Yes, I’m still wondering why people believe that Shakespeare didn’t write his own plays. Some people say that this guy wrote them, Edward de Vere – the 17th Earl of Oxford. Makes me wonder why nobody’s running around saying Christopher Marlowe didn’t write his plays too. Or Tennessee Williams, or Tom Stoppard! Phonies, all of them!
Tagged with: Authorship • Controversy • Debate • Earl of Oxford • Edward de Vere • Fan Fiction • Iago • Kiss • Othello • Shakespeare • Writing
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Plus, the plays are just there… and who wrote them is an academic question. ;p
My masters thesis will show that Doug Savage isn’t the real author of Savage Chickens. *dons scholarly glasses*
Interestingly, this was on Skeptoid not that long ago: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4280
Great article! Thanks Ilkka!
I can’t have written this e-mail because I haven’t had education in e-mail writing!
Who built the pyramids, Shakespeare’s plays,the moon landing, 9/11, Kennedy’s assassination and the list runs to infinity. Conspiracy theorists abound for a fairly simple reason. They are incapable of understanding coincidence. Everything in the universe must be part of some plan guided by mystic beings or evil men. How many think the Da Vinci code is a centuries old plot to rule the world and not an excellent action/adventure novel? In the conspiracy theorists’ world, nothing major happens by chance.
Who built the pyramids?
Who built Stonehenge?
Soon all will become Elvis.
Everything everywhere will be Elvis.
Why do you think they call it evolution anyway?
It’s really Elvislution!
Holy Mojo Nixon!
Hmmm … has anyone wondered who really draws these chicken cartoons? Who is this “Doug Savage?” Or maybe the better question would be “who else would draw these cartoons?” I’m part of the group that believes that Shakespeare didn’t draw any of these cartoons.
Academically, The skepticism comes from three main points in research:
1. The man we know as being William Shakespeare came from an illiterate family, and after his death his children were shown to be illiterate as well. Yet, he wrote some of the most complex narrative and poetry in the world, and didn’t teach his own children to write?
2. He was an actor, and probably learned to read as part of acting. But only 6 “verified” signatures exist (his will, land document, etc) 3 of which are simply “name marks” (like someone putting an X instead of writing their name. His will made no mention of his plays, writings, papers nor did it include them as part of his estate.If he wrote all this ground-breaking passionate plays – why doesn’t he care what happens to them?
3. He stopped playwriting cold turkey, and became the manager of a grain elevator. That’s not normally what an artist of such passion and caliber does (Bill Waterson, excepted). It led some to think the person helping him or writing the plays must have died or stopped.
I definitely agree with the comment above. The plays are long-standing and beautiful no matter who wrote them. And if we have to put a name on them at least Shakespeare is a good one. Although – if he had written the plays with Chickens, it would have been much better.
When William was a boy, his father was an alderman, which would have entitled him to a free grammar school education, and there was a grammar school in Stratford. He certainly had the opportunity to be educated. His surviving children were both daughters, and there were no schools for girls.
In any case, intelligence and creativity are not dependent on formal education. You might as well say Alan Moore couldn’t have written his comics, as he came from an impoverished working class background and left school with no qualifications, whereas Watchmen and From Hell are clearly the work of a well-read, intelligent author.
As for mentioning plays or manuscripts in his will, they were of no real value. There was no effective copyright law, and most of the plays were published in quartos of varying quality by others during his lifetime. There was probably also no one “original manuscript” for any of the plays either.
And creativity does run dry. Rock music is full of veteran performers who dine out on a back catalogue written during a long-gone creative prime. None of your points are reason to suspect that Shakespeare didn’t write the plays.
Shakespeare came from an illiterate family, so that means he was too dumb to write his own plays.
Ah, that explains a lot! I, too, come from what you’d call an illiterate family (early school leavers, the lot of them; when I was seven, my mother used to get me to write letters for her because my writing and spelling were better than hers).
No wonder I’m so dumb! Heck, I can barely write this email – or did I? Who wrote it for me?
I wrote all his plays and my wife and I wrote his sonnets.
The First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays was edited and published by John Hemmings and Henry Condell, the only two actors known to have played in all of Shakespeare’s stage works. Why would they have done this–after WS, the Earl of Oxford, Queen Elizabeth and both Cecils were dead?
I read an anonymous play called “Arden of Faversham” to which Shakespeare may have contributed. So it could be possible other authors contributed to his plays, but I don’t understand these conspiracy theories. Though if you believe “Shakespeare in Love,” Marlowe is responsible for the plot of “Romeo and Juliet.”
I understand that the sci fi classical movie FORBIDEN PLANET is based upon SHAKESPEARS production THE TEMPEST
BarefootMedia – Some people are incapable of understanding or even considering evidence. They know the truth and they don’t need no evidence to mess up their minds.
Incidentally, in case you hadn’t noticed, 80% of the American people do not believe the Warren Commission.
The Oxfordian theory can be summarized:
“It is vitally necessary that I conceal my identity as the author of these works, therefore I will put in lots of lots of hints because I can’t bear that my writing go unacknowledged, even if they’ll only figure it out long after I’m dead.”
Oxfordians have to ignore reams of evidence that Shakespeare (that “upstart crow”) wrote the plays. And while they insist on iron-clad proof for Shakespeare, for their side, they have no evidence, only conjecture.
Oxford Schmoxford–Read “The Masque of William Shakespeare” to find out who he really was. Now on Kindle http://ow.ly/7jiVn For other readers at http://ow.ly/7k9mC