Tag Archives: Oxfordian

Oxfordian Shakespeare Series: Richard Whalen’s Second Edition of “Macbeth” Published

The second edition of “Macbeth” — edited, fully annotated and with a new introduction and much expanded line notes — has been published in the Oxfordian Shakespeare Series by Richard F. Whalen.  Whalen is co-general editor of the series with Dan Wright of Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.

Whalen states that his second edition and all the editions in the series are intended for “the general educated reader who has an interest in Shakespeare plays and who might be curious to know what an Oxfordian edition of a Shakespeare play would look like.”  Of course, he hopes that Oxfordians might also be curious.

“Macbeth” and “Othello” are the first two plays in the Oxfordian series, with eight more — all edited by university professors — in the pipeline.  These are the first editions of Shakespeare plays ever produced by Oxfordian scholars. “Othello” (2010) was co-edited by Richard and Ren Draya of Blackburn College.

Whalen has kindly has granted permission to the Shakespeare Oxford Society’s Online News to publish the opening paragraphs of his new introduction to “Macbeth.”

From the introduction:

“The Tragedy of Macbeth” explores the agonizing predicament and downfall of a courageous warrior who triumphs on the battlefield but fails in the arena of power politics and court intrigue.  He knows he is not cut out by experience or temperament to seize the throne by assassinating the king, but he fails to resist the evil scheming of the courtier-like Thane of Ross whose lying eliminates a potential rival and clears the way to the throne for him.  When the time comes to assassinate King Duncan, Macbeth is conscience-stricken but fails to stand firm against it and yields to the bullying of Lady Macbeth, who covets the throne much more than he does.

His tragic flaw is not overweening ambition, as is usually posited by traditional scholarship.  To the contrary, he exhibits a surprising lack of ambition. When the Weird Sisters (a.k.a. the witches) prophesy that he will be king, he does not exult.  He finds it hard to believe.  He fears what lies ahead for him and tries to screw up his courage, but falters. Before murdering the sleeping king he tells his wife, “We will proceed no farther in this business,” and afterwards, he says, “I am afraid to think what I have done.”  This character trait of fearful, reluctant ambition seems to have eluded commentators on the play.

Macbeth is induced to seize the throne against his better judgment, fearing the moral and political consequences.  Once in power, he finds he must lie and deceive those around him in court.  He fails to use good judgment as a monarch, ordering the murders of Banquo, Fleance and Macduff’s family.  Tormented by self-doubts and in spite of himself, the hero of the battlefield has become a furtive assassin and cruel tyrant.  For the reader and spectator, Macbeth’s struggle with his conscience and his self-inflicted assaults on his sense of honor, loyalty and self-respect evoke fascination with his plight, even a measure of sympathy for him.  Macbeth is essentially an honorable man corrupted by politics.

A close reading of “Macbeth” informed by the view that Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford, was the author reveals a play about court intrigues and power politics and the danger of irresolute ambition by someone ill-suited to kill by assassination and practice Machiavellian duplicity.

As a nobleman in Queen Elizabeth’s court, Oxford had an insider’s knowledge of the maneuvering of ambitious courtiers and pretenders to the Crown.  He could weigh the contending theories of royal succession that are found in the play. And he was in a position to know details of the assassination in 1567 of the consort king of Scotland by a rival — details that are echoed in the play.  The play also evinces knowledge of Scotland, including its law, language, geography, weather and witches; and Oxford served with the English military in northern England and Scotland in 1570, when he was twenty.  Other correspondences between the play and Oxford’s life experience range from witchcraft in sixteenth century Scotland to the influence of Greek tragedy.”

(The second edition of Macbeth has just been issued by Llumina Press and copies are available from them at www.llumina.com/store/macbeth.htm or by Googling  ‘Llumina store’  or at Amazon in the US and UK, generally for $13.95 plus shipping.)

Many thanks to Richard Whalen for providing the above excerpt from the second edition … and congratulations to him on the publication of this important work of Oxfordian scholarship.

To read a bit more from Richard Whalen about the topical allusions and possible dates of composition of “Macbeth” from an Oxfordian perspective, here’s a link to the online version of Whalen’s article from The Oxfordian:

http://www.shakespeare-oxford.com/?p=533

Christopher Paul’s Review of Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom Now Available in German, Also in English on Various Websites

Oxfordian researcher and writer Christopher Paul reports that his review of Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom by Charles Beauclerk has been translated into German by the Neue Shake-speare Gesellschaft (New Shake-speare Society) for the current edition of the NEW SHAKE-SPEARE JOURNAL: Christopher Paul, “Shakespeares verlorenes Königreich,” NEUES SHAKE-SPEARE JOURNAL New Series 2 (2011), 13-31. The German-language review is available online in pdf at http://shake-speare-today.de/front_content.php?idart=568.
 
With Roland Emmerich’s movie Anonymous now in theaters, this is a particularly good time to read Christopher Paul’s timely and insightful review.  If you haven’t read his review yet, you now have many options for getting your hands and eyes on this article.
The original English version of the review was published in Brief Chronicles II (2010, Print Edition), 244-57. For information about Brief Chronicles, see: http://www.briefchronicles.com/ojs/index.php/bc/index.php.
Paul announced that his review is now available as a downloadable pdf at the following weblog/sites:

SOS-SF Joint Shakespeare Authorship Conference October 13-16, 2011 In Washington DC. Registration Form Now Available

The Shakespeare Oxford Society and The Shakespeare Fellowship Society
Present
The Washington DC Joint Authorship Conference

 October 13, 14, 15, and 16, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

A tour of the Folger Shakespeare Library has been scheduled for October 14.

The 2011 joint authorship conference sponsored by the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship will be held in Washington DC from October 13-16. Arrangements have been made for a block of rooms at the Washington Court Hotel. The program will include a tour of the Folger Library with a viewing and discussion of the Earl of Oxford’s Geneva Bible.  Arrangements may be made for a trip to a local Cineplex for a group viewing of Anonymous.

The registration form is available by visiting the Shakespeare Oxford Society’s website:

http://www.shakespeare-oxford.com/?p=138

If you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact:

Shakespeare Oxford Society

P.O. Box 808

Yorktown Heights, NY 10598-0808

Telephone: 914-962-1717

sosoffice@optonline.net

Speakers who have already made proposals or signaled their intent to speak include Mark Anderson, Roger Stritmatter, Bonner Cutting, Gerit Quealy, Richard Waugaman, Ron Hess, Barbara Burris, Cheryl Eagan-Donovan, Tom Hunter, Tom Townsend, Albert Burgstahler and Earl Showerman.

The SOS and SF are dedicated to academic excellence, as defined through the independent scholarship of several generations of scholars, among them J.T. Looney, B.R. and B.M. Ward, Charles Wisner Barrell, Charlton Ogburn, Jr., Ruth Loyd Miller, and Mark Anderson, among others.

The primary focus of both organizations is to consider and advance the case already argued by these and other writers identifying Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, as the true mind behind the mask of “Shakespeare.” Although papers exploring alternative authorship theories (e.g., Mary Sidney, Francis Bacon, etc.) are welcome, presenters should bear in mind that conference attendees are for the most part well versed in the arguments for and against Oxford’s authorship as presented in these seminal works. Those desiring an audience for alternative authorship scenarios, or writing from an orthodox “Stratfordian” perspective, should prepare themselves by carefully considering the expectations of their audience.

To inquire about submitting paper or for further information about the program, please contact:
John Hamill,   Earl Showerman,  or   Bonner Cutting.

The Conference is scheduled to begin just two weeks after the expected release of a Sony Pictures film, Anonymous, directed by Roland Emmerich and featuring a cast of Shakespearean thespian luminaries such as Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis, Joely Richardson, Rhys Ifans, and Sir Derek Jacobi.

A recently released trailer promoting Anonymous begins with this intriguing question:  “What if I told you Shakespeare never wrote a single word?”  Later in the trailer a male voice says:  “Promise me you’ll keep our secret safe.”  An older woman’s voice, presumably that of Queen Elizabeth played by Vanessa Redgrave, says ominously:  “None of your poems or your plays will ever carry your name.”

The tantalizing trailer ends with a clever tagline — “We’ve All Been Played” – followed by a stage filled with actors taking their bows and the audience applauding wildly.

Here’s the link to the trailer.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBmnkk0QW3Q&feature=channel_video_title

In light of the scheduled release of this major motion picture – the first-ever that explicitly challenges the traditional authorship theory – the Shakespeare Oxford Society reiterates its position that traditional scholars have been “Barding up the wrong tree” in Stratford-upon-Avon.   Indeed, there is a long and distinguished history of doubting the traditional “Stratfordian” attribution of the “Shakespeare” works. Noted doubters over the years include Mark Twain, Henry James, Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, and Sigmund Freud. More recent skeptics include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and former Justice John Paul Stevens along with renowned Shakespearean actors Derek Jacobi, Michael York, Jeremy Irons, and Mark Rylance, former artistic director at the Globe Theatre in London.

In 1996, the great Shakespearean actor Sir John Gielgud, while serving as president of the World Shakespeare Congress, signed the following petition:

“We, the undersigned, petition the Shakespeare Association of America, in light of ongoing research, to engage actively in a comprehensive, objective and sustained investigation of the authorship of the Shakespeare Canon, particularly as it relates to the claim of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.”

In 2007, the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC) began collecting signatures on a compelling “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare.”   Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, and Brunel University in West London have launched degree programs in Shakespeare authorship studies.

About The Shakespeare Oxford Society
Founded in 1957, the Shakespeare Oxford Society is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to exploring the Shakespeare authorship question and researching the evidence that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (1550 – 1604) is the true author of the poems and plays of “William Shakespeare. The homepage of the Society also says the group is “Dedicated to Researching and Honoring the True Bard.”  Visit www.shakespeare-oxford.com and www.shakespeareoxfordsociety.wordpress.com for more information.  SOS on Facebook.  Join SOS or renew your membership online here: http://www.goestores.com/catalog.aspx?Merchant=shakespeareoxfordsociety&DeptID=27020.