Since I took over the Shakespeare pages of About.com a few months ago, I’ve been avoiding one topic in particular: the Shakespeare authorship debate.
I know how passionate you all are about this topic from the comments to my Holy Trinity blog post last month. As anyone who’s ever asked the question, “did Shakespeare write Shakespeare?” will testify, a barrage of staunchly argued theories soon follows.
So, the time has come for me to nail my colors to the post! I think Shakespeare did write Shakespeare and that our love for a good conspiracy theory has overpowered the historical evidence (or lack thereof).
Today, we feel like we know Shakespeare intimately: his image is iconic (a controversial statement in itself) and his vast oeuvre of writing is known around the globe – in fact, he’s probably the most famous figure in the history of our planet. However, comparatively little historical evidence has survived the 400 years since his death. I think this creates a feeling of confusion and people find it hard to understand why we can’t ascertain basic facts about someone so famous. I believe the various conspiracy theories spring from this confusion.
So, there we go! I’ve finally opened this “can of worms” and I await your disagreements.