This entry covers Alexander’s Shakespearean performances and his references to Shakespeare.
Reciting from Shakespeare plays
Alexander incorporated scenes from Shakespeare plays in some of his recitals, especially in his early reciting days. For example he performed scenes from Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth in 1893. It would appear that later recitals in the 1890s would include poems and extracts from Dickens rather than Shakespeare. However, by 1901 he returned to Shakespeare’s plays, especially The Merchant of Venice and Hamlet.
Performing in Shakespeare plays...
This section only covers criticisms of Alexander’s character, his personality traits. For other criticisms see below.
Criticism of Personality
Leonard Wolff wrote in his diary that ‘he [Alexander] was a quack but an honest and inspired quack.’
Ludovici in his Religions for Inﬁdels (1961) reported on his first impression of Alexander:
Altogether, I thought him too reminiscent of a showman, and there and then decided to have nothing to do with him.
Neal Katz asserted that Alexander was a compulsive gambler: ‘F. M. Alexander was a brilliant genius...
Several first-generation teachers wrote and spoke about F. M. Alexander, in particular Lulie Westfeldt, Erika Whittaker, Marjory Barlow,  Walter Carrington, F. P. Jones and Elisabeth Walker. See individual biography for details of their writings.
Descriptions of F. M. Alexander frequently contain a mixture of descriptions of Alexander’s character and his teaching.
Descriptions of Alexander – Books
F. Matthias Alexander: The Man and His Work by Lulie Westfeldt contains descriptions of lessons and the teachers training course.
The Expanding Self by Goddard...
Frederick Matthias Alexander was born in Tasmania in 1869. He started to evolve his technique in the early 1890s. It was initially developed to solve the frequent loss of voice he suffered working as a reciter. A successful reciter and teacher of elocution he toured Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. He first taught the Technique as applied to elocution, but he gradually discovered how applicable it is to all activities of living and how fundamental a contribution to health and well-being it makes. He settled first in Melbourne, and later in Sydney where he advertised his Operatic...
Influences on early writings
The First 43 Years of the Life of F. Matthias Alexander, volumes 1–2, by Jeroen Staring (1996) covers predominantly possible influences on Alexander and his technique until 1912 by comparing Alexander’s writings with contemporary people’s writings.
Influence on voice and breathing
In his 1894–95 writings F. M. Alexander mentions or quotes from the following voice and breathing authors:
Lennox Browne and Emile Behnke (authors of Voice Song and Speech, 1883, and others).
Andrew Comstock (author of A System of Elocution...