Happy Birthday King James!
Since I write about Shakespeare, I would like to share one little story today, for his birthday.
They were probably also required to spy on the country and report back to the Queen, and her spymaster Francis Walsingham.
Walsingham may have been the one who created the Queen's Men in the first place.
It is very clear that Shakespeare’s career as an actor and playwright would not have been seen as propaganda for the Queen. I think his success was due to the fact that he challenged the state as far as he could without being stopped by the royal censor.
He did criticize and satirize the Queen personally -- as Portia in The Merchant of Venice for example -- but he knew how to get it past the authorities. I think Elizabeth even liked being roasted like this.
As far as Shakespeare knew, he could lose most if not all of his audience if they thought he was working for the King, and was a spy for the crown.
I hope you join me in remembering King James today -- he is a remarkable man who lived an incredible life -- which is even more remarkable and incredible for having inspired Shakespeare to write many of his greatest masterpieces!
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