The Controversy Surrounding the Validity of Shakespearean Authorship

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The Controversy Surrounding the Validity of Shakespearean Authorship This research paper takes a look at the controversy surrounding the validity of Shakespearean authorship. I must tell you that before performing this research, I had no idea that this topic was such a debate in the world of literature. My goal in writing this paper is to hopefully bring some insight and knowledge to those who read it. Who was the man we call William Shakespeare? William Shakespeare was a man who wrote more than 36 world-famous dramas portraying the range and depth of human nature. Surprisingly, we know very little about the man who created these dramas, a man often referred to as the greatest literary genius in history. Shakespeare did not in his own day inspire the mysterious adoration that afterward came to surround his works. Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April of 1564, the son of a glover. When he was 18 years old he married Anne Hathaway and they had 3 children by the time he was 21. There are a number of references to Shakespeare as an actor and author by those who would have known him. However, there is not a single word of the plays or the poems that is definitely in Shakespeare's handwriting. There are only six remaining legal documents containing his signature, which I might ad contain different spellings of his name. Since the mid 19th century, a large group of disbelievers have argued that someone other than the Stratford man created the poems and plays presented as the works of William Shakespeare. Since 1856 there have been 17 different proposed substitutes for Shakespeare including the Earl of Oxford, Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, the Earl of Derby, the Earl of Rutland, Sir Walter Raleigh and even Queen Elizabeth I herself. Assuming that Shakespeare of Stratford did not write the plays, Charlton Ogburn, author and scholar, believes that a well educated man by the name of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford fits the description as the author. The author who wrote Richard III, and Hamlet had a vocabulary in excess of 20,000 words, and also had a first hand knowledge of the customs of the Danish Court and of French and Italian cities. He used more than 100 musical terms as well as the names of 200 plants. There is no documentation that William Shakespeare had access to this type of information. Shakespeare may never have left the southeast of England. Oxford on the other hand, had traveled to Paris, Venice and other foreign countries

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