Orson Welles

Authored by: Matthew Wilson Smith

The Routledge Companion to Directors’ Shakespeare

Print publication date:  April  2010
Online publication date:  June  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415400442
eBook ISBN: 9780203932520
Adobe ISBN: 9781134146482

10.4324/9780203932520.ch29

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Abstract

Who can say when Orson Welles first encountered Shakespeare? As always with Welles, some tales are taller than others. We hear of a teenage Orson reading the Collected Works while tramping across North Africa. We hear of a ten-year-old Orson declaiming King Lear to his parents. We hear of Orson’s mother teaching her son to read by means of the Bard. We learn that his mother’s name was Beatrice and wonder whether his Shakespearian wit didn’t grow in utero.

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