Was Shakespeare one of a kind? He argues that Shakespeare tried to adapt his own singular talent and ambition to the collaborative enterprise of drama by imagining himself as uniquely embodying the diverse, fractious energies of the popular theater. Rewriting our current histories of authorship as well as Renaissance drama, Shakespeare Only recaptures a sense of the creative force that mass entertainment exerted on Shakespeare and that Shakespeare exerted on mass entertainment.
The book sweeps away many wide-spread misconceptions about Renaissance authorship and provides detailed evidence for the ways Elizabethan and Jacobean readers and audiences actually thought about the creators of the plays they enjoyed.
Shakespeare's plays - Wikipedia
That conception, Knapp shows, entailed in the interest of ambition the abandonment of dreams of absolute sovereignty and an unprecedented plunge into collaboration and commonness. The pursuit of this question leads Jeffrey Knapp on a wide-ranging study of Renaissance authorship. Amassing a formidable array of fact and argument, Shakespeare Only takes issue with the collaborative model of playwrighting currently in vogue among historicist critics, and argues persuasively that the single-author paradigm established itself in the theater earlier and more forcefully than has been thought.
This is a sharply-argued intervention in current critical debates. Knapp does not reject the historicist enterprise, however, in favor of an unreformed Bardolatory, but rather renders more vivid and precise our picture of just what dramatic authorship was and could be in the Renaissance. Shakespeare, in this reading, understands that modern capitalist necessity of having a broad base for commercial and artistic success. Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature.
You may purchase this title at these fine bookstores. He thought this society was still active, and that its members communicated with each under the aegis of the Church of England.
On the basis of cryptograms he detected in the sixpenny tickets of admission to Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, he deduced that both Bacon and his mother were secretly buried, together with the original manuscripts of Shakespeare's plays, in the Lichfield Chapter house in Staffordshire. He unsuccessfully petitioned the Dean of Lichfield to allow him both to photograph and excavate the obscure grave.
She gained permission in the late s to excavate, but authorities quickly withdrew her permit. By the end of the 19th century other candidates had begun to receive attention. In Wilbur G. Zeigler , an attorney, published the novel It Was Marlowe: A Story of the Secret of Three Centuries , whose premise was that Christopher Marlowe did not die in , but rather survived to write Shakespeare's plays.
George Greenwood , a British barrister, sought to disqualify William Shakespeare from the authorship in The Shakespeare Problem Restated , but did not support any alternative authors, thereby encouraging the search for candidates other than Bacon. Robertson published The Baconian Heresy: A Confutation in , refuting the contention that Shakespeare had expert legal knowledge by showing that legalisms pervaded Elizabethan and Jacobean literature.
With the appearance of J. Thomas Looney 's Shakespeare Identified ,  Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, quickly ascended as the most popular alternative author. This view, of Shakespeare as a commercial go-between, was later adapted by Oxfordians. To bridge the evidentiary gap, both Oxfordians and Baconians began to argue that hidden clues and allusions in the Shakespeare canon had been placed there by their candidate for the benefit of future researchers.
This became known as the " Prince Tudor theory ", which postulates that the Queen's illicit offspring and his father's authorship of the Shakespeare canon were covered up as an Elizabethan state secret. The Ogburns found many parallels between Oxford's life and the works, particularly in Hamlet , which they characterised as "straight biography". A series of critical academic books and articles held in check any appreciable growth of anti-Stratfordism, as academics attacked its methodology as unscholarly and the conclusions as ridiculous.
The study disproved all claims that the works contain ciphers, and was condensed and published as The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined Soon after, four major works were issued surveying the history of the anti-Stratfordian phenomenon from a mainstream perspective: Gibson, and Shakespeare and His Rivals: McMichael and Edgar M.
In the American Bar Association Journal published a series of articles and letters on the authorship controversy, later anthologised as Shakespeare Cross-Examination In the newsletter of The Shakespeare Oxford Society reported that "the missionary or evangelical spirit of most of our members seems to be at a low ebb, dormant, or non-existent". The freelance writer Charlton Ogburn Jr. He proposed fighting for public recognition by portraying Oxford as a candidate on equal footing with Shakespeare.
He also kick-started the modern revival of the Oxfordian movement by adopting a policy of seeking publicity through moot court trials, media debates, television, and other outlets. These methods were later extended to the Internet, including Wikipedia. Ogburn believed that academics were best challenged by recourse to law, and on 25 September three justices of the Supreme Court of the United States convened a one-day moot court at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church , to hear the Oxfordian case.
The trial was structured so that literary experts would not be represented, but the burden of proof was on the Oxfordians. The justices determined that the case was based on a conspiracy theory, and that the reasons given for this conspiracy were both incoherent and unpersuasive. On this occasion Shakespearean scholars argued their case, and the outcome confirmed the American verdict. Due in part to the rising visibility of the authorship question, media coverage of the controversy increased, with many outlets focusing on the Oxfordian theory.
In the Public Broadcasting Service television show Frontline broadcast "The Shakespeare Mystery", exposing the interpretation of Oxford-as-Shakespeare to more than 3. Beginning in the s Oxfordians and other anti-Stratfordians increasingly turned to the Internet to promulgate their theories, including creating several articles on Wikipedia about the candidates and the arguments, to such an extent that a survey of the field in judged that its presence on Wikipedia "puts to shame anything that ever appeared in standard resources".
On 14 April the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition issued an internet petition , the "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare" , coinciding with Brunel University 's announcement of a one-year Master of Arts programme in Shakespeare authorship studies since suspended. The coalition intended to enlist broad public support so that by , the th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the academic Shakespeare establishment would be forced to acknowledge that legitimate grounds for doubting Shakespeare's authorship exist, a goal that was not successful.
To the question of whether there is good reason to question Shakespeare's authorship, 6 per cent answered "yes", and 11 percent "possibly".
Shakespeare: who put those thoughts in his head?
When asked their opinion of the topic, 61 per cent chose "A theory without convincing evidence" and 32 per cent chose "A waste of time and classroom distraction". In James S. Shapiro surveyed the authorship question in Contested Will: Approaching the subject sociologically, Shapiro found its origins to be grounded in a vein of traditional scholarship going back to Edmond Malone , and criticised academia for ignoring the topic, which was, he argued, tantamount to surrendering the field to anti-Stratfordians. De Vere is portrayed as a literary prodigy who becomes the lover of Queen Elizabeth , with whom he sires Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, only to discover that he himself may be the Queen's son by an earlier lover.
He eventually sees his suppressed plays performed through the front man, William Shakespeare, who is portrayed as an opportunistic actor and the movie's comic foil. Oxford agrees to Elizabeth's demand that he remain anonymous as part of a bargain for saving their son from execution as a traitor for supporting the Essex Rebellion against her. Who Was William Shakespeare? Since then, Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells have written a short e-book, Shakespeare Bites Back ,  and edited a longer book of essays by prominent academic Shakespeareans, Shakespeare Beyond Doubt , in which Edmondson says that they had "decided to lead the Shakespeare Authorship Campaign because we thought more questions would be asked by our visitors and students because of Anonymous , because we saw, and continue to see, something very wrong with the way doubts about Shakespeare's authorship are being given academic credibility by the Universities of Concordia and Brunel, and because we felt that merely ignoring the anti-Shakespearians was inappropriate at a time when their popular voice was likely to be gaining more ground".
While more than 80 historical figures have been nominated at one time or another as the true author of the Shakespearean canon,  only a few of these claimants have attracted significant attention. Various group theories of Shakespearean authorship were proposed as early as the midth century. The first published book focused entirely on the authorship debate, The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespeare Unfolded , by Delia Bacon, appeared in It proposed the first "group theory", attributing the works to "a little clique of disappointed and defeated politicians" led by Sir Walter Raleigh which included Sir Francis Bacon and perhaps Edmund Spenser , Lord Buckhurst , and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
A group theory was also described in Gilbert Slater 's The Seven Shakespeares , in which he theorised that the works were written by seven different authors: The leading candidate of the 19th century was one of the great intellectual figures of Jacobean England, Sir Francis Bacon , a lawyer, philosopher, essayist and scientist. Bacon's candidacy relies upon historical and literary conjectures, as well as alleged cryptographical revelations. Bacon was proposed as sole author by William Henry Smith in and as a co-author by Delia Bacon in She proposed him as the leader of a group of disaffected philosopher-politicians who tried to promote republican ideas to counter the despotism of the Tudor-Stuart monarchies through the medium of the public stage.
Henry Pott edited Bacon's Promus and found 4, parallels of thought or expression between Shakespeare and Bacon. In a letter addressed to John Davies , Bacon closes "so desireing you to bee good to concealed poets", which according to his supporters is self-referential. They say that his moral philosophy, including a revolutionary politico-philosophic system of government, was concealed in the Shakespeare plays because of its threat to the monarchy.
Baconians suggest that the great number of legal allusions in the Shakespeare canon demonstrate the author's expertise in the law. Bacon became Queen's Counsel in and was appointed Attorney General in Bacon also paid for and helped write speeches for a number of entertainments, including masques and dumbshows , although he is not known to have authored a play. His only attributed verse consists of seven metrical psalters , following Sternhold and Hopkins. Since Bacon was knowledgeable about ciphers,  early Baconians suspected that he left his signature encrypted in the Shakespeare canon.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries many Baconians claimed to have discovered ciphers throughout the works supporting Bacon as the true author. Ashwood Windle claimed she had found carefully worked-out jingles in each play that identified Bacon as the author. Platt argued that the Latin word honorificabilitudinitatibus , found in Love's Labour's Lost , can be read as an anagram, yielding Hi ludi F.
Baconis nati tuiti orbi "These plays, the offspring of F. Bacon, are preserved for the world. Since the early s, the leading alternative authorship candidate has been Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford and Lord Great Chamberlain of England. Oxford followed his grandfather and father in sponsoring companies of actors, and he had patronised a company of musicians and one of tumblers. Examples of his poetry but none of his theatrical works survive. The first to lay out a comprehensive case for Oxford's authorship was J.
Thomas Looney, an English schoolteacher who identified personality characteristics in Shakespeare's works—especially Hamlet —that painted the author as an eccentric aristocratic poet, a drama and sporting enthusiast with a classical education who had travelled extensively to Italy. Oxford's purported use of the "Shakespeare" pen name is attributed to the stigma of print , a convention that aristocratic authors could not take credit for writing plays for the public stage.
Oxfordians say that the dedication to the sonnets published in implies that the author was dead prior to their publication and that the year of Oxford's death was the year regular publication of "newly corrected" and "augmented" Shakespeare plays stopped. The poet and dramatist Christopher Marlowe was born into the same social class as Shakespeare—his father was a cobbler, Shakespeare's a glove-maker.
Marlowe was the older by two months, and spent six and a half years at Cambridge University. He pioneered the use of blank verse in Elizabethan drama, and his works are widely accepted as having greatly influenced those of Shakespeare. The Marlovian theory argues that Marlowe's documented death on 30 May was faked. Thomas Walsingham and others are supposed to have arranged the faked death, the main purpose of which was to allow Marlowe to escape trial and almost certain execution on charges of subversive atheism.
Marlovians note that, despite Marlowe and Shakespeare being almost exactly the same age, the first work linked to the name William Shakespeare— Venus and Adonis —was on sale, with his name signed to the dedication, 13 days after Marlowe's reported death,  having been registered with the Stationers' Company on 18 April with no named author. Marlowe's candidacy was initially suggested by T. White, in , as a member of a group of authors. William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby , was first proposed as a candidate in by James Greenstreet and later supported by Abel Lefranc and others.
His initials were W. Derby travelled in continental Europe in , visiting France and possibly Navarre. Love's Labour's Lost is set in Navarre and the play may be based on events that happened there between and Derby's older brother, Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby , formed a group of players, the Lord Strange's Men , some of whose members eventually joined the King's Men, one of the companies most associated with Shakespeare.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Willm Shakp Bellott v. Mountjoy deposition, 12 June William Shakspere Page 1 of will from engraving. Willm Shakspere Page 2 of will. William Shakspeare Last page of will 25 March Spelling of Shakespeare's name. History of the Shakespeare authorship question. List of Shakespeare authorship candidates. Baconian theory of Shakespeare authorship.
Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship. Marlovian theory of Shakespeare authorship. Derbyite theory of Shakespeare authorship. The citations to the book used in this article list the UK page numbers first, followed by the page numbers of the US edition in parentheses. The upper figure, from Marvin Spevack, is true only if all word forms cat and cats counted as two different words, for example , compound words, emendations, variants, proper names, foreign words, onomatopoeic words, and deliberate malapropisms are included.
By , admiration for Shakespeare throughout Europe had become such that Thomas Carlyle "could say without hyperbole" that " 'Shakspeare is the chief of all Poets hitherto; the greatest intellect who, in our recorded world, has left record of himself in the way of literature. But this method is in essence no different from the cryptogram, since Shakespeare's range of characters and plots, both familial and political, is so vast that it would be possible to find in the plays 'self-portraits' of, once more, anybody one cares to think of.
The very fact that their application has produced so many rival claimants demonstrates their unreliability. Neither Shakespeare nor his fellow Elizabethan writers operated under this assumption. In both cases an overwhelming scholarly consensus, based on a serious assessment of hard evidence, is challenged by passionately held fantasies whose adherents demand equal time. There is no such evidence. At the other extreme are those who believe that it was an open secret". Ogburn imagines that these records, like those of the Stratford grammar school, might have been deliberately eradicated 'because they would have showed how little consequential a figure Shakspere cut in the company.
Then a candidate is selected who fits the list.
Bed tricks and broken women: Shakespeare's guide to love
Not surprisingly, different lists find different candidates. They present his six surviving signatures as proof.
- Shakespeare: who put those thoughts in his head? | Culture | The Guardian.
- Shakespeare authorship question - Wikipedia.
- Shakespeare's plays!
No note whatsoever was taken of the passing of the man who, if the attribution is correct, would have been the greatest playwright and poet in the history of the English language. It is of the kind, as Sir Edmund Chambers puts it, 'which is ordinarily accepted as determining the authorship of early literature.
Camden thus was aware that the last name on his list was that of William Shakespeare of Stratford. The Camden reference, therefore, is exactly what the Oxfordians insist does not exist: And the identification even fulfils the eccentric Oxfordian ground-rule that it be earlier than Indeed, Dugdale's sketch gave Hollar few details to work with As with other sketches in his collection, Dugdale made no attempt to draw a facial likeness, but appears to have sketched one of his standard faces to depict a man with facial hair.
Consequently, Hollar invented the facial features for Shakespeare. The conclusion is obvious: That improvisation is what disqualifies the engraving's value as authoritative evidence. He probably picked up many of his ideas from conversation. If he needed legal knowledge it was easier to extract this from Inns-of-Court drinkers in the Devil Tavern than to search volumes of precedents.
I really would like Edward de Vere to be the author of the plays and poems Thus, I had hoped that the current study might strengthen the case on behalf of the Oxfordian attribution. I think that expectation was proven wrong. I can not marry this fact to his verse. Vickers, Brian , ed. Retrieved 2 March The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Retrieved 10 January University of Illinois Press. Archived from the original on 3 March Retrieved 2 April Barrell, Charles Wisner January University of Chicago Press. The Genius of Shakespeare.
Retrieved 20 December Bate, Walter Jackson Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Bethell, Tom October Retrieved 16 December Bevington, David Martin The Seven Ages of Human Experience. Will Shakespere and the Dyer's Hand. Who Was William Shakespeare?: An Introduction to the Life and Works.
Retrieved 7 April Campbell, Oscar James, ed. Tennessee Law Review Association. A Study of Facts and Problems. Chandler, David June A Hoax by William Taylor". Churchill, Reginald Charles Shakespeare and His Betters: Johns Hopkins University Press. Education in Tudor and Stuart England. Documents of modern history. This Star of England. In Dobson, Michael; Wells, Stanley. Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. Oxford Companions to Literature. In Sisson, Charles Jasper.
Thomas Lodge and Other Elizabethans.
Edmondson, Paul; Wells, Stanley The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. In Wells, Stanley; Edmondson, Paul. The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined. Literature as Uncanny Causality. Gelderen, Elly van A History of the English Language. Greenblatt, Stephen 4 September The New York Times.
The Shakespeare Problem Restated. Retrieved 13 December Gross, John March The Meeting of Two Myths. The Cult of Shakespeare. The Life of Shakespeare. Phi Beta Kappa Society. Hoffman, Calvin [First published ]. Retrieved 28 February In Edmondson, Paul; Wells, Stanley. In Wimsatt, William Kurtz, Jr. Kathman 1 , David. The Shakespeare Authorship Page. David Kathman and Terry Ross. Retrieved 17 December Kathman 2 , David. Kathman 3 , David. Kathman 4 , David. Retrieved 8 February Lang, Andrew [First published ]. Shakespeare, Bacon, and the Great Unknown. Sous le masque de "William Shakespeare": William Stanley, Vie comte de Derby.
Retrieved 13 February Dictionary of Literary Biography. Retrieved 14 December A Lawyer Reviews the Evidence. In Deneef, Leigh A. The Elizabethan Courtier Poets: The Poems and Their Contexts. University of Missouri Press. Oxford, Dyer, and Gascoigne". Early Modern English Poetry: The Case for Shakespeare: The End of the Authorship Question.
Shakespeare and His Rivals: A Casebook on the Authorship Controversy. Montague, William Kelly The Cambridge History of the English Language: Shakespeare on Silver Street. Nicholl, Charles 21 April The Times Literary Supplement Nicoll, Allardyce 25 February Times Literary Supplement
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