Shakespeare authorship debate essay

He also kick-started the modern revival of the Oxfordian movement by adopting a policy of seeking publicity through moot court trials, media debates, television, and other outlets. These methods were later extended to the Internet, including Wikipedia. Ogburn believed that academics were best challenged by recourse to law, and on 25 September three justices of the Supreme Court of the United States convened a one-day moot court at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church , to hear the Oxfordian case. The trial was structured so that literary experts would not be represented, but the burden of proof was on the Oxfordians.

The justices determined that the case was based on a conspiracy theory, and that the reasons given for this conspiracy were both incoherent and unpersuasive. On this occasion Shakespearean scholars argued their case, and the outcome confirmed the American verdict. Due in part to the rising visibility of the authorship question, media coverage of the controversy increased, with many outlets focusing on the Oxfordian theory.

In the Public Broadcasting Service television show Frontline broadcast "The Shakespeare Mystery", exposing the interpretation of Oxford-as-Shakespeare to more than 3. Buckley, Jr. Beginning in the s Oxfordians and other anti-Stratfordians increasingly turned to the Internet to promulgate their theories, including creating several articles on Wikipedia about the candidates and the arguments, to such an extent that a survey of the field in judged that its presence on Wikipedia "puts to shame anything that ever appeared in standard resources".

On 14 April the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition issued an internet petition , the "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare" , coinciding with Brunel University 's announcement of a one-year Master of Arts programme in Shakespeare authorship studies since suspended. The coalition intended to enlist broad public support so that by , the th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the academic Shakespeare establishment would be forced to acknowledge that legitimate grounds for doubting Shakespeare's authorship exist, a goal that was not successful.

Introducing the Shakespeare Authorship Debate

To the question of whether there is good reason to question Shakespeare's authorship, 6 per cent answered "yes", and 11 percent "possibly". When asked their opinion of the topic, 61 per cent chose "A theory without convincing evidence" and 32 per cent chose "A waste of time and classroom distraction". In James S. Approaching the subject sociologically, Shapiro found its origins to be grounded in a vein of traditional scholarship going back to Edmond Malone , and criticised academia for ignoring the topic, which was, he argued, tantamount to surrendering the field to anti-Stratfordians.

De Vere is portrayed as a literary prodigy who becomes the lover of Queen Elizabeth , with whom he sires Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, only to discover that he himself may be the Queen's son by an earlier lover. He eventually sees his suppressed plays performed through the front man, William Shakespeare, who is portrayed as an opportunistic actor and the movie's comic foil.

Oxford agrees to Elizabeth's demand that he remain anonymous as part of a bargain for saving their son from execution as a traitor for supporting the Essex Rebellion against her. Two months before the release of the film, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust launched a campaign attacking anti-Stratfordian arguments by means of a web site, 60 Minutes With Shakespeare: Who Was William Shakespeare? While more than 80 historical figures have been nominated at one time or another as the true author of the Shakespearean canon, [10] only a few of these claimants have attracted significant attention.

Various group theories of Shakespearean authorship were proposed as early as the midth century. The first published book focused entirely on the authorship debate, The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespeare Unfolded , by Delia Bacon, appeared in It proposed the first "group theory", attributing the works to "a little clique of disappointed and defeated politicians" led by Sir Walter Raleigh which included Sir Francis Bacon and perhaps Edmund Spenser , Lord Buckhurst , and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

The leading candidate of the 19th century was one of the great intellectual figures of Jacobean England, Sir Francis Bacon , a lawyer, philosopher, essayist and scientist. Bacon's candidacy relies upon historical and literary conjectures, as well as alleged cryptographical revelations. Bacon was proposed as sole author by William Henry Smith in and as a co-author by Delia Bacon in She proposed him as the leader of a group of disaffected philosopher-politicians who tried to promote republican ideas to counter the despotism of the Tudor-Stuart monarchies through the medium of the public stage.

In Mrs. Henry Pott edited Bacon's Promus and found 4, parallels of thought or expression between Shakespeare and Bacon. In a letter addressed to John Davies , Bacon closes "so desireing you to bee good to concealed poets", which according to his supporters is self-referential. They say that his moral philosophy, including a revolutionary politico-philosophic system of government, was concealed in the Shakespeare plays because of its threat to the monarchy. Baconians suggest that the great number of legal allusions in the Shakespeare canon demonstrate the author's expertise in the law.

Bacon became Queen's Counsel in and was appointed Attorney General in Bacon also paid for and helped write speeches for a number of entertainments, including masques and dumbshows , although he is not known to have authored a play. His only attributed verse consists of seven metrical psalters , following Sternhold and Hopkins. Since Bacon was knowledgeable about ciphers, [] early Baconians suspected that he left his signature encrypted in the Shakespeare canon.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries many Baconians claimed to have discovered ciphers throughout the works supporting Bacon as the true author. In , C. Ashwood Windle claimed she had found carefully worked-out jingles in each play that identified Bacon as the author.

Discovering Shakespeare's Secret Co-Authors

Isaac Hull Platt. Platt argued that the Latin word honorificabilitudinitatibus , found in Love's Labour's Lost , can be read as an anagram, yielding Hi ludi F.

The Shakespeare Authorship Page

Baconis nati tuiti orbi "These plays, the offspring of F. Bacon, are preserved for the world. Since the early s, the leading alternative authorship candidate has been Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford and Lord Great Chamberlain of England. Oxford followed his grandfather and father in sponsoring companies of actors, and he had patronised a company of musicians and one of tumblers.

Examples of his poetry but none of his theatrical works survive. The first to lay out a comprehensive case for Oxford's authorship was J. Thomas Looney, an English schoolteacher who identified personality characteristics in Shakespeare's works—especially Hamlet —that painted the author as an eccentric aristocratic poet, a drama and sporting enthusiast with a classical education who had travelled extensively to Italy.

Oxford's purported use of the "Shakespeare" pen name is attributed to the stigma of print , a convention that aristocratic authors could not take credit for writing plays for the public stage. Oxfordians say that the dedication to the sonnets published in implies that the author was dead prior to their publication and that the year of Oxford's death was the year regular publication of "newly corrected" and "augmented" Shakespeare plays stopped. The poet and dramatist Christopher Marlowe was born into the same social class as Shakespeare—his father was a cobbler, Shakespeare's a glove-maker.

Marlowe was the older by two months, and spent six and a half years at Cambridge University. He pioneered the use of blank verse in Elizabethan drama, and his works are widely accepted as having greatly influenced those of Shakespeare. The Marlovian theory argues that Marlowe's documented death on 30 May was faked. Thomas Walsingham and others are supposed to have arranged the faked death, the main purpose of which was to allow Marlowe to escape trial and almost certain execution on charges of subversive atheism.

Marlovians note that, despite Marlowe and Shakespeare being almost exactly the same age, the first work linked to the name William Shakespeare— Venus and Adonis —was on sale, with his name signed to the dedication, 13 days after Marlowe's reported death, [] having been registered with the Stationers' Company on 18 April with no named author. Marlowe's candidacy was initially suggested by T. White, in , as a member of a group of authors. William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby , was first proposed as a candidate in by James Greenstreet and later supported by Abel Lefranc and others.

His initials were W.

Shakespeare (Stratford) Authorship Argument at

Derby travelled in continental Europe in , visiting France and possibly Navarre. Love's Labour's Lost is set in Navarre and the play may be based on events that happened there between and Derby's older brother, Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby , formed a group of players, the Lord Strange's Men , some of whose members eventually joined the King's Men, one of the companies most associated with Shakespeare.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Fringe theory that Shakespeare's works were written by someone else.

Top 10 best Shakespearean insults – to celebrate the bard's birthday

See also: William Shakespeare's handwriting. Willm Shakp Bellott v. Mountjoy deposition, 12 June William Shakspere Page 1 of will from engraving. Willm Shakspere Page 2 of will. William Shakspeare Last page of will 25 March See also: Spelling of Shakespeare's name. Main article: History of the Shakespeare authorship question. See also: Shakespeare's reputation.

Main article: List of Shakespeare authorship candidates. Main article: Baconian theory of Shakespeare authorship. Main article: Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship. Main article: Marlovian theory of Shakespeare authorship. Main article: Derbyite theory of Shakespeare authorship. The citations to the book used in this article list the UK page numbers first, followed by the page numbers of the US edition in parentheses.

The upper figure, from Marvin Spevack, is true only if all word forms cat and cats counted as two different words, for example , compound words, emendations, variants, proper names, foreign words, onomatopoeic words, and deliberate malapropisms are included.

The Authorship of Shakespeare. New York: Hurd and Houghton. But this method is in essence no different from the cryptogram, since Shakespeare's range of characters and plots, both familial and political, is so vast that it would be possible to find in the plays 'self-portraits' of, once more, anybody one cares to think of. The very fact that their application has produced so many rival claimants demonstrates their unreliability.

Neither Shakespeare nor his fellow Elizabethan writers operated under this assumption.