Shakespeare: Actor. Playwright. Social Climber.

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The new depictions Ms. Wolfe has gathered are all from the 17th century. More than half associate the arms with “Shakespeare the player,” or with William, not John. This material not only proves “that Shakespeare was Shakespeare,” as Ms. Wolfe wryly put it. It also, she argues, underlines the degree to which contemporaries saw the coat of arms as, in effect, being for William. “It makes it abundantly clear that while Shakespeare was obtaining the arms on behalf of his father, it was really for his own status,” she said. Mr. Shapiro said he agreed. “All evidence suggests this was not about the father,” he said, “but about how Shakespeare wanted to be seen.”
From Shakespeare: Actor. Playwright. Social Climber. - NYTimes.com

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