A Gentrified Shakespeare
Likewise, Alexander Pope (1688-1744), in The First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace, Imitated (1737), justifies poetic fame and fortune in an image of Shakespeare as a literary entrepreneur and theatrical impresario …
Shakespear, (whom you and ev’ry Play-house bill
Style the divine, the matchless, what you will)
For gain, not glory, wing’d his roving flight,
And grew Immortal in his own despight.
18TH-CENTURY COMMERCIAL SOCIETY WAS ATTRACTED TO SHAKESPEARE AS A PROPERTY OWNER AND A GENTLEMAN … … AS OPPOSED TO SOMEONE WHO HAD ABANDONED HIS YOUNG FAMILY IN THE COUNTRY FOR A LIFE IN THE CITY.
Consequently, his admirers craved any physical connection they could find with the writer - any commodities.