Shakespeare in the Digital Age


Exposing old books and manuscripts to more interaction and more scholarship is a good thing; however, I sometimes wonder if there isn't an unhealthy fixation on certain eras. The fixation on all things Shakespeare means people rarely get a chance to expose themselves to the people who lived fifty or a hundred years before or after him and if there are no collections, no emphasis on those parts of the canon and no exposure to the best and the brightest, not all of whom lived at the same time of course, then they will further suffer and be ignored.

If someone could be exposed to Richard Brinsley Sheridan, John Skelton, or Thomas Carlyle in such a ways as to evaluate their works and compare them to their peers, could they not elevate these literary giants to the level of Shakespeare? Or would bias doom them all? Ben Jonson could easily challenge those who claim that Shakespeare was the greatest English writer. I hope they are putting out his works digitally as well.

Shakespeare invites a lot of bias. Why not let people argue that he wasn't as good as they say he was?