Chinua Achebe once said, " "There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." Did Shakespeare let the lions have their voices, too--or mostly the hunters? Part of the debate on Shakespeare's identity centers on the idea that if he were an average Joe, a man without great means, there is no way he could capture the wide, wide world that he did. But many writers who wrote from statuses of wealth and class captured only the hunters. Did Shakespeare do justice to many voices?
Great ideas for starting a Shakespeare unit!
Each year I open our "Macbeth" unit with the Shakespearean cryptogram buried in the King James Bible. It goes like this: Although there's no record that Shakespeare had any part in the commissioned King James translation, you can count 46 words into Psalm 46 and arrive at "shake" and 46 words backwards from the end of the Psalm 46 and find "speare."
Who cares, you say? Well, Shakespeare was 46 years old when the King James Bible was first published. Cue the gasps.
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