by Levi Asher Monday, February 4, 2013 08:31 pm
The news that the remains of England's King Richard III have been positively identified in a car park in Leicester is a big deal for historians. It's an even bigger deal for Shakespeareans.
"James said that she began exploring the connection between Shakespeare and Neville about six years ago when she deciphered what she believes is a code on the dedication page of Shakespeare's sonnets. The code revealed the name Henry Neville."Can we be sure? Will our Shakespeare-wasn't-Shakespeare hearts be broken again with the next earth-shattering discovery of Shakespeare's true identity? Well...
"The authors say Neville's life helps explain a switch in Shakespeare's plays, from histories and comedies to tragedies, at the turn of the 17th century. Neville was imprisoned in the Tower of London from 1601 to 1603 for his role in the Essex rebellion (the attempt by the Earl of Essex and his supporters to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I), which the authors say accounts for the more tragic tone of Hamlet, written in 1601 and 1602, and the plays that follow."Oh yes. I believe the world is now collectively saying "Duh," completely unable to believe that nobody saw it before. Hamlet's a tragedy because its author was in prison. Obviously.