James Shapiro on Shakespeare

Saturday 1st October 2016

William Shakespeare
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Quote of the month: “Biographers like to attribute the turns in Shakespeare’s career to his psychological state (so he must have been in and out of love when writing comedies and sonnets, depressed when he wrote tragedies, and in mourning when he wrote Hamlet). Surely what he was feeling must have deeply informed what he wrote; the problem is that we have no idea what he was feeling at any point during the quarter century that he was writing — other than by, in circular fashion, extrapolating this from his works.” (James Shapiro’s The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606)

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