Shakespeare Solved ®


Shakespeare Solved ® is a forthcoming series of novels that covers the Bard's entire life and work.

These novels solve the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare by transporting us back in time, to walk in his shoes, and see his world through his eyes.

Only when we see Shakespeare in his original historical context can we understand what his plays and poems really mean.

This blog explains some of my ideas and discoveries, to prepare for this series of novels.

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Articles Written For:

The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library & The Royal Shakespeare Company

Most Popular Posts:

1. Shakespeare's Shylock Solved 2. Shakespeare's Othello Finally Identified 3. Shakespeare In Love Sequel Solved 4. The Real Romeo and Juliet 5. Shakespeare's Malvolio Solved 6. Shakespeare's Real Petruchio



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Shakespeare and Russell Crowe


Happy Birthday Russell Crowe!




He has had a very busy career in the last few years, and for the first time in his career, he has directed a feature length film, The Water Diviner, coming out later this year.

But what about Shakespeare?

You would think that a man as talented as he would have made some Shakespeare by now.

I think I have an idea why he has not done any Shakespeare, on stage or on screen.

I have written before about the fact that he was offered the role of William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love. Yes, he was could have been Shakespeare opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in that film.

As much as he loved the opportunity, and the script, he turned it down!

He didn’t think it depicted the real Shakespeare. He didn’t like the idea of Shakespeare as some romantic heart-throb ‘prissy pretty boy.’

He didn’t want a fantasy about Shakespeare. He wanted the true flesh-and-blood Shakespeare. 

He also said that he "wanted to create a body of work that would last century after century" meaning that he wanted to make Shakespeare In Love, and other films that were not just popular films and a financial successes but would have enduring appeal.

He wanted something more and something deeper from Shakespeare In Love. I am sure that he is very pleased with the success of that film, but it is not a true story of Shakespeare's life and work.





Russell Crowe is the kind of man who wants to put his mark on the world. 

Why else would he want to play Jor-El and help re-define the Superman myth? 

Why else would he want to re-imagine the story of Noah?

It would be safe to say that Russell Crowe does NOT want to make the same old Shakespeare. He wants to re-define and re-imagine Shakespeare, and make it last for a very long time. 

This may be why he has not done any Shakespeare.

If that's the case, then this is why he should do some Shakespeare Solved.

It is not the same old Shakespeare. It is not a romanticized version of Shakespeare’s life and work. It is as real a story of the events of Shakespeare’s life as we may ever know — and it presents versions of the plays that decipher and unlock the meaning of the plays for the first time. 

Now we can understand who the real Hamlet was, why Richard III was the play that made Shakespeare’s career, and why Shylock is not the villain but in fact the hero of Merchant of Venice




With my forthcoming version of Othello, now we can finally understand why Shakespeare wrote the play, what it really means, and where Shakespeare got the name Othello in the first place.

Who would Russell Crowe play in these Shakespeare Solved versions?

What about arguably the most important man in Shakespeare’s life — Will Kemp?

Will Kemp was the greatest performer on the London stage in the 1590’s. For almost a decade he was the funniest, most crowd-pleasing and talented larger-than-life actor there was. 

I think Shakespeare had two fathers — his biological father John, and Will Kemp. 

John Shakespeare inspired Shakespeare and helped light the spark of creativity in the young boy’s mind. But his father’s reversal of fortune would have been a source of shame for Shakespeare his whole life.

Kemp taught Shakespeare everything else. I think it was Kemp who taught him how to entertain a crowd, which was Shakespeare’s reason for being. But Kemp and Shakespeare may have had a falling out around 1599, and Kemp left the playing company. He disappeared from history. 




It is an indication of the importance of John Shakespeare and Will Kemp that arguably Shakespeare’s most important character (at least in the 1590’s, before Hamlet, Lear, Macbeth, and Othello) was John Falstaff.

Kemp was the first actor in history to play him. It was customer-tailored to Kemp. Audiences, including the Queen herself, adored Falstaff. He made them laugh, and cry. Falstaff is the very best and worst kind of man. Falstaff was once noble, and is now less than noble.

So, it should not come as a surprise that Falstaff is based on Shakespeare’s father, John, who brought financial ruin upon his family.

What does it mean that John Shake-speare becomes John Fal-staff?

This is the kind of complex and fascinating person in Shakespeare’s life that we don’t know enough about. The story of Shakespeare and Will Kemp, not to mention the story of Shakespeare and his father John, is a story whose time has come, and should be told.

Shakespeare Solved is four versions of Shakespeare’s plays written for the screen that thoroughly re-define and re-imagine Shakespeare. 

If Russell Crowe wants to create a body of work that lasts for centuries, and change our understanding and history of Shakespeare, then this is what he is looking for.




What do you think?


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And your comments are always welcome!


Cheers,

David B. Schajer


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