Was 'William Shakespeare' an actual person who authored books or was this name a moniker for a committee of writers 'ghost writing' under this name? Britrish author John Yeoman claims there was no actual author named William Shakespeare, but instead a committe of 'ghost-writers' using the nom de plume of 'William Shakespeare'.

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There is no way we will ever know the answer to this question. However, I don't really see how a committee of writers could be as consistent as they plays tend to be, and why would a committee of writers write that many poems? It does not make sense to me.
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History teaches us the William Shakespeare did, in fact, exist.  He was certainly a real person.  He had a family, a wife, and several children.  We have documentation and records of his life.  I have even seen his grave.  There is some controversy over whether or not he wrote the plays which are attributed to him.  Personally, I believe he did.  It is often debated whether Shakespeare was the true author or whether he pretended to be while someone else (usually thought to be an individual) wrote his works.  There is also some debate whether Christopher Marlowe helped Shakespeare write his plays.  Some believe that Marlowe wrote whole scenes for many of Shakespeare's works including Macbeth.  While I do not remember hearing the debate about Shakespeare's work being written by a group, I do not believe it.  We know Shakespeare was a real person and a writer living in London at the time his writings were produced.

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There is an enormous amount of evidence that Shakespeare was the actual author of the works attributed to Shakespeare.  Do a Google search for the "Shakespeare Authorship Page," or read a good biography, such as the one by Samuel Schoenbaum titled Shakespeare: A Documentary Life. Almost no serious scholar of Shakespeare takes seriously the claims of those who dispute Shakespeare's authorship. If there were even the remote possibility that someone other than Shakespeare wrote the works, scholars would compete furiously trying to explore that possibility.  (The recent debate about Shakespeare's alleged Catholicism is a good example of the kind of debate I have in mind.) If anyone could actually find any scrap of incontrovertible evidence to prove that Shakespeare did not writer Shakespeare's works, that person would instantly become an enormously famous scholar.  No one has even come close, and many of the claims made by the deniers are very obviously weak.

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This question has been treated exhaustively for many years.  The driving force behind the question – setting aside the infinite number of “explanations" (of which Yeoman’s is one of the weakest) is the paucity of records to build a biography after some 500 years of fires, floods, wars, etc. that destroy public documents.  The main objection to acknowledging that there was such a person is that modern-day notions of commercial notoriety are erroneously applied to Elizabethan culture.  If you were royalty, your deeds could find their way into Chronicles and the like (Holinshed’s Chronicles, for example, contain the stories of the British monarchy; Froissart’s Chronicles related French/British history), but if you were a popular entertainer or even a writer, your life did not necessarily find it way into public records or print.  Historians tried to assemble a portrait of Shakespeare after his popularity grew as literature (in large part because some of his contemporaries gathered his work into a Folio in 1616, after his death).  Another theory points to the permissions required to perform in public, suggesting that someone in court was responsible for those permissions (an easy step to conjectures about anonymous titled authorship.)  The point is that historians loathe a vacuum; contemporary wisdom says that, since the age did not promote self-portraits, the physical authorship is very much secondary to enjoying the plays’ wit, drama, psychological insights, linguistic innovations, etc. and leaving the “authorship” to historical archeologists.  Finally, linguistic scholars who have taken a close look at internal details conclude that one person wrote all the plays now gathered under the name of Shakespeare. 

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