Thursday, March 15, 2018

“Shakespeare’s Shylock and The Merchant of Venice” by Showerman and Delahoyde presented at Folio: Seattle Athenaeum Tuesday


Earl Showerman, MD and Michael Delahoyde, PhD
 at Folio: Seattle Athenaeum, March 13, 2018
by guest correspondent Tom Townsend
March 14, 2018

Two Shakespearean scholars, Earl Showerman, MD and Michael Delahoyde, PhD discussed critical topics about Shakespeare’s impressive work The Merchant of Venice.

Dr. Showerman discussed a real person, Gaspar Ribiero, as the likely model for Shylock; Dr. Delahoyde showcased the need to view different perspectives in Merchant. These presentations took place Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum where approximately 50 people attended. These conversations are timely because The Seattle Shakespeare Company is producing Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice March 20-April 15, 2018.

Showerman’s thesis: Ribiero is Shylock
Earl Showerman clearly presented many excellent reasons why Gaspar Ribiero, a Sixteenth-century, Portuguese Jew living in Venice — and forced to convert to Christianity — could likely be the model for Shylock. Dr. Showerman added that he believes Edward de Vere, seventeenth earl of Oxford, was the true Shakespeare. Both de Vere and Gaspar Ribiero attended the same church in Venice; and de Vere may have known Ribiero. 
Ribiero’s reputation in the Venice and Jewish community, however, was well known during the time de Vere visited and lived in Venice in 1575. Further, Ribiero’s daughter eloped with Ribiero’s ducat’s — just as Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, elopes with Shylock’s money and jewels.
While Showerman offers several additional similarities between Ribiero and Shakespeare’s Shylock, perhaps none is more convincing then the unusual language used by Ribiero: he repeated words and phrases just as someone with dementia. In fact, Ribiero’s language style is mirrored in Shylock’s speaking style, with similar repeating words and phrases.

Delahoyde’s discussion
Dr. Michael Delahoyde insightfully integrates the art of Sixteenth-century Venice with the play The Merchant of Venice. He believes The Merchant of Venice should be viewed from different perspectives. He demonstrated that Venetian painting during the Sixteenth Century showed different perspectives of the same scene from different vantage points. He pointed out that while Shylock appears to be a villain, Antonio and Portia are villains to him. In the trial scene, Portia asks Shylock for mercy, but offers none to Shylock. We know both Jewish and Christian religions endorse mercy, but no one does in the Merchant. To paraphrase a critic of the play: In The Merchant of Venice we see everyone behaving badly.

There was a lively and interesting question-and-answer session after these discussions by Earl Showerman and Michael Delahoyde. Many questions and comments centered on how the true author of Shakespeare — a man from Stratford, or Edward de Vere — could have known these intimate details of characters and ambience in Sixteenth-century Venice.

Note: For more information on this topic, read:

Resources

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Report on Oberon March 2018 meeting

Mara Radzvickas, Robin Browne, Rosey Hunter, Richard Joyrich, Pam Verilone, and Sharon Hunter at Oberon Shakespeare Study Group meeting March 10, 2017 at Bloomfield Twp. District Library, MI.

by Linda Theil
March 10, 2018

Oberons had a nice study session at our March 10, 2018 meeting with lots of information sharing.

Books

My Shakespeare: the Authorship Controversy -- experts examine the arguments for  Bacon, Neville, Oxford, Marlow, Mary Sidney, Shakspere, and Shakespeare edited by Professor William Leahy, Deputy Vice-chancellor at Brunel University, London; published in 2018 by EER Brighton, UK. Available at Amazon.

The Fictional Lives of Shakespeare by Kevin Gilvary (Routledge Studies in Shakespeare) published by Routledge, New York and London, 2018. 
Available from Routledge.

The Seven Steps to Mercy: with Shakespeare's Key to the Oak Island Templum.
Available at Amazon.

The Royal Secret by John Bentley (John Bentley, 2014) in the style of Dan Brown according to Oberon member Robin Browne.
Available at Amazon.

William Shakespeare Punches a Friggin' Shark and/or Other Stories: a Secret Book Only Smart People Own by Ryan North (Ryan North, 2017) a choose your own adventure book available from Kickstarter.

Other discussion

Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship news article: Steve Steinburg exposes "Fallacies in Jonathan Bate's Debate Performance". Robin Browne said of Steinburg's commentary, "He tears Bate's arguments to shreds." Info on SOF new blog at https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/steinburg-exposes-fallacies-jonathan-bates-debate-performance/
The Waugh/Bate "Who Wrote Shakespeare?" debate is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgImgdJ5L6o

Diana Price's "Chart of Literary Paper Trails" Appendix B from her book Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography (Greenwood, 2001) is online at
http://rosbarber.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/RBarber-DPhil-Thesis-Appendix-B.pdf. The 2013 edition of her book is available at Amazon.

Tom and Joy Townsend will attend an Oxfordian presentation about Merchant of Venice at the University of Washington in Seattle March 12 and 13, 2018. Info at
https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/oxfordians-presenting-merchant-seattle-march-12-13/

Several of our members have signed up for Ros Barber's new online authorship course, "Who Wrote Shakespeare?" from the University of London. Kevin Gilvary wrote a post about the course as a guest blogger on the Oberon weblog at http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com/2018/02/university-of-london-sponsors-online.html

We discussed "Shakespeare Identified Centennial (SI-100) progress update: December 2017" compiled by Kathryn Sharpe, and available on the SOF website at https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/shakespeare-identified-centennial-si-100-progress-update-december-2017/

Performances

National Theatre Live will present Julius Caesar on movie screens worldwide -- including Ann Arbor and Detroit locations --  at 7:30 p.m. March 22. For more information see https://www.fathomevents.com/events/nt-live-julius-caesar.

UMS will sponsor a showing at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on May 6, 2018. More information at
https://ums.org/performance/national-theatre-live-in-hd-shakespeares-julius-caesar/

NT Live will broadcast Macbeth on May 10, 2018. Info at http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/66375-macbeth




Tuesday, February 13, 2018

University of London sponsors online Shakespeare authorship course

Ed: Kevin Gilvary, PhD is the author of The Fictional Lives of Shakespeare (Routledge, 2017) and trustee of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust.

by guest correspondent Kevin Gilvary, PhD



The world's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the Shakespeare Authorship Question will go live on the Coursera platform on Monday February 19, 2018. The four-week online course, which is completely free, is written and presented by Dr Ros Barber, lecturer in the English and Comparative Literature department at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Director of Research at the Shakespearean Authorship Trust.  It includes interviews with leading authorship doubters including this writer [Professor William Leahy of Brunel University] and Oscar-winning actor Sir Mark Rylance. Coursera currently has 30-million registered users and is one of the world's leading providers of free online education.

Registration is now open at https://www.coursera.org/le arn/shakespeare

The Shakespeare authorship question -- the question of whether William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon had any hand in the writing of the plays attribute to him -- has long been taboo in academia. Despite significant interest in the subject among the general public, English Literature academics tend to dismiss it as a subject not worth discussing. For this reason, the launch of a university-sponsored MOOC which explores the Shakespeare authorship question will undoubtedly be controversial.

When the University of London International (UoLIA) Learning, Teaching and Assessment Subcommittee discussed the approval report for the MOOC, the chair -- a literature professor -- gave a glowing report: saying it was ". . . engaging, really engaged critical thinking, and really added something to literary studies."

From the course description:

This MOOC explores critical thinking, and the interpretation of texts, through the Shakespeare authorship question. Using doubt about Shakespeare’s authorship as our playground, we will explore the key concept of authorship attribution, while developing skills in literary analysis, interpretation, and argument. Through forensic exploration of key texts, by both Shakespeare and other writers of the period, you will learn why Shakespeare’s authorship is questioned, and what evidence is cited on both sides of the debate. For those of you interested in exploring the works of Shakespeare from a new angle, or just wanting to hone your analytical thinking skills, this MOOC offers an introduction to a fascinating area of interest. Those of you already interested in the Shakespeare authorship question will be encouraged to question your own assumptions in fruitful ways. Whether undertaken as a standalone course, or as preparation for the University of London BA in English, this MOOC will be food for thought. 
Shakespeare aficionados and novices alike will find something of interest in this course; likewise anyone interested in logical reasoning, literary history, and the use of evidence. It is pitched at a level suitable for foundation year undergraduates. Although it is structured as a 4-week course, you can do it at your own pace.

Anyone can register for this course, at no cost, at https://www.coursera.org/le arn/shakespeare


Friday, February 2, 2018

Deepest condolence

Oberons extend deepest condolence to our dear friend Richard Joyrich on the death of his mother, Ida Joyrich, who passed away yesterday.

Ida Joyrich, 1931-2018
A remembrance of Mrs. Joyrich can be seen at: 

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 4, at Hebrew Memorial Chapel, 26640 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park MI 48237.

Those who wish to honor the memory of Ida Joyrich, may do so by making a contribution to:
GLEANERS
P.O. Box 33321, Drawer 43 
Detroit, MI 48232-5321  
866-GLEANER (453-2637)
www.gcfb.org
or
YAD EZRA
2850 W. 11 Mile, Berkley, MI 48072
248.548.3663  
www.yadezra.org
or
A.C.L.U.
action.aclu.org
or
AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD SERVICE
45 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018
212.792.2900
800.889.7146
212.792.2930
ajws@ajws.org

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Celebrate Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day!



by Linda Theil

Celebrate the Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day by sharing your favorite authorship book or video under the #ShakespeareAuthorshipMysteryDay on all your social media sites! 

Here is an Oberon favorite: The Truth about William Shakespeare: Fact, Fiction, and Modern Biographies (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) by David Ellis. 

Read all about The Truth . . . on the July 17, 2012 Oberon post, "UK professor says Shakespeare biographies are bunk".

Resources
Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Truth-About-William-Shakespeare-Biographies/dp/0748646671/
Oberon, http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com/2012/07/uk-professor-says-shakespeare.html

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Hemingway shown Shakespeare skeptical


by Linda Theil

Ernest Hemingway may be added to the list of Shakespeare authorship skeptics thanks to Nina Green finding a Hemingway letter to Scribner editor Maxwell Perkins. Hemingway opens the letter datelined August 27, 1942 “La Finca Vigia” with praise for Alden Brooks’ Will Shakespeare and the Dyer’s Hand (Scribners, 1943) wherein Brooks proposes Sir Edward Dyer as the true author of Shakespeare’s plays. 

Hemingway said:
Dear Max: Thank you very much for sending me the galleys from Alden Brooks's Shakespeare book. I think it is very possible, as he told me last fall in Tucson, that he has really nailed the man at last. He is so enthusiastic and follows so like a bloodhound and a district attorney with a record for convictions, on the trail of poor Will that he will alienate many people, but as you say he piles up a terrific amount of evidence. Anyway, it is a marvelous job and it would be a crime for it not to be published. He is a good man too and was a fine soldier. . . .
Max Perkins had been shepherding the authorship book through the editorial process at Scribner’s, and had shared his enthusiasm for the work with Hemingway. Perkins biographer, A. Scott Berg, reported in Max Perkins: Editor of Genius (NAL 1979):
In 1942 Perkins was reading proofs of a book that did get published only because of his obstinacy. It was Alden Brooks’s Will Shakespeare and the Dyer’s Hand. For some time the book had been a mania with him. At every editorial conference Perkins brought it up and the board unanimously voted it down. “So, being a man of infinite patience,” one Scribners employee recalled, “he would introduce his suggestion at the next conference, with the same result.” What charmed Perkins about the work was that it credited Sir Edward Dyer, an editor with Shakespeare’s success. Indeed, the book had convinced Perkins that “the man Shakespeare was not the author of what we consider Shakespeare’s works.” Eventually the board gave in, to please Perkins. Max sent copies to many critics, hoping to rouse support. Nearly every one dismissed the work as mere speculation. Still Perkins retained his faith in the book and his respect for it. It made him aware, he told Hemingway, “how frightfully ignorant I am in literature, where a publishing man ought not to be.”  (pp 398-9)
Perkins’ devotion to Brooks’ heretical Shakespeare authorship work is well-known to longtime authorship researchers. In a July 26, 2016 post on Hank Whittemore’s Shakespeare Blog, Whittemore detailed the topic in a post titled “Max Perkins to Ernest Hemingway: “That Stratford Man Ain’t No Shakespeare!” 

In the article, Whittemore quotes an August 13, 1942 letter from Perkins to Hemingway published in From Editor to Author: The Letters of Maxwell E. Perkins (Scribners, 1950) by J.H. Wheelock. The entire letter is quoted in Editor to Author. . .; Whittemore focussed on the final paragraph that reads: 
I am trying to read proofs on Alden's book, and it is most interesting. It is certain, to my mind, that the man Shakespeare was not the author of what we consider Shakespeare's works.
Until last week when the question came up on Nina Green’s Phaeton email list, no Hemingway response on the topic of Shakespeare authorship was generally known; but, on October 29, 2017 Nina Green wrote on Phaeton:
I’ve received a reply to the e-mail I sent to the Hemingway Letters Project advising that Hemingway did mention Alden Brooks’s book on the authorship issue in a letter to Maxwell Perkins dated 27 August 1942. The letter is on p. 539 of Carlos Baker’s Hemingway: Selected Letters (Scribner’s, 1981).  It appears Perkins had sent Hemingway galley proofs of [Will] Shakespeare and the Dyer’s Hand, and in his letter to Perkins, Hemingway apparently says Brooks did “a marvelous job”.
I’m hoping to get hold of a copy of Carlos Baker’s book containing that letter at the university library later today, and will post more once I have it.




Hemingway refers to Alden Brooks’s book on the Shakespeare
authorship in a letter to Maxwell Perkins dated 27 August 1942.
Carlos Baker’s Hemingway: Selected Letters (Scribner’s, 1981), p. 539.

The result of Green's efforts is the August 27, 1942 Hemingway quotation posted at the top of this article and the photos shown above. Hemingway letters after 1931 are not yet available on the Hemingway Letters Project site.

Resources
Nina Green's The Oxford Authorship Site, http://www.oxford-shakespeare.com/documents.html

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Robin Browne publishes in Tyndale Society journal

Robin Browne at Sept. 9, 2017 Oberon Shakespeare
 Study Group meeting at Bloomfield Twp. Library, MI.
by Linda Theil

An article titled "The Bible, the Bishops and the Bard" by Oberon Shakespeare
Study Group member Robin Browne was published in The Tyndale Society Journal #48 (Spring 2017). 


Journal editor Neil Langdon Inglis commented in a footnote:
From time to time, the TSJ will publish esoterica, and in the current issue we include a striking example by Robin Browne, who discusses the Tyndale/Shakespeare connection. There are mysteries to ponder here, and pending further discoveries by sleuths and historians inside our Society and beyond, certain historical truths must remain unknowable.
We congratulate our friend, Robin Browne, on his accomplishment and his dedication to the study of Shakespeare.

Resources
Information on TSJ #48 is available at http://www.tyndale.org/tsj48/index.htm.
"The Bible, the Bishops and the Bard" is online at http://www.tyndale.org/tsj48/browne.htm.

Monday, October 23, 2017

SAM Day November 8

Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day logo
by Linda Theil

For all those Shakespeare enthusiasts who find the traditional April 23 date for Shakespeare celebrations inappropriate and unsatisfying, rejoice! We now have Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day: November 8 -- the day of the 1623 publication of The First Folio -- to rally 'round.

Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship President Tom Regnier, JD, LLM, said:
We've designed Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day to raise the visibility of the Shakespeare authorship question. SAM Day is intended to be a single day when all authorship doubters can amplify their voices while commemorating the date of the First Folio publication. 
. . . We hope the celebration of Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day will provide a platform for all groups and individuals studying the authorship question to promote their work and increase curiosity about the true authorship of Shakespeare's plays and poems.
The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition and the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, and other groups and individuals plan to celebrate SAM Day. Oberon readers may participate by any of the following means: 
  • Create doubt-provoking memes to share on your social media channels and post throughout the day 
  • Use the hashtag #shakespeareauthorshipmysteryday 
  • Send out a Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day email to your members and network 
  • Post links to the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt about the Identity of William Shakespeare 
  • Post new articles or videos on the day
  • Post lists of resources – books, websites, and articles that you recommend -- for example: five movies about the Shakespeare authorship question.
  • Share Shakespeare quotes
  • Offer a one-day discount on books or merchandise 
  • Issue a press release 
  • Share links to classic articles about the Shakespeare authorship question
  • Encourage students to ask their English literature and history teachers about the Shakespeare authorship question
  • Point to weblogs and websites that provide more information

Celebrate SAM Day on November 8.
#shakespeareauthorshipmysteryday


Rosey and the Giant Matzo


Rosey Hunter chooses Matzo Ball Soup at Stage Deli in West Bloomfield, MI Oct. 20, 2017.

by Linda Theil

October 23, 2017

Oberons gathered at The Stage Deli in West Bloomfield, Michigan last Friday to celebrate the return of Oberon Chair Richard Joyrich, MD, from the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship conference in Chicago. Joyrich reported that he had dinner with our dear friends and ex-pat Oberons, Tom and Joy Townsend, who traveled from their home in Seattle to the Chicago event. Joyrich also told us that Hank Whittemore had been named Oxfordian of the Year 2017 for his work on the book, 100 Reasons Shakespeare was the Earl of Oxford, and for many achievements highlighted in the SOF news blog article "Hank Whittemore: Oxfordian of the Year 2017".  The 2018 SOF conference will be held in Oakland, California.

Sharon Hunter and Richard Joyrich at Stage Deli in West Bloomfield, MI on Oct. 20, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

Oberons met September 9, 2017



Richard Joyrich studies menu at Beau's after September 9, 2017
Oberon Shakespeare Study Group Meeting at Bloomfield Twp. Library, MI.
Linda Theil
September 18 2017

Oberon Shakespeare Study Group met for the first time since spring at the Bloomfield Twp. Library. Our chair Richard Joyrich, Rosey Hunter, Sharon Hunter, Pam Verilone, Robin Browne, and I attended. Joyrich shared his impressions of the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival where he spent a week play-going. He also attended the Shaw Festival and stopped by to visit Oberon friend, Lynne Kositsky, who has recently moved.

We viewed the video offerings for the Shakespeare Oxford Society's first video short contest, "Who Wrote Shakespeare?", and Joyrich shared information about the upcoming SOS conference that will be held October 12-15, 2017 in Chicago.


Sharon Hunter and Rosey Hunter at Sept. 9, 2017 Oberon Shakespeare
 Study Group meeting at Bloomfield Twp. Library, MI.
Robin Browne at Sept. 9, 2017 Oberon Shakespeare
 Study Group meeting at Bloomfield Twp. Library, MI.
Pam Verilone and Richard Joyrich at Sept. 9, 2017 Oberon Shakespeare
 Study Group meeting at Bloomfield Twp. Library, MI.

Slings and Arrows!
Oberon Chair Richard Joyrich recommended a decade-old Canadian TV comedy series titled "Slings and Arrows" about a Shakespeare festival similar to -- but not at all really like! -- the Stratford Festival. View on YouTube, or purchase on Amazon.