Shakespeare and his Juliets
Feeding a Multitude – The multiplication of Juliets
This document deals with the meaning of the word “Shakespeare”.
At first, we assume it refers to a man living in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in England. But if we take a closer look, we realize that Shakespeare cannot refer to one single man, as the study of the handwriting proves it as well as the number of plays written under his name. His actors and other playwrights, like Sir Thomas More, Edward the Vere, Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, William Stanley or Roger Manners have probably contributed to the works of Shakespeare the way people working for Pierre Cardin have contributed to all the clothes produced under his name. That is a theory. But, as Bill Bryson puts it in Shakespeare, “When we reflect upon the works of William Shakespeare it is of course an amazement to consider that one man could have produced such a sumptuous, wise, varied, thrilling, ever-delighting body of work, but that is of course the hallmark of genius. Only one man had the characteristics and gifts to give us such incomparable works, and William Shakespeare of Stratford was unquestionably that man-whoever he was.”
Shakespeare’s plays have fed the imagination of millions of audiences around the world. He has literally fed a multitude artistically.
So, it is possible to state that the word Shakespeare doesn’t refer to this man living in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries anymore but to the overall artistic production made under his name or thanks to it, and also to the critics, scholars, teachers and translators who managed to keep the text accessible, understandable, interesting and open.
As a proof for this idea, I have decided to collect a few of Shakespeare’s Juliets in order to show how multiple, how numerous and last but not least how diverse they are. Romeo and Juliet’s death-marked love echoes the immortal love people devote to Shakespeare.