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2016-06-27 Elsinore Revisited: Sten F. Vedi

Amazon.com: 1 review

Hamlet Parsed Rightly 23 May 2016

By John Odonnell – Published on Amazon.com

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In just under 100 pages, Sten F. Vedi has convincingly argued that William Shakespeare is probably not the sole author of Hamlet and possibly may have had little at all to do with the play’s authorship. In the process of elegant argument, he established contemporary  English connections—diplomatic, mercantile and thespian – to Denmark in general and Elsinore in particular; identified the play’s dramatis personae recognizable to Elizabethan theatre-goers; and sealed his thesis with deft analyses of the politics of staging plays. the economics of copyright. the sociology of theatrical assembly, the vulnerabilities of biography, the modern perils of “invisible colleges” of intellectual conformity, and much, much else.

It’s as though Vedi attempted to distil and reconcile thousands of monographs (more than a lifetime of reading, in his words) into a very whole idea of Shakespeare scholarship.

iDon’t write this off as part of the fraught polemics that cast Stratfordians against Oxfordians (that Is, proponents convicted of Will Shakespeare as sole source of the “Shakespeare canon” versus advocates of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, as its sole or primary author).  Vedi is a profound empiricist, not an eager polemicist. He exhibits enormous respect for scholars who have reached conclusions different than his own. But his admiration yields ultimately to healthy skepticism. Vedi exhibits a scientist’s tentativeness and humility as he piercingly queries “given truth” (the governing paradigms) with reasonable questions that conventional conceits cannot answer.

On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. when Hamlet in its inculcate form is happily rehearsed but sadly not reinvented, Vedi astutely challenges convention. I half-wished I had read his brilliant work before I published my recent novel Revenge At Elsinore. I say “half-wished” because his vision would have discouraged my conjectures as his plausible solutions would have chastened my conceits.

The “big guys and girls” in the vast arena of Shakespearean scholarship should attend to this elegant masterpiece. The last sentence of Vedi’s tome is his confession in his biographical sketch that, since his retirement from university life, he has deliberately decided “indulge in different areas of knowledge.” This, my last. sentence of this review salutes his decision.

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Author Sten F. Vedi has carried out a closer and well-detailed analysis of Hamlet and he has challenged the authorship accredited to The Bard of Avon.

LUND, Sweden – (Release Date TBD) – For a long time now, rumours and mordant jokes that William Shakespeare  (of Stratford upon Avon) wasn’t the man behind the Shakespearean plays have been making its rounds amongst the academia and the literati. Another man, a ghost writer, is supposedly the real craftsman behind the famed playwright’s canon, whereas the name William Shakespeare refers to a shareholder and Housekeeper to the Lord Chamberlain´s Men, who staged a great number of the plays. Not easily carried away by James Shapiro’s well-balanced arguments in his recent book, “Contested Will”, Author Sten F. Vedi has accomplished a closer and well-detailed analysis of the “Hamlet” and its authorship in Elsinore Revisited.

This masterfully-crafted scholarly work of Vedi challenges the general assumption that William Shakespeare was the sole author of “Hamlet”. It is maintained that at least the plot line and the characters were drawn up by someone else. This someone is thought to have been a person of high rank, a feudal prince, in the Elizabethan society. Readers will walk in the footsteps of the Queen’s envoys in Elsinore Revisited to see if they can discover how and why the site of Elsinore entered into the play. They will meet men like Henrik Ramelius alias Polonius, but also Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who all entered the portrait gallery of famous characters in world literature.

Pieces of circumstantial evidences, according to Vedi lead to the assumption that Edward de Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford, and even Lord Derby, married to one of de Vere’s daughters might have been the author or co-authors of the play “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the intention of Elsinore Revisited to test the validity of that theory by analysis of plot and characters, the social perspective of “Hamlet” as well as historical aspects of the Danish and English royal courts. In that respect site specific knowledge about Elsinore is crucial.

Clearly, the author himself is open to future discussions of this controversial theory through a renewed analysis of the literary style, linguistic markers, sociolinguistic traits, plot and characters and dramatic structure of “Hamlet” and other works linked to the same author. However, with renewed readings of primary and secondary resources and with discovery of an hitherto overlooked or neglected primary source, Vedi came to his conclusion about the probable author of Hamlet. Written conscientiously, Elsinore Revisited is at turns edifying and entertaining for both skeptics and believers.