Did William Shakespeare Write the Plays and Sonnets or Not? Essay

Did William Shakespeare Write the Plays and Sonnets or Not? Essay

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Throughout the last century, a raging phenomenon known as the “Authorship Debate”, has come to light. It disputes whether Shakespeare himself wrote the plays and sonnets or if it was someone else writing under a pseudonym. There are countless theories of who the writer might actually be but the main suspects are Shakespeare himself, Edward de Vere, Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, William Stanley, Roger Manners, Sir Walter Raleigh and Mary Sidney Herbert (Pressley).
The first to be presumed the writer is Shakespeare himself. Many theorists believe it wasn’t Shakespeare due to the fact that he was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, which was a poor countryside area. Shakespeare was a glove-maker with a low level of education. He wasn’t a genius, so according to theorists, that must mean he didn’t write the plays. All of Shakespeare’s plays all have such deep contextual meaning, of which Shakespeare lacked, he had little to none experiences so how could he write such beautiful and intricate plays? Although that’s what theorists mainly speculate, there is proof that William Shakespeare was in fact an actor and a poet. In 1598, “Will Shakespeare” was listed for the play Every Man in His Humor. Again, on May 16 in 1903, the Globe theatre troupe was licensed as the King's Men and on that list was William Shakespeare and his fellow members (Reedy). In Ben Jonson's 1616 folio of Works, he listed all the actors of each play and Shakespeare was mentioned in many of them. As for Shakespeare being noted as a poet, in 1615 Edmund Howes published a list of “Our moderne, and present excellent Poets” in John Stow's Annales, “M. Willi. Shakespeare gentlemen” was listed on 27, number 13 (Reedy). To appreciate all of his hard work, sometime before...


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.... N.p, n.d. Web. 21 February 2014.
“From Edward D. Johnson: “The Shaksper Illusion,” chapter: “Francis Bacon's Promus”. Sir Bacon. N.p, n.d. Web. 17 February, 2014.
Jamieson, Lee. “Who was Edward de Vere? Could Edward de Vere be the Real Shakespeare?” Shakespeare About. About.com, 2014. Web. 17 February 2014.
“Mary Sidney Herbert” Shakespeare Authorship. N.p, n.d. Web. 23 February 2014.
Milner, Cory. “The Bizarre Candidates”. Netplaces. N.p, n.d. Web. 23 February 2014.
Reedy, Tom and David Kathman. “How We Know that Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare: The Historical Facts”. Shakespeare Authorship. J.M. Pressley and the Shakespeare Resource Center, January 2014. Web. 17 February, 2014.
“Summary of Baconian Evidence for Shakespeare Authorship”. Sir Bacon. N.p, n.d. Web. 17 February, 2014.
“William Stanley”. Shakespeare Authorship. N.p, n.d. Web. 23 February 2014.

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