February 22, 2005

Response to Beauregard's article

I agree with the idea that Prospero's epilogue may have been written by Shakespeare as his goodbye to the stage. As we all know, The Tempest was one of the last plays he wrote. (Or was it the last?) I thought it was really clever of him to do this. It is written so that at first glance, it could be just Prospero wrapping up the play, but further examination leads one to the idea that it could have been Shakespeare's final goodbye.

One idea I wanted to bring up.... I have heard somewhere that there is proof Shakespeare didn't really write all the things he is given credit for. I only heard this from someone who didn't have any proof, and haven't researched it or anything, but I was just wondering if anyone else had ever heard this?

*After note: Vanessa provided these links in response to my question. She took the time to find them, so I wanted to share them here as well in case any one would like to do any research on their own. Thanks Vanessa! :)

Posted by KristenBergstein at February 22, 2005 05:03 PM | TrackBack

I have heard the same thing. Now I know Dr. Jerz would want us to back up any rumor with evidence so here are a few links that mention just that suject:




There are more- these are just a sampling. Honestly, I don't know whether I believe it or not. I sort of enjoy thinking that one man could have been so great.

Posted by: Vanessa at February 22, 2005 05:51 PM

Thanks for the links Vanessa! I'm glad that I'm not the only one who has heard that rumor. I like thinking that he could have done all that too, but it definitly makes you think that maybe he didn't.

Posted by: Kristen at February 23, 2005 10:06 AM

My college Shakespeare prof said that whenever he tells people at parties that he's a Shakespeare specia1ist, he finds himself cornered by a conspiracy theorist who offers the "Shakespeare didn't write his work" argument.

Perhaps the most telling argument in favor of Shakespeare lies in the fact that nobody raised any doubts for 200 years after he died. It's an interesting intelletual puzzle, though, reminding us how little we really know (and how much less we can actually prove) about some things that we take for granted.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 23, 2005 12:44 PM

He didnt actually write his own works though.

Wasnt the tempest the ONLY orginial work he created himself? Other than the tempest, all of shakespeare's plays were "written" by history.

Posted by: Lou Gagliardi at February 23, 2005 03:38 PM

Are you talking about the idea that Foster wrote about that no piece of work is original? If you are, I agree with that fact. However, I just meant that the stories he put his name on, may not have been his at all. (Or so rumor says). Look at the links provided by Vanessa...they are very interesting!

Posted by: Kristen at February 23, 2005 10:21 PM

While I'm not a Shakespeare expert, I believe Shakespeare had an outside source (not always history, sometimes a play written by somebody else) for the plot of every other play that he wrote, though of course he put his own creative stamp on every plot that he rewrote.

There are sources for Caliban, but Shakespeare does seem to have invented the plot of The Tempest, which makes Prospero's epilogue even more poignant.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 23, 2005 11:56 PM

Dabydeen's article (the one for Friday) mentions that Shakespeare may have derived at least some elements of the plot for "The Tempest" from historical accounts of a ship that set sail for Jamestown, Virginia, and ended up getting lost in a storm, being blown off course, and stuck temporarily at an island (much like the island in the play, according to Dabydeen and his sources).

So, in a way, even "The Tempest"'s plot borrows from other sources (the historical account was written in the journal of a passenger on the ship or the captain's log, if I remember correctly, so it was a form of literature).

Posted by: ChrisU at February 24, 2005 12:18 AM

I thought the same thing when I read the article for Friday, Chris. Dabydeen's evidence makes it impossible for one to say that The Tempest is Shakespeare's one true original work.

Posted by: Kristen at February 24, 2005 02:56 AM

Well, yeah thats basically what I meant. Julius Caesar, MacBeth, and others, even the tempest if you go by the articles, were written orginially by history and taken down by historians.

I was reading articles last night on the internet (about.com while not an EXCELLENT source is a good read sometimes) that mentioned these things. I mean I like the Bard as much as the next person, but sometimes you have to wonder if he truely did write these things.

Posted by: Lou Gagliardi at February 24, 2005 01:28 PM

ok...woah, i'm flipping through blogs and have come across this question which absolutly floors me. I will not let myself believe that i have spent a greater part of my english career studying a man who didn't even write his own works. this thought shatter my faith in the power of literature. Though, i will not tell a lie, i am tempted to click on the links vannessa provided

Posted by: kellyn miller at February 24, 2005 02:56 PM

*** I type corrected. It was the Mullenix article that talked about the history behind "The Tempest," not Dabydeen's.

Posted by: ChrisU at February 25, 2005 12:17 AM

Kristen, in light of the thesis you suggested today, you might want to check out Chris U's comments about family and Miranda...


Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 25, 2005 05:47 PM
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