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Blumenfeld on ShakepeareA three part series of guest appearance of Samuel L....

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remnantman | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 27, 2008 at 10:25 AM via web

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Blumenfeld on Shakepeare

A three part series of guest appearance of Samuel L. Blumenfeld on NH Cable TV "Chattin' with Jeanine" Show discussing his latest book: "The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection". Parts 1,2 are on YouTube and part 3 in on Google by RemnantMan.

Who wrote Shakespeare?  That’s a question that has been asked by scholars and Shakespeare lovers for over 200 years.  The question arose because Shakespeare’s biography does not fit with what he is supposed to have written.  In fact, Diana Price, in her 2001 book, Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography, examined all of the documents related to Shakespeare and came to the conclusion that he was not a writer.  “These documents,” wrote Price, “account for his activities as an actor, a theatre shareholder, a businessman, a moneylender, a property holder, a litigant, and a man with a family, but they do not account for his presumed life as a professional writer.”Also, there is nothing in Shakespeare’s will, written just before he died in 1616, that makes mention of anything related to a writing career. 

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remnantman | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 27, 2008 at 10:27 AM (Answer #2)

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Also, there is nothing in Shakespeare’s will, written just before he died in 1616, that makes mention of anything related to a writing career.  About this will, Mark Twain wrote:  “It named in minute detail every item of property he owned in the world—houses, lands, sword, silver-gilt bowl, and so on—all the way down to his ‘second-best bed’ and its furniture.  It mentioned not a single book.  Books were much more precious than swords and silver-gilt bowls and when a departing person owned one he gave it a high place in his will.  The will mentioned not a play, not a poem, not an unfinished literary work, not a scrap of manuscript of any kind.”

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 31, 2008 at 6:38 AM (Answer #3)

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While this is all very intriguing, could it not be that Shakespeare didn't mention these things out of humility?  Perhaps these plays were not considered by him to be "books" period.  They were written by him to be performed on stage as a means to pay the bills.  Perhaps he did not consider them to be published works of any worth? 

I, too, have been intrigued by the "Who wrote Shakespeare" questions over the years.  If it were some higher up in society who wrote these great plays, poems, and sonnets, why have we not discovered any mention of it in this person's or some other person's personal effects?  Surely this is not a secret that could be kept by one person to his deathbed. Someone must have known and some mention of it would be in a diary, a letter, a scrap of gossip.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 15, 2011 at 4:09 PM (Answer #4)

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Number 3's suggestion is an interesting one.  I personally do not really care if the plays were written by one person or many people and I doubt we will ever know one way or another.  At this point the name Shakespeare means so much more than the man.

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