Monday, May 9, 2011

Stanley Wells sez, ". . . nothing anonymous about Shakespeare"

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust posted comments today that Chairman Stanley Wells made at the trust's Shakespeare birthday lunch this year. In the last paragraph of his speech (below) Wells mentioned the Stratfordian's imaginary education in rhetoric and classical literature that "lies behind the texts that he wrote". Wells assures us that Shakespeare developed his creative powers in Stratford and demands, "Let no one be in doubt of this." If only it were that simple, Professor Wells.
Ladies and gentlemen, Stratford-upon-Avon is the town that gave birth to William Shakespeare. At our grammar school he received the rigorous education in, especially, classical literature and rhetoric that lies behind the texts that he wrote. In this town and its surrounding countryside his creative powers developed. Here in Henley Street and in New Place his family lived, in Holy Trinity Church he and they worshipped and are buried. Let no one be in doubt of this. There is, if I may allude to the title of a forthcoming film, nothing in the least bit ‘anonymous’ about William Shakespeare. Like anyone else he was a product of the society and the educational system of his time, but it is his personal genius, his intelligence and imagination, his ever deepening understanding of the ways of humanity, his ceaseless questioning of the place of man in relation to the universe, and his constantly developing mastery both of language and of the arts of theatrical expression that we celebrate today and that embolden me to ask you to rise and drink to the worldwide appreciation of William Shakespeare.