William Shakespeare's Authenticity

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William Shakespeare's Authenticity

Over the past several centuries, many scholars have been debating the authenticity of Shakespeare and his works. Many books have even been published questioning if the legendary playwright from Stratford is the author of his many plays and poems. This theory still remains as a possibility today and much of the evidence stems from Shakespeare’s great literary achievements, his humble beginnings, his inadequate education and the missing chapters in his life.

Throughout his writings, there is evidence of similarities between the language and literature of the time period with subjects such as law, history, politics and geography as well as manners and knowledge of the courts which would not have been known by a common citizen or the son of a tradesman. The range of knowledge which he displays would only be expected of a man of extensive education during the time period that was familiar with the royal figures that are depicted in his works. The insufficient records have added even more mystery as none of the original manuscripts have survived and were possibly destroyed to conceal the identity of the actual author. Although Shakespeare is considered by many to be the greatest playwright of all time, much speculation surrounds his authenticity through theories based on linguistic and historical problems as well as criticism.

Since the four centuries that have passed since Shakespeare’s times, several theories have been developed which claim that others may be the legitimate authors of his works. The playwrights usually focused on are Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere, William Stanley, Roger Manners and Christopher Marlowe. Other theories support the fact that perhaps sev...

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...e’s works which allow for authentic spectacle and realism with all of the available modern theatre techniques at their disposal. These presentations have led to different forms of media such as opera, ballet, sound recordings, television and movies. Even musicals have been created with "The Taming of the Shrew" acting as the inspiration for "Kiss Me Kate" while "Macbeth" acted as the inspiration for a political satire called "Macbird!"

In "Hamlet" it is said that the reason for theatre performance is to “hold the mirror up to nature.” To most, this is exactly what Shakespeare has done with the lasting impressions left by his works from their first productions to the latest versions. While Shakespeare’s influence is undeniable, many factors still question his genius and intellect as a legitimate author that still fascinates literary enthusiasts today.
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