Was the man we know as Shakespeare really the author of the “Shakespearean Works”? We know little about the man called Shakespeare, Did he really write the plays, or is he just a man that got confused within history? (Sobran 44) There is not even a correct spelling of this mans name, Some of the spellings include Shakspere, Shakespeare, And Shaxpere. Shakespeare, Is it the man, Or is it another? (Hayes 1D)
Shakespeare is both fact and fiction, he was no concern until nearly two hundred years after he perished, and there is still no definite or probably will there ever be a conclusion to this mystery. (Sobran 44) There is another man that can be attributed with the works of “Shakespeare”, His name is Edward DeVere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. (Bethell 47)
The man known as Shakespeare does not fit perfectly into the necessary criteria to determine the author of these works. Thomas Looney invented a series of criteria that had to be filled, in order to be a possible candidate for the authorship of the Shakespearean works. To have all the knowledge that is portrayed in the works, the author must have accomplished many things.
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These including a superior education, from what we know of “Shakespeare”, this was not a possibility.(Bethell 46) We do not even know if Shakespeare has ever written anything in his life, Nor do we know that he was paid for writing these works. The man Shakespeare does not even make a claim that he is the author.(Bethell 50) He may not have been able to write the simplest thing of all, His own name.(Hayes 1D)
Its not how little we know about Shakespeare that causes confusion and difficulty, Its the things that we do know about this man that cause the confusion and difficulty. We know Shakespears father, a glover, could not write. When he signed documents, he simply made an “X”, This is why it is beleived that Shakespeare could not write also, Because he probably did not attend school therefore his education was passed down from his father. (Bethell 48)
We do know much more about the man Edward DeVere. We know that because deVere was a nobleman, he could not have his name written upon his writings because he would be considered of a lower class. The plays contain a sense of hate towards some of the noblemen of that time period, which also point the authorship towards DeVere. (Hayes 1D) When DeVere was a young man, he spent a lot of time in Italy and Europe, This could explain the great detail used in the Shakespearean plays of Venice, and other European locations.(Sobran 45) The sonnets have never been able to fit into Shakespears life, On the other hand they fit into DeVere’s life well. (Sobran 45)
There are facts that lean both ways in this age old mystery of authorship, Though the Strafordian man does not fit into the story very well, He may have some advantages that the Oxfordian man may not. DeVere on the other hand, has mostly every fact pointing towards him as the valid author for the “Shakespearean” works, From his education, to his experiences, to his travel. The Oxfordian seems to come out on top. Shakespeare: Stratforidan, or DeVere?
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