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William Shakespeare: Did he write his plays?

MonkeyCatcher

New Member
Wabbit said:
I have read a fair number of these sorts of articles. I have 2 real main points.

Firstly, I think that people will always come out with this type of thing. Is Elvis alive? Was Monroe a muder? Is Lord Lucan alive and living in "blah blah land" If there is an article to be written and money to be made then people will write the article. I don't really have much faith in most conspiracy type stuff.

Secondly, does it really matter who wrote the plays? They are wonderful. I don't think a name really makes any difference. Joe Blogs or Shakespear, it's the plays themselves that are important.
Nicely put, Wabbit. I agree completely (Lee Harvey Oswald was still framed, though :p )
 

Miss Shelf

New Member
lindaj07 said:
Is Shakespeare in Love History or Hollywood?

I'd say pure Hollywood. Possibly based on facts, though, like the movie "Elizabeth" with Cate Blanchett. I liked it for the eye candy-beautiful costumes, great acting-but I thought it was more fiction than fact.
 

lindaj07

New Member
Oh I agree, there probably were some facts in there... eg a person named Shakespeare actually existed, can't think of any more offhand! :D
Miss Shelf said:
I'd say pure Hollywood. Possibly based on facts, though, like the movie "Elizabeth" with Cate Blanchett. I liked it for the eye candy-beautiful costumes, great acting-but I thought it was more fiction than fact.
 

Polly Parrot

Moderator
Staff member
Just wonderful. It will probably include some obligatory romance as well and then poor old Anonymous writer ends up in the gutter and the Big Fraud William Shakespeare lives off his creations. Something like that.


I won't bother watching this one.
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
If someone were to produce a contender who actually wrote some things under his own name remotely resembling the sound and quality of Shakespeare, then there might be some doubt in my mind. But I haven't seen them. Til then Shakepseare dun it, as far as I am concerned.

The last discussion of a recent book on the topic that I saw included side by side comparisons, but even my untrained eyes and ears could see that the alternatives didn't come close to sounding like Shakespeare. One reader's opinion, anyway. :)
 

beer good

Well-Known Member
The Daily Mash - Shakespeare was an alien, says Emmerich

In Emmerich's new documentary Doom Globe, Elizabeth I, played by Scarlett Johansson, needs a brooding tragedy on the themes of revenge, madness and mortality within 48 hours or Hampton Court will be blown up by the CGI playwright, voiced by Vin Diesel.

She assembles a team of wise-cracking courtiers including rough diamond William Burghley (Tommy Lee Jones), wacky Robert Devereux (Steve Buscemi) and heart-throb love interest the Earl of Oxford (Shia Lebouf) to come up with a play that will foil the evil Bard of Avon's plans.

Emmerich said: "We did look at Shakespeare's contemporary sources and the differing language structures used in each of the plays, but we ultimately decided that Shia jumping out of the window of The Globe, which is on fire and being eaten by giant scorpions, was more authentically blockbustery.
 

Meadow337

Former Moderator
If Shakespeare was not a remarkably erudite tradesman from Stratford-upon-Avon then the main contenders are

Sir Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban

Roger Manners, Fifth Earl of Rutland

William Stanley, the 6th Earl of Derby

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

and Christopher Marlowe.
And for various reasons none of these people would have been likely to question or criticise the order of the day.

And if Shakespeare was actually the author of the plays, he would not have criticised the people upon whose patronage he depended and in particular the patronage of the Queen.
 

beer good

Well-Known Member
If Shakespeare was not a remarkably erudite tradesman from Stratford-upon-Avon then the main contenders are

Sir Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban

Roger Manners, Fifth Earl of Rutland

William Stanley, the 6th Earl of Derby

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

and Christopher Marlowe.
And for various reasons none of these people would have been likely to question or criticise the order of the day.
Well, Marlowe might have. Since he was dead by the time Shakespeare wrote his best work, he probably had little to fear from the queen by then. :p
 

Meadow337

Former Moderator
Well, Marlowe might have. Since he was dead by the time Shakespeare wrote his best work, he probably had little to fear from the queen by then. :p

LOL :p to you too. I tentatively support the idea Shakespeare might have been written by Bacon, but recent reading does indicate there other strong contenders. I do think there is enough evidence to question the authorship (even if it is a highly contentious issue)
 

beer good

Well-Known Member
We have a thread for that. And as always, I'd be interested in hearing exactly what evidence there is, that hasn't already been disproved a dozen times... most of the time, the authorship question seems to boil down to "Non-noblemen were STUPID until the 19th century, so as long as we don't have hi-def footage of Shakespeare actually writing the plays, we can make anything up!" :)
 

Meadow337

Former Moderator
We have a thread for that. And as always, I'd be interested in hearing exactly what evidence there is, that hasn't already been disproved a dozen times... most of the time, the authorship question seems to boil down to "Non-noblemen were STUPID until the 19th century, so as long as we don't have hi-def footage of Shakespeare actually writing the plays, we can make anything up!" :)

Discussion continued in the other thread :)
 

Meadow337

Former Moderator
We have a thread for that. And as always, I'd be interested in hearing exactly what evidence there is, that hasn't already been disproved a dozen times... most of the time, the authorship question seems to boil down to "Non-noblemen were STUPID until the 19th century, so as long as we don't have hi-def footage of Shakespeare actually writing the plays, we can make anything up!" :)

Hmm I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but there are enough questions about discrepancies in his signature, the portrait of Shakespeare, and other questions. There are so many serious academics researching the question that I don't think it can just be dismissed. I have not actually heard your theory on why Shakespeare didn't write the plays put forward by any one. The questions appear to have come about through close examination of various plays, publication or non-publication, the signature question, and other things I can't remember off the top of my head.

This site doesn't attempt to answer any of the questions, but instead poses them for you to think about and research:

http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-identity-problem.htm
 

beer good

Well-Known Member
I have not actually heard your theory on why Shakespeare didn't write the plays put forward by any one.
I'll admit I was exaggerating for parody's sake, but yes, one of the arguments you often hear is that Shakespeare, being born as one of the Great Unwashed, couldn't possibly have possessed the intricate historical knowledge to write plays where, for instance, 8th century Danes quoted Christian dogma and fenced like 16th century noblemen rather than bashing each other over the heads with axes and sacrificing whatever's left to Odin.

Thanks for the link, though I'm tempted to do what you did the other day and dismiss the whole page based on the fact that they can't even spell "faint-hearted". :) Like most conspiracy theories, it seems to rest, if not entirely, then to a large extent on
a) Claiming to have uncovered The Truth about something that will Shatter Your Views blah blah blah (all those "Prepare!" "Warning!" "Get ready!" etc). People who need that sort of rhetoric rather than simply putting forward facts don't exactly inspire confidence.
b) Citing other people who have also had the same doubts. Which tends to become a self-propelling mechanism: "We must continue to ask these questions about Shakespeare/9-11/the moon landing/Elvis' death/etc because people are continuing to ask these questions". At some point, there must be an actual reason to doubt it in the first place. Starting with the assumption that there is a cover-up and then looking for clues, no matter how vague, is putting the cart before the horse.

Asking questions is a good thing, but listening to the answers is a good thing too. Here's one link answering many of the common questions, for instance. Remember Betteridge's Law Of Headlines:
Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word "no." The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and don’t actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.
 
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