello all here…, I found you people interested in Shakespeare. I recently read a novel having lots of suspense and secrets, its “Shakespeare’s truth” by Rex Richards. Novel involves a secret birth in the English Royal Family hidden for hundreds of years, a shocking Royal death and kidnap in the modern day, a secret society, rivalry between the police and army, a race against time to find a missing treasure, and a love story.

Nancy said...

Replying to Volga- Volga can you please provide me the book's online purchase details. I leave in New-zealand.

Nancy