Did William Shakespeare Write Science Fiction?


Ok, ok, the headline is a wee bit sensational.  Or I should say, overdramatic.  But I’m only echoing this from the Telegraph UK:

William Shakespeare, the ‘king of infinite space’
 Was the Bard a science-fiction writer 200 years before Mary Shelley?


Now to understand their point, you really need to read the article in full, which can be found HERE.

Essentially, the idea is not that Shakespeare wrote short stories about rocket ships, space colonies or warps in the space-time continuum.  So relax, fanboys.  You won’t have to read your comic books in iambic pentameter.

Nor will you have to confront this eyeball-searing image of Sean Connery, who hopefully learned his lesson:

My eyes!  My eyes!

My eyes! My eyes!

Shakespeare’s works are currently being re-evaluated specifically for their science content, to discover how ideas from his age’s cutting-edge thinkers and dreamers may have found their way into the texts.  Yes, the plays you already know and love.

If true, then, that would make Shakespeare a master of inner space, social space and outer (physical) space.  William S. –  space cadet and pioneering “space” explorer.

Don’t just take my word for it.  Read the article yourself.

A few paragraphs from the story to whet your appetite:

The genius from Stratford-upon-Avon has worn many hats over the years, with imaginative scholars casting him as a closet Catholic, a mainstream Protestant, an ardent capitalist, a Marxist, a misogynist, a feminist, a homosexual, a legal clerk and a cannabis dealer – yet the words “Shakespeare” and “science” are rarely uttered in the same breath.

 A surprise, perhaps, given that he was producing his greatest work just as new ideas about the human body, the Earth and the universe were transforming Western thought. But a re-evaluation is on the horizon. Scholars are examining Shakespeare’s interest in the scientific discoveries of his time – what he knew, when he knew it, and how that knowledge might be reflected in his work.


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