The Man Shakespeare

The Man Shakespeare
And His Tragic Life Story

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The Man Shakespeare by Frank Harris

Published:

1909

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The Man Shakespeare
And His Tragic Life Story

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Book Excerpt

outstretched in pious supplication, whether a foot is not thrust out behind in some secret shame, for the biped, man, must keep a balance.

I intend first of all to prove from Shakespeare's works that he has painted himself twenty times from youth till age at full length: I shall consider and compare these portraits till the outlines of his character are clear and certain; afterwards I shall show how his little vanities and shames idealized the picture, and so present him as he really was, with his imperial intellect and small snobberies; his giant vices and paltry self-deceptions; his sweet gentleness and long martyrdom. I cannot but think that his portrait will thus gain more in truth than it can lose in ideal beauty. Or let me come nearer to my purpose by means of a simile. Talking with Sir David Gill one evening on shipboard about the fixed stars, he pointed one out which is so distant that we cannot measure how far it is away from us and can form no idea of its magnitude. "But surely," I exclaimed, "th

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