The Stage


The Town Councillors and other authorities of Stratford-on-Avon considered that theatrical performances were obnoxious, and in 1602 prohibited anything of the kind under a penalty of ten shillings. How is it that Will Shaksper (if he was the author of the plays), on his return to Stratford for good, exerted no influence whatever over his fellow townsmen in favour of removing the ban on such performances? How is it that, at his death, he left no book, dramatic or otherwise, and nothing whatever to indicate that he ever had, as author, any interest in the drama?

Is it a coincidence that Francis Bacon, like "Shakespeare," cherished a high opinion of the stage as a means of inculcating virtue, and recommended that the drama be taught in the schools; and that he and his foster brother Anthony both had a penchant for play-acting, and produced a number of masques and plays for the students of Grays Inn?

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