Skip to comments.Shakespeare’s Plays Were Written By A Jewish Woman
Posted on 09/12/2013 4:21:40 AM PDT by Renfield
For hundreds of years, people have questioned whether William Shakespeare wrote the plays that bear his name. The mystery is fueled by the fact that his biography simply doesn't match the areas of knowledge and skill demonstrated in the plays. Nearly a hundred candidates have been suggested, but none of them fit much better. Now a new candidate named Amelia Bassano Lanierthe so-called 'Dark Lady' of the Sonnets and a member of an Italian/Jewish familyhas been shown to be a perfect fit. Here are eight reasons that are sure to convince you:
1. The Most Musical Plays in the World
The plays contain nearly 2000 musical references, use 300 different musical terms, and refer to a 5th century manuscript on recorder playing. None of Mr. Shakespeare's friends or associates were professional musicians, so how could he have developed this practical musical knowledge? On the other hand, Amelia's family were the Court recorder troupe and around 15 of her closest relatives were professional musicians. In fact, one of them was the leading composer for the Shakespearean plays.
2. Spoken Hebrew
Although in late sixteenth century England about 30 scholars were studying written Hebrew, none of them actually spoke Hebrew. Spoken Hebrew was used only among European Jews, as a commercial language, to keep their information secure. How, then, was Mr. Shakespeare able to make the Hebrew puns or include examples of Hebrew transliteration identified by Israeli scholar Florence Amit? Or incorporate several quotations from The Talmud along with reference to Maimonides? Or integrate the examples of spoken Hebrew, seen, for instance, in All's Well That Ends Well?
Amelia's family was Jewish, living as Marranos with members of the Lupo family, who were imprisoned for their faith.
The plays depict strong female characters who play music and read Ovid, but Mr. Shakespeare kept his daughters illiterate. Amelia, however, was educated at Court and raised in the household of the early English feminist Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and her daughter Susan Bertie, the Dowager Countess of Kent. This explains why Taming of the Shrew references a book that was the standard manual for training girls at Court in etiquette, and why other plays refer to Margaret of Navarre's Heptameron, the most popular book among court ladies. Finally Amelia's own poetry draws on the feminist Christine of Pisan, whose work is used in three of the plays and nowhere else in English literature of the period.
There would have been no way for Mr. Shakespeare to learn Italian in Stratford-upon-Avon, but the plays show that the author was fluent in Italian, made Italian puns, and read Dante, Tasso, Cinthio, Bandello, and others in the original language. The Bassano family came from Venice. As their surviving letters show, they spoke and wrote fluent Italian.
5. Major Poet
None of the other potential candidates who have been put forward is a major poet. But Amelia Bassano certainly is. She was a major experimental poet and the first woman to publish a book of original poetry in England. That poetry includes a 160 line poem that resembles a masque (a dramatic entertainment similar to opera, popular in England in the 16th and 17th centuries, in which masked performers represented mythological or allegorical characters) about the descent of the chariot of Juno. Bassano's masque-like poem resembles the masque about the descent of Juno's chariot in The Tempest. Her final poem includes unusual clusters of words that are also found in Midsummer Night's Dream.
6. Her Names
In the Plays One of the most popular names in the plays is Emilia (in various spellings). Why should Mr. Shakespeare have liked this name so much? In Titus Andronicus there are characters oddly called Emillius and Bassianus. Why are they there? But most importantly between 1622-1623, when Mr. Shakespeare was long dead, someone made changes to the Quarto of Othello to associate the standard image of the great poetthe swan who dies to musicwith Emilia, and to give her the "willow" song to repeat. Moreover, the swan appears in King John associated with John's son, and in Merchant of Venice associated with Bassanio. The author of the plays thereby associates the great poet with her baptismal, mother's, adopted, and family names:
This is over 99.999999% certain to be no coincidence, and only one person would have had a reason for leaving behind this complex literary signature!
7. Link to the Theater
Mr. Shakespeare was an actor, but actors had no training in rhetoric and only got cue scripts, not complete plays. They had no training in play analysis. Amelia however, not only came from a family of musicians who moonlighted as musicians for the two theaters opposite her home. For ten years she was also mistress to Lord Hunsdonthe man in charge of the English theater. He was patron to the company that performed the Shakespearean plays, and England's only work on play analysis was going on in his offices.
8. The Jewish Allegories
In the Plays Finally, many plays contain allegories about the Roman-Jewish War. In Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon represents Yahweh, who is fighting a war against Titania, who represents Titus Caesar. According to research by Professor Parker at Stanford, Peter Quince is St. Peter, who presides over the collapse of Christianity, in the parody of the deaths of Pyramus and Thisbe. When the Wall comes down it is Apocalypse, and the start of a new Jewish year marked, as in The Zohar, by the distribution of dew. In As You Like It, the forest is surrounded by a circle, everyone is starving, people are hung from trees, and deer are being slaughtered like men. All of this resembles the actual events of the Jewish War. We are told the Duke in charge is a Roman conqueror who is also identified with Satanand his allegorical identity can thus be uncovered as Vespasian Caesar. As a believing Catholic, why would Mr. Shakespeare have created these complex Jewish allegories? Amelia however, wrote a collection of poetry that includes the long satirical feminist critique of Christianity known as Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611), meaning "Hail God, King of the Jews." As a Jew she might well have wanted to create an allegory that took comic literary revenge upon the men who destroyed Jerusalem.
Amelia Bassano Lanier
Being neither Jewish nor a Shakesperian scholar, I find myself poorly qualified to evaluate the author's claims (which, apparently, originally appeared here:
Perhaps more knowledgeable members of FR could comment.
< channeling Ramius >
i give this thread a one in three chance of erupting into a flame war .. lol
well I wrote a paper in college that Shakespeare was actually written by Lord Bacon.............it is fairly well settled that Shakespeare did not write the plays...........
Yes, but GLOBAL WARMING.
I’d give the distinction to John Dowland, who was one of the greatest musicians of his time. He moved in the same circles as Shakespeare; shared a patron with Shakespeare; had lived for years in Helsingore as musician to the Danish king; moved all through Europe, particularly Italy and would have been partial to making a quick buck putting out plays. Besides, many of his famous lute songs fit hand-in-glove with the situations in the plays.
In P. G. Wodehouse's story The Reverent Wooing of Archibald, the dedicated "sock collector" Archibald Mulliner is told that Bacon wrote plays for Shakespeare. He remarks that it was "dashed decent of him", but suggests he may have only done it because he owed Shakespeare money. Archibald then listens to an elderly Baconian expounding an incomprehensible cipher theory. The narrator remarks that the speech was "unusually lucid and simple for a Baconian". Archibald nevertheless wishes he could escape by picking up a nearby battle-axe hanging on the wall and "dot this doddering old ruin one just above the imitation necklace".
I blame Bush.
Could Amelia Bassano Lanier been one of Obama’s daughters? Likely not. Did she have a hoody? No, then the answer is no....
Shakespears plays, taken together, amount to half again as much coherent text as the Bible, both testament. I have a hard time believing that any one person could produce all of that.
I am NOT William Shakespeare! Stop asking!
Sorry, I’m OK now.
Two words: Occam’s Razor.
that’s the best point and kept coming to me as I read this as well. Why couldn’t they have been collaborative works, with contributions from many people and Shakespeare as editor?
Is it not possible that Shakespeare was an acquaintance of the man you mention and was able to pick his brain for a lot of information and ideas?
You know, over the years, I've read that Shakespeare's stuff was written by about a dozen different people and not him. It could be true because I've seen, and had, bosses that contributed nothing but took full credit for my work, so if that is what old Billy did, then I guess he was ahead of his time.
I have a hard time believing that any one person could produce all of that.
Surely you have met a driven genius or two in your lifetime.
...has only one blade, which is why no one buys that brand anymore. At least, that is the simplest theory concerning it...
How about “Shakespeare sucks”?
How about Shakespeare sucks?
Yep, that oughta do it d;^)
Ok, I admit it. I wrote them all. Where’s my royalties?
et tu Brutus?
How would the volume of work produced by Winston Churchill compare to the Bible?
Beautiful work it is. And obviously Churchill.
Which explains the “pound of flesh”.
It was Shakespeare who took all the criticism of his work through the years. It was to Shakespeare that Ben Jonson wrote his ode for publication in Heminges’ and Condell’s First Folio edition.
I’ll take the word of those who knew and worked with him over these groups of elitists who would seek to steal his work.
She may well have been Shakespeares mistress at one time ( See Sonnet 128) but the overwhelming contemporaneous evidence is that the man from Stratford wrote the plays.
Be damned. I thought Neil Kinnock wrote ‘em.
I don't see why not, since they were contemporaries.
I concur, Willie the Shake did NOT write those plays but his roomful of monkeys with typewriters had a knack for randomly banging on some wonderful keystrokes!
Not a wise Latina?
I used to listen to Art Bell and was frequently amused by his tendency to entertain rather esoteric explanations for simple phenomena. In his honor I came up with Bell’s Sponge, which is defined as the exact opposite of Occam’s razor.
“I concur, Willie the Shake did NOT write those plays but his roomful of monkeys with typewriters had a knack for randomly banging on some wonderful keystrokes!”
“Hey, I think we’ve got something here!’
“To be, or not to be, that is the gazornenplatz.” Newhart
Wasn’t Shakespeare a Catholic, ping?
Shakespeare’s plays were written by a committee of 12 experts
Were she signed under those plays or Lord (Turkey) Bacon, or somebody else, Shakespeare’s name would then be listed by one of these “scholars” as the author. The shoe must go on!
To quote Mark Twain:
“Shakespeare didn’t write any of his plays. It was someone with the same name.”
Having taught and read Shakespeare, and having learned about him in on study abroad, in England, from Shakesperean scholars and being Catholic, having read Joseph Pearce’s study on the subject, and knowing, being Catholic, that the Bard was well educated, well connected and informed about his contemporary society, politics, war policies and tactics and, without a doubt, about Roman history, behavior, as well as masculinity, he certainly was not a Jewish woman, who, in those times, would not have known all the aspects of life, politics, behaviors, religion and so forth, as women were simply NOT educated in that time.
Not to say a Jewish woman could not be as intelligent, or superior, by any means, but that, no...
This smacks of the rewriting of history, which, as an English and humanities teacher, I can assure does and really does exist.
Sigh. He is delightful, Wodehouse.
Now THAT’S Hugh Laurie, at his finest, come to think of it, Wooster.
Oh, please don’t compare!
No, he was no ordinary person.
If it had been more than one person his works would not have the cohesion, nor could they likely have rounded up so many geniuses at one time, in one generation.
Perfect timing. How do some Freepers do that.
Are you stating this as absolute fact? Because the article says that this specific woman was educated at the Court.
I'm curious to know why many characters were named after this woman or her associates.
Why would Shakespeare (or Dowland) do that. Coincidence?
Let me add that I'm not a scholar on this topic, and am going only by what I read in this article. The article points out specific people, specific locations, specific events. Not generalizations.
We're just not trying hard enough.
Shakespeare was a gay Mormon African-American peace activist who was Robert E. Lee's lover and believed that the Earth is only 7000 years old.
Now THAT ought to do it.
"Everybody great in history was Jewish" is just the mirror image of the nutty Scots who try to prove that the Highlanders are one of the Ten Lost Tribes . . . looking for greatness in your particular ethnic group.
There wasn't any doubt that Shakespeare wrote his plays at the time. Many of his contemporaries acknowledged that he wrote them (and praised them - particularly Ben Jonson, who should have known, bec. he was a playwright himself). His publisher and everybody connected with his theater knew he wrote them . . . and if he hadn't there would have been an outcry. Too many people knew.
Here's the deal: you can't think in terms of Shakespeare sitting down to a desk and writing these. He was a professional actor/director/ theater owner with an audience to entertain and a payroll to make.
What probably happened is that he sat down with his core regular cast, which included some very good actors and musicians like Will Kempe, Richard Burbage, Richard Tarleton, and so forth, and brainstormed parts suitable for their talents. He would write it up, they would rehearse it, he would change it, they would perform it a couple of nights, make more changes, and eventually they would settle on a repertory version.
Eventually the repertory versions got collected in the First Folio, and there you are.
The idea that Shakespeare didn't know this, didn't know that, etc. is nonsense. He was living in London, after all, which fancied itself then (and now) as the center of the universe, and full of highly educated men (and women). He learned Latin as a child, and that's the key to any romance language. Italian was VERY much in vogue as Italian madrigals took England by storm. Moderns with their DVDs and iPods don't understand that music was something that everyone did after dinner around the table . . . as you can see from the art:
And anything that he did not know, like any good writer, he would research.
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