Contested Will

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro explains when and why so many people began to question whether Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to him, and examines the history of the controversy, what it means, why it matters, and how it has persisted.

In Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? he looks at how the questions of whether Shakespeare wrote his plays are fundamental questions about literary genius and about the relationship between life and art.

Event: James Shapiro will be speaking
Sunday, May 2, at 11:00 am
92nd Street Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
Tickets $34; more information here.


James Shapiro

Comments [3]


As an English Ph.D, I appreciate the controversy, and love a good skeptical smack-down. I'll be digging into Mr. Shapiro's book.

But for the fifteen minutes of this interview, I waited and waited for Leonard to get to WHAT claims and debates Shapiro shuts down and WHY they don't wash.

Instead, we got an historical survey of the skeptics of Shakespearean authority, and next to nothing about WHY that debate writ large is problematic -- which is the thesis for the entire enterprise.

Why interview someone about their thesis, and never bring up the thing in question? Listening to that interview was like watching a cut of JAWS that never shows the shark. Would you interview Steven Spielberg about his first big film and never get into the damn shark?

Shapiro's nod to his section of refutations and saying he hoped they were the most photocopied pages in Shakespearean scholarship just rubbed it in.


Apr. 20 2010 10:37 AM
hjs from 11211

does it matter who wrote these plays. can't the works stand on their own?

Apr. 19 2010 01:22 PM
Ed from Larchmont

What do you think of Joseph Pearce's book 'Quest for Shakespeare' which brings together lots of circumstantial evidence that points to the idea that Shakespeare was a devout Catholic and part of the recusants?

Apr. 19 2010 08:25 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.