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Steve Sohmer

This chapter identifies some of Shakespeare’s unrecognized tributes to friends, former patrons, and others who were dear to him.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

This chapter explains why Twelfth Night must begin with 1.2 rather than 1.1, and cites eighteenth- to nineteenth-century productions as conclusive evidence.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

Shakespeare’s M.O.A.I. riddle in Twelfth Night has been his most intractable crux. This chapter provides the solution, and explains how a mis-translation concealed the truth from scholars for 400 years.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Open Access (free)
Personal Shakespeare
Steve Sohmer

This chapter summarizes the thesis of the book: that William Shakespeare was a far more personal writer than scholars have recognized.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

Gabriel Harvey has long been recognized as the inspiration for Malvolio in Twelfth Night. This chapter explains how Shakespeare turned his late friend Thom Nashe into Feste, and continued Nashe’s torment of Harvey from beyond the grave.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

This chapter explains that Christopher Marlowe was the inspiration for Jaques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It – and that Shakespeare wrote the play to commemorate the seventh anniversary of Marlowe’s death. We take a close look at how Shakespeare felt about his rival, mentor and friend.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

This chapter endorses the identification of Emilia Bassano Lanier as the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets … and the inspiration of Jessica in The Merchant of Venice.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

Elizabethan writers frequently complained about what we call ‘close reading’, i.e., that their readers imputed seditious and/or scandalous intentions to the author. We take a close look at this practice, and how it should influence our reading of Shakespeare today.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

This chapter pinpoints 27 December 1601 as the date of the first performance of Twelfth Night – and demonstrates that Shakespeare wrote his play for two audiences, one at Elizabeth’s Court, the other at the Inns of Court.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

This chapter reveals the identities of Quinapalus, the Vapians, Pigrogromitus, and the court jester behind Feste’s name. It’s Shakespeare at his word-playing best.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind