The Smart Person’s Shakespeare

  • Was known as a theatrical man, supporting writers and playing companies throughout his lifetime.
  • Myriad aspects of his personal life are liberally sprinkled through the lion’s share of the plays and poems.
  • He travelled extensively in Italy (and other parts of Europe), where almost half of Shakespeare plays are set, displaying an intimate knowledge and geographical detail evincing first-hand experience – still evident and confirmable today.
  • Many of the characters lampooned and pilloried in the plays were personal enemies of de Vere, as were those lauded his friends and relatives.
  • De Vere was a theatrical man, with theatres and play companies under his patronage and a multitude of literary works dedicated to him. Metamorphoses by Ovid — Shakespeare’s favourite writer — was first translated into English by Oxford’s uncle and tutor, Arthur Golding. (Many think it was Oxford who translated it, since it’s much sexier than puritanical Golding’s other works.) The fact is, everywhere you turn with Shakespeare, Oxford is there.

People know Shakespeare in a vacuum, but the Shakespeare works are part and parcel of a thriving theatrical community that began at Elizabeth I’s court and transferred to the public as her reign went on. Studying the Shakespeare Authorship Question (SAQ) opens the door to this vivid world of alliances, rivalries and political intrigue – all expressed through the rich currency of the day: poetry.  Let the DVS brush the dust off some musty old notions and open the door to the vibrant works that fostered and fomented the genius of Shakespeare.