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Actors' View on Shakespeare's Authorship

With Janet Suzman

How do you respond as an actor and director to the Shakespeare Authorship Conspiracy Theory?


Suzman: I wonder why people think one must experience something to write about it. That’s not what authors do. You don’t have to be a king in order to play one. If we don’t expect it of actors to have been something that they play, then why of the poet himself? It doesn’t make any sense. And then, you know, he’s a surrealist, or a super-realist, his figures, his thoughts, his perceptions about humanity are much larger than life. They may be true, but they’re not exactly documentary realism. And documentary realism has nothing to do with this poet. He’s out of that sphere. He writes so much about appearance and reality—it’s perhaps something that we should take on board, when you think of somebody who can’t do that. And then I don’t understand why those people in that period might have stopped gossiping— human nature gossips all the time.

Janet Suzman

Janet Suzman

Janet Suzman, adequately trained in the classics, sees William Shakespeare as a modern playwright (ref. her production of Othello in apartheid South Africa), and not being born English has difficulty understanding the class problem that the Oxfordians seem to have.

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