William Shakespeare was more than just a playwright. He was also, in today’s lingo, a “player.”
That’s the word from Edward Francisco, English professor and writer-in-residence at Pellissippi State Community College. Urbandictionary.com defines a player as “a male who is skilled at manipulating (‘playing’) others, and especially at seducing women by pretending to care about them….”
“The Bard of Avon” had the affections of a number of ladies, and maybe even a guy or two, says Francisco. Academics have long debated Shakespeare’s love life, pondering the real identities of “the dark lady,” “the fair youth” and others referred to in his writings.
Francisco has done his own research and believes he has some answers. He’ll discuss them as guest speaker at the Gnosis student organization’s meeting Sept. 21. The event is 4:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Cafeteria Annex on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
The community is invited to “Sexy Shakespeare: The Amorous Adventures of the Bard of Avon,” to brush up on their history at the free event.
Gnosis is a service learning club that takes its name from the Greek word meaning “the highest form of knowledge.” The organization is dedicated to inspiring and mentoring students with a love of learning, says Annie Gray, associate professor of English and club co-sponsor.
In his presentation, Francisco will discuss Shakespeare’s lover … and his lovers’ lovers. The speaker will focus on Shakespeare’s first major work, the poem “Venus and Adonis.” Written in 1593, the poem tells the story of the seduction of a younger Adonis by an older Venus. Francisco believes Shakespeare may have been alluding to himself and his wife, Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older.
Not only will Francisco unravel the web of women that complicated Shakespeare’s life, but he will even delve into a couple of Shakespearian mysteries: Where was he during the “missing” years? Still more compelling, did Shakespeare die of natural causes or was he helped out of this world by a member of the “gentler” sex?
Francisco, a member of the Oxford Roundtable at the University of Oxford, is himself a poet, novelist, an essayist, playwright, and scholar. His poetry and fiction have appeared in more than 70 magazines and journals and a half dozen anthologies, and he is the author of two novels.
For more information about this event, contact Pellissippi State’s English Department at (865) 694-6708.
To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.