Posted By Roger Stritmatter on February 15, 2017
Here is the power point used to illustrate my lecture at the fall 2016 Annual Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship meetings in Newtown, MASS.
In this talk, I critically examined two major elements of Stratfordian narrative, the Greene’s Groatsworth of Witte (1592) allusion to a “Johannes Factotum” and “Shakescene” and Francis Meres Palladis tamia (1598) discussion of “Shakespeare” as a major playwright.
Many people consider these to be “Shakespeare allusions.” Actually, they are Shakespeare illusions.
Together these two allusions constitute the bookends of Stratfordian biographies of the 1590s, seeming to establish beyond reasonable doubt the presence of an active “Shakespeare” writing for the London stage from 1592-98, and justifying the otherwise hyperbolic claims of Stratfordolators like Greenblatt to the effect that Shakespeare was a “celebrity” in his own lifetime.
Unfortunately for orthodoxy, neither of these two allusions is what they seem.
The former has often, since first being discovered in 1773, to refer to Shakspere or Shakespeare, but today more often and with greater credibility construed (Chiljan et al.) as a reference to the prodigious and much-hated actor-impresario-writer Edward Alleyn, with whom Green in 1592 had been feuding for several years.
Meres, likewise, presents serious problems for orthodoxy. In point of fact, although Shakespeare plays had been published in ‘bad quarto’ since 1591, the name does not appear on any title page of a play until 1598, coincident with Meres’s first public announcement of “Shakespeare” the playwright. All in all, nine Shakespeare plays are published between 1591-1598 without an author’s name on them. After Meres, all new quartos have the name on them.
Details in the attached pdf. Please feel free to download and use according to fair use and attribution principles.