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Was Shakespeare a fraud?
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Do you believe Shakespeare was a fraud?
Yes
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 22%  [ 5 ]
No
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 63%  [ 14 ]
Don't know
13%
 13%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 22

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:23 pm    Post subject: Was Shakespeare a fraud? Reply with quote

Quote:
Coalition Aims to Expose Shakespeare
By D'ARCY DORAN,AP
Posted: 2007-09-09 10:54:27
Sept. 8 -- The bard, or not the bard, that is the question.

Some of Britain's most distinguished Shakespearean actors have reopened the debate over whether William Shakespeare, a 16th century commoner raised in an illiterate household in Stratford-upon-Avon, wrote the plays that bear his name.

Acclaimed actor Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance, the former artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London, unveiled a "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt" on the authorship of Shakespeare's work Saturday, following the final matinee of "I am Shakespeare," a play investigating the bard's identity, in Chichester, southern England.

A small academic industry has developed around the effort to prove that Shakespeare, a provincial lad, could not have written the much-loved plays, with their expertise on law, ancient and modern history and mathematics.

The "real" author has been identified by various writers in the past as Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, or the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere.

"I subscribe to the group theory. I don't think anybody could do it on their own," Jacobi said. "I think the leading light was probably de Vere, as I agree that an author writes about his own experiences, his own life and personalities."

The declaration put forward by the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition - signed online by nearly 300 people - aims to provoke new research into who was responsible for the plays, sonnets and poems attributed to the writer.

Jacobi and Rylance presented a copy of the document to William Leahy, head of English at Brunel University in west London and head of the first graduate program in Shakespeare Authorship Studies, which begins this month.

The document says there are no records that any William Shakespeare received payment or secured patronage for writing. And it adds that although documents exist for Shakespeare, all are nonliterary.

It also points to his detailed will, in which Shakespeare famously left his wife "my second best bed with the furniture," as containing no clearly Shakespearean turn of phrase and mentioning no books, plays or poems.

The declaration names 20 prominent doubters of the past, including Mark Twain, Orson Welles , Sir John Gielgud and Charlie Chaplin .

It argues there are few connections between Shakespeare's life and his alleged works, but they do show a strong familiarity with the lives of the upper classes and a confident grasp of obscure details from places like Italy.

"It's a legitimate question, it has a mystery at its center and intellectual discussion will bring us closer to that center," Leahy said. "That's not to say we will answer anything, that's not the point. 'It is, of course, to question.'"
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No idea. Very Happy

--A
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am soooooo disappointed with the folks who did this. Really. Most of the points raised are trivial and show little understanding of the era in which Shakespeare lived. They are also showing a lot of ignorance of the plays themselves.

For example, when it comes to facts Shakespeare's plays do not show considerable knowledge of the world outside England. He has people sail from one land-locked city to another, for example. He gives Bohemia a coast! And peoples Vienna with Italians!

Likewise the plays do not demonstrate deep knowledge of science of the time, although they do show things like a good working knowledge of the law as well as Catholicsm. More tellingly, in my mind, they do demonstrate precise knowledge of fencing techniques and weapons. Actors of the age were often experts at same, making some extra income by instructing others.

Many things were not mentioned in Shakespeare's will. His wife is left his "second best bed" and yet his "first best bed" is not mentioned. Keep in mind that 16th & 17th century writers simply didn't look at manuscripts the way we do. The plays, for example, were the common property of the troupe rather than Shakespeare himself and there were no copyright laws.

There are few extent records of non-nobility in England in that period. What records we do have indicate Shakespeare as a very popular playwright. In fact we know more about Shakespeare than about any of his contemporaries save Johnson--who engaged in such massive self-publicity it was joked about at the time.

Why doubt Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare? Because he wasn't noble. Because he didn't go to University. And because it feels good to "solve" a mystery (even if there isn't any mystery to be solved). None of them good reasons IMHO.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ordinarily, I'd agree with you Zahir, and that was exactly what I was thinking, until I saw that Derek Jacobi and Sir John Gielgud were doubters as well, and that really caught my attention.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this late stage, I don't see that it matters either way. Zahir's post certainly is persuasive.

Still, I've never taken too seriously the claims that Bacon or whoever really wrote the plays anyway.

--A
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Ordinarily, I'd agree with you Zahir, and that was exactly what I was thinking, until I saw that Derek Jacobi and Sir John Gielgud were doubters as well, and that really caught my attention.


Unless Bob Saget joins the doubters, then count me out.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much as I admire Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir John Gielguid as artists, this hardly makes them historians. Sir Derek's comments about the Earl of Oxford, for example, are simply not very logical. If few contemporary documents like Shakespeare to the plays that bear his name (which is actually not true anyway) none at all link them with the Earl of Oxford. More, the man died prior to events to which there are references in the plays themselves!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shakespeare was whoever he was and no amount of guessing by anyone will determine who he was or wasn't. too much time has passed.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True enough, we'll never know for certain.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why couldn't Shakespeare be educated in history, nobility, etc? Because he was born in an illiterate family? That is hardly a valid excuse during his era where people were starting to leave the ranks of poverty and join the upper class (a good example of this is Sir Thomas More,author of Utopia). It is very possible that Shakespeare could have gained the education he needed in order to write the plays attributated to him.

On another note, theatre back then is similar to movie-making today as far as the script writing is concerned. Scripts could be changed by producers, directors, or actors depending on necesity (hence, the different versions of King Lear). Overall, I would give Shakespeare credit in the authorship of the plays as I would give credit to scriptwriters to authorship of the scripts of movies (yeah, they wrote, however, there could have very well been changes made to the original script).
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sgt.null wrote:
Shakespeare was whoever he was and no amount of guessing by anyone will determine who he was or wasn't. too much time has passed.

TIME MACHINE!!!!
Quote:
Why couldn't Shakespeare be educated in history, nobility, etc? Because he was born in an illiterate family? That is hardly a valid excuse during his era where people were starting to leave the ranks of poverty and join the upper class (a good example of this is Sir Thomas More,author of Utopia). It is very possible that Shakespeare could have gained the education he needed in order to write the plays attributated to him.

Right. For one thing, a lot of Shakespeare plays have plenty of very low brow, grungy humor which appeals to the common folk (so to speak). Also, I sadly don`t remember what exactly it was, but as far as the Marlowe as Shakespeare theory, when I sat down and read Marlowe`s Faustus, it felt really different from all the Shakespeare plays I`ve read (in a few weeks I might be able to check some of the things that were different). Though I suppose a good playwright might change style over time, and both did do a play about evil Jews.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure how a kid from the streets could become as knowledgeable about all those things as he would have had to become. But I'm not sure how he could have passed the writings of these other guys off as his own, either. That would be a hell of a trick! Very Happy "Let me tell the world I wrote this, or I'll kill ya!" "Let me tell the world I wrote this, and I'll... gratify you." "Let me tell the world..."
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course! Shakespeare gained credit for other people's works through threats of violence and sexual favors. I can see the original author's reaction now...

Original Author: Oh, God, no, please don't gratify me! Throwup I'll let you take credit for whatever you want!

Shakespeare (aside):Heh..heh...works everytime... Evil Foul
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick note--the author of the The Red Badge of Courage wrote a novel about the Civil War that utterly convinced hundreds of veterans from that conflict that he had served. They were constantly writing to learn what was his unit, what battles did he see, etc.

Answer? None. He was too young to have even been a drummer boy for that conflict.

Genuine Mafiosi have praised The Godfather as feeling just like the real thing. Yet Mario Puzzo was certainly no gangster.

There are such things as talent, imagination and research.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of think this is good, old fashioned english elitism. How could a commoner have written with such skill? He *must* have been a noble.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kudos to Zahir.
Quote:
A quick note--the author of the The Red Badge of Courage wrote a novel about the Civil War that utterly convinced hundreds of veterans from that conflict that he had served. They were constantly writing to learn what was his unit, what battles did he see, etc.

Answer? None. He was too young to have even been a drummer boy for that conflict.

Genuine Mafiosi have praised The Godfather as feeling just like the real thing. Yet Mario Puzzo was certainly no gangster.

There are such things as talent, imagination and research.


Without which (for example) the Lord of the Rings would never have been written; since no one can be a hobbit, a king in exile, an elf slumming it, a dwarf, etc. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to my Shakespeare professor, "by Shakespeare" may have meant "produced by" or "directed by" instead of "written by". To assume theft and force a controversy is to exaggerate the issue. Is it important to know the author of the plays and poems? Of course. But it is historical and academic importance. I will withhold the fraud charges and metaphorical irons for now.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oxfordians up the stakes with a bet:

http://doubtaboutwill.org/
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It certainly shouldn't be something that is denied by or to academia to discuss. To be honest I don't know there is enough evidence on either side to carry an argument.

What next? Maybe we should start coming down on one side or the other for the existence of Homer.
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