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Was Shakespeare Really Shakespeare?Do you think Shakespeare really wrote all the works...

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Scott Locklear | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted April 2, 2008 at 10:57 AM via web

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Was Shakespeare Really Shakespeare?

Do you think Shakespeare really wrote all the works history has attributed to him? Let's collect in one discussion thread all the rumors and theories of different authorship. Are there any you might be inclined to believe? 

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 2, 2008 at 12:12 PM (Answer #2)

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I go back and forth on this issue. How could one person have written all those brilliant plays and all those brilliant sonnets? But how could they all be written in the same style and use similar language if they weren't written by one person?

I've heard Francis Bacon or Edward de Vere mentioned as possible writers. Some have even considered Marlowe as a possible "ghost" writer. But weren't their egos stable enough that if they had written one or more of the plays they'd have acknowledged that fact?

 

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

Posted April 3, 2008 at 6:36 AM (Answer #3)

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I love the movie Shakespeare in Love which shows the young Shakespeare in the middle of London talking to many--both poor and wealthy, uneducated and overeducated--and collecting all the bits of dialogue and events which we see in the plays, sonnets, and poems. 

I have to believe that he had the connections, the ability to meet and greet and rub elbows with all types of people in the age, and put his experiences and knowledge of people in his works.

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 3, 2008 at 9:16 AM (Answer #4)

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How could Mozart have written all he wrote?  Or Beethoven?  Or Chopin?  Geniuses exist...have existed...will always be out there.  I also know that education back then was WAY different than it is now.  Kids learned more before the high school years than they do now, and so his supposed lack of education is not a good enough reason (in my mind) to say that he couldn't have written the plays.

I've even heard about Queen Elizabeth herself being a contender.  Until some hard, substantial evidence turns up that would completely disprove Shakespeare as the author, I'm not buying it.  But a fun book to read about this very subject is "Interred With Their Bones."  I highly recommend it - authorship question, lost play being found - great story!

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 3, 2008 at 9:21 AM (Answer #5)

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How could Mozart have written all he wrote?  Or Beethoven?  Or Chopin?  Geniuses exist...have existed...will always be out there.  I also know that education back then was WAY different than it is now.  Kids learned more before the high school years than they do now, and so his supposed lack of education is not a good enough reason (in my mind) to say that he couldn't have written the plays.

I've even heard about Queen Elizabeth herself being a contender.  Until some hard, substantial evidence turns up that would completely disprove Shakespeare as the author, I'm not buying it.  But a fun book to read about this very subject is "Interred With Their Bones."  I highly recommend it - authorship question, lost play being found - great story!

Good to see you back on the discussion boards. I'm back on the "of course he wrote them all" bandwagon again. When you consider that most of the plays are based on other works, it's not difficult to imagine one person having written them all.

Shakespeare was a genius.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted April 5, 2008 at 9:30 PM (Answer #6)

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I have no doubts that Shakespeare perhaps "borrowed" bits and pieces of other authors' ideas, etc., but I also fall into the "He wrote all of his own works" category, as well.  I've never doubted that he authored all of his plays, sonnets, etc.  I love him too much to believe otherwise! :-)

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 10, 2008 at 5:54 PM (Answer #7)

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How could Mozart have written all he wrote?  Or Beethoven?  Or Chopin?  Geniuses exist...have existed...will always be out there.  I also know that education back then was WAY different than it is now.  Kids learned more before the high school years than they do now, and so his supposed lack of education is not a good enough reason (in my mind) to say that he couldn't have written the plays.

I've even heard about Queen Elizabeth herself being a contender.  Until some hard, substantial evidence turns up that would completely disprove Shakespeare as the author, I'm not buying it.  But a fun book to read about this very subject is "Interred With Their Bones."  I highly recommend it - authorship question, lost play being found - great story!

Good to see you back on the discussion boards. I'm back on the "of course he wrote them all" bandwagon again. When you consider that most of the plays are based on other works, it's not difficult to imagine one person having written them all.

Shakespeare was a genius.

Hi Linda!  Nothing like a question about Shakespeare to get me going again!!!  haha :)

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ctdi | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 7, 2008 at 6:36 PM (Answer #8)

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www.marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.com/

 Visit the blog.  Marlowe wrote the plays!

 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 15, 2010 at 2:03 PM (Answer #9)

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I agree with #3 in focussing on how Shakespeare in Love highlights the sharing and pooling of ideas and the influence that others had on Shakespeare. For example, Stoppard suggests, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, that Marlowe was an important influence behind creating the idea for Romeo and Juliet. I, like other editors, must admit to oscillating somewhat between a "purist" approach and then to a much more muddied approach of sharing and the communal formation of some of Shakespeare's plays. I don't think we are ever going to find a conclusive answer either way though!

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 17, 2010 at 8:53 AM (Answer #10)

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I agree word for word with #6.  I love the plays and sonnets, and it would break my heart to think that more than one "Shakepseare" wrote them.  On a more practical note, I find it hard to believe that multiple writers could create such coherence of style, thought, and language as the sonnets and plays show.  When I start reading the footnotes in an Arden text (or some other such work) and see the word choices and language issues across all the works, it seems very credible that one man had his hand in all the works.

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