>> This is evidence of how digital technology and the opening up of libraries [could] transform our knowledge of this period.
Indeed! Just bringing many more eyes (and perhaps AIs) to the works can vastly accelerate the growth of knowledge, and they're already doing further research based on this discovery.
Who knows how many more centuries this knowledge might have languished unrecognized, just sitting in the stacks? And how much more like it is still awaiting?
Nick Wilding's discovery of a forged Galileo manuscript is another fun example of this type of research: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/12/16/a-very-rare-bo...
I studied under Terry Belanger there as an undergrad and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time in university.
There's something about Shakespeare's writing that feels closer to modernity though. Milton seems sort of medieval, perhaps because of the religious themes (and the fact that I've only read a small portion of Paradise Lost...).
Maybe if it had occurred before Shakespeare, instead of after, he could have written a cycle of plays about it, and we'd remember it as well as the Wars of the Roses. But as it is, English schoolchildren forget it as soon as class is over... and I suspect the rest of the UK cares even less.
Perhaps not in this case, but often marginal notes are incomprehensible without context about what else the writer of the notes was reading, thinking about, or working on. Once you know who wrote the notes you can often understand more of their content and relevance.
Doesn't detract from the excitement of the article, I just would love to think how the elder might have influenced the younger.
Shylock the Jew wants a pound of flesh, in any interpretation of the work, teaches you nothing except Shakespeare was just another man of his times, who said words goodly.
The play is actually quite sympathetic to Shylock, even if none of the other characters are. Antonio is no more a cardboard hero than Shylock is a cardboard villain. Neither is Portia, for that matter -- who is herself struggling with the injustice of her father controlling her from beyond the grave, marrying her off almost by lottery. The play is of its time, to be sure, but the people then were just as complex and conflicted as we are now, and a good performance of it today isn't easily dismissed as "look at the awful way people behaved 400 years ago".
There is nothing "just another man of his times" about him.
He wrote it for me.
"When in disgrace with fortune in men's eyes /
I all alone beweep my outcast state /
and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries /
and look upon myself and curse my fate /
wishing me like to one more rich in hope /
featured like him, like him with friends possessed /
desiring this man's art and that man's scope /
with what I most enjoy contented least. . . ."
Of course he wrote it for me; that is a condition of the black woman. Of course, he was a black woman. I understand that. Nobody else understands it, but I know that William Shakespeare was a black woman.
- Maya Angelou.
Free Library of Philadelphia's Parkway Central branch
1901 Vine St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
Shakespeare First Folio on Display
Monday, Sept. 16, through Saturday, Oct. 19
That take, Anonymous the movie :)
The title is a little misleading.