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Shakespeare Lied

Shakespeare Lied

By Sky Gilbert

Shakespeare Lied is Sky Gilbert’s second rumination on Shakespeare to be published by Guernica Editions. It places ‘the bard’ at the centre of present day debates over ‘political correctness.’ James Baldwin said Shakespeare’s goal was “to defeat all labels and complicate all battles by insisting on the human riddle.” Gilbert asserts Shakespeare is not just another dead irrelevant white guy, but that he— in the tradition of the Greek rhetorician Gorgias, and the scandalous, pornographic poet Ovid — was a magnificent, and quite intentional, liar. Shakespeare believed the purpose of art was not to teach, but instead to help us transcend traditional notions of truth.


(Essential Essays)


140 pages |

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I think the main ideas are valid and important—Shakespeare's refusal of didacticism, the importance of Ovid, and the idea that he's an essentially comic writer.

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About the author

Sky Gilbert is a teacher, writer, director, filmmaker, and he was co-founder and artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre for 18 years. He is one of Canada's most controversial artistic forces. His many critically acclaimed plays have been performed in theatres worldwide. He is the author of numerous books, including seven acclaimed novels, a theatre memoir, a book of essays, and three collections of poetry. He has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards and the Pauline McGibbon Award for theatre directing, and he was the recipient of The Margo Bindhardt Award and The Silver Ticket Award. Sky Gilbert continues to produce plays with his experimental theatre in Toronto, and in Hamilton, Ontario where he lives. 


 In 2007 Gilbert received a SSHRC Research Creation Grant and launched The Shakespeare Experiment, a three-year theatrical and academic project involving research into constructs of masculinity and femininity in the context of the cultural conditions of Shakespeare production in performance. He teaches both practical and academic subjects in graduate and undergraduate courses at Guelph university and serves as a reader and thesis supervisor for graduate students, including those taking their MFA in Creative Writing at Guelph-Humber.