Much ado about whether Shakespeare wrote his plays: Dame Janet Suzman hits back at the actors who say he didn't
- 'I got mad as a snake about the conspiracy theorists,' she says
- Jacobi and Rylance claims 16th century aristocrat penned dramas
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 11:21 EST, 19 August 2012 | UPDATED: 02:00 EST, 20 August 2012
The Bard: Myths and doubts surround William Shakespeare
Dame Janet Suzman has hit out at two acclaimed Shakespearean actors who believe the Bard was not the true author of the plays.
The actress said it was 'strange' that Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance took the 'haughty' view that they were penned by an English aristocrat.
She said it was 'snobbish' to believe that the writer could not have been a playwright from Stratford Upon Avon.
Jacobi claimed the dramas were written by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, who hid behind William Shakespeare because, he said, a nobleman could not be seen as a common playwright.
While Rylance, currently performing in Richard III at the Globe, has pointed out that details about Italy in the plays are 'exact' and the Earl had widely toured the country.
Suzman, who has starred and directed in many Shakespeare dramas, said she got 'mad as a snake' over the myths and doubts about the man regarded as the world's greatest poet and playwright.
She told the Observer: 'It annoyed me… I suddenly felt like Joan of Arc riding into battle.' She described last year's film Anonymous, which portrayed Shakespeare as a drunken fool and the Earl as a literary genius, as 'far-fetched' and a waste of money.
In her new book, Not Hamlet, Suzman devotes a chapter to 'conspiracy theories' surrounding Shakespeare who died at the age of 52 in 1616 after writing 37 plays, 154 sonnets and poems.
She wrote: 'You have to be a conspiracy theorist to imagine the earl secretly wrote 37 plays, performed and printed over a quarter of a century, without being found out.
Bard defender: Janet Suzman claims Jacobi and Rylance had a 'haughty' view of the playwright
Acclaimed: Mark Rylance in Shakespeare's drama Measure For Measure and award-winning Derek Jacobi
'And you have to be a snob if you just hate it that the greatest poet the world has produced was born into the humble aldermanic classes of a provincial town.'
added: 'How strange it is that Jacobi and Rylance, hundreds of years
later, with their outstanding acting instincts, should embrace such a
haughty view of the man who has made them as big as they are.
'We have seen a dozen times how thrillingly they themselves can conjure up fantastical character studies of fictional persons – without ever having been crowned king or murdered a rival in real life.
'It's what actors do for heaven's sakes, and Shakespeare was one too. It's called imagination.'
Star: Jacobi in BBC's Shakespeare's Richard II with Janet Maw as his queen
Doubts have surrounded Shakespeare's authorship for 150 years, with Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward de Vere named as the likely writers of his sonnets and plays.
Last June, Jacobi said that Shakespeare was just a 'frontman' for the Earl of Oxford. He said: 'The simple fact is the earl could not be seen as a common playwright. He was living in a Stasi-type London.'
Rylance, said the 'big thing' in the Earl's favour was his wide knowledge of Italy where 14 of of bard's plays are set.
He said: 'You would expect a playwright who set 14 of 37 plays in Italy to have been there, and the knowledge is exact.'
A spokesman for Rylance said he did not only promote the “Oxfordian” theory while Jacobi was unavailable for comment.
Headlines Newsview all
Ace investigative journalist, Mr Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has threatened to expose Ghanaian actor, John Dumelo, for apparently taking advantage of an unnamed woman and her ...
Alfred Woyome Joy News can confirm businessman Alfred Woyome has officially written to the Sole Commission investigating the payment of inordinate judgment debt to appear before ...
Listen to Nana Ampofo Adjei and Yaa Agyeman Boadi The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has picked up two top officials on ...
A Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Alex Kyeremeh, has called on corporate bodies to partner the ministry to organise the 2013 edition of the Best ...
President John Mahama President John Mahama has arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the start of the 21st African Union Summit. President Mahama will be taking ...
Dr Kwesi Jonah Political scientist Dr Kwesi Jonah has said that whatever direction the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the presidential election petition takes, Ghana will ...
The pad at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral had been used for more than 90 shuttle launches since 1967. Nasa is looking for commercial ...
On the outside, the U.S. and African/South Korean versions of Samsung Galaxy S4 look alike, but on the inside, there are major differences in key ...
The acting Director General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Matilda Baffour-Awuah, is set to lead a campaign to ensure non-custodial sentencing to check congestion at ...
Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyei Ankrah and members of the Committee The Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has warned against persons rubbishing ...
TENA men for light bladder weakness Unicom Chemist Limited, one of Ghana’s leading pharmaceutical firms has launched new healthcare products produced by TENA for patients with ...