Shakespeare: The Genius we never knew

William Shakespeare was arguably the greatest writer in history. His works have been translated into every living language. He’s been credited with literally inventing a tenth of the entire English language, or almost 2000 new words and phrases, many of which remain in common usage to this day. Yet, he was an aspiring tradesman’s son during a time of great civil upheaval. He apparently left school at 13 only to be forced into a murky marriage at the age of 18. Despite these challenges he somehow managed to pen works that showed an incredible breadth and depth of knowledge of law, medicine, botany, geography, politics, history, religion and human psychology that mark him as a true renaissance man. And yet, we have so few pieces of material evidence about him that we could fit everything we know of his life, into literally one paragraph. We can’t even be sure that the portraits we instantly recognise are actually his. And yet, there are over a thousand books that have been written about him, almost all of which are based on pure speculation. Some even suggest that the man we assume to be the greatest treasure of the English Speaking World could not possibly be the obscure son of an illiterate glovemaker; but merely a front-man or pseudonym for a restless aristocrat wanting to keep anonymous. Join us, as we dive into the life and times of William Shakespeare; take a brief look at his works, themes and their significance, and review some of the ongoing controversies that have plagued our understanding of his legacy to this very day.

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