It’s hard to follow the thread and take notes when Stephen Fry takes to the stage to deliver a lecture on Shakespeare and love. To a mere mortal such as myself, he seems to have a brain the size of a small planet, and yet he didn’t consider himself a scholar of Shakespeare. The Bard was, he confessed, an inspiration for him, as he read him compulsively from a young age, with an ambition to get into Cambridge University. Which he did, with a scholarship.
He admitted that his understanding was made more profound after he fell in love for the first time, and then proceeded to debunk all claims that Shakespeare’s words were written by either Marlowe or Bacon – with credible evidence of course. He then read Sonnet 20 and Sonnet 18, (‘Shall I compare thee to a Summers day?’) examining and analysing the language and form – of course it all makes perfect sense when someone like Fry explains it, leaving me wishing that every English teacher I ever had was just like him. If you haven’t read any of his books on language, I urge you to do so.