Was Will a Copernican?

I don’t believe that the man from Stratford-on-Avon wrote the plays published with the name William Shakespeare attached to them. I am not convinced because I am a rational human being. I love the plays. Reading them brings me instant gratification: the sound the words make the ideas, perhaps a little hackneyed now, fresh when their poetic presentation is deciphered – not decoded. The works of the bard show considerable knowledge, experience and research. He was not always correct. His presentation of English history is clearly Tudor propaganda. His European geographic settings are minutely accurate (see Richard Paul Roe’s “The Shakespeare Guide to Italy” and Mark Anderson’s “Shakespeare by Another Name”). His knowledge, experience and research go beyond that of a grain merchant and theatre entrepreneur. Logic dictates that he had access to libraries (all of which were private in England during the grain merchant’s lifetime), that he traveled to Italy and that he understood what the aristocracy wanted to read and see performed.

If you look at the bulk of iconoclastic scholarship, like scholarship on any subject, there are many varied opinions. The great deficit in this area is that adherents of any iconoclastic position are not embraced in academia. By this I mean that they do not have access to resources that a University offers e.g., electronic databases, rare books and the communion/debate with other scholars with this type of access. It is a great shame.

I am reblogging this post because it is important to hear the opinion of someone so knowledgeable in the history of science. That Shakespeare’s “science” may not be accurate does not prove that in a time before the internet, before mobile phones, before automated or mechanised transportation that a mere man could run two successful business simultaneously, one in the country, the other in the city and have the peace of mind to write such compelling poetry. He did not!

I will blog a little on the SAQ in future posts. I feel compelled.

The Renaissance Mathematicus

The Will of the title is England’s most notorious playwright and poet, William Shakespeare, who was supposedly born 450 years ago today. The question is the central motivation for the new book by Canadian popular science writer, Dan Falk, The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe.[1] Given that Shakespeare was born just twenty-one years after Copernicus’ De revolutionibus was published and lived through the period in which Kepler and Galileo, amongst others, made the heliocentric hypothesis the hottest item in the European scientific community it is not unreasonable to ask, as Falk does, in the more general sense, whether the cosmological and astronomical upheaval of the age left any traces in Will’s work. Traditional Shakespearean scholarship says no, Falk re-examines the evidence.

The Science of Shakespeare

I must admit that when I first got offered this book to review I had a sinking feeling that somebody was going…

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