Doubt Of Shakespeares Authorship Of His Plays

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Doubt of Shakespeare's Authorship of His Plays

Over the years, various persons have expressed doubt as to the authorship of William Shakespeare. These doubts are as old as his plays.
American author, Henry James once said, "I am haunted by the conviction that the divine William is the biggest and the most successful fraud ever practiced on a patient world. (Hoffman 27) On the other hand, author Calvin Hoffman was convinced that Shakespeare was "the author of the most magnificent English dramatic prose and poetry ever written. (Hoffman 27) But, he reiterated this belief nineteen years later, stating, "They are magnificent! Only, William
Shakespeare of Stratford-on- Avon never wrote the plays and poems." (Hoffman 27)
Crime, guilt, fraud, exile, hate, deceit, and murder are all woven into this shroud of authorship that hides the identity of the world's most renowned writer. Cranks have proposed over fifty candidates for authorship, from Queen
Elizabeth to the Jesiuts.
Although many doubt that William Shakespeare ever wrote the works attributed to him, some still resort to pro-Shakespearean arguments. John
Drinkwater, author and believer, felt that the flowers, banks, brooks, pastures, and woodlands of Shakespeare's boyhood home, Stratford, were all transfigured in his plays by his wonderful verse, but yet they still remained the scenes to which he was bred. Drinkwater believed too, that not only in Shakespeare's humble folk, shepherds, gardeners, and serving men, but also in his princes and kings, he reflected the humanity with which he was familiar in Stratford. The knowledge and wisdom he acquired directly from his own enviroment was quite true to life. Drinkwater also said that mere book- knowledge in Shakespeare's works was usually incorrect because he used knowledge outside the range of his own experiences, with a "grand audacity."
It is true that William Shakespeare attended grammar school in Stratford, and tha he acquired some competence in Latin and gained a limited knowledge of
English history. There was a period of time in his life referred to as his
"dark years," and this period of time may have been subjected to influences making for high culture.
Records say too, that Shakespeare left Stratford in 1585 and went on the stage in 1590. During this time he could have attended Cambridge or worked in a lawyer's ...

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...Shakespeare's did. Bacon and Shakespeare viewed the world differently.
Finally, some disbelievers support another candidate, William Stanley, the 6th Earl of Derby, who was interested in drama, and became a patron of a company of actors. Several poems showed signs of early and immature Shakespeare, but he was a boy at that time. One was signed in Derby's handwriting, and three signed "William Shakespeare." His motive- like de Vere'swould have been to avoid association of his family name with the lower social order of the stage.
Was Shakespeare hinting at his name through word play? His verses, such as "... every word doth almost tell my name..." seem to be an attempt to reveal his name. Another line says, "Whats in a name?" Sonnet III says, "Hence comes it that my name receives a brand," and " my name be buried where my body is...."
In conclusion, curiosity has indeed been aroused for many , many years.
Hundreds of theories and shreds of proof have been gathered, but the world will always wonder and waver between doubt and belief in William Shakespeare. So, the question still remains, "Was Shakespeare really Shakespeare?"
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