When I was a third year student in law school, I wrote a jurisprudence seminar essay on this play entitled "Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice ~ A Comedy of Judicial Errors". In it, I pointed out many legal flaws in the story and how they violated Jewish, Christian, and Equity laws. A Jewish law professor said it was the greatest writing he ever read on the subject and my professor in that class graded it an A.
Shakespeare's sonnets to her were rather sexual such as in #15 where he says,
everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment ...
in which he then "engrafts" her
Shakey's intent is a bit more explicit here:
Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,
And Will to boot, and Will in overplus;
More than enough am I that vex thee still,
To thy sweet will making addition thus.
Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious,
Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
Shall will in others seem right gracious,
And in my will no fair acceptance shine?
The sea all water, yet receives rain still
And in abundance addeth to his store;
So thou, being rich in Will, add to thy Will
One will of mine, to make thy large Will more.
Let no unkind no fair beseechers kill;
Think all but one, and me in that one Will.
Yes, Shakey was not shy about imposing his willie on her.
The above is the only authentic portrait of the Bard of Avon, holding converse with his next-door neighbor, Master William Busby. He is obviously reading him that sonnet - "There was a young lady of Stratford".
One of the most fascinating American history episodes deals with the infamous Astor Place Riots:
Long story short: some American doodle-berries took it upon themselves to declare Shakespeare an American. Therefore, only American actors could play the principle characters. One day a theater operator dared to hire an English actor to portray a leading character. He ignored warnings to hire an American. Humongous riot broke out, many died, and there was extensive property damage.
Over a hundred years later I walked along Astor Place near the Cooper Union. I could almost swear that I could feel some residual energy emanating from those streets.
William Valentine "Bill" Shakespeare (September 27, 1912 – January 17, 1974) was an American football player. He played at the halfback position, and also handled punting, for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football teams from 1933 to 1935. He gained his greatest acclaim for throwing the winning touchdown pass as time ran off the clock in Notre Dame's 1935 victory over Ohio State, a game that was voted the best game in the first 100 years of college football. Shakespeare was selected as a consensus first-team All-American in 1935 and was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Sharing the same name as "The Bard of Avon", Shakespeare earned nicknames including "The Bard of Staten Island", "The Bard of South Bend", and "The Merchant of Menace".
A: William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", was Abraham Lincoln's favorite play. Shakespeare was also Lincoln's favorite playwright, as he was intrigued by the depth of Shakespeare's insight into human motivation, the cleverness of his wit. Many of William Shakespeare's classic plays, where power and politics are the central theme, and the central figure is usually a king, whose court is a place of tension and intrigue, and who spends much of his time hearing requests for favors; such as: King Lear, Hamlet, Henry VI, Richard II, Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, were favorites too, of Lincoln's.
"Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, was known for many things. Freeing the slaves. Winning the Civil War. Holding the Union together. But he was also one of our most literary presidents. Of the three books that sat on his White House desk, one of them was the works of Shakespeare—a writer Lincoln cherished throughout his life. He enjoyed going to the theater, too, which in his day often meant Shakespeare".
"Four hundred years after the Bard hung up his pen for the last time and drained his final glass, we look back at the drinks mentioned in his plays, and what he and his contemporaries would have been using to toast their dramatic success".
"The past, they say, is a different country – they do things differently there. That’s certainly true of drinks. Many names have changed, fashions have evolved, and even if the names remain, the styles have developed into very different things".
"Each of Shakespeare’s 38 plays has at least one mention of alcoholic drinks, so they’re deeply embedded in his writings. A character’s choice of drinks will often be an indicator of their social position or character, and also of the fashions and practices of the age".
"Tea and coffee were yet to arrive in Britain, and water was a health risk, so alcoholic drinks were ubiquitous". (Read More)