History of the English Language

 

 

 

Did Shakespeare write his plays?

Was William Shakespeare the incredible author that (almost) the whole world believes him to be? YOU DECIDE!   Is Shakespeare a fraud? Did he really write all his works or was it someone else? These are questions which people have been asking for quite a while. Let’s look at the evidence and then you can decide for yourself.  

 

Round 1

  For William Shakespeare of Stratford is written on the printed cover of the manuscripts. Everybody agreed that he wrote them at that time and there was nobody else mentioned. Shakespeare was also mentioned as the author by other writers. Against None of the original books survived so we don’t have any evidence now. Also, there is no written proof that he even was a writer. Some documents do describe him as an actor though. We also don’t have any of his own writing for support.  

Round 2

  For William Shakespeare of Stratford was an actor who performed the plays of William Shakespeare. Therefore, it seems a coincidence that they had the same name. It’s almost impossible to say that there were 2 different people. Also, all the other actors knew him as the actor and author. Against Some of his sonnets refer to Shakespeare as an older man, near death and the publishers even wrote dedications to him as though he were dead. However, the Shakespeare we know wasn’t. Furthermore, when he did die few people went to his funeral. A bit strange for such an important writer and actor perhaps?   So, if Shakespeare didn’t write his plays & sonnets, then who was the author?   Christopher Marlowe was born in the same year yet he allegedly died just as Shakespeare started writing plays. Could he have changed names and started a new career? Sir Francis Bacon was intelligent enough to have written such masterpieces but why would he have done it with a fake name? Believers say that Bacon wrote secret messages in the texts to reveal his secret. Several of the plots in Shakespeare’s works are very similar to the life of Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford.    

Useful language

fraud
a fake
works
here: books, poems or plays
manuscript 
a text or book written by hand
evidence and proof
something which shows or confirms that a belief is true
coincidence 
something which happens by chance
sonnet 
a short poem
dedication
a short message in book, poem or CD that says it is for them or says thanks
masterpiece
an amazingly good book, play, poem or other type of creative work
plot
the main story line

 

Vote time!

  [poll id='47']   You may also like our other Shakespeare posts... 1. Shakespeare, my hero - Podcast conversation with 2 SGI teachers 2. WIN free English lessons at SGI London in our September Shakespeare Competition    

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