Guest Author - Rebecca Graf
William Shakespeare could look down upon this earth and either be in shock at all the uproar over his plays or be doubled over laughing at the ludicrous suggestions that someone else wrote his material. There are opinions that other playwrights are the real authors using William Shakespeare as a mask. Others have suggested it had to be a nobleman who wanted to hide his love of writing from his peers. It is just too hard for most people to believe that someone who did not come from wealth nor had an impressive education could be gifted with the ability to produce these masterpieces.
David Goldman gives one of the arguments against Shakespeare being the author of the plays and sonnets as the incredulous thought “that this unschooled country boy could never have produced the numerous plays and sonnets that clearly exhibit knowledge of such sophisticated subjects as Latin, the law, and the aristocracy”. The works are of such caliber that many believe only a well-educated and well-traveled man could produce them. This gives the opponents of Shakespeare being the author the ammunition they feel will bring the castle of Shakespeare the Playwright down.
Another powerful weapon is Shakespeare’s own will and life. One would assume such a renown and gifted artist would have materials of his trade all around him to inspire him and console him. In this case, that would be books, letters, and manuscripts. After his death and throughout history, no manuscripts of Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or any other piece of his works were ever found. Nothing has survived. Goldman points out that “no play manuscripts from the Elizabethan age have survived” making this weapon more of a dud. Renee Montagne notes that scholars have found “no record that this Shakespeare owned any books, wrote any letter, and” only is seen as real on legal documents.
So, if William Shakespeare is not William Shakespeare, who would go so far as to pretend to be the gifted man who changed the world? It could have been a nobleman or another writer or actor, yet surely those in England watching the plays, interacting with Shakespeare on a daily basis, and those that fell in love with his work would have questioned this themselves and looked for the real artist. (Dutch) There is no society that would ever let such a juicy tidbit of information go undiscovered for so long.
William Shakespeare grew up without the benefits of a fancy education. This does not mean he did not get an informal one which was possible if one truly desired it. There are some throughout the ages that are born with such exceptional gifts that life and society cannot stop them from painting the world with it. He might have been a smart, gifted, and humble man who gave all his books away before he died. It is surprising that someone hasn’t successfully claimed he was the Queen herself writing them. The author is Shakespeare.
Dutch, Steven. “Who Wrote Shakespeare’s Plays.” University of Madison Green Bay. Web. 8 Aug. 2012.
Goldman, David. "The Bard Or Not The Bard: Who Wrote Shakespeare's Plays?." Biography 6.8 (2002): 23. Academic Search Premier. Web. 8 Aug. 2012.
Montagne, Renee. "Who Wrote Shakespeare's Plays - The Debate Goes On. NPR. Web. Aug. 2012.