From the article: Shakespeare Authorship Debate
Could Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, really be the genius behind Shakespeare's plays and sonnets? Or perhaps Francis Bacon? We gather your opinions and ask "who wrote Shakespeare?" Share Your Theory
- On the surface the story of Wm Shakspere of Stratford on Avon is a great local boy makes good legend, but when you examine it carfeully it all begins to crumble away. Even traditionalists, or 'Stratfordians, inadevertently provide support for alternate candidates In his introduction to 'Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human' quotes a Victorian critic who notes the pre-eminenence of Shakespeare's intellect. As for the Shakespeare of tradition we simply do not know if he went to the Stratford grammar school or not. We may grant him a degree of literacy because an acquaintance wrote him a letter. It was never delivered, but one does not write letters to those who can't read. But the six execrable surviving signatures suggest halting semi-literacy not intellectual brilliance. The Earl of Oxford on the other hand was tutored by some of the most capable and renowned scholars of his day, and they commented on his brilliance. And this is only a straw in the logjam that supports Oxford's cas
- —Guest frankly Oxfordian
- I've written a book in which I outline reasons why DeVere was "the Shaker of Spears." Others have done so, as well. The reason these views have not become prominent is that there is a "cottage industry" thriving on making the barley-seller from Avon the author. English Departments also profit from this deception. Check out the film, "Anonymous," for the back-story to this mystery. By the way, I'm Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami, and I owe all the scholarhsip I've done on this question to my dear friend, Dr. Mike Steinbach.
- —Guest L.S. Carrier
Woody Allen's opinion on authorship
- Woody Allen once said: "They finally found out who wrote the Shakespeare plays. It was another guy by the same name."
A woman wrote Shakespeare
- Two separate issues: Was the man from Stratford the dramatist? In "Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography" by Diana Price, the author does a masterful job showing that supposition in one generation became the proof of the next generation. Anyone interested in the issue must read "Sweet Swan of Avon" by Robin P. Williams. In a non-polemical aggregation of facts, the book demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that Mary Sidney Herbert, the sister of Sir Philip Sidney, was the writer. I have not read any reasoned criticism of the Mary Sidney authorship thesis. It is popular to criticize the Stratford position and then argue that the same problems apply to every candidate. However, as we see in popular crime drama, the fact that the first suspect is not guilty does not mean that no crime occurred. I cannot pretend to summarize the Williams' case for Mary Sidney Herbert in any cogent and concise way. Read "Sweet Swan of Avon" and then report whether any errors or flaws were made.
the real shakespeare
- Oxford was Shakespeare's pseudonym. The more I learn, the more I am convinced.
- —Guest jim creel
Look at the lack of evidence
- As a graduate in English literature I too had no doubts - until I began to read many books about the subject. I wouldn't get hung up on De Vere, though he has a claim at least for the sonnets. I am more concerned, for William of Stratford, about the lack of personal contemporary evidence linked to literary activity (even if he lost all the letters he ever received, did none of the ones he wrote survive?); about the illiteracy of his daughters (a bit odd for children of a Renaissance Man); about the lack of evidence in his will of books, furniture which might hold books, writing desks etc (having been there, the "Birthplace" is an embarrassment); about the many quartos which were published in his name in his lifetime but not considered of sufficient quality to be by him (I thought title page evidence proved his authorship according to orthodox scholars); and about the sheer oddity of the portrait in the First Folio and the ambivalence of Jonson's poem. The issue is not cut and dried.
- —Guest Chris C
It Was Shakespeare
- It is because of the gaps in the history that we can tell that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. The minimal information we have does credit him to being born and to dying. There are also records of this man getting married and having children. A small exert from his will has also been found. The man was real. That is the first thing we can draw from the information. The second thing to note is that as far as we know, he didn't go to university and he didn't join a trade. Most of the theories are absurd. One says that there are 2 William Shakespeares, one who wrote the plays and one who lived in Stratford Apon Avon. There is no real proof to support any theories. Why can't we give this guy credit. The only way I can think that it could have been DeVere is that he used someone else's name and then after his death Shakespeare (whose name he had borrowed) then wrote the other plays. All in all absurd.
- —Guest ShakespeareGirl
edward de vere
- De Vere wrote those plays because back then plays were looked at as sins . So De Vere kept his plays to himself but then he decided he wanted another man to take credit for his plays only because he wanted them to be acknowledged. & the man who took credit for them was Shakespeare because De Vere paid him to. & De Vere did die in 1604 but he had already written several plays in which he gave to his friend to publish(in Shakepeare's name) after he had died.
- —Guest destiny
The Chronology Issue
- They are chronologically far apart, but they benolg to a series, which runs from Richard II, via Henry IV (both parts), Henry V, Henry VI (all three parts) to Richard III, so there is some gain in understanding if you read Richard III last and the two other plays in the sequence suggested by their numbering. It doesn't make very much difference. If you read the whole series, it would help to do it in the proper order. You would also understand Richard III a lot better than you will by just reading the three plays indicated.
- —Guest DdZoiswxgzqOsJNEsY
Earl of Rutland
- Why do american (and others) scholars especially love the Earl of Oxford? I think, because he fits best to modern mass culture (a thriller "Anonymous" is a good example). But the truth lies in the other place: one should read the book of Ilya Gililov "The Shakespeare Game, or the Mystery of the Great Phoenix" (Algora Publishing) and the book of Marina Litvinova (in russian). The author of the Sonnets - the Earl of Rutland.
- —Guest Leon
Your bias on Shakespeare authorship
- You wrote as follows: "These theories have sprung up because the evidence surrounding Shakespeare’s life is insufficient – not necessarily contradictory. The following reasons are often cited as evidence that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare (despite a distinct lack of evidence)" HERE YOU ARE LYING TO YOUR READERS TO POISON THE WELL. The lack of evidence describes the Stratfordian position, not that of those who doubt whether William Shakspere of Stratford was the same man as the famous author. Evidence has been destroyed about the Stratford Grammar School, so we don't know whether Shakspere (his preferred spelling) ever attended it. We don't know whether the Stratford businessman ever read a book, let alone the classics that the authorWe DO KNOW about the education of Edward de Vere, Ben Jonson, Edmund Spencer and other Renaissance poets. If you are going to discuss the authorship question, please be fair to those who hold an unorthodox position, and be HONEST with readers.
- —Guest Sleuth93111
Opinions on who wrote Shakespeare
- The movie "Anonymous" was not a documentary, but a fabulous and exciting drama. The basic premise is that Oxford and Elizabeth had a love child who was kept secret and raised as the Third Earl of Southampton. The sonnets make sense when seen as a legacy to the author's son. The poem "Venus and Adonis" tells the love story. See the reviews online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble for the book THE SECRET LOVE STORY IN SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS  for a refreshing set of interpretations and an explanation of the mysterious Dedication to the 1609 edition of the Sonnets.
- —Guest Sleuth93111
- Since the text box will not accept JPEG, to go the link below to see a graphic/pictorial representation of Sonnet 76 (original spelling). As for me, I am the first to find the encryption in Sonnet 76 (see above), which reads: "My name's DEVERE". A more lengthy treatment of this find has been done by David L. Roper in his recent book, Proving Shakespeare, where he states this find is conclusive proof Edward de Vere is the author of the Shakespeare sonnets. Roper's website also contains information on this letter-string, as well as calculated probabilities, and can be found by clicking on the following link (Proof Four): http://www.dlropershakespearians.com/ in which he states (referring to my find): "It should therefore be understood that this ‘autographed’ sonnet proves conclusively that Edward de Vere was the poet who wrote Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Once chance has been rejected, there is no other explanation." "My name's DEV
- —Guest Dr. James S. Ferris
Nothing truer than truth
- I consider the Authorship Question to be fascinating, and a great mental exercise. Although there is some logic existing in the Stratfordian position, I have found after spending about 1500 hours reading and re-reading virtually all of the material relating to Shake-speare's true identity, that Edward de Vere is unquestionably the voice we hear when we read the WS canon. The sonnets fall perfectly into place. REMEMBER the 1609 Sonnets had NO AUTHOR DEDICATION, and they were quickly suppressed, as only 15 copies exist today. De Vere's relationship with Southampton as potential son-in-law allow for the "procreation sonnets" to make perfect sense. It amazes me that when I read the flowery speech of WS, that one would assume it was a person from Warwickshire who just made it all up, and knew how to speak like the most educated Courtier in the Realm. We are gullible to think Shakespeare was not highly educated by the best scholars in England. Doesn't it show in the work?
- —Guest Boswell
Circumstantial evidence is evidence.
- Almost certainly the man from Stratford did not write this corpus. The fact that so much more is known about the lives of his contemporaries than about him strains credulity. I thought so in high school and I thought so in college--lo, these many years ago after having been a lawyer (very used to assessing and weighing evidence.) Such an issue deserves broad and deep consideration. I suggest that serious learners consult the Shakespeare Reasonable Doubt website.
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