What a Shakespeare Scholar Flame War Looks Like

A review of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro is published over at PopMatters and the Edward de Vere supporters go all in…as usual. Some samples include this,

Maybe this would explain why Shapiro disingenuously slandered instead of actually taking on the logical arguments and extensive facts familiar to Oxfordians.  He doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to the facts.

and this,

Again, eternal fame awaits the scholar who can find indisputable evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon did not write the plays. You claim that Oxfordians are blackballed and have applied equally credible scholarly methods but then demonstrate that with your example of cryptography, secret codes put into the writing.

and this,

One has to wonder how Professor Shapiro, in his twenty-five years teaching Shakespeare at Columbia, not to mention all that time he spent with Guggenheim grant money writing this book, can have failed to miss this elementary point.

and this,

As to my own alleged “disinterestedness,” I’m afraid that Mr. Williams demonstrates his blissful ignorance of the true circumstances surrounding my Phd dissertation—which included one of his “expert” colleagues, quoted as a hero in Professor Shapiro’s book, demonstrating his commitment to academic freedom by threatening to shut down the department of Comparative Literature at my University if the committee dared to approve my dissertation.

and this,

Are you attacking Stritmatter because he is correct and there is nothing left to do than to call him “childish”?  Are you aware how childish that is?

Legless scholars! Missed elementary points! Contested dissertation! Childish! The horror!

I don’t have any strong feelings about this, though I lean towards the guy from Stratford, mostly because Edward de Vere died in 1604 and 12 Shakespeare plays were published after that date. Rather than worry about this debate, I think I’ll just crack open Hamlet or Measure for Measure.

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3 thoughts on “What a Shakespeare Scholar Flame War Looks Like

  1. I, too, am enjoying trying to make heads-and-tails of the ruckus but seem to keep coming up with more of the tail side of the arguments. Great post!

  2. Pingback: :) | knitwitted

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