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A Gentleman of Stratford

  • Irvin Leigh Matus

Abstract

Shakespeare may have been the particular target of the dart aimed at the worldly success of the common players by the frustrated scholar-poets in the second Return from Parnassus: ‘They purchase lands’, complains the incredulous Studioso, ‘and now esquires are named’. If the allusion is to the grant of a Shakespeare coat-of-arms indeed, it should be remembered that it was formally made to his father and, in any case, entitled either Shakespeare to append nothing more to his name than ‘gentleman’. (Nor was he the only player to have a coat-of-arms.) But in 1602, the year in which the play was performed, Shakespeare did indeed purchase land, 107 arable acres of it in Old Stratford, as well as a quarter-acre and a cottage across Chapel Lane from New Place, which certainly might have caught the attention of the Cambridge playwrights, who seem to have kept a close eye on the theatre world they professed to disdain.

Keywords

Town Hall North Wall Theatre World Fair House Common Player 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Bibliography

  1. Esdaile, K. A., English Church Monumentsmm, 1510–1840 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1947).Google Scholar
  2. Fogg, N., Stratford-upon-Avon (Chichester: Phillimore, 1986).Google Scholar
  3. Forrest, H. E., The Old Houses of Stratford-upon-Avon (London: Methuen, 1925).Google Scholar
  4. Halliwell-Phillipps, J. O., Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare. 9th edn, 2 vols. (London: Longman, Green, 1890).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Irvin Leigh Matus 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irvin Leigh Matus

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