This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

William Shakespeare's Authenticity Essay

3477 words - 14 pages

William Shakespeare's Authenticity

Over the past several centuries, many scholars have been debating the authenticity of Shakespeare and his works. Many books have even been published questioning if the legendary playwright from Stratford is the author of his many plays and poems. This theory still remains as a possibility today and much of the evidence stems from Shakespeare’s great literary achievements, his humble beginnings, his inadequate education and the missing chapters in his life.

Throughout his writings, there is evidence of similarities between the language and literature of the time period with subjects such as law, history, politics and geography as well as manners and knowledge of the courts which would not have been known by a common citizen or the son of a tradesman. The range of knowledge which he displays would only be expected of a man of extensive education during the time period that was familiar with the royal figures that are depicted in his works. The insufficient records have added even more mystery as none of the original manuscripts have survived and were possibly destroyed to conceal the identity of the actual author. Although Shakespeare is considered by many to be the greatest playwright of all time, much speculation surrounds his authenticity through theories based on linguistic and historical problems as well as criticism.

Since the four centuries that have passed since Shakespeare’s times, several theories have been developed which claim that others may be the legitimate authors of his works. The playwrights usually focused on are Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere, William Stanley, Roger Manners and Christopher Marlowe. Other theories support the fact that perhaps several of these individuals collectively wrote his works or that Shakespeare himself stole the countless pieces of literature and claimed them as his own.

The day to day life of the author was ordinary. He was a hard-working, middle-class man that made good money and took care of his family. Such a basic lifestyle has led many to believe that this ordinary man could not have written these extremely passionate and thought-provoking works. No one surrounding Shakespeare ever commented on his greatness and that a man with such little education could not have known about the aristocratic nature of the upper class.

However, some men such as Meres and Jonson did see him as a respectable gentleman and a talented writer. This argues the fact that a simple Stratford boy could have become a literary icon simply because of his genius and that his knowledge might not have been obtained in a school and wasn’t simply learned. His genius might have been applied by making accurate observations on everyday life. It is also important to remember that many great authors had even less schooling.

Bacon, though, has been one of the candidates for the true authorship of Shakespeare’s works due to references...

Find Another Essay On William Shakespeare's Authenticity

William Shakespeare Essay

5767 words - 23 pages Stratford church, where a daughter, named Susanna, born to William Shakespeare, was baptized on May 26, 1583. On February 2, 1585, twins were baptized, Hamnet and Judith. (The boy Hamnet, Shakespeare's only son, died 11 years later.)How Shakespeare spent the next eight years or so, until his name begins to appear in London theatre records, is not known. There are stories--given currency long after his death--of stealing deer and getting into trouble

The Supernatural in and Surrounding Macbeth

2377 words - 10 pages in an actual potion, with actual powers. Many blame Shakespeare's need and want of authenticity as the source of Macbeth's curse.The point is, supernatural activity is an easy way to transform plots and characters. Shakespeare has used the technique quite successfully in his previous plays and this one is no less successful. The use of this supernatural activity injects the play with horror, tension and suspense. The supernatural activity in

How To Tell If Your Love Is A Real Treasure Or Real Rubbish

1272 words - 6 pages her love and is therefore able to stay strong even through her most difficult moments in the play. On top of this, Romeo's attitude towards life begins to change due to the authenticity of the couple's love. Given these points, Romeo and Juliet's love is irrefutably heartfelt and Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

The Thematic Application of Music In "Twelfth Night"

1051 words - 4 pages rhyme, suggesting a contrast between the external façade and the internal truth. And to add to this, all the while as the play unfolds, the emotive sound of music, "the food of love", is heard by all, continuing to fuel all of what Shakespeare's words have to offer and transforming these plain words into powerful ideas. As the song comes to end, it is not only the characters who are left with an enlightened view of their world but the audience as well, all thanks to a few lines from a simple song that "is silly sooth, and dallies with the innocence of love" (II.iv.46-47).Works CitedShakespeare, William. Twelfth Night. Croatia: Thomas Learning, 2006.

Madness and Insanity in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1395 words - 6 pages , 1986. Rpt. from Tragic Alphabet: Shakespeare's Drama of Language. N. p.: Yale University Press, 1974. Felperin, Howard. "O'erdoing Termagant." Modern Critical Interpretations: Hamlet. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. Rpt. of "O'erdoing Termagant: An Approach to Shakespearean Mimesis." The Yale Review 63, no.3 (Spring 1974). Hart, Bernard. The Psychology of Insanity. London: Cambridge, 1914. Landis, Carney, and James D. Page. Modern Soceity and Mental Disease. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1938. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Norton Critical ed. Ed. Cyrus Hoy. New York: Norton, 1992. 

Is Romeo and Juliet a Love Story?

1718 words - 7 pages the one they love. They don’t care about the number of rules they break, or how much they change themselves, as long as they can be with the one they truly love. They may take drastic measures from defying their parents and friends to committing suicide. Shakespeare shows the power of love and the affect it has, through one of the most well-known love stories in the world. Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet brings the audience through the brief

The Flaws of Othello, Murderer of Desdemona

1733 words - 7 pages in Shakespeare's "Othello"" The Antioch Review 56.3 (1998): Web. 3 May. 2014. . Kirschbaum, Leo. "The Modern Othello." ELH 11.4 (1944): 283-96. Web. 3 May. 2014. . Rogers, Stephen. “Othello: Comedy in Reverse.” Shakespeare Quarterly 24.2 (1973): 210- 20. Web. 3 May. 2014. . Shakespeare, William, and Edward Pechter. Othello: Authoritative Text, Sources and Contexts, Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004. Print.

Locating Macbeth at the Thresholds of Time, Space and Spiritualism

2442 words - 10 pages ): 25-43. Print. Neely, Carol. "'Documents in Madness': Reading Madness and Gender in Shakespeare's Tragedies and Early Modern Culture." Shakespeare Quarterly 42 3 (1991): 315-38. Print. Salkeld, Duncan. Madness and drama in the age of Shakespeare. Manchester, UK; New York, New York: Manchester University Press; St. Martin's Press, 1993. Print. Shakespeare, William. Macbeth : an authoritative text, sources and contexts, criticism. A Norton

Hamlet and the Issue of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Play

2309 words - 9 pages Hamlet and the Issue of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Play The question of why Hamlet does not immediately avenge his father's death is perhaps one of the most perplexing problems faced by an audience. Each generation of viewers has come up with it's own explanation, and it has now become the most widely known critical problem in Shakespearean studies. A rather simplistic, yet valid standpoint to take on this

Comparing Three Video Versions of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1801 words - 7 pages Comparing Three Video Versions of William Shakespeare's Macbeth To help us compare and contrast the three video versions of "Macbeth" Act 1, Scene 7, we watched them. The first version was a more modern and in a way futuristic recreation of the scene, starring John Gordon Sinclair as Macbeth and Louise Lombard playing Lady Macbeth. The second version was a B.B.C Television version, the scene was made as a one off with

"Hamlet", by William Shakespeare: Compare and contrast the presentation of characters and argue how effectively each character seems to further the dramatic situation of the play

1375 words - 6 pages Set in seventh century Denmark, "Hamlet", written by William Shakespeare, exposes the intricacies of the human mind through his presentation of characters. Shakespeare is able to further the dramatic situation of the play by providing foils to Hamlet in the extreme. Both Laertes and Ophelia mirror Hamlet but behave in opposite manners in reaction to Polonius' death. Meanwhile, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are torn between loyalties just as

Similar Essays

Hamlet Essay

1164 words - 5 pages With its core ideal, the contemplation of human existence, William Shakespeare's political and religious tragedy contrasts the rest of the playwright's repertoire. Exploiting the integration of theatre and meta-theatre, Hamlet shatters the barrier between the actors and audience to bring contextual struggles of 17th Century England to the surface. With existential echoes a pivotal focus of Hamlet, Shakespeare explores the character development

As You Like It Written By William Shakespeare

1129 words - 5 pages . Section B Main body One of the characteristics of pastoral type is romance. Through the story Lodge formed Rosalind as a pastoral sentiment. As per Diana Major Spencer says, William Shakespeare accompanied his model nearly, however overlooked the savagery. In Shakespeare's form Oliver loathes Orlando for his comeliness and graciousness, not for his property as in Lodge's adaptation. The journalist proceeds with Frederick where ousts Rosalind

Was William Shakespeare An Author? Essay

1889 words - 8 pages Stratfordians are hopelessly deadlocked. I, personally, am leading toward the Oxfordian point of view. There are too many holes in Shakespeare's story to be believable. However, the de Vere story is nowhere near complete. It would be impossible to say with absolute certainty which is the truth. The research is there. Until research finds truth, however, we will never know for sure. Did William Shakespeare, the man from Stratford, write his plays? Or

Eldon Red Eagle Essay

993 words - 4 pages . . “Shakespeare’s Education and Childhood.” Shakespeare Online. N.p.’ n.d. Web 15 May 2014. . Jamieson, Lee. "Who Wrote William Shakespeare's Plays?" Shakespeare., n.d. Web. 15 May 2014.