Shakespeare’s Getting Some New Press

Commitment to Excellence, Shakespeare Style

Big news for all of you English nerds out there. A historian at Oxford, perhaps the most prestigious university in the world, has uncovered a connection between Shakespeare’s character Ophelia, from his most famous play Hamlet, and an actual child who died in 1569 only 20 miles away from Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The link between the two characters, the fictional Ophelia, and the real-life Jane Shaxspere, arose when historians made the connection that Shaxspere died by drowning while picking “yelowe boddies,” or corn marigolds close to a mill pond. Ophelia, likewise, drowns in much the same fashion in the play, raising a suspicion that the two are connected.

While not earth-shattering for some, the discovery by Steven Gunn, a Professor of History at Oxford is stirring up all kinds of possibilities for English historians. One such possibility is that this could be a link proving that William Shakespeare is in fact the writer behind all of the works accredited to his name. Another is that Shakespeare, actually based his works on real people that he knew, or at least people of the time.

What’s more intriguing is that the name of the child, and the proximity of her death suggest that her and the world-famous writer might have actually been related. If this were the case another bridge could be connected here, further proving that it was indeed Shakespeare who wrote all the world masterpieces connected to him.

There are some holes, however, with the biggest being the fact that William Shakespeare would have only been five years old. Still, if the findings were to be true, it would also prove that while Shakespeare often cited and referenced the world’s greatest works up to the point of his lifetime, he also found it pertinent to put in trivial, local information as well, making him one of the first authors to find it amusing to do so (much like Chaucer).

So while it may not be your cup of tea, for those of us who love history and literature, the find was quite profound, and should only elaborated on within the coming years.


Posted on June 14, 2011, in Misc.. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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