Deciphering England’s original melancholic pop songs
Saturday 10 Nov | 10.15am
William Shakespeare got rich and famous by writing the greatest plays of all time. Yet, through it all, in his private moments, he pondered his life, love and loss through his personal sonnets, fourteen-line ‘pop songs’ encapsulating the heartache and pain of a bi-sexual man constrained by the norms of the era. Pre-dating Bronski Beat’s ‘Small Town Boy’ by 375 years, many argue Shakespeare didn’t authorise the publication of the sonnets in 1609 for they reveal much about the man that the historical record has been uncomfortable to admit.
James Anthony, author of the contemporary rewrite ‘Shakespeare’s Sonnnets, Retold,’ explores what the sonnets reveal about Shakespeare through this ‘diary of his heart.’ James will share how Shakespeare expresses his sexuality through his fourteen-line iambic-pentameter lyrics, focusing on two key characters: his aristocratic male lover, often referred to as the ‘fair youth,’ and the ‘dark lady,’ an unknown black mistress of questionable integrity. James will reveal just how far ahead of his time William Shakespeare really was.