The Shakespeare Question

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koan
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by koan »

Were the plays of the great bard written by William Shakespeare of Stratford?

I'm watching a documentary with my kid, because she has to watch one and this is the only one I've talked her into watching... but I'm still waiting for her to join me in front of the screen, and almost a day has passed.

But I've suddenly become way more interested in the question. Could Shakespeare have been attributed to the wrong person? Mark Twain thought so. I've kind of not cared but realise it's a pretty big question to ignore.

Mark Twain's 'Is Shakespeare Dead?' -- with Keir Cutler
gmc
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by gmc »

Shakespeare probably collaborated with other writers but is his body of work any more surprisiong tham mark twain's? You might well ask how an obscure river boat pilot came to write works that are known throughout the world and in such quantity - who really wrote huckleberry finn.

Elizabethan england was right in the middle of the renaissance and saw a flowering of culture and social change that echoes down to the present day. Little things like printing bibles in the native tongues that led on to the protestant reformation and the development of parliamentary democracy and challenges to the divine right of kings . You're not exactly talking about a cultural backwater here on the arse end of europe you know there were influences coming from all over the place. your own language and culture all have their roots in what was happening in this period. English was an obscure northern dialect that went on to take over the world.

Renaissance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In England, the Elizabethan era marked the beginning of the English Renaissance with the work of writers William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Sir Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Sir Philip Sidney, John Milton, as well as great artists, architects (such as Inigo Jones who introduced Italianate architecture to England), and composers such as Thomas Tallis, John Taverner, and William Byrd.
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spot
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by spot »

If the author of the collection of plays ascribed to William Shakespeare was someone other than the William Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon who had various commercial and acting interests in London around the start of the seventeenth century then, in my opinion, the true authorship would have been unambiguously claimed in some sort of open-sight cipher at the time. Lots of people have asserted that just such a cipher was embodied into one or other of the early printed collections. Mark Twain's question would be answered if just one such cipher were demonstrated.

Has such a steganographic cipher been demonstrated? I don't think so.

Is it there to be found, in open sight? Possibly. The people who've looked so far seem to have been low-grade dim twerps.

Certainly the near-contemporary ascription to the William Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon who had various commercial and acting interests in London around the start of the seventeenth century was deliberate, it's not something we're reading into ambiguous evidence. That's the chap the collections talk about as being the author. It's not us mistaking who was meant.
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koan
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by koan »

If it was so easily shrugged off as silly conjecture the question would have died off. It's not only going strong, there is renewed effort to have the question taken seriously.

My first thought on Francis Bacon was that I couldn't see how he'd have had the time. I have also read his essays and can't imagine Shakespeare writing anything so dry I needed three bottles of visine to get through it.

I like the idea of Marlowe who, if he faked his death, would almost have to have constructed works like that just to pass the time.

I'd be thrilled if they were written by a woman, as some believe.

I'm not against them being written by William but I do see why a number of people find it implausible.
koan
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by koan »

spot;1353477 wrote: If the author of the collection of plays ascribed to William Shakespeare was someone other than the William Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon who had various commercial and acting interests in London around the start of the seventeenth century then, in my opinion, the true authorship would have been unambiguously claimed in some sort of open-sight cipher at the time. Lots of people have asserted that just such a cipher was embodied into one or other of the early printed collections. Mark Twain's question would be answered if just one such cipher were demonstrated.

Has such a steganographic cipher been demonstrated? I don't think so.

Is it there to be found, in open sight? Possibly. The people who've looked so far seem to have been low-grade dim twerps.

Certainly the near-contemporary ascription to the William Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon who had various commercial and acting interests in London around the start of the seventeenth century was deliberate, it's not something we're reading into ambiguous evidence. That's the chap the collections talk about as being the author. It's not us mistaking who was meant.


Oh, I did leave out De Vere from the list. And there is a De Vere Code.
gmc
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by gmc »

Is it any more implausable than mozart having composed as much as he or that arthur conan doyle wrote science fiction as well as detective novels, come to that should the credit for holmes not really go to Doctor Bell rather than conan doyle? Michael Jackson - why should anyone be prepared to believe he was as prolific and original as he actually was?

That it's shrugged off as pointless conjecture doesn't stop people conjecturing or make them right simply because they persist.
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chonsigirl
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by chonsigirl »

The idea of Bacon being a possible writer is interesting-why not? His other works may be dry in a way, but he could have had another life where he let it all go, like Taming of the Shrew.....(although I personally think Shakespeare really wrote them)
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spot
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by spot »

koan;1353533 wrote: Oh, I did leave out De Vere from the list. And there is a De Vere Code.


Does it say "De Vere wrote the plays presented in this collection, Shakespeare was just an actor-manager who made the money"? Because if it does, your problem's solved. And if it's less convincing, why would a less explicit statement have been hidden when that one would have been just as easy to incorporate?

I don't understand this notion of having an opinion without any reasoned basis for it. Not you - the thread in general. The site in general. The world in general.
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koan
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by koan »

spot;1353550 wrote: Does it say "De Vere wrote the plays presented in this collection, Shakespeare was just an actor-manager who made the money"? Because if it does, your problem's solved. And if it's less convincing, why would a less explicit statement have been hidden when that one would have been just as easy to incorporate?

I don't understand this notion of having an opinion without any reasoned basis for it. Not you - the thread in general. The site in general. The world in general.


I don't see where I've indicated that I have either a problem or an opinion. I'm merely mentioning a subject that I find intriguing. If you don't find it interesting you'd not be posting. I'd wager you are annoyed by the subject and that's both an opinion and a problem. lol
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spot
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by spot »

Of course I'm annoyed by the subject, a hundred years worth of books have been issued by self-publicists who *say* Kit Marlowe (who did indeed write a paper on switching fonts from one letter to another and mispunctuating and putting frippery meaningless tics onto text in order to hide a secret message in plain view), or someone with similar knowledge, hid a declaration of the real authorship of the plays in one specific edition of the introductory pages of the quarto or folio collection, and it's equally true that all contemporary editions of the quarto or folio collection have exactly such font-switches and mispunctuations and tics, but they never say which edition, which font change sequence, which accumulation of commas and semicolons and which tics add up to the plain-sight cipher and they never make an explicit claim which makes any sense, which is madness given that anyone hiding such a message would hide an extremely explicit one.

What it will take, in my opinion, is someone with half an ounce of genuine wit to get hold of a facimile of the intros to all the editions and to mark up every single anomaly and find out what's ciphered in it, because it's blatantly obvious the compositors of the time were having a huge in-joke with the tricks Kit Marlowe wrote about and they used the folio and quarto editions as their local graffiti wall.

And if it ends up saying "De Vere wrote the plays presented in this collection" I'll eat my hat.
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koan
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The Shakespeare Question

Post by koan »

spot;1353622 wrote:

And if it ends up saying "De Vere wrote the plays presented in this collection" I'll eat my hat.


It says "These all by E. Ver, poet, adventurer"

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