Shakespeare’s handwriting and why it matters
Studying ancient handwriting is a fascinating thing. To know that the oddly-shaped letters on the page were put there hundreds of years ago by an individual with a life, passions and things to do, can be sensational. Sometimes such ancient handwritten notes can teach us really important things. The page above was written by no other than William Shakespeare. A scholar in Texas compared the document to a handwritten addition in a copy of Thomas Kyd’s play Spanish Tragedy. And what turned out to be the case? The handwriting in the image above is the same as in the added text in Kyd’s play. Moreover, the two share the same spelling pattern. Ergo, the two were written by the same individual - Shakespeare. The newly identified “text” by Shakespeare (an addition of several hundreds of verses) will be included in The Bard’s new addition. It’s extremely satisfying to an expert of old script (as I am) that letter shapes proved vital for this important discovery.
Read all about it in this NYT article.
Hamlet and Macbeth are about a lot of things. Power and revenge. Madness and the otherworldly. But, when you get right down to it, these are plays about death and dying and murder: so that you know evil when it crosses your path.
See Shakespeare’s dark world illustrated and how each character came to their bloody end.
RICARDO GALVEZ & TOM McNAMARA (PBS)