Years before, while studying pulsars, Sturrock devised a new method to process information using statistics. Anti-Stratfordians say Shakespeare of Stratford was a false name to shield the identity of the real author or authors. So the evidence of Meres, and, as I say, a number of other people publishing books in Shakespeare's lifetime praising his poetry, make the connection with the actor, with the man from Stratford. This website offers the chance to explore different arguments for the most prominent authorship candidates. Written in an accessible style without the bitterness that characterizes some Oxfordian writings, Sobran's book presented a superficially plausible … This belief stirs what is known today as the Shakespeare authorship question. Yeah, this is the one that if you're a Shakespeare scholar, and you get in a taxi anywhere in the world, the first question is, "So, was Shakespeare really Shakespeare? But in terms of external verification -- again, scholarship always looks for external verification. Reid: So what is the strongest piece of evidence we have that Shakespeare the actor from Stratford-upon-Avon was the Shakespeare that wrote the plays? I've got In front of me here a facsimile of the First Folio. They're the ones who put together the First Folio, and they talk about Shakespeare as a writer. The Shakespeare authorship question has been around for a long time, and it’s not going away. But Meres, who seemed to know everybody in the London literary world, is quite clear that they're different people from Shakespeare. For the Romantics, that wasn't really glamorous enough. Join our site and tell us about it! Bate: OK, well, we've seen the evidence from Stratford itself -- the bust. The Shakespeare authorship question is a fringe theory which claims that the works attributed to William Shakespeare were actually written by someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon. Or even people suggesting maybe Queen Elizabeth or King James wrote the works of Shakespeare. So it does seem that a lot of the arguments come down to a kind of snobbery-- the idea that such a great mind could not have come from such a humble background. Shakespeare’s works have long symbolised for us all aspects of the human condition - and I would argue that he writes equally as honestly, profoundly and comically about Mistress Quickly, an inn-keeper in The Merry Wives of Windsor, as he does King Henry V. The psychological precision and incision of his portrait of Richard III is more than matched by the intricacy with which he writes about Iago, the thwarted lower class ensign in Othello. Celebrating Shakespeare is at the heart of everything we do. There are all these documents concerning property transactions, a sort of Shakespeare the businessman. The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument that someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. I'm here today with Jonathan [Bate] to talk about the authorship question. There are all sorts of other local details as well. For four hundred years, doubts have been recorded about whether William Shaksper from Stratford actually wrote the works attributed to him. Nobody had any doubts. How can we read (and be taught) Shakespeare’s plays, if we can never really understand the complete context of their composition, the time in which they were written and, yes, the prejudice and controversy that still engulfs them. Reid: The First Folio was published after Shakespeare's death. You had to go to an office called the heralds' office. And it's not a matter that we want to discuss further, either within the films or in the forum. And there's a long process, getting a coat of arms. Indeed, Jonson talks in his conversations with other writers in his notebooks about Shakespeare's techniques of writing. [1] Because, marvellous thing that the internet is, the problem is that there isn't a system of independent verification where you can discover which websites are actually based on evidence, and which are based on conspiracy theory. The Shakespeare Authorship Question has been called the greatest literary mystery of all time. I think by the later twentieth century, the phenomenon, the controversy was dying away. And there's a list of the writers there, and William Shakespeare is bang in the middle of it. Are there any references to him during his lifetime by other authors? What is the Shakespeare authorship question? The authorship question, he reasoned, could be addressed by a scientific approach. So in a way, I think it's a kind of off-shoot of the Romantic movement. Are the people who doubt Shakespeare’s authorship crackpots? Bate: OK, thanks very much, Jen. The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument over whether someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. And indeed, Meres goes on a few pages later to say that "The greatness of Shakespeare as a writer was the range of his work." These authors did not want their real names to become public, for various resons. Bate: Yes, indeed. How do I get involved in the Guardian children's books site? She came from a country where it was supposed to be possible to go from a log cabin to the White House. That was printed by Richard Field, a fellow schoolboy from the grammar school here in Stratford. Reid: Well, you certainly convinced me. The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument that someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. And he should have known that the great grammar school education that was available to Shakespeare in Stratford, as it was to other middle-class boys in Shakespeare's time, meant that you could become a great and sophisticated writer without going to university. What then happened in the Victorian period is there was a rather eccentric American lady called Delia Bacon who became convinced that Shakespeare couldn't have been Shakespeare, and that maybe someone called Francis Bacon, a famous writer, a famous politician, was Shakespeare. But then, of course, with the advent of the internet, it came back in a big way. And on that inscription, it describes him as having the greatest intellect since Socrates in ancient Greece, and being the greatest poet since Virgil in ancient Rome. Camden defending Shakespeare the player, coat of arms, Camden saying Shakespeare the writer. So we find him here, for example, saying that just as the Latin tongue, the Latin language was glorified by great writers like Virgil, and Ovid, and Horace, so the English language has been glorified by the wonderful poetry of Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton, William Warner, Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Chapman. Was there a second gunman assassinating John F. Kennedy? Anti-Stratfordians - the name given to those backing multiple authorship theories - believe that Shakespeare (who came from Stratford-upon-Avon) was used as a front to shield the identities of the real writers, who did not want or could not accept, for various reasons, credit for the original works. And what's more, Jonson was very involved in the production of the First Folio. The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to investigating the Shakespeare authorship question and disseminating the evidence that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, is the true author of the poems and plays published under the pseudonym "William Shakespeare." Created in collaboration with Warwick Business School, University of Warwick as part of our Massive Open Online Course, 'Shakespeare and His World'. And she started finding all sorts of hidden codes that led her to believe that Bacon was Shakespeare. That's to say, for over 200 years after Shakespeare's death, nobody questioned that Shakespeare, the man from Stratford, Shakespeare the player, was Shakespeare the writer. Transcript. This free course from the University of London explores critical thinking, and the interpretation of texts, through the Shakespeare authorship question. The Main Culprits in the Authorship Debate Are Christopher Marlowe . Expand The SAQ refers to longstanding doubts about the attribution, to William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon (1564–1616), of the literary works of "Shakespeare" (often spelled with a hyphen in the original published works, such as the 1609 Sonnets). In this video, Professor Jonathan Bate joins Jennifer Reid to discuss the question of who wrote the plays of William Shakespeare. This was the bust put there - his monument above his grave - very soon after his death. The independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of his works, life and times all over the world. Find out more. Believers of the alternative authorship theory often argue that William Shakespeare lacked the education, aristocratic sensibility and familiarity with the royal courts which is clearly evident in his works. I would suggest that this theory derives from a deeply embedded prejudice rooted in the English class system (most marked during the Victorian era, when the authorship question first gained widespread credence). He was also an actor in the company that performed his plays, and as an actor for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, one of the most prominent playing companies in London, his annual income would have been sufficient to enable him to take shares in the theatre company and rise up socially. And there's so much more evidence than that, that the writer was the actor, the actor was the man from Stratford. So nobody doubts that Shakespeare the player, came from Stratford, was the son of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. We're in week one of Shakespeare and His World, and it's bound to have come up by now. In the other hand, there would have been a quill, although, over time, the quill tended to be stolen and had to be replaced. It’s a remarkably popular theory: famous historical figures such as Walt Whitman, Charlie Chaplin and the actor Orson Welles were doubtful about Shakespeare’s authenticity, and even today renowned Shakespearian actors Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance believe there is “reasonable doubt about the identity of Willian Shakespeare”. But the intriguing thing about Meres is that he does mention Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, the Earl of Oxford, elsewhere as writers. The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument that someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. Do you have a point of view on a books related subject? And what's more, that man was William Camden, one of the most learned men in England. 'To be, or not to be; that is the question [...] .'. Shakespeare probably attended a grammar school in Stratford-upon-Avon, the town of which his father was Mayor, and where he himself probably studied Greek and Latin, so the idea that Shakespeare himself was not educated enough to be writing such impressively allusive plays seems absurd. He was born in the same year as Shakespeare, but died around the same time that Shakespeare started to write his plays. He knew the literary scene inside out. 400 years after his death, the Shakespeare authorship controversy continues. William Shakespeare, the third of eight children born, was born in 1564 from the rural town of Stratford-upon-Avon. And among them, he said, was Shakespeare the player. And so I think it sort of became inevitable that people would think well, we need Shakespeare to have a bit of glamour, to be a lord. For 200 years the question didn't occur to anybody. Created in collaboration with Warwick Business School, University of Warwick as part of our Massive Open Online Course, 'Shakespeare and His World'. It was published in 1598, so quite early in Shakespeare's career, by a man called Francis Meres, who was very keen on literature. Now, there were two other men in the heralds' office who disagreed, and they defended Shakespeare's right to have a coat of arms on the grounds that his father and mother had a good pedigree in Stratford-upon-Avon. "Shakespeare, among the English, is the most excellent in both kinds for the stage", both comedy and tragedy. And in one of his books, which is a kind of overflow from his history of England – it was called "The Remains of a Greater History" – he talks about the great writers, the pregnant wits, as he calls them, of his own time. Bate: Well, that's a great question. There was a schoolmaster called Thomas Looney who accepted it wasn't Bacon, but again thought; how could this grammar schoolboy from the provinces have known so much about courts and aristocracy? That was the very rationale of having acting companies. So I'm afraid it's not going to go away. But that was sort of where it began. Shakespeare Authorship Controversy 1886 Words | 8 Pages. Using doubt about Shakespeare’s authorship as our playground, we will explore the key concept of authorship attribution, while developing skills in literary analysis, interpretation, and argument. As part of our MOOC, "Shakespeare and his World", Professor Jonathan Bate joins us to discuss the question of who wrote the plays of William Shakespeare. If so, how would that affect our understanding of these works and their historical context? It's called Wits Commonwealth. Thank you for your support to help care for the world's greatest Shakespeare heritage and keep his story alive. Rylance finds a compelling logic in the Shakespeare conspiracy theories: "The nature of authorship was different then," he argues. And Shakespeare was very keen to restore the good name of his family. The Shakespeare authorship question is a theory (which was first proposed during the Victorian era) that William Shakespeare did not write the plays and poems which were accredited to him. The Shakespeare Authorship Question 10/27/2011 10:12 am ET Updated Oct 30, 2011 As the screenwriter of the upcoming Elizabethan drama Anonymous , I read Columbia Professor James Shapiro's opinion piece regarding our film in the NY Times last week with great interest. The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument that someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. But the really interesting thing is that one of the two men in the heralds' office who defended Shakespeare the player's right to a coat of arms also spoke about Shakespeare the writer, Shakespeare the poet and dramatist. Many scholars simply can’t believe that William Shakespeare could have had the necessary education or life experiences to have written such complex texts–he was, after all, just the son of a … Maybe he was just a stooge, just a front man, and someone else actually wrote them. Jonathan. The Shakespeare Authorship Question is the historical and academic debate about whether the works traditionally attributed to William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon were actually composed by another writer, or a group of writers. Here, we treat the authorship of the works attributed to William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon as a hypothesis (rather than received truth) and review the current methods available for testing this hypothesis. The question of Shakespeare’s authorship initiates controversy about whether or not William Shakespeare wrote the famous works by “Shakespeare”. The evidence about Shakespeare's actual life is really rather boring. So the complaint about the coat of arms for Shakespeare the player is intimately linked to the references back to Stratford. The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument about whether someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. We’re in week one of Shakespeare and His World, and it’s bound to have come up by now. The scientific argument behind this claim is known as the Shakespeare authorship question.Anti-Stratfordians say Shakespeare of Stratford was a false name to shield the identity of the real author or authors. Was it the man from Stratford?" It can never be definitively proved one way or the other - the historical evidence may well be lost for ever - but it seems to me that the authorship theory is mainly based on preconceptions of what people expect Shakespeare to be; their own personal idea of him. He worked closely with Shakespeare's fellow actors, John Heminges and Henry Condell, the leading surviving actors from his time. Shakespeare, known as a man from Stratford. And he describes Shakespeare there, in that poem, as "the sweet swan of Avon.". But I think the most fascinating piece of external verification is the combination of these two things, a document and a book. I’m here today with Jonathan to talk about the authorship question. This page shows the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition's "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare," which provides an introduction to the Shakespeare authorship controversy, or Shakespeare authorship debate. 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