THE LAST WORD
by Caroline Morgan Di Giovanni
Mr. Tassinari implies that the acting companies were unschooled and ignorant. While it’s true that Shakespeare was not a “university wit” from Oxford or Cambridge, lacking the aura enjoyed by his contemporary Christopher Marlowe, the plays in the 1623 folio exhibit both deep thinking and theatrical finesse. The film Shakespeare in Love gives a lively – if not accurate – picture of the life of a company of players in Elizabeth’s realm. The talent possessed by the playwright cannot be easily explained, but it is not unique in the world. There were grand storytellers before Shakespeare: Geoffrey Chaucer and Thomas Mallory in England, Boccaccio in Italy, borrowing tales and references from each other to create something new. And who can explain the grandeur of Dante? He set his magnificent commedia in the underworld and on the moon. Did he travel there? What do you think?
In short, the article that gives credit to John Florio for the plays of William Shakespeare is a clever fantasy, a whim for a summer day.
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