Thursday, January 05, 2012

An Autobiography Game

For Christmas I treated myself to a subscription at, since I've found that in general my most productive reading time takes the form of listening in the car for at least an hour a day during the commute when I'm a captive audience.  Bonus over traditional audiobooks is that the audible player has a nice "read at 1.5x speed" feature that I've found cranks through the material at a quicker pace without making it harder to follow.

They give you a free credit to start, so naturally I went and grabbed Contested Will.  What, doesn't everybody? :)  I know that I'll never find the time to sit down and read it (despite the review copy which I was given), so this seemed like the ideal compromise.  This is an unabridged audio, so between that and having the paper copy to fall back on for any required visuals, I should be good.

This is not, however, my review of that book. I'm barely 25% done with it.  I am quite enjoying Shapiro's dissection of exactly when "experts" in Shakespeare went all banana sandwiches on the subject and started looking for autobiographical clues anywhere they chose.

And, thus, my new game.  Pick a bit of something Shakespeare wrote, and make the case that it tells us something autobiographical about the man.  It can be your own invention or something you read and found amusing.  It can be something you've proposed in the past or something fresh off the top of your head.

With tongue firmly in cheek here's my contribution, which I'm sure someone must have come up with prior but I'd never heard it:  Winter's Tale tells the story of King Leontes accusing his pregnant wife of infidelity, and then paying for this cruelty with the untimely death of his only son.  As we all know, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway after she became pregnant.  Later, their only son died.  Clearly this is Shakespeare's way of acknowledging that he long doubted that he was the father of that first child.  The death of Shakespeare's son Hamnet was God's way of punishing him for his doubts.


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